Sitting on slow-moving inventories of spare parts is an unenviable position for an auto dealer. The online auction eBay says it can help.
EBay, once known as a place to market Grandma's tchotchkes, has sold more than 135 million auto parts through its subsidiary, eBay Motors.
The site listed more than 8 million parts and accessories throughout the first quarter of 2009, up from 6 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, eBay says. The company's worldwide annualized gross merchandise volume for the parts and accessories category, grew to $4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2009, up from $4.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.
This year, the company says, parts transactions are up 15 percent from last year.
About 15,000 new- and used-vehicle dealerships use eBay Motors, says Famous Rhodes, the site's director of parts and accessories. A dealership that sells a part to a customer online gets detailed contact information, Rhodes says.
The dealership can use that contact to offer to install the part at a discount. Or the dealership can sell the part on eBay at a discount to a local customer as a way of luring the buyer to the store for full-price labor, Rhodes says.