Selling Parts on eBay

Selling auto parts on eBay can be a good way to increase revenue. While it’s not necessarily the most profitable place to sell auto parts (most eBay retailers who drop-ship are earning just 2 or 3% profit margins), eBay offers the possibility of substantial sales volumes.

A few things to consider if your trying to unload some idle inventory on eBay or just considering trying it knowing what is selling on eBay is always helpful.

Top Selling eBay Parts by Category

There are three main categories of parts that tend to sell well on eBay:

  1. Exterior parts, like steel bumpers, upgraded or replacement grilles, side mirrors, etc. Most of these parts are replacements, but some are aftermarket upgrades. 
  2. Wheels and tires, along with suspension parts like shocks, struts, lift its, and leveling kits.
  3. Lighting products, which includes headlights (replacement and aftermarket upgrades), light bulbs, taillights, and fog lights.

These three categories have a couple of common traits. First, fitment usually isn’t a challenge. A lot of these parts are universal and/or fitment is really easy to determine. Second, it’s possible to save a substantial amount of money buying these types of parts online, and/or the local selection for these parts is often limited.

Outside of these three categories of parts, there’s solid demand for parts in these categories as well:

  • A/C Compressors and A/C control systems
  • Air Filters
  • Alternators and Generators
  • Battery Accessories (chargers, jump batteries)
  • Clutch kits (replacement and upgrade)
  • Crate engines
  • Cylinder heads (both complete replacements and upgrades)
  • Dash kits and upgrades (carbon fiber dress up parts, etc.)
  • Decals, stickers, and Replacement Emblems
  • Disc Brake System Parts (rotors and pads, mostly)
  • EGR System Components
  • Exhaust System Parts (cat-back systems and mufflers)
  • Floor Mats
  • Fuel Filters and Fuel Pumps
  • Ignition System Parts (coils, distributors/timing kits, spark plugs and plug wires)
  • Keys and Keyless entry fobs (mostly replacements)
  • Manuals and Literature – Vintage stuff like old brochures, etc.
  • Performance Chips and Programmers
  • Radiators
  • Seat Covers
  • Shocks and Struts
  • Weatherstripping

None of these categories are as popular as exterior accessories, wheels and tires, or lighting, but even an unpopular category on eBay represents millions of dollars in parts revenue each year.

Selling Auto Parts On eBay

If you’re listing parts that are popular on eBay, you’re halfway there. In addition to having the right inventory, you’ll want to follow these tips:

  • Price your auto parts to be competitive. You can’t sell parts on eBay if you aren’t competitive. While eBay shoppers aren’t necessarily “bargain hunters,” they’re very price sensitive. An extra dollar or two can make a big difference.

Consider your shipping costsand keep shipping rates free or as low as possible – customers review shipping charges before purchasing.

Offer rapid customer service. eBay shoppers will shoot you a question and expect a fast answer. If you don’t respond quickly, they’ll move to the next seller.

Communication is key. When you receive an order, let the customer know you’re processing things. When the order is placed and you have a tracking number, notify the customer ASAP. When the order arrives, make sure the customer got their part. Communicating like this is the best way to secure good feedback and to maintain a positive reputation. 

Take excellent pictures of your products.Get a photo from several angles and use good lighting. If a part is used or has some wear, be honest about that in the photo and description.

Categorize your auto parts correctly for quick sales. Think about where your customer will search.

Write excellent product descriptions, so there’s no confusion about the part your customer is buying.

Never list items you don’t have in inventory. Double-check your store and supply regularly.

Establish a clear return policy and make it obvious for customers to see.

While eBay isn’t necessarily the best option for selling auto parts online, it can be a great place to unload excess or old inventory. We’ve also seen dealerships that sell inexpensive non-OEM replacement parts and accessories that do a substantial amount of sales on eBay.

Article in part or whole by Jason Lancaster.