eBay launched a new program to assure buyers they are getting the right part for their vehicle when purchasing a vehicle part or accessory on the marketplace.
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The new program called ‘eBay Guaranteed Fit’ will show a green “Fits” compatibility checkmark on eligible items for cars, trucks, and motorcycles covered under this program.
If a customer purchases an item from an eligible listing, and if the item doesn’t fit the vehicle, eBay will pay for the return shipping and refund the buyer fully.
“People are buying and selling parts online like never before, and eBay Guaranteed Fit helps take the guesswork out of the shopping experience,” said Chris Prill, VP of eBay Motors.
“Accurate fitment is critical to completing a project, from simple repairs to major modifications. With today’s launch, eBay Motors is empowering shoppers to browse and buy the millions of parts and accessories on the marketplace with that crucial added assurance.”
Most new and pre-owned items in the Parts & Accessories category are covered by the new eBay Guaranteed Fit program, which is an additional protection under the eBay Money-Back Guarantee.
However, eBay is excluding tires and wheels from the program at launch. While eBay didn’t say why it is excluding these items, it is likely because vehicles often come from the manufacturer with different wheel and tire size options, requiring the buyer to pick these items based on size, not vehicle.
Furthermore, the company says “most” parts will be covered under the Guaranteed Fit program. The eBay fitment parts finder eBay only covers basic engine and trim combinations, and doesn’t cover specialty options that may have been offered by the manufacturer when new or changes in the production during a model year.
For example, some European makes such as VW and BMW are famous for mid-year chassis changes, requiring the buyer to know exactly which chassis they own to purchase the right part.
Overall, the goal of the program is admirable. It will likely work best for vehicles that have relatively easy to identify trim and engine choices.
Presumably, eBay will avoid offering this guarantee on part fitments with the tricky makes and models that require a more in-depth understanding by the buyer of which vehicle they own.
eBay Sellers Could Lose Big on Returned Parts
This is where it gets a bit interesting with this program. eBay requires that the part being returned is in the same condition as shipped.
In other words, if a buyer purchases a new part, the buyer must return the part in a new condition. However, the standard practice in the parts industry is that once an installation has been attempted and the part shows installation marks, the part is no longer new and cannot be sold as such.
Generally, parts will show installation marks when an installation is attempted and some parts may even appear to fit a vehicle, when in fact, they are not the right part.
Most parts manufacturers will not accept product returns of parts from dealers if the item show such marks as well. This could potentially leave the seller on the hook for a part they may not sell frequently and that now has lost value as it can only be sold as a “used” part.
eBay says that sellers can reduce the refund to account for the loss of value on a part, but in the real world, it seems that may be a difficult to enforce.
Of course, sellers who sell used parts won’t have this issue, as there is no way to determine an attempted installation on a pre-owned part. For these sellers, this program is far more advantageous than for sellers of new parts.
eBay launched this program originally in Australia, where the company specified more details on seller protections how it will handle fitment guarantees. In its announcement, eBay was vague on how this impacts sellers, but it’s likely it will be similar to Australia.
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