Real Time Part Verification (RTP) and Your Business

Let’s talk about one of our favorite auto recycling subjects, shall we? The one group that recyclers have a love/hate relationship with. The customers that we can’t live with and can’t live without. The two words that strike fear in a recycler’s heart: BODY SHOPS

Yes, someone has to say it, and most of you know that I am not shy when it comes to bringing up delicate subjects. Let’s take a look at what I hear from my recyclers when I am on the road:

“Body shops look for the highest priced parts on insurance jobs so that they get more money on the parts markup.”

“Insurance adjusters look for the lowest priced parts to put on their estimate and don’t look to see what grade the part is or if it’s damaged.”

“Body shops order my parts, then return them and buy new from the OEM.”

Now, let me play devil’s advocate here, and let you know what we hear from the adjusters:

“The body shop said the part was no good when they got it, and they had to buy new from the OEM.”

“The recycler said the part was no good, so the shop had to buy it from another recycler at a higher price.”

and my personal favorite:

“The body shop called the recycler, but the part was out of stock.”

Let’s think about this for a moment. If a reputable recycler takes the time to do inventory, take pictures, and grade their parts to put them onto a site like Car-Part Pro with warranties and delivery times, are they really putting “bad” or “out of stock” parts on there? It can happen, but honestly, does it happen as often as the body shops say it does? I am thinking NO! It does not!

This is a true story that happened to me a couple of months ago. My manager at Car-Part called to ask me for help with an insurance adjuster who was having an issue with a couple of my recyclers. The adjuster called and said, “Our insurance company told the body shop to use Car-Part Pro to look up parts, but when the shop called them about a door, BOTH of these recyclers said they were OUT of stock, AGAIN! Now my estimate is off and they are going to purchase the parts new from the OEM!” According to my manager, this adjuster was very angry. We needed to get to the bottom of this. I told him that I knew one of these recyclers well, and they use quotes for every phone call. So, I called my friend up and told him what was going on with this door. He looks it up and says, “We have 2 quotes on this door. One is to a local customer, and one is to a shop out of state. We have two of them in stock.” Neither of these quotes were to the shop the insurance adjuster was calling about, and the quote number that the shop gave the adjuster did not match my friend’s quote numbers. In the meantime, my manager called the other recycler and was informed that no one has called for his door either and yes, he still has it.

Why is this shop telling the adjuster that these recyclers didn’t have the door? I am thinking that it was because he did not want to follow the insurance adjuster’s quote and buy a used door. How many adjusters out there follow up with the recycler or with Car-Part to see if the part is really there? Or, do they just write the supplement to the body shop and move on?

This is where Car-Part’s Real Time Part Verification (RTP) service can help your business! RTP is a feature on Car-Part Pro that gives buyers (like shops) the ability to verify the status of a part instantaneously, using a “Confirm Availability” button. When they click this button, the buyer is immediately informed whether the part is still in the recycler’s inventory management system, or if it has been changed in some way (like price, description, or the part sold) since your last upload to On the recycler side, your iCPM’s “Verify” tab lets you or your salespeople know who has been checking out your parts. They can now be proactive and call the shop to see if the part is still needed.

I know this brings up the question of where is your data going and who is using it. Car-Part has always left the recyclers in control of their own data, and from day one Car-Part has had an internal policy that they always get a recycler’s permission before forwarding data to a third party. Because Car-Part knows that recyclers may want to confirm where and how their data is being used, they offer a portal for each recycler so you can see where your parts are being forwarded, and which basic and optional services your part data is displayed in. This portal is available to each Car-Part customer 24 hours a day. If you aren’t sure how to access that portal, contact your Car-Part support rep or salesperson.

Have a great month! As always, if you have any questions for me, please email me at or call/text my cell at 859-802-2382.

Theresa Colbert is a public speaker who goes to state association meetings, at no charge, to give classes on cores, brokering and much more. She offers on-site support to salvage yards in many areas and has been an on-the-ground representative for for five years. Prior, she worked at Nu-Parts Automotive Products for 10 years, was a manager at Winter Auto Japanese Engines in Glendale, Arizona, and at AAA Economy Auto Parts in Phoenix, Arizona. With 23 years of industry experience, Theresa has seen the auto recycling world from almost every point of view. When she is at home, she loves to spend time with her family, play with her dogs, cook and watch football.