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BOOKS, TOYS… AND AUTO PARTS?

Amazon enters the parts sector

Story by MAX REID

Convenient or concerning? That is what many in the U.S. aftermarket are asking themselves following the launch of Amazon’s new OEM auto parts portal, a new purchasing option that cuts costs and cuts out dealers.

Bruce Halcro, owner of Capital Collision Center in Helena, Montana, spoke to Repairer Driven News about how he thinks the collision community will react to this new avenue of parts sourcing.

“I have not spoken to a shop that is happy with the parts sourcing companies already available,” said Halcro. “Shops are not going to look favourably on customers sourcing their own parts and supplying them for the repair. This industry already operates on suppressed labour rates—shops would not be able to sustain the parts profit loss too.”

The parts on display in this new virtual store are largely mechanical components, however, Amazon told media that it plans on expanding its selection of parts from new automakers over time. Parts from Tesla, Lincoln, Land Rover, and Mini Cooper are notably excluded from the portal.

Comparable online auto parts marketplaces, like eBay, have faced significant scrutiny in the past from consumer advocacy organizations for unintentionally creating an easy avenue for parts counterfeiting. In 2021, the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2) called on eBay to stop selling airbags and airbag components on its platform as there are currently no safeguards in place to verify their efficacy.

This time around, A2C2 told Repairer Driven News that it is specifically concerned by “the ease with which sellers can gain entry to online marketplaces, the ability of counterfeiters to conceal their activities on these platforms, and consumers’ lack of awareness that many products sold online are counterfeit.

“A2C2 encourages consumers to check the source of auto parts and accessories purchased online and supports legislation such as the INFORM Consumers Act, which was recently signed into law, to help improve transparency in the online purchasing process and allow consumers to more easily identify the source of all products offered on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.”

Amazon’s new OEM store currently lists parts from AcDelco, Acura, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, BMW, BRP, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Jeep-Land Rover, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mopar, Nissan, Polaris, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen, and Yamaha.

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