The Best Online Marketplaces For Selling Obsolete Parts Inventory

Selling through online marketplaces is one of the best ways to move your obsolete and aging inventory while maximizing your gross profit. They allow you to open up your business to more potential customers, gain faster transaction rates, and maximize a higher sales volume. There are several ways to approach online parts sales. You can have your own dedicated dealership parts website, or you can utilize marketplaces like eBay Motors and Amazon.

READ MORE: The Parts Manager’s Guide to Beating Obsolescence

Frost & Sullivan reports that over 70% of car parts sales in the United States happen through Amazon and eBay — that’s roughly $7 billion of the total market. It’s clear that getting into the online sales business can spell serious bank for your dealership. 

So which platform should you use? What are the differences between them? What are their strengths? 

Here’s a breakdown of both Amazon and eBay, and how you can utilize each one to your advantage.

Amazon has over 300 million active users.

Is Amazon Right For You?

Amazon is an online retail giant. In 2020, nearly $8.3 billion came from parts and accessories sales, and another $1.9 billion came from OEM replacement parts, resulting in a total of $10.3 billion made from selling auto parts in the U.S. That’s a pretty significant slice of the national market. The platform gives you the option to have orders fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or by the merchant (FBM), and choosing FBA helps guarantee inventory quality and quantity.

Customers on Amazon are price-sensitive, and they care most about the total cost. They’re interested in free shipping and an easy, convenient customer experience. They look for higher customer satisfaction ratings to feel confident before buying. They’re highly research-driven and the more information you can provide to them in a quicker time frame, the better. 

READ MORE: Successfully Sell Parts on Amazon: How to Win the Buy Box

While Amazon charges seller fees (12% in automotive generally, 10% for tires and wheels), the volume focus on the platform means you’re primed to sell more parts and earn an additional 5–10% back on your profit margins through OEM volume incentives.

eBay shoppers are interested in finding niche products and they’ve grown to trust the platform, so dealerships can piggyback off of that customer loyalty.

Is eBay Motors Right For You?

On the other hand, eBay Motors is also a force to be reckoned with in the world of online auto parts sales. The website has around 187 million active buyers, and the eBay app has 476 million downloads — so it’s safe to say you’re working with a loyal customer base when you sell auto parts on eBay. 

READ MORE: What Every Parts Manager Should Know About Selling on eBay

That broad audience gives you more opportunities to sell obsolete inventory. Customers who are eager to buy old and aging parts are out there, you just need to make your dealership known to them. These buyers are interested in comparing the best prices and finding niche products. Plus, they’ve grown to trust the platform itself.

In addition to its large audience base, eBay Motors also offers parts sellers a helpful Global Shipping Program, a Seller Protection Program, and Top Seller Status potential to build trust with customers.

Bottom Line

Amazon and eBay Motors are valuable platforms to capitalize on the growing online parts sales market. Determining your business goals, parts inventory, and sales strategy can help you list the pros and cons of using either marketplace and decide on which one is right for you—interested in learning the secrets to turning your obsolete inventory into a strong revenue stream online? Check out our guide, “Turn Obsolescence into Revenue with Parts eCommerce,” for a full breakdown of how you can maximize your parts sales through different eCommerce channels.

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