Gary Miller has been in the collision repair industry for over 30 years, and he knows it’s a rough go. That’s why when he worked in the shop side-by-side with his two sons, Casey and Chris, he would tell them afterward to go find a cleaner job.
Both of them listened, with one (Chris) becoming a web designer and programmer. A few years ago, father and sons put their heads together to come up with a way to sell the scrap parts gathering dust in the corners of body shops. The answer was a Web site: www.autobodyextras.com.
“My dad said he has seen lots of parts get thrown away while working at different shops and running a couple of his own,” says Casey, who serves as the site’s marketing director. “Our goal as a Web site is to offer a place where body shops can come together and help one another out by saving money, which is a really good thing right now, and stop wasting parts and harming the environment.”
The Millers, who hail from Nichols, Iowa, believe their site is better than eBay because subscribers can keep selling their parts on it longer than the seven days eBay supposedly allows.
“We feel that it takes longer than seven days to sell auto body parts since you never know when you may need a part,” Casey says.
As for craigslist, Casey says he personally tried it and was disappointed with the results.
“There seems to be a lot of scams,” Casey says. “I put a couple parts up for sale on it the other day and I received five e-mails, all from a different address, that said the same thing: ‘We will send you a cashier’s check and someone will come pick them up.’ This is a sad thing when people are just trying to sell their parts to make an extra buck but then are prevented from doing so by people who want to steal from them. That’s why we feel that if body shops can work together, a Web site like ours could benefit everyone.”
The Millers’ Web site specifically targets the collision repair industry by limiting the kinds of parts that can be posted. Examples of some current categories include front and rear clips, deck lids, fenders and cut panels. Additional categories will be added based on demand.
There is also a shipper’s page where companies that can ship the parts for the buyers and sellers can be found.
“This way, people can save money on the shipping since some parts may cost a little more to ship with the standard companies that offer this,” Casey says. “Plus, it gives smaller businesses a chance to make some money.”
Also on the site is a shop finder page where body shops can list their Web sites and e-mail addresses for free.
Subscription fees to the site range from one month at $14.95 to $129.95 for 12 months. The one-month subscription allows users to post up to five ads at once and remove or add parts whenever they would like. In other words, if they sell a part, they can add another. With the 12-month subscription, users can list 15 parts at once.
For more information, visit www.autobodyextras.com.