Feb. 21, 2017—A new service dubbed PartCycle Technologies seeks to connect customers (drivers and shops alike) looking for used auto parts with professional automotive recyclers.
In a press release entitled “PartCycle Disrupts Auto Parts Industry with Used OEM Marketplace,” the company touted itself as offering “only the highest quality recycled original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts—meaning each part listed on PartCycle matches the automakers' requirements for fit, reliability and safety.”
John Shoemaker, business development manager for BASF Refinish North America, said that while recycled parts have risen in popularity in recent years, he could only see PartCycle affecting the collision repair industry if insurance companies mandated it be used.
“The service PartCycle provides is already available through LKQ, Carparts and several other entities with better processes,” he said.
After a few quick searches, Shoemaker said he found PartCycle’s system somewhat cumbersome: a return request is submitted, you wait for a shipping label, send the parts back, the part is inspected, and then your refund is confirmed—but only for the part price and the supplier determines who pays for the return shipping.
“I’d much rather hand the part back to a local vendor and eliminate all that hassle,” he said. “Part returns absorb enough of a shop’s time without adding that burden. The warranty is less than other recycled parts suppliers and a warranty is not provided by PartCycle. They move the responsibility to the supplier which is another distractor for a part coming from several states away.”
While the margins and environmental benefits of recycled parts are appealing, Shoemaker said that these parts need to be seriously vetted before installation, especially when compared against OE parts, and will require some extra communication with customers.
“You have to have a face-to-face conversation with the customer if a salvage part is used,” Shoemaker said. “We’re in such a litigious society now. You need to do everything you can to cover yourself.”
In the press release, PartCycle stated that it helps solve three of the most common complaints for sourcing used auto parts online: searches being confusing, diffifculty with purchasing, and unknown quality of parts.
“Until now, even if a search was conducted online, a phone call was usually required to confirm the part was actually available and then complete the purchase," PartCycle stated in its press release. "Too often customers haven't received the quality they need (or paid for) once the part arrives. PartCycle disrupts this 'norm' by making it easy to search, compare, and purchase quality used parts in a single, simple-to-use, platform.”
"We focus on quality, so not every used part makes it onto our platform," said Andy Alonso, PartCycle co-founder. "We are transparent with our quality standards, dedicated to developing powerfully-simple technology and providing serious customer service. People find what they need and can trust what they buy. It's that simple."