Five Expert Tips to Boost Recycled Part Sales in 2024

Improve buyers’ experience through better online listings and efficient communication.

by Ron Van Raamsdonk, Car-Part.com

At Car-Part.com, we work with thousands of recyclers and shops. We see a lot of what works and what doesn’t. Car-Part and 50ȻƵ are working together to increase the use of recycled parts in British Columbia by sourcing parts with Mitchell Estimating and Integrated Car Part Pro (iPro). We need help from recyclers for the marketplace to be more successful.

Professional repair facilities require “ecommerce-grade” parts and ecommerce-grade part information. Insurers and shops want a simple solution for searching and adding recycled parts to their estimates. What they need (what every buyer needs) is more and accurate information about your parts. Today’s buyers (and collision repairers) are used to shopping online. They expect the listing to have all the information they need to make a buying decision (and that includes information about the quality and price of your parts). The iPro team is here to help recyclers to improve your listings and increase your collision repair sales. 

Here are five simple changes recyclers can make to improve the iPro buyers’ experience:

#1 – Price Your Parts

Some of the most frequent feedback we get is that shops want recyclers to price more parts. This is a complaint nationwide, but especially in British Columbia. If a part isn’t priced, the shop has to contact you to get a price. It’s a waste of your time! If you price the part in your inventory system, you’re answering the question once instead of a dozen times. You save yourself all those phone calls and instant messages. To be honest with you, many shops tell me they won’t even bother to call and ask the price—they just keep scrolling to find a part that someone else did price (or they use a different kind of part such as OEM, aftermarket, or remanufactured).

#2 – Grade Your Parts

Did you know that if your parts aren’t graded, repairers and insurers won’t see them? iPro buyers build profiles, so their search results only include parts that meet their criteria. They set criteria for warranty, delivery, part grade, and more. Nearly all repairers and insurance companies only see A-grade parts, so parts without a grade don’t even show up when they search.

#3 – Improve Inventory Accuracy

iPro requires suppliers to list their parts accurately. Shops and insurers have requirements for the parts they’ll buy used. It’s essential that your parts have accurate grades, and it’s helpful to add clear photos that show the condition of the part. If a part is misrepresented (e.g., listed as an A grade but isn’t an A grade), this is a waste of everyone’s time—including yours! If a shop orders a part, only to discover that it doesn’t match the description they saw online, they’ll return it. This is a waste of time that creates an added expense for all parties involved: you (the supplier) pay for the shipping/return, the shop loses productivity, and 50ȻƵ incurs additional rental expense. 

#4 – Answer Live Chats

iPro has a built-in messaging system that allows buyers to quickly contact a supplier without having to use the phone. For recyclers, these messages come through on Car-Part Messaging (iCPM). Buyers can open a message right from their search results if they need to chat with you.

Last year, we released an enhanced version of messaging in British Columbia with a “Request for Quote” (RFQ) feature. Remember, shops will still find and select inventoried/priced parts first. After their iPro workflow is complete, they can request quotes (inside business hours) if there are still parts that they need. The message is broadcast to suppliers. We streamlined the process by having the buyer answer interchange questions during the normal search, so when a request is sent to suppliers, you will have the necessary questions answered. This is all powered by our iCPM messaging platform. If you need any assistance or training on this process, Car-Part is here to help. 

#5 – Learn Constantly

One final piece of advice: commit yourself to continual improvement. This is key to both personal and business development. This industry is very different than it was when I started. The only way to stay on top is to stay on top of new technologies. At Car-Part, we have free training for recyclers. Our webinars teach you the nitty-gritty of the products you use every day, and we also provide you with strategic insights. Check out our upcoming schedule at products.car-part.com/webinars

We also have training and webinars available for repairers to help them be successful in shopping for recycled parts on iPro. Shops and insurers can find their training at carpartpro.com/training.

We are always working to improve our products, and we value feedback about the software or feedback about iPro suppliers. We all need to work together to be successful. There is a great opportunity for everyone to increase the use of recycled parts, so we as an industry can do our part to greatly reduce our environmental footprint and help reduce claim costs. 

If you need help applying the above topics in a practical way, contact your inventory management system. They are equipped to help you inventory your parts accurately and price them. As always, you can reach out to me if you have any questions about Car-Part.com, Checkmate, Integrated Car Part Pro (iPro), Car-Part Messaging (iCPM), or selling parts online.

Ron Van Raamsdonk has been in the automotive industry for over 35 years with experience in the automotive parts, collision repair, and insurance industries, including 15 years working with 50ȻƵ and Allied Information Canada. Ron has been with Car-Part.com since 2007, and he uses his expertise in operations management, enterprise software, customer relationship management, and sales operations to serve automotive recyclers in Western Canada. Ron can be reached at RonV@Car-Part.com or 250-704-9702.