For more than 50 years, Vintage Parts has been breathing new life into manufacturing parts. The niche retailer specializes in finding new homes for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts once they’ve outlived their original purpose, and carries more than 10 million parts and pieces.
For decades, the company says it thrived on a solid foundation of relationships with manufacturers and authorized dealers. Then the sales and marketing team began to expand beyond these traditional distribution channels to take advantage of new e-commerce opportunities. And things started to get a lot more complicated, according to Vintage Parts.
For years, executives say, the company had relied on a variety of solutions to manage sales and marketing.
“For a long time we had our own custom website that worked very well for our dealers,” says Vice President of Sales and Marketing Pete Fogarty. “They know their part number, and we already have their contact information on the website. All they had to do was punch in that info.”
But when they started to branch out into OEM-approved direct-to-consumers sales, he adds, the process became more complex.
“It’s not quite as easy for a retail customer who wants to see an image and make sure the part’s actually going to fit their product,” he says.
In addition, Fogarty says Vintage Parts was looking to expand to new channels and reach a growing DIY market. But when the team began to expand to auction-based and “buy it now” sites, Fogarty recalls they had their work cut out for them. Instead of continuing to manually list thousands of parts on e-commerce marketplaces, he set out in search of a better solution.
“We needed a way to mass load our parts in bigger chunks on those digital marketplace platforms,” he says.
When looking for a solution to help streamline inventory and listing management, Fogarty says his team seriously considered only one option.
“ChannelAdvisor made it easy for us,” he says. “The team knows all the right people and has the right structure in place, and took over to cover all the heavy lifting for us.”
Together with ChannelAdvisor, Vintage Parts reports that it began to streamline inventory so it would stay up-to-date across multiple platforms.
“When I sell out of inventory, there’s no more left in the world,” Fogarty says. “So inventory management is extremely important.”
Before ChannelAdvisor, Vintage Parts was manually uploading approximately 3,000 to 4,000 items a year, according to Fogarty. Within a month of working with the ChannelAdvisor platform, the Vintage Parts team confirms that it had approximately 200,000 listings, approved by the OEMs, on eBay. And that inventory stays synced across channels, with updates occurring every 15 minutes.
After quickly launching on eBay and seeing “sales take off,” the company immediately began to explore options for expanding to additional marketplaces such as Walmart.
“We’re very thrilled with everything that I’ve seen so far,” Fogarty says. “Without ChannelAdvisor, we wouldn’t be able to tap into new marketplaces.”