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Auto parts resellers cite quality as top need of professional customers

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 09:00
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Automotive parts resellers say that quality is the No. 1 need of their professional customers, but price is the No. 1 need of their do-it-yourself (DIY) customers, according to the Aftermarket Business World 2018 Reseller Study.

In the annual survey conducted by the magazine in 2018, 38 percent of resellers said that part quality is the top need of its professional customers, while 23 percent said part availability is the top need and 18 percent said the part’s OEM form fit and function is the top need of professional buyers.

This is consistent with last year’s study, in which 36 percent of resellers cited quality as the No. 1 need of professional customers, 20 percent cited availability and 14 percent said OEM form, fit and function was the top need.

This year’s study results also followed the same pattern of responses received last year about DIY customers. In this year’s study, 53 percent of resellers said that price was the No. 1 need of DIY customers and 21 percent said availability was the No. 1 need. Those two items also were ranked in the top two in last year’s reseller study when 58 percent of respondents said price was the No. 1 need of DIY customers and 17 percent said availability was the No. 1 need.

In the 2018 study, 38 percent of resellers said their sales of the products surveyed increased 1 percent to 10 percent in 2017, while 35 percent said sales stayed the same. Some 13 percent of resellers said their sales of those products declined in 2017.

When it comes to 2018 sales expectations, 49 percent of resellers said they expect to increase sales 1 percent to 10 percent of those same products in 2018, while 31 percent said they expect sales will be flat and 7 percent expect to see a sales decline.

For 2018 gross margin expectations, 48 percent of resellers expect their margins to increase 1 percent to 10 percent, 32 percent of resellers expect margins to hold steady and 5 percent of respondents expect their gross margins to decrease in 2018.

Some 51 percent of resellers said the majority of their parts inventory is national brand products while 15 percent said the majority of their parts inventory is private label and the remaining 34 percent said their inventory is evenly split between national brand and private label products.

Methodology: The Reseller Product Study was fielded to readers of Aftermarket Business World via email. Survey results are intended to show general market trends, not statistical certainties.


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