The online auto parts market is growing in leaps and bounds. With so many tutorial and how-to videos online, people feel more confident in their DIY skills when it comes to basic car maintenance. A UPS study in 2014 found that 69 percent of auto part shoppers research the part they want online, and 59 percent actually end up buying online.
Parts sales on eBay Motors are no exception. According to a study by Hedges and Company, eBay moved an estimated 550,000 and 575,000 auto parts each week in 2014. It makes sense, since eBay’s brand name is so well-known that even first-time DIYers know it’s a great place to browse. There’s a huge selection to choose from, both for OEM and aftermarket parts, and it’s easy to comparison-shop for the best price.
Aftermarket retailers were the first to jump on the eBay opportunity, but it hasn’t stopped dealerships from staking their claim, too. Already, top-performing dealers are seeing between $30,000 and $60,000 in monthly sales on eBay.
Need a few more reasons to sell auto parts on eBay Motors? Consider these:
1. It’s a fantastic place to sell obsolete and overstock parts.
You know that old, obsolete part that’s been taking up space and gathering dust on your shelf for months now? There’s a fairly low chance that a customer will walk up to the counter looking for that exact part. But if you expand your selling range nationally or even internationally, there’s a much higher chance of finding a buyer.
Customers know this, too. They’re much more likely to search online (on places like eBay or Amazon) for parts they know are no longer in production. If you sell these obsolete parts online, you can clear your old inventory and avoid eating the loss of that part.
This means if you play your cards right, you can eliminate obsolescence in the parts department entirely.
Some dealerships even use this a chance to get rid of used parts that were returned by a customer. If you fit this into your selling strategy, then you can accept returned auto parts that customers tried to use in their vehicle only to find it wasn’t what they needed. Customers will be happy that you accepted their return, and you can still sell that part rather than mark it as a loss.
2. It’s completely possible to make a profit on eBay.
Some dealerships have avoided eBay because they’ve heard it’s too competitive to bring in a profit. And while eBay certainly is competitive compared to a standalone parts website, you CAN make money selling auto parts.
If you can set accurate shipping and a competitive price, then you can make a profit. Calculating an accurate shipping cost is where many dealerships make mistakes and lose money, but there are eBay solutions available that can manage this for you. Otherwise, you have to calculate shipping prices by hand.
Just remember that selling on eBay Motors is typically a volume game. You might not earn as much on individual parts, but you’re still making a profit by fulfilling dozens of orders each day. Build this into your strategy and buy fast-moving parts in bulk (such as windshield wiper blades and filters) and undercutting your competitors’ prices.
And, as mentioned, it’s a chance to recapture otherwise lost profit from obsolete parts.
3. It gives you instant access to a HUGE ready-to-buy customer base.
Millions of people visit eBay on a regular basis. They know they can find a better price online, and they know that eBay sells just about everything. It’s a perfect go-to place to find any auto parts a customer is looking for.
As long as your listing has the proper part number, fitment data, and details, customers can find it and buy it from you. It helps to provide a product photo and list your item as “free shipping” (and build that shipping cost into the overall price) to improve your eBay visibility and listing performance even more.
Product photos in general can double your conversion rates. Download this free eBay Photo Toolkit to learn about some tips and tools that can help you take higher quality photos in less time.
4. It makes international sales really easy.
On your own parts website, international sales can be a hassle due to shipping costs and customs papers. It’s no surprise that dealers often choose to avoid selling overseas because it’s not always worth the extra work.
But eBay’s Global Shipping Program handles all the dirty details for you. When an international buyer purchases your item, eBay will take care of that international shipping for you. As the seller, you only need to ship it to eBay’s US location in Kentucky, and they’ll handle the rest.
This saves you from dealing with customs papers and increased international shipping fees. And, of course, it expands your selling reach even further.
5. It doesn’t have to be tedious to set up and maintain.
If you’re still shaking your head because you don’t even want to think about creating listings one-by-one, then you’re in luck: there’s an easier way. You don’t have to create listings by hand for each auto part you sell.
As a business, you can invest in an eBay solution to cut back on labor costs. The right solution can create listings in bulk, complete with the fitment data and images to help your part sell on eBay Motors. You can even get instant Top Seller Status this way, along with having some of your selling fees waived.
It’s true that eBay’s vehicle sales have diminished in recent years, but that doesn’t apply to parts and accessories. The company reported a growth of 17 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2015, and 16 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2015. While the market is on the rise, there’s no better time to establish a foothold in the eBay parts market.
Amanda Tegtmeyer is the marketing manager for Revolution Parts, a Dealer.com Certified Technology Provider