anyway, the fit and function is EXACTLY that of the expensive(or regularly priced) filter. it looks like the same manufacturer w/ different branded stamps. same filter material. for a black friday ad, i paid ~$4 for this $5 filter. it's $7 w/ shipping, but i spent $50+, so shipping was free(and no tax).
this is the deal i got...1 tranny mount, 1 motor mount, and a fuel filter for a '97 camaro; 1 air filter and 1 oil filter for a '97 honda accord. my total price for all items...$55.
I use autopartswharehouse.com very often. Maybe 6 orders in the last year or so. Only one had an issue, and it was my fault for choosing the wrong item (not reading the part that said D15b instead of D15Z1)
They are usually half the price of auto stores on most things (except VX 02's!)
I've gotten wires, plugs, distributor caps/rotors, timing belts/related (be VERY careful you order the right one, read the whole description), air/fuel filters, gaskets, etc. No complaints at all. Usually free shipping over $50, sometimes over $25. They send me e-mails all the time with 10% off everything. I've redeemed them several times. One of the few spam e-mails I look forward to getting/using. Sometimes they do 5% off and free shipping no minimum, etc.
As for air filters, cheap is it! I've always used the cheap paper available locally or on the net. No issues ever, that I've been aware of.
I totally agree about saving a little here and there. I refuse to buy anything from walmart (haven't been there in 3 years) but do often buy the store brand everything. I also do a ton of local shopping at farmers markets in the summer/grow my own food and freeze everything in mason jars. That's also why I bought a small chest freezer.
I've digressed, I apologize.