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Check out the new eBay Motors tools for auto parts shoppers

By Dan Wilson August 17, 2018 - 7:11 am

eBay Motors in the United States has revealed some enticing new shopping features. And, considering how eBay works, it seems likely that we’ll see similar in the UK and Europe too soon.

The focus of the developments is on helping shoppers find what they want when they might be unsure of the tech specs they should be asking for. You can read the full corporate announcement here.

More than half of all U.S. adults have tackled some sort of auto repair by themselves, and not knowing exactly which part they need can be one of the biggest obstacles to online parts shopping. The new features we’re rolling out today eliminate the guesswork by helping people find and buy the specific part they need – even if they don’t know exactly what it is.
– Jay Hanson, COO and Vice President of eBay Americas

One of the new features is eBay’s Shop by Diagram that they say makes it easy to find any auto part for your vehicle. Apparently, even if a shopper doesn’t know the part’s name or part number it can help out. For the first time, professional and amateur mechanics can use visual diagrams to shop for the exact part needed for a project. eBay’s proprietary technology (that means machine learning and artificial intelligence) combs through millions of listed parts that match the visual diagram for each vehicle, and eBay’s fitment technology guarantees compatibility with the year, make and model of the vehicle selected by the shopper.

But, to raise a question. We wonder what happens when the tech gets it wrong, as it inevitably must. When auto novice Les gets the part X and it doesn’t fit vehicle y, because Les needed sprocket z, does Les have recourse to the seller or will eBay shoulder the blame? Or is the new technology genuinely flawless?

Needless to say, it’s encouraging to see that eBay’s investments are starting to bring useful developments to shoppers. That’s always good news for merchants. And we hope to see more new functionality soon. What do you think of this new feature?

  • 3 months ago

    Nightmare nightmare nightmare. Car parts are way too complicated for most ‘Google garage mechanics’to get right when ordering parts online. Electrical items especially. I (and any other pro car parts sellers) will tell you that on some items removed from cars, even the part number that’s printed on it will not match up to the number you need to order to replace it. As long as eBay cover the postage costs in both directions then we’re fine with this. Which it won’t.
    VW window motors are the best example ever of why this won’t work. MK5 Golfs have software writren into the motor control unit. The part number printed on tne removed motor is all the same but there are at least 25 different software codes for the MK5 range. This code is not printed on the motor so when ‘machine learning’ tries to match up the code on the motor it will find lots of matches on ebay. 99% of which will not work in the car. That’s just window motors. Most cars from 2005 ish have CANBUS connected electrical systems, which each electrical component running software.
    There is only one way to get the correct part number. CONTACT THE SELLER…..

    • Brendan
      3 months ago

      We too sell motor parts online. Major problem we have is buyers who do not check fitment against their reg before ordering. It’s plastered over the listing. Then we get the inevitable SNAD return although the blame is entirely on the buyer.

      How about a reminder before buying in the car parts category or a pop up at checkout “Have you contacted seller with reg details before ordering? If not you will be responsible for return shipping”

  • NorthCrystal
    3 months ago

    I sell car parts as well. Not many electronical items but mostly plastic and rubber and stuff. I’m slowly getting fed up with folks buying what they thought was right item for their car to later open “item not as described” case instead of “i bought wrong item”. I’m not Amazon and can’t cover all those “mindless” returns.

  • Noel
    3 months ago

    eBay Fitment team have been telling me for months that ‘reg number’ is going to be a box required at checkout for motor parts, nothing coming as yet.
    Also, it would need to say ‘reg or VIN number’ as we sell globally and reg’ numbers only work for European models.
    I really feel these problems could be easily solved but they just want us all to be ‘brown box sellers’ with parts fitting every car they’re sold for.
    I keep saying it to eBay, car parts are not trainers or LCD TVs, they are one of the most complicated categories to sell in full stop.