Selling Car Parts & Accessories Part 2

emotiveE-Motive partners with companies to scale and grow clients across the world on various marketplaces offering store design, translated listings and multi lingual customer services in all categories of selling. Their specialised Automotive Parts & Accessories Team currently work with brands such as the RAC, Aston Martin and Vauxhall and also aftermarket parts companies such as Hella, Unipart and Febi Bilstein.

As specialists, the team works with marketplace catalogues helping sellers index their items and help to avoid issues around the marketplace duplication policy. You can drop them a line for further information on how to sell more on and this week they are writing three guest posts, the first of which is published today:

1. Introduction, eBay, Change or Risk Being Restricted.
2. Amazon, Changes for the Better But Not Without Some Pain.
3. The Cross Border Trade Opportunity on Marketplaces for Parts & Accessories.

Amazon, Changes for the Better But Not Without Some Pain

Amazon FeatAmazon – is it becoming a destination to buy parts and accessories?

Up until around a year ago it was a poor experience to purchase anything parts and accessories related on Amazon. As a customer it was very hard to find anything. Amazon have a duplicate listing policy which has been enforced with an iron fist and as many sellers have experienced, once you get a warning you need to act on it as the next communication on the subject is to tell you that your account has been suspended.

Amazon’s structure is totally different than eBay’s; one listing is indexed by EAN or ASIN and the person that creates the listing owns the listing (and can therefore make any amendments). All other sellers propose a selling price against the listing however, unless you have the ‘Buy Box’, you are in nowhere-land and sales are rarely generated.

If you remember, in part one I mentioned that imagery is not very good in P & A. Amazon insists that the item must be on a white background and must be of a particular standard otherwise you will receive a warning and risk suspension.

With all of that in the mix, good sales are generated on the platform – in particular soft car parts where there is no particular compatibility – but if you were selling items such as braking components, then sales were small as unless the customer knew the part number in order to search, the customer was unable to find you.

So what has changed on Amazon in the last year ???

Just like eBay, Amazon want to provide a better experience for their buyer and a big part of that is by putting inventory very easily onto their system. With this arrives the Amazon parts search, a similar research tool to the eBay MVL catalogue, which enables sellers to match their parts to vehicles.

Unfortunately the process is very manual. Items need to be submitted via email with a spreadsheet attached matching to Amazon’s “KBA” catalogue. The good news is that Amazon has pre-loaded a lot of parts onto the platform and predominantly includes anything that is already indexed to the European “Tecdoc” cataloguing system.

Amazon MotorsFor items already indexed in this way, all you have to do is to match the part number to what is already on Amazon and then select your stock and price. The challenge is identifying those part numbers meaning many people use Amazon tools, third party tools or use a specialist company to do the work for them. Amazon has come a long way but there are still a lot of gaps to the system, the cataloguing for main car manufacturing parts is poor as there is not a central database that covers all motor manufacturers in Europe.

The upshot today on Amazon is that the customer has a better buying experience, they can now select items which will fit their car based on data which is available to them (such as their car registration number), which in turn will result in more sales. Unfortunately though, unless the items you are listing against are already indexed for the KBA catalogue then it is likely that the item will never be found by the buyer.