Why eBay is banking on “unique” Certified Recycled Parts

EBay wants to shake up the aftermarket with a new “unique” approach to replacement parts sales – and is targeting the sector’s well-established firms by championing Certified Recycled Parts.

The iconic online brand, most known for its bidding-style sales, wants to be a big player in the aftermarket sector, its parts lead Laura Richards told CAT. Currently, car parts is the firm’s fastest growing category, with 1.4million products on offer, of which one is sold every second.

“Our strength is in our range of products,” said Richards. “We have one of the largest coverages of brands and products when it comes to vehicle parts. It’s crazy big.” The products are sold on the platform through stores, such as Aceparts, or directly from the manufacturer.

Now, it is heavily pushing Certified Recycled Parts (CRP), which “are up to 70% cheaper” than a replacement manufacturer’s OE (original equipment) – and is also more readily available due to the current parts shortages. It is also cheaper than the aftermarket-equivalent parts, she added.

“This compliments and even increases the trust [from customers] when it comes to secondhand car parts,” said Richards. “The most important thing is that it is certified – it’s a really strong part of eBay’s business, and it’s very unique to eBay.”

Pushed as part of a newly launched scheme to make CRP more visible, these parts are refurbished by eBay-audited firms, and then quality graded by sellers, like secondhand mobile phones. Sellers also have to offer a warranty of these products, that is “almost as good as new”, said Richards, again adding to consumer trust.

“We know there is a demand for secondhand car parts, purely because there are major supply chain issues,” said Richard. “We’ve seen tons of buyers buying them, and we’re seeing increasing businesses using them.

“It’s quite often we hear from businesses and garages. They actually tend to prefer to fit genuine compared to an aftermarket part, because of the fitting of it. It’s a lot better.”

There’s also the costing-saving angle: “Last year we saw over £99million worth of saving by customers opting for a certified recycled part over an OE.”

Richards adds there is also a sustainability aspect to using the parts. “If you fit green parts, as you may call them, you can also help your carbon footprint target reduction. You’re using something that you know hasn’t been manufactured again.”

The brand is also pushing to make buying parts easier by introducing My Garage, which suggests appropriate parts for a user’s car around an array of categories – like what is found on competing websites such as Kwik Fit and LKQ Euro Car Parts. The difference here, Richard said, is the amount of products on offer.

“Some people are brand conscious, some people aren’t; some people care more about a price point,” said Richards. “So you type in your reg, select, for example, brake pads, and all the results come up that fit your car. We see a better conversion rate because the results that come back are more accurate.”

Another leg up over competitors is that My Garage users can book a local tyre fitting when buying new rubber. This uses a network of garages, Richard said.

Next, the firm wants to continue bringing “the buyers to the sellers”. “We want to continue to grow the platform,” said Richards. Marketing is another key push from the brand, which wants to tell more people that it’s in the aftermarket sphere. Its huge stand at Goodwood was an indication of this intent.

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