Whether your customers are auto repair professionals, hobbyists, or complete novices trying a bit of DIY, auto parts purchases are always driven by need. That means convenience and ease of purchase is everything. Customers want to get out their phone, easily find the part they need, and have it delivered to them quickly.
As the online auto parts seller, your challenge is making it easy to find and purchase specific products wherever your customer is searching. The solution requires an understanding of the unique and complex buying behavior of an auto parts customer, and knowledge of the tools available to you.
There are lots of places to sell auto parts online, but the most popular choices are eBay, Amazon, and your own ecommerce site. We’ll go through the main features of each, and how they work best for auto parts sellers.
Selling Auto Parts on eBay
eBay is probably the most popular choice for people looking to get an auto parts business rolling with minimal investment. 80,000,000 parts are currently listed on eBay Motors, with 175,000,000 active buyers. eBay Motors sells 15 motorcycle parts, 7 ATV parts and 4 boat parts every minute.
Auto parts has always been a strong category for eBay, and they’ve recently focused on improving the process of buying auto parts, acquiring motors.co.uk- their biggest competitor for auto parts in the UK, and introducing a host of new features to help both buyers and sellers.
Shop by Diagram
According to eBay, 49% of consumers mistakenly pick up components that are either not compatible with their vehicles or are just the wrong part.
Allowing customers to shop by diagrams like the ones you would find in a Chilton or Haynes manual is a great for those with little or no auto parts knowledge. Even if a customer doesn’t know the name of a part, they can purchase it by matching the part visually.
With eBay, sellers can easily build lists of vehicles that their parts are compatible with.
You can build huge tables of compatible vehicles with just a few clicks. Instead of selecting each individual vehicle make, model year, and trim, you can select all trims with one click.
For example; for a 2013 BMW 3 Series there are 128 trim variations to choose from. Instead of 128 separate clicks sellers only need to click once.
Parts fitment allows listings to show up in fitment searches, meaning that more buyers will find your listings. Fitment data also helps buyers know they’re buying the correct part, reducing your returns rate and improving your feedback score.
The auto parts category incorporates catalog listings which give a clear and easy overview of the offers available for an item.
Sellers can leverage eBay catalog information to speed up listing. Motor parts can be listed to eBay using the ePID or MPN and if the product exists in the eBay catalog, most of the listing information will be pre-filled. Information that can be automatically completed by eBay:
- Product Title
- Product images (Stock)
- Item Specifics
- Weight & Dimensions
- Parts Compatibility
The eBay catalog is huge, but if an item is not found in the eBay catalog, you can add it. Listing using the eBay catalog improves youreBay SEO, and gives you a chance to win the buy box, which greatly increases sales.
Creating Trust on eBay
When it comes to seller trust, eBay customers look for a positive customer feedback score. eBay also allows sellers to apply a branded design to their listings. Professionally designed listings make it clear to customers that you are an established business and encourage trust. It also familiarizes customers with your brand. Phone numbers and links are not allowed in listings, so if you have your own site, branding listings is the best way to encourage customers to search for your brand site.
Frooition motors eBay listing design asserts your brand and increases conversion with cross promotion in listings, product videos, and dynamic categories.
Classified listings on eBay incur a single listing fee and no final value fee. You pay to advertise your contact details to potential buyers. For auto parts sellers, eBay Classified listings are a valuable sales stream. Custom branded classified listingshelp to differentiate your listings from competitors and build customer trust. Here’s a list of ecomdash’s top eBay listing templates to get you started.
Selling Auto Parts on Amazon
Automotive is a gated category on Amazon. This means you need to apply to Amazon and meet their requirements before you can sell auto parts. It’s worth taking the time to apply. Auto parts sales in the US are growing at around 14% annually and Amazon’s growth rate is nearly double that!
- You must be on the professional selling plan.
- You must have compliant product images that can be reviewed on either an independent website or an image hosting site.
- All major brands must be listed with universal product codes (UPCs).
- All certified refurbished Automotive & Powersports products must be warranted by the manufacturer or remanufacturer.
- You must have reviewed the Automotive & Powersports Part Finder and Fitment Data page in its entirety if you plan on selling fitment-specific products (products that only fit certain vehicles).
Businesses selling their own manufactured products tend to start out on the Amazon. Amazon is best for brand owners and white labellers because they own the brand, so whether they sell the item themselves or if it ends up getting stocked by Amazon, they’re winning.
Third-party auto parts sellers can also be very successful on Amazon, but their margins are tight because you’re not only competing with other sellers, you’re competing with Amazon itself. Sellers must have a competitive pricing strategy and strong supply chain in place to succeed. The buy box is everything on Amazon, and sellers can win it by selling at the lowest margin they can, only to sell out and lose the buy box.
Amazon automotive doesn’t offer a ‘Used’ category for automotive products. You can browse products in Automotive yourself and see that none have a ‘Used’ option. Some have ‘Refurbished’ options but even those must be warranted by the manufacturer or remanufacturer.
Selling From Your Own Site
Similar to marketplaces, the biggest concern for you is to make it easy for customers to know what part they’re buying.
Until recently, competing with the search functionality of marketplaces was simply too expensive for small sellers, and even businesses that did make the huge initial investment would find a large inventory site difficult to manage.
Ecommerce design specialists, such as Frooition, have focused on making high functionality, easy to manage websites just for auto part sellers. Unique search functionality is built into BigCommerce’s easy manage interface to make auto parts websites that are profitable, manageable and scalable.
“Letting customers search by make and model gives even small auto parts businesses the same buyer experience as the largest auto part sites.,“ says Andrew Pinner, ecommerce product lead at Frooition.
To further increase buyer confidence, a live chat plugin enables you to advise customers in real time. Giving customers the ability to speak to an expert and get instant clarification about a product is proven to be one of the best ways to convert a sale.
Wherever you sell, if you focus on getting the customer experience right, you will make plenty of sales and build a reputation as a quality brand.
Thinking of selling on eBay? Check out our eBay inventory software which supports eBay Motors including fitment compatibility.