Well Toto We Are Not in Kansas Anymore
Recycled OE parts have never been in demand more than they are now. Anywhere and everywhere, if you have high quality products you can find a buyer. With eBay selling over 12 billion dollars in auto parts and accessories online last year, you can sell all over the world from wherever you find yourself. Trailer systems and trading networks allow us to move our parts across markets to our customer’s customer.
Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My
Online parts brokers, listing services, electronic data feeds, images and videos. Our parts are seen and listed in more places than ever before. 2.5 Quintillion (QT) bytes of data are produced by humans every day and I can only think auto recyclers are to blame. With 30,000 parts on a car there are a lot of possibilities to be consumed.
With so much added complexity, new challenges (and opportunities) have arrived. Interchange is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with and customers of all knowledge bases and cultures are colliding. Fraud schemes, new companies and new countries as buyers and customers are entering our consciousness.
This is new terrain and your company needs to have a game plan both in terms of strategy, processes and training to make sure that you can be conquerors instead of being left behind.
Inventory listing and purchasing departments should have an understanding of the opportunities that these revenue streams present and be researching or exploring new SKUs that they might currently lack data on currently. In addition to evaluating presentation of the inventory compared to your competitors is necessary. Who has better ratings, listings, images and descriptions? Who gets a higher percentage (%) of parts listed on estimates?
A Deeper Level of Prospecting
On the sales front, our processes and training need to incorporate a new group of customers. If online sales fall to someone on the production team, then the training applies there as well.
- Who are these customers?
- What is their business?
- What is their value beyond this transaction?
So eBay, in particular, is going to be dynamic in who it attracts across the globe. While it may primarily be retail, eBay has a platform that can grow and attract different levels of customers in the future, especially in global marketplaces that are in flux. After all Amazon used to sell used books primarily to retail customers and now who doesn’t buy in that market.
All that to say, don’t take for granted that you “know” your customers here. This is a new frontier and my suspicion is that many sales and production personnel are not interested or exploring online customers as prospective accounts.
A Different Type of Qualification
As we shift markets, expectations will shift as well. In the states, regionally expectations from time frame, rust, warranties vary quite a bit. How much more so will global dynamics shift?
Clarifying what components come with a purchase? What is covered under warranty? What level of quality is required internationally? Are there any additional parts that are needed?
Trust But Verify
When taking on new territory, it always helps to have a reference or resource to verify that a customer is trustworthy. Domestically, there are Facebook groups or trading partners you can query to see if there are any known issues especially on large amounts. The higher the amount of the sale, the higher the amount of scrutiny.
Doing research to see if there is an online presence? Does their company have any reviews? Does the address or place of business seem legitimate?
Maintaining control. Keep visibility on your side by arranging the shipment yourself. Have set policies and guidelines for how payment will be made.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Rich Tyler Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, email@example.com; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-963-4626