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eBay unveils Virtual Tech training feature for parts procurement guidance, job completion tips

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 08:00
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eBay Motors is revving up its e-commerce initiatives aimed at “redefining the automotive shopping experience” via the recent rollout of “Virtual Tech.” Offering task-specific, on-the-spot training for DIFM providers and DIYers, the program enables technicians and shade tree mechanics to directly communicate with a team of ASE certified technicians for advice on which parts need to be purchased and how to proceed on a particular repair or vehicle enhancement project.

“With our new Virtual Tech add-on, we’re bridging the gap and helping to connect shoppers with experienced professionals, while also providing them with our massive selection of inventory,” says Todd Madeiros, vice president of parts and accessories. “When shopping for parts and accessories, many of our buyers may stumble across a question or need directions when it comes to the installation process.”

“My Garage” is another recently inaugurated innovation that allows tire and wheel buyers to have their purchases shipped to a preferred local shop for mounting, valves and balancing. More than 9,000 outlets have already garnered eBay’s approval.

The new service is designed to further spur online sales by eliminating the hassle of customers having to receive delivery at home and then hauling their merchandise to an installer who may or may not want to deal with products bought elsewhere.

“Every seven seconds, a wheel or tire part is sold on eBay Motors in the U.S.,” according to Madeiros. “Now, with tire installation services, shoppers have access to eBay’s tire inventory, plus the added convenience of expert local installation to fully complete their automotive needs.”

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A consumer-friendly online fitment feature ensures that a tire or wheel assembly under consideration accurately matches vehicle make and model specifications. Shortly after the purchase is completed the customer makes an appointment with the desired local service center. “Buyers simply drive up in their car. Their tires will be there and ready for installation.”

While My Garage was developed in-house, Virtual Tech is hosted by Identifix, which serves more than 250,000 technicians and shop owners in the United States, Canada and Latin America through its online Direct-Hit system, Repair Hotline service and Direct-Shop facility management system.

A 10-minute Virtual Tech phone call with a Certified ASE Technician costs $19.95; the fee for a more advanced 20-minute conversation with a Master ASE Technician is $49.95. The transactions can be arranged alongside eBay parts purchases, and follow-up advice sessions also are available.

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