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Going to a salvage yard sucks.
I have driven several hours to look through the yard at salvage centers that don’t keep parts lists and have been disappointed to find nothing at all that I need.
This is especially bad if you’re trying to fix your own car or fix a car for a client that needs it back ASAP. Well, this is the predicament that hundreds of thousands of people find themselves in when they end up trying to buy used or discounted car parts online.
This makes things extra juicy for people like me (and probably you) who are interested in making a profit by selling car parts on eBay.
However, I doubt that you’re going to want to start off your business by shipping transmissions and truck lids.
So, what are the best-selling car parts on eBay? Can you really make money flipping this stuff?
Well, obviously you can. Let’s talk about what and how.
Do Car Parts Sell Well On eBay?
In general, auto parts sell extremely well on eBay. If a high-demand item is priced competitively it can sell within minutes or hours.
eBay is also a haven for rare or HTF (hard to find) parts that would leave a person cursing Craigslist for months to find used.
So if you’re an eBay seller that has not yet dabbled in auto parts you’re missing the gravy train. There is a ton of money on the table for savvy auto parts sellers on eBay
But what parts sell best?
Well, pretty much every part of a car can be (and is) sold on eBay. In this list, however, I am focusing on the low-hanging fruit. These are the easy pickings that are easy to recognize, easy to sell for profit, and easy to ship when they sell.
If you find new parts to sell on eBay you can easily look them up and price them accordingly. Used parts are a different story. Let’s talk about it.
13 Best-Selling Car Parts On eBay
1. Stereo Equipment
There seem to be two camps when it comes to car stereo equipment: those who rip out and replace the factory unit the moment they get a car and those who insist on nothing but an OEM unit and will not replace theirs with a generic one even if it dies.
You can sell to both people.
I often find OEM stereo units at thrift stores and at swap meets for $5 or less. Many of these can go for $80 or more in working condition when listed on eBay.
But it’s not just stereos. You can find cd changers (like the stupid cartridge that goes in the back of my Audi), speakers, boxes, installation kits, etc.
2. Interior Clips & Panels
When I was in college I purchased the same plastic clip for the center console in my Jeep Cherokee 3 times. If it got too cold or was closed exuberantly, it broke. Every time. In fact, many Jeep owners keep a couple on hand as they expect them to break regularly.
The thing is, it’s a tiny little part that I paid around $20 for every time it broke. As you can see in the picture above, they’re still selling like hotcakes.
Little clips, body panels, closures, etc. can be very lucrative to sell as they are often extremely specific and hard to find used.
As an added bonus, you don’t have to test them! As long as they’re not broken you’re good to go!
It seems that, if someone is a terrible driver, the side mirrors are one of the first things to go. You can capitalize on this by selling replacement mirrors!
You can regularly find OEM mirrors that have been taken off to add tow mirrors, tinted options, etc.
It probably goes without saying but the more valuable mirrors are those with more bells and whistles. Look for heated mirrors, those with built-in blinkers, etc.
4. Floor Mats
Many people who are trying to sell their cars look for original floor mats to improve the value of their care. Or at least to put lipstick on their pig.
Car floor mats sell very well on eBay and we have gotten more than $100 (plus shipping) for some used sets.
5. Non-Wear Engine Parts
If you want to sell high-wear engine parts, be my guest. There are sellers who have had success selling all of the accessories and engine parts from crashed cars by simply stating that the “car was running when rear-ended” or something like that.
Personally, I steer clear of items that may be dead or dying. I don’t want to send someone a dying water pump and feel responsible for their blown head gasket. Mainly because I like easy money.
You can get easy money by selling pieces that have a much lower chance of failing or having problems. I stick with items like cylinder covers, oil pans, pulleys, overflow bottles, etc.
Don’t forget the specialized bolts for mounting brackets that hold them together!
6. Console Pieces
Along the same line as interior clips and panels, there is good money to be made from all types of interior accessories. You can easily sell console pieces, armrests, sun visors, and any other piece that can be easily removed and shipped.
I have also had luck with dash pieces such as heater vents, knobs, etc.
7. OEM Entertainment System Pieces
Needing to lean back and set up a movie for your kids while driving is a major no-no. This means that many people end up needing to replace the remove, headphones, screens, etc. for the in-car entertainment system.
The major plus here is that it’s very difficult to get generically branded items that will work with a specific car.
Making remotes one of the best-selling car parts (for their size) on eBay!
8. Recovery System Stuff
When my brother got a flat in his Yaris he called me because he couldn’t find a jack anyway in his car. It turns out that it’s tucked in a neat little package under one of the seats.
If someone needs a replacement for their original jack or recovery system they’ll typically take to eBay to try and find a used version before ordering an OEM version from the manufacturer. Meet that need!
9. Owner’s Manual
You’re probably seeing a similar vein now with the types of car parts that are selling well on eBay. Original parts that are hard to get new. Owner’s manuals (and their pouches) fall perfectly into this category.
While most manuals are worth only $10 or so, those for older or rarer automobiles can go for hundreds of dollars to the right buyer.
10. Seat Belt/Retractor Mechanism
If you’ve ever been in a car with a seat belt retractor that doesn’t work you’ll understand why they sell so well on eBay.
Because the fit and mounting are so specific to makes, models, and even years people are left with paying upwards of $500 apiece from the dealer or buying used versions off of eBay.
I’ve sold sets and single belts within hours of listing for hundreds of dollars. I’m just glad that the guy who broke into my car last year didn’t realize that my seat belts were more valuable than my backpack.
I never understood how someone could lose their headrest and need a replacement until I lost my headrest and needed a replacement. Many people remove their headrests when putting in car seats (and then lose them) or want to replace their headrests after years of head grease is ingrained into them.
The main problem is identifying the make and colorway as they often don’t have any identifying markers. Look for etched model numbers on the stems that will allow you to google the part and (hopefully get a make/model).
Headrests that are more complex are more valuable but also require more testing. The most valuable options are powered, have built-in screens, etc.
12. Engine Cover/Trim Pieces
When I first opened the hood of my Audi I wasn’t impressed by the engine. Because I couldn’t see it. Literally, everything was covered in plastic trim. While it looked neat and trim it meant that I ended up cracking several of those plastic panels as I worked on my car over the years.
When it came time to sell, I bought new clips and new trim to make sure that everything was as put together as possible. Where did I buy them? eBay of course.
13. Spare Tires/Covers
I can’t be the only person that hates having a spare tire on the back of my car. It seems that lots of other people hate them too as there is a huge market for tire covers, especially the OEM hard versions for Cadillacs, Toyotas, Jeeps, etc.
Auto Parts That You Probably Shouldn’t Sell On eBay
Really, you can sell just about anything on eBay. As long as it is priced correctly and accurately described a buyer will come along sooner or later.
However, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to selling car parts on eBay. In my experience, this point of diminishing returns is related to the size/weight of the parts.
So, unless they’re super rare, don’t bother listing transmission, axel tubes, engine blocks, and other things of that ilk. It’s worth noting that you can list those things on eBay still, just don’t offer to ship them.
I also recommend that you avoid “expendable wear items” such as brake pads (duh), shocks, and water pumps.
4 Tips To Improve Your Auto Part Sales On eBay
If you want to sell unusual auto parts (or anything outside of the top-selling car parts on eBay really) then you’ll need to do some research and work to make sure that your parts aren’t collecting dust.
Here are my best tips if you want to sell your parts faster:
1. Think: Who Is Buying The Part?
Are you selling the part to a backyard mechanic? A tuner? A shop? Someone who needs their car fixed for cheap?
All of those things will affect how much you can ask for the part. If your part has been sitting for a while it’s possible that you’re simply charging too much for the type of person who is looking for it.
2. Test What You Can
As an auto parts seller, you’re going to have to accept that you’ll be getting quite a few returns. A fair number of your sales will go to people who have no idea what they’re doing and just buy the wrong part.
They’ll jam it on, try to hammer it in place, and then return the carcass to you in a poorly packed box.
If you make sure that whatever part you sell is in good working condition (and document what you can in pictures) you’ll fare far better when a customer tries to blame you for their mistakes.
3. Take Excellent Pictures
Most auto parts sellers on eBay pull a part of a parts car, throw in on the workbench to take a few pictures, and then put it in inventory.
If you’re a smaller volume seller you can do better than that.
Most of the car parts I sell on eBay come from thrift stores, garage sales, swap meets, auctions, or my personal projects. I make sure to clean the part, test it, and take great pictures.
People are much more likely to click on my pictures as, ironically, I look more professional than the larger stores.
4. Use The “Sell Similar” Function
eBay has a built-in function (like most auto stores) that allows you to put in the make and model of your vehicle and see only parts that will fit (in theory).
This means that, unless your parts have all the applicable vehicles put into your listing it won’t show up in people’s searches.
Luckily there are some overachieving people who have done all of the research and leg-work to add the fitment details. Go to their listing and use the “Sell Similar” function to import all those details into your listing.
Figuring out the best-selling auto parts on eBay will be, to some extent, a matter of trial and error. So list the things that you have that wouldn’t be too bad to ship and, you never know, you might get lucky and have some awesome sales!
In the meantime, check out our list of the 31 Best Selling (Non-Clothing) Items On eBay!