eBay Motors is rapidly gaining space in the market for online auto part sales, and we only expect it to get bigger as the market grows!
After all, shoppers on eBay are searching and ready to buy. As long as you can reach them and offer the part they need, they're a sale waiting to happen.
Of course, selling on eBay is a little different than selling on a parts website or at the counter. If you want to maximize your success, you need to strategize and speak the language of the eBay Motors shoppers.
Here are 7 things you should definitely know if you want to make it big on eBay!
1. You don’t have to sell everything
Some parts managers are under the impression that you have to list your entire inventory on eBay Motors, but that’s not true!
More listings will certainly increase your chances of finding an interested shopper, but if certain parts end up cutting into your profits, don’t sell them. Only list what’s profitable.
Many dealers will exclude oversized or hazmat items, for example. The shipping cost for large, awkwardly-shaped parts just isn’t worth it.
On the other hand, some dealers will heavily focus on the fast-moving parts they know they can sell. By buying an entire pallet of windshield wipers or oil filters, you can get a nice bulk discount, then offer a lower price on eBay and still come out ahead. The competitive price attracts more buyers and helps you become a high-volume seller!
2. Shipping doesn’t have to be free
Free shipping is HUGE on eBay. Regardless of the item’s price, listings with free shipping will appear higher in search results than those without it.
Basically, offering free shipping will improve your visibility on eBay and help you sell more parts.
That said, it’s just not practical (or smart) to ship auto parts for free. You wouldn’t make any profit!
The trick is to bake the cost of shipping into the part’s price. If a part sells for $20, and shipping will cost $8, list the part as $28 with free shipping. This method, combined with strategically excluding certain parts and categories from your listings, will help you stay profitable.
The only problem with this strategy is finding a reliable way to estimate shipping. Otherwise, you risk undershooting the cost and losing money, or overshooting the cost and no longer offering a competitive price.
Luckily for dealerships selling with a RevolutionParts eBay Store, our software does that work for you. With just a click, you can have the estimated shipping cost added to the product price on your listing, and mark it as “free shipping.”
This way you get the visibility boost without letting shipping costs cut into your margins!
3. Add product photos
A product image can DOUBLE how well a part sells.
Shoppers love being able to see the part they’re buying as another way to confirm it’s what they need. It’s a much better alternative to simply displaying the brand logo.
Since taking photos of the parts you sell takes time, it’s no surprise that not many dealers do it. That means the majority of the listings on eBay just have the brand logo instead of an actual picture of the part.
If you try to photograph everything, you’ll only get overwhelmed. So make a list of your best-selling parts and photograph those first. If you have any custom products like key chains, hats, or T-shirts, definitely take pictures of those too. Not only will this help your listings stand out, it’ll also increase your sales.
Here are some tips for taking photos:
- How to Take Better Auto Parts Photos
- Top Tools for Taking Photos of Auto Parts Without Breaking the Bank
- [Free Download] Photo Toolkit
4. Account for the fees
eBay has several fee systems in place, and forgetting about them will eat into your profits. When you set the pricing margin for your parts, you have to account for the fees! Otherwise you might end up with smaller margins than you expected.
- Seller Manager Pro Subscription (Waived with RevolutionParts)
- Anchor Store Subscription (Waived with RevolutionParts)
- Listing Fees (Waived with RevolutionParts)
- Final Value Fees (Discounted with RevolutionParts)
Offering your shoppers a low price will make your listing more attractive, but it needs to be high enough that you still make a profit after shipping cost, part cost, and any applicable fees.
5. Take advantage of international shipping!
There’s a really cool feature on eBay that not all sellers take advantage of: easy international shipping.
With eBay’s Global Shipping Program, you can reach international shoppers without having to deal with expensive overseas shipping and customs papers.
When someone in another country buys your part, you ship it to eBay. eBay then takes care of the international shipping headache, like custom papers, and ships the part to the buyer.
If something happens to the part along the way, like it gets delayed or damaged because of eBay’s role in the shipping, any negative feedback your store receives will be removed. Basically, eBay won’t hold you accountable for shipping if they’re the ones who mess up.
Of course, some brands aren’t allowed to sell internationally. Make sure you CAN sell overseas before enrolling in eBay’s program.
6. Communicate as quickly as possible!
The better you are at keeping in touch with shoppers, the better—for more than one reason!
When you ignore a customer for several days, they're much less likely to buy from you. In fact, by that point most shoppers have probably already placed an order somewhere else.
To some extent, shoppers expect slow customer service. So if you can reply to their questions within an hour or two, it's a pleasant surprsie that improves their opinion of you. You can establish yourself as a credible source for information and someone they can actually get a response from. It becomes a way to build shopper loyalty so they're more likely to buy from you next time, too.
If an issue arises, it's recommended to try to sort things out with the buyer before getting eBay involved. If you take days to reply to every message, that shopper is much less likely to cooperate with you and work things out. eBay almost always sides with the buyer, so it's worth it to stay on the buyer's good side.
7. Take full advantage of eBay tools
eBay-specific factors like Top Seller Status can really make a difference online, since it boosts visibilty AND makes shoppers more willing to trust you. Even though you have to meet certain standards to gain and maintain it, Top Seller Status can be huge for your parts team.
There are other tools available to you too, like running an eBay promotion. Shoppers love a good sale! eBay promotions are fairly flexible, so you can set up a discount that fits with your pricing strategy and drives more sales without losing out on profit.
Finally, you can create guides or become an active member of the forums in order to build relationships and credibilty among eBay shoppers. It's a great way to leverage your dealership brand and get your name out there!
eBay Motors is a different audience than your standalone parts website, so it makes sense that you need to approach it differently, too. When your prices are displayed side-by-side with competitors, offering free shipping and competitive pricing is a huge deal. Shooting for volume sales and tighting up margins wherever you can makes a huge impact on your success.
But selling on eBay is worth it! Millions of people visit eBay on a regular basis, and usually they're searching and ready to buy the auto parts they need. This is especially true for obsolete parts! eBay Motors a healthy and growing market to tap into, so you don't want to miss out.