After the recent announcement that eBay was calling upon UK insurers and independent garages to use recycled parts, we spoke to Laura Richards, Category Manager – Vehicle Parts and Accessories at eBay to find out how a parts standardisation scheme could be key to putting ‘Green Parts’ into the public domain and be a game changer for the vehicle recycling industry.
A reclaimed vehicle part is sold every 8 seconds on eBay. Although a staggering amount, less than 2% is bought by licensed garages. eBay carried out research to find out why this percentage was so low especially when asked if collision repairers understood the benefits that reclaimed parts can bring. Focus groups carried out by eBay found that the main reason for the hesitancy was the lack of trust in the consistency of quality when it came to purchasing reclaimed parts.
Certification is Key
From the feedback received, Laura soon realised that if there was to be an uptake in purchasing of green parts from garages and collision repairers, a form of standardisation had to be introduced. Certification introducing a flow of processing, checking and grading including a business service level agreement needed to be created. With that in mind, a committee consisting of insurance and vehicle recycling companies and representatives from the VRA put their heads together to create a document which is now being reviewed by a standards industry association; the protocol will be potentially owned by the VRA which will be independently audited by the either the likes of the Retail Motoring Industry Federation or British Standards Institute.
The Next Step
Laura informed us the intention is that once a vehicle recycler has passed the audit and has been certified, a new and unique B2B platform will be made available for them. This platform will house business set aside for approved sellers and buyers to sell and purchase vehicle parts. Buyers will be able to purchase non-safety critical parts with the expectation to be a high frequency of crash components and potentially other items such as gearboxes and engines if there is a demand.
For dismantlers approved for the certification on their eBay listing, they will also be able to display an Authorised Reseller Program identification mark on their listings page. The identification will also be shown on the eBay B2C platforms as well. With such a more visible identification scheme it is hoped to provide more prominence to the recyclers that go above and beyond to dismantle to high standards and adhere to the certification scheme, which includes having the correct permits for dismantling, something that eBay and the EA have been working hard to combat.
With the authorised seller program being sponsored by eBay, authorised ATFs can apply to be certified and gain the necessary audit form from the independent authority. Once with the completed certification in hand they can then produce this to eBay and ask to be ported onto the new platform. Although this process may seem stringent to achieve, ATFs can always reapply if they initially fail to reach the standards set out by the certification process.
When asked about what benefits this initiative can bring, Laura commented on how for a vehicle dismantler it can open up a new network of buyers of reclaimed parts. She also expects that more training will be made available to vehicle dismantling staff to equip them for the requirements of the standards that will be expected to be met. Thus ensuring better quality and in turn better profit for each part sold.
For the insurance and body repair there is the opportunity of cost savings of up to 60% when buying green parts when compared to purchasing OEMs and it is hoped that insurance companies can help incentivise crash repairers with such financial benefits. Also for the insurers it can help answer their need for corporate social responsibility. There is also the opportunity to create a Co2 saving if eBay were to increase the resale of reclaimed parts just by 10%.
The Next Step
Laura announced that it is hoped that by the end of Q4 2019 to have the certification body in place and by Q1 2020 to have ATFs applying for audit. eBay would like you to get in touch to register your interest in being certified if you’re a vehicle dismantler and haven’t already done so. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more on the certification or anything you’d like to know on the eBay B2B platform.
With an average of 146,000 cars being dismantled for parts this year to date, it seems with the introduction of this new standardisation scheme (which is unique to the UK) the 1.2 million yearly buyers of reclaimed part who use eBay is set to increase. The opportunity for ATFs is very obvious. It can help create trust and improve quality for a potentially huge market and also answer questions regarding illegal operations. There has been a lot of hard work happening behind the scenes to create this standardisation which has involved many of the stakeholders within the industry. Although this project has only just begun it could become the benchmark for the vehicle dismantling industry providing trusted and quality parts which can only help the reclaimed parts revolution.