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Mythbuster: Why it Never Works to Self-Market Idle Parts

Mythbuster: Why it Never Works to Self-Market Idle Parts

Tell the truth, Parts Managers. Have you ever tried to self-market your idle and obsolete inventory by sending spreadsheets to larger dealers? And if so, how often did that work?

According to Marvin Windham, Parts Manager for Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram – the nation’s 12th largest MOPAR Masters dealer – the answer is: “it never works.”

Instead, Marvin’s advice is to reach him, and other large wholesalers, through the use of bulk buying services such as parts brokers or online technology. Even better, he shares which parts catch his eye with these services and why:

Aggressive Discounts

Large wholesalers won’t even consider an idle purchase unless the discount is 50% or greater. This can be a daunting discount to small and mid-size dealers but even more daunting are the grim statistics on the sales success of idle inventory. According to Inventory Management expert Mike Nicholes, the following timetable identifies the woeful probability of sale based on part sales activity:

Date of Last Sales Activity
Chance of Selling
  • 0 to 3 months


  • 4 to 6 months


  • 7 to 12 months


The clear message is move idle as quickly as possible, and price is THE primary motivator to larger dealers.

Clean Matches

Every parts manager’s day is hectic. So don’t waste their time unless you have parts THEY want to buy.  The best way to do this is to use technology to cleanly match what you have to sell with what buyers want to purchase. This means ensuring your parts brokers and/or online technology use fresh inventory that’s updated daily. The parts lists also need to be clean of non-sellable items such as fluids and program parts.  Many services offer automatic exclusions that can be set by the seller. Last, but not least, important parts information should be easily visible.


The beauty of parts brokering services and online selling technology is that they significantly expand your market area to a nationwide storefront. This is where free shipping can up the ante for faster sales. For sellers to keep freight costs in line, look for parts broker providers who have partnered with nationwide shippers. Sellers can often receive up to 30% – 40% off shipping rates, thus adding that percentage back to their bottom line.

Let’s face it, idle and obsolete inventory is the bane of every parts manager’s existence. Keep it in check by using professional parts broker services or online selling marketplaces. Better yet, use these tips from large wholesalers – the most likely buyers of your idle – to ensure parts sell quickly and cost-effectively.

Got a mythbuster or success story of your own regarding buying or selling idle? Please share@OEConnection!