The wrong part gets ordered, the customer doesn’t show up for the service appointment, parts get returned… we’re all human and it’s easy to end up with an obsolescence issue if you don’t have a focused strategy in place to keep parts from sitting on the shelves for too long.
It’s unlikely that a customer will waltz up to your parts counter and need the exact part that’s been on the shelf for a while, but that’s only because you’re limited to selling locally. If you could sell on a national level (or even internationally!), you’d have a much higher chance of finding the customer you need.
If your dealership has an obsolescence problem, the good news is that eCommerce is an easy fix. These obsolete parts are the best car parts to sell online, especially on a marketplace like eBay. Thousands of dealerships are already doing it, and the market for online auto parts is growing every year.
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to run a parts website, either. As long as you work with a solid eCommerce platform that offers you support and training, you’ll feel in control every step of the way.
Here are the steps to getting started to sell obsolete auto parts online:
1. Assess your resources and set goals.
Do you just want to eliminate obsolescence or do you want to aggressively grow your parts department’s revenue? You can decide to start small and get used to handling more orders or you can scale quickly. The pace is up to you and is based on your internal resources.
The main ways to go digital are:
- Replace your parts request form with a user-friendly parts and accessories catalog to empower customers to find and reserve parts.
- Sell parts on your existing dealership website.
- Create a separate custom parts website to sell nationally.
- Sell on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon (another great option for getting rid of obsolete parts!).
2. Find a parts eCommerce solution provider that aligns with your goals.
If you evaluate your resources and still aren’t sure which channel is right for you, then you can ask an eCommerce provider for guidance. They provide the online parts and accessories catalog, shopping cart, order processing, shipping tools, and more. They’ll also handle every step of the website setup and implementation, so you don’t have to worry about the technical details.
Since the eCommerce solution is critical to your success, it’s worth your time to research your options, look at sample sites, and even view a demo if you can. You can find an auto parts eCommerce checklist here with 50 questions to ask vendors and helpful tips for evaluating eCommerce solution providers.
3. Configure administrative settings.
As long as you pick an eCommerce provider with a reliable support team, you’ll be guided through each step of the way: shipping methods, tax settings, payment gateway, and other back-end settings that are necessary to running your online parts business.
If your eCommerce solution isn’t able or willing to help you out, then you might want to reconsider who you’ve decided to partner with. This is your first indicator for how the support team will work with you in the months or years to come.
4. Set up your parts store.
Setting up a store on eBay or Amazon:
A marketplace like eBay is the perfect place to save the sale on your “obsolete” parts. With a user base of over 155 million people around the world, there’s probably someone out there who needs that dusty old part on your shelf.
When selling on eBay, first set up a business account on PayPal. After that you can go through the steps of registering for an eBay business account, linking to PayPal, and filling in all necessary information, like tax rates.
Once you’re ready to go, you can create listings manually or sign up with an auto parts eCommerce eBay solution that will make the whole process much faster and easier. The RevolutionParts eBay solution handles all the grunt work with bulk listings, accurate shipping calculations, advanced pricing, and more.
Trust us, obsolete parts are the best car parts to sell on eBay. Some dealerships have even been known to buy up obsolete inventory from other dealers, then resell it themselves on eBay!
You can also sell on Amazon! Just head over to their sign up page to register for an Amazon Seller account. After that, simply list your products and wait for customers to make a purchase.
Setting up a parts web store:
The time it takes to setup a new parts eCommerce site really depends on where and how you’re selling. If you’re plugging your new online parts store into your existing site, then you won’t have to do much customization. However, if you’re starting up a standalone website to sell nationally, then your eCommerce solution will create a custom logo and website design for you.
You can get your parts website up and running faster if you give them something to work with! Of the offered templates, which one do you like the most? What color scheme do you want? Check out competitors’ websites that you like and know the basics about what the best designs have in common.
5. Start selling auto parts.
Once your parts website is live, the orders will start coming in. It’s up to you to fulfill and ship these orders! Make sure you’re prepared with some packing materials on hand.
Remember, this is your chance to clear your shelf space of those obsolete parts! It’ll also help you avoid obsolescence in the future. Drop the prices for the parts you want to get rid of, and with the proper marketing, they’ll be off the shelf in no time.
6. Take your parts sales further
Some type of marketing is absolutely essential if you want to dominate the parts market. Even if it’s as simple as a Facebook account or an emailing list, you need some way to let customers know that your parts website is open for business.
If you REALLY want to rank with the top stores, write original product descriptions to boost organic traffic to your parts website. Advertising with Google is another powerful option that’s not too difficult if you know what you’re doing—and they’re especially great for advertising your low-priced, obsolete auto parts for sale.
An online revenue channel will really grow your market share and profit, and it doesn’t require technical knowledge to get started. Even for advertising, you can choose to invest as much or as little time as you want. Of course, you can always hire a marketing service to do all that so you can focus on selling auto parts.
Overall the entire process is easier than you think and can take as little as a day to set up. So what are you waiting for?