eSellerPro & Pentagon on eBay Motors Part I

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Motor accessories traders have a number of unique problems that don’t affect sellers in other categories selling on eBay. Most products fit 10s if not 100s of vehicles, typically parts at best are line drawings in a catalogue so photographs have to be shot of each item before it can be listed on a marketplace.

In Part 1 of a specially commissioned Q&A from a diverse range of partners, eSellerPro asks Silvia Kirilova, Senior Account Manager at Pentagon Interactive, to share her insight and advice for Vehicles, Parts and Accessories (VPA) sellers on eBay on the challenges that they face.

What is the major challenge facing Vehicles, Parts and Accessories sellers?

The major challenge that VPA sellers currently face is applying fitment application, due to the limited application data information the seller has, and differences in the formats between the MVL and seller data, making it time consuming and ineffective.

The fitment affects the Best Match ranking in many ways, including the precision of the search, the visibility that they will have, and the sales ranking and dilution. Some might decide to drop off eBay, if this does not prove cost-effective; or might search for more help from other sources/third parties.

This is also directly related with readjusting/revising all past listings to fit within the current format, by removing duplicate listings for the same MPN, adjusting titles, descriptions and preparing fitment groups for them and the frequent adjustment of the eBay MVL file – which means changing your listings’ data every time to reflect those changes.

How will this challenge change in the next 1-2 years and what can VPA sellers do?

There will be more synching between the MVL file and client data and greater precision in the K-codes* used by eBay. We will also see more clarity on the usage and development of the eBay compatibility, as well as new tool to be developed to manage it.

Services, available to all sellers will also emerge, providing direct access to K-codes, saving time and decreasing work loads, but at an additional charge, of course. Businesses which are the most successful in adapting their information and the quality of their listings will perform better both in terms of visibility and sales.

eBay will most likely develop more specialised search tools, like “My Vehicle”, which will rely on fitment information only and will strive to make the purchasing process faster and more convenient. I also expect them to implement at some point a quick search by registration number, which will also be based on the fitment within listings.

Fitment or something similar could be spread over motorcycle parts and accessories, which means that there will be more conformity within the VPA, and many new changes, challenges and opportunities for the sellers who want to develop on eBay.

About Silvia

Silvia has worked for Pentagon since February 2010, and is currently an Enterprise Account Manager in the Vehicle Parts Team, where she looks after clients including BMW and Nissan. Silvia has extensive experience of the eBay and Amazon marketplaces, and was the first Account Manager at Pentagon to take an account to over £1 Million sales in a single month. Silvia holds a BA Degree in Business Administration, and Political Science from the American University in Bulgaria.

If you want to learn more about Silvia’s work and what she considers important in driving sales on marketplaces, then come back tomorrow for Silvia’s top tips for VPA sellers selling on eBay.

*Ktype is proprietary catalogue code. The code schema is owned by a company called Tech Doc in Germany (though they have a UK presence) who eBay have partnered with. The catalogue, principally, gives you a ktype per vehicle manufacturer/model/year/variant/engine size etc. The responsibility lies with the seller to link the model (ktypes) that are compatible with an individual listing (you can link up to 1000 ktypes to single listing).

3 Responses

  1. This is all well and good but the motor parts categories have been a mess for a long time.
    September 2011 is when eBay implemented a flawed and badly thought out MVL which hardly anyone has taken up because it can’t be used specifically enough to give an accurate ‘will it / won’t it’ fit response to a buyer.
    The system seems geared up to larger outfits that can just upload bulk inventories rather than specialist sellers such as myself and the hundreds of other small businesses that sell car parts (no surprise there I suppose).
    The registration number look up that is being touted is going to be a nightmare for car parts sellers because MVL simply can’t narrow down fitments enough to be confident that the part will fit the car.
    Vehicle parts are notoriously hard to get right which is why ALL my listings have text asking buyers to confirm it’s correct with us before ordering if there’s any possibility that it might not fit. The problem is that for example, a VW Corrado 2.9 VR6 from 1994 has two different oil filters fitted depending on the month it was built, there’s just no way for MVL to differentiate between the two and you end up putting notes no the screen which buyers tend to ignore. So. you tend not to bother using it and put the details in the text body of the listing (aka the old days)
    Rant over (ish).
    Noel
    Deutscheparts

  2. I’m with Noel on this one, as another VW/Audi parts seller, a lot of parts are down to individual Option Codes [PR Numbers], colour codes & the Build Date.

    We have to use the customers chassis number with the VW/Audi Parts System to identify the correct part & they’re can be as many as 16 different options for the same model on something like a Airbag controller.

    Unless eBay are going to purchase licenses to every single motor manufactures parts system & somehow link it into the eBay Motors system, then I don’t see how using a Reg number/K-Codes will work.

  3. As another Car parts seller on Ebay i just cannot use Ebays MVL system i have sometimes seen 9 pages on MVL rubbish on some listings.If i used it i am sure i would spend half my time organising refunds for all the parts being sent back as they did not fit.
    A truly terrible totally flawed system.
    We deserve something a lot better.

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