Been looking for replacement bumper cover for Mercedes. Prices are all over the place. Seems to be different manufacturers but can there be that many companies making these covers? I don't normally buy these parts so how do I know which is high quality and not overpriced?
I would not buy an aftermarket cover for a Mercedes, because, like you, I don't know if any of them are any good. I'd bet that almost all of them have some kind of issue with fit, finish, primer quality, etc.
Problem with non OEM bumpers is that you could have two bumpers from the same company and the fit will be completely different. Many of the bumpers for Mercedes, BMW etc, are actually recycled OEM's, that have been repaired. Usually they will take two bumpers and make one. Often times they don't fit. Too narrow, too wide, etc. etc. German stuf with close tolerences you need to spend the money and get OEM or used if you can find one.
Only other option out there to mention is the bumper recycler places themselves. They basically get all the damaged bumpers from bodyshops, inventory & store what is worth repairing, & chop up the rest. When an order comes in, they pull the part & it goes through the repair process.
I know this from getting different unrepaired cores from a local place over the years & initially getting shown some of the procedures. Many have very minor damages & hot air plastic welding , which is the cheapest procedure material wise, is also the strongest. Personally, at our last local place, they didn't get into chopping 2 bumpers into 1 sort of thing, mostly rip& tab repair on decent cores. Was possible if asked to view part before repairs.
Of course these sort of shops are few & far between.
Other than that, check online for actual true Mercedes dealership parts stores & pay the price.
Just to mention, I dealt with someone directly off an e-bay ad (Todd?) that was a friend of the owner of a place called 5 star airbags.com. He was helping sell some of a bunch of odd shipments of parts they got in from places. In early 2016, I got 4 ea 2016 Camaro auxiliary led running lights, no issues I could find, that were matched up with led drivers with Mercedes part numbers. Said they had a crapload of Mercedes stuff. Hmmm?
I do a lot of bumpers, It's 90% of my work. I can tell you that the aftermarket
ones have come a long way, they are much better now than they were 25 yrs ago.
Most I get fit really well, no matter where I get them.
I suppose part of this is what's expected as far as fit and finish. It's true that aftermarkets are better now than they were, except I have had a couple of them where the primer decided to peel off and had to be redone. That's actually the worst part to me, and the reason I won't use them anymore.