Sticker shock happens often in the service department, when customers face an expensive quote for repairs they can't always afford.
University Toyota in Tuscumbia, Ala., has found a cure for this malady: PartCycle, a company that sells high-quality recycled car parts online through a network of vetted suppliers, typically at a sharp discount compared with OEM parts. PartCycle allows the dealership to keep repair business in house by offering customers a less expensive option.
"It definitely impacts our bottom line," said Chris Britt, parts manager for the dealership, which sold about 1,100 new and 430 used vehicles in 2016.
"Anytime we can sell a customer a part, we make money, as well as keep work coming in for our technicians," Britt said. "And customers feel good about it because they're able to get back on the road."
Offering customers used parts was in the dealership's game plan long before it started using PartCycle last May. But it just wasn't very efficient.
Finding parts often took too long, which gave frustrated customers time to consider — and act on — other options, such as taking the work to independent repair shops, Britt said.
"I've easily spent the better part of a day or more looking for a used part," he said. "I'd get on the phone and start dialing local salvage yards first. Then when you finally get ahold of someone, it's always, 'Let me see what I can find and I'll get back to you.'
"Or you get on the Internet and type in the part you want, and you can spend a great deal of time looking," he added. "Everyone under the sun seems to sell them."