Selling used car parts online can be highly profitable.
Not only do 92% of Americans have a car, but cars are one of the most expensive things we own (ValuePenguin).
This means, the selling prices are high and the market is massive.
Today, I’ll share exactly how to sell car parts effectively, based on years of selling used items online, including automotive parts.
How to determine the value of used auto parts?
The first step to figuring out the value of used auto parts is identifying the vehicle information associated with the part including: vehicle make, model, and year.
Most vehicle parts also have this information printed somewhere on the item (example below).
It’s important to ensure all details are correct, because even slight differences in make, model, and year can be the difference of hundreds of dollars.
With this information, we can learn how much people paid for similar items.
My preferred marketplace to check is eBay, because it provides current market data for used auto parts, for free.
If you aren’t familiar with how to check sold listings on eBay, simply type your item’s details into the search bar, filter to ‘sold’ and ‘used’ listings, and then find close comparisons or ‘comps’ to your own item.
If you find the specific auto part, take an average of several sold listing prices to get an estimate of your part’s value.
This is the easiest way to price used items.
If you are unable to find your specific item, we can use a pricing chart instead.
Check out our pricing guide below, based on actual sales data.
What car parts are worth money?
Believe it or not, almost every car part has some market value.
People buy car parts for a variety of reasons including: vehicle repairs, resell for profit, extract precious metals, or even use them for decorations.
But let’s focus on the more expensive car parts for now.
Check out our used auto part value guide below, which is based on recent sales data from eBay.
Every item has a price range, based on other factors like the parts: make, model, year, and condition.
Used auto parts price estimates (based on 2018 Toyota Camry):
- Side mirror – $200
- Headrest – $100
- Instrument cluster – $110
- Catalytic converter – $190
- Seat – $500
- Stereo – $210
- Rear bumper – $180
- Curtain passenger airbag – $380
- Headlight – $200
On the flip side, this is becoming a creative way how to save money on car repairs. Vehicle owners are buying car parts online and making repairs themselves to save thousands.
My mom recently completed a project like this, and shared a few numbers with me. She was quoted $385 by a dealership to replace a broken side mirror, and decided to tackle the project herself after researching the process on Youtube.
She paid $35 for the replacement part, and installed it herself, saving over $350!
Next, we’ll get into where to sell car parts.
How to Sell Car Parts Online
The easiest way how to sell used car parts online is eBay.
I have sold used auto parts on eBay over the years, and find the process pretty straightforward.
You’ll need an account to earn money on eBay, but that process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
Next, you’ll create the listing.
The five elements of eBay listing are: (1) photos, (2) product title, (3) item specifics, (4) selling price, and (5) shipping.
While it may seem like a lot, creating listings on eBay should only take 5-10 minutes.
Listing starts by taking great photos of your car part. I recommend using natural light and taking at least 4-6 photos so buyers see every angle of the part.
The product title can be up to 80 characters, allowing you to use multiple keywords. Keywords help listings show up for more shopper searches, which means higher chances of getting the sale.
I recommend using this structure for your automotive part listings: Year / Make / Model / Car Part / Adjectives. An example would be: “2018 2019 Toyota Camry Front Seat Headrest Gray Leather OEM”.
Filling out item specifics will make your auto part appear to shoppers who use filters for things like year, make, model, material, etc.
Luckily eBay autofills a lot of this information based on your product title, which is helpful.
Many new sellers get tripped up by selling price, and end up mispricing their item. Fortunately eBay sold listings tell us how much shoppers are currently paying for a particular product.
With this information, we can easily set prices inline with what shoppers are willing to pay.
The last piece of the puzzle is shipping. Since auto part’s size and weight vary greatly, I recommend using the infographic below to see the most cost effective shipping option.
Alternatively, there are websites like EcoTrade that buy parts with expensive metals on the spot, like catalytic converters.
Depending on your selling goals, sites like this might be worth considering.
How to Sell Car Parts Locally
There are a number of ways to sell car parts locally. If you are selling large parts such as quarter panels or engines, selling locally is probably the best route.
When it comes to local transactions, selling on Craigslist is a great option.
Not only is the platform used by millions, but it’s also dead simple.
Junkyard or Recycling Center
When you have car parts in rough condition, they can usually be cashed in for the metal value.
In fact, some vehicle parts utilize expensive metals and can sell for surprisingly good money.
You can even sell your car to a salvage yard, if you don’t want to spend time parting out the vehicle.
Auto parts are a staple at flea markets.
If you plan to be selling auto parts on a regular basis, getting a booth could be a great idea.
Unlike these other options, rather spending your time finding buyers, when selling at flea markets the shoppers come to you.
Facebook Marketplace is becoming one of the next big local selling platforms.
People love it because there’s more focus on security and safety than Craigslist, since you need a legitimate Facebook account to sell.
Car parts are a popular seller on the platform, so it’s worth considering.
Remember to follow Facebook Marketplace etiquette to ensure a quick and smooth transaction.
Can you make money flipping car parts?
Yes, you can absolutely make money flipping auto parts.
As mentioned above, there’s a massive market of buyers for car parts, and the average sale price is pretty high.
This sounds like the recipe of a bestselling item, but there are a few drawbacks you should be aware of including: auto parts usually take up a lot of space to store, plus there’s a fair amount of competition from other sellers.
The point is there’s money to be made if you put in the time.
I tried flipping car parts myself by getting parts locally and selling them on eBay. I went to local u-pull junkyards and found items that had strong demand and healthy profit margins.
I liked focusing on smaller items like door lock mechanisms, sun visors, and instrument clusters.
Granted those items are slower sellers, but they didn’t take up much space which was a priority.
Learning how to sell car parts can be an excellent way to make money, especially for car enthusiasts.
Plus you can sell used auto parts online or locally, so there’s plenty of options to get started.
John-Paul Cody has been an avid online seller for years, across platforms including eBay, Mercari, Craigslist, and more. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill, and works in data analytics and marketing.