Choosing the right spare parts supplier is one of the key objectives for your business. Your income, reputation, possible number of complaints and the number of returns of the goods will depend on the fulfillment of this condition.
What to buy and who to contact
When looking for a partner in the wholesale of automotive parts, start from the needs of your customers. Take into account some specific aspects of the automotive parts industry: if in other niches (for example, clothing or shoes) you can make supply contracts with several manufacturers and organise the trade promptly — it does not work like this here.
Toyota has estimated that an average car can be disassembled in up to 30,000 parts! And a seller should assume that a buyer may urgently need a car spare part out of this quantity. The wider the product range, the higher the chances that people will contact you.
After having figured out the needs, we wonder: “And whom should I address to?”. There are several options:
- the manufacturer (or its official supplier who manufactures OEM spare parts);
- wholesale supplier of auto parts.
The first option looks tempting, but if you are engaged in retail trade, direct cooperation with spare part manufacturers is unlikely. You will have to travel abroad all the time to make thousands of supply contracts, maintain huge warehouses, be ready to work only with big wholesale players and full prepayment terms. Therefore, the best way is to work with intermediaries (wholesale suppliers).
How to search for a wholesale supplier
Now it is hard to do without the help of the Internet, where consumers can both order lunch and solve a number of business issues. But before you ask the Google search engine which of the suppliers it can offer, decide for yourself which weight category of your counterparty is more suitable for you. Large wholesale, small batches, wholesale — everyone has their own appetites, and the best offer may depend on the specific situation.
When you have decided on a list of possible partners, try to find more detailed information about each of them: registered office address, how long have they been engaged in wholesale of automotive spare parts, which brands they work with, what conditions do they provide, etc. This information can be found both on the supplier’s website and on other platforms. It would be useful to read reviews about the company on forums and in communities on social networks. If there are reasoned complaints about untimely and messy deliveries (goods arrive damaged), it is better to cross the company out from the list.
As soon as you narrow down the circle of candidates, start contacting everyone and ask general questions: from the general range they offer to the list of available products – this will give you a hint about the approximate delivery dates. Owners of online stores need to keep in mind one more detail: your website should have all possible information about each spare part for a vehicle. This will at least significantly reduce (if not exclude) the risks of purchasing a spare part that might not fit for some reason. To protect yourself from additional costs, be sure to check:
- the compliance of automotive spare parts with international classifiers: item number, part number, etc.
- the name of the manufacturer;
- the country of manufacture;
- whether the part is original or just a similar one.
Key issues to be discussed with your supplier
When it comes to concluding a contract, once again discuss with the supplier some essential points related to the automotive industry. What needs to be clarified?
Price formation. Indeed, the cheaper the auto parts, the better. However, talk through all the conditions of cooperation: whether promotional offers and partner programs are possible; if there are any additional discounts for a volume beyond the agreed figures; talk through force majeure situations that may affect the price change.
Delivery issues. If a supplier has a warehouse in your region — this is a great option. First of all, they probably provide delivery if you order a certain amount of goods; secondly, your courier can bring parts to the store a couple of times a day. Delivery speed is important: times when people wait for a car part for a while are now gone. You can create a standby stock in your store from popular consumables like belts, filters and pads. They do not take up much space, and the buyer will appreciate your customer orientation.
The possibility of returning the goods. We have already noted that things like this happen in the retail trade of spare parts. The geographical location of the supplier is also important here in order to return a spare part without additional costs. Of course, if you still have brake pads for a popular model, they can be sold. But a unit for a retro car risks being permanently available in your warehouse stock register.
Settlement options. There are standard situations, there are specific ones, but still, for instance, it is better to negotiate issues like bank transfer via an invoice or transfer from card to card, etc. in advance. The easier it is to reach an agreement with the supplier, the more promising your mutual cooperation is.
As soon as all the details are settled, all that remains is to wish a good journey a successful cooperation.