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Time Is Money

Prefer aftermarket crash parts or used parts?


"They both suck," says a respondent to BodyShop Business’ annual Industry Profile when asked if he prefers aftermarket crash parts or used parts. They both slow him down, he says, and time is money — especially in today’s "I want it yesterday" society.

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Though most repairers have experienced problems with both types of parts, they usually do have a favorite. In this case, 67.9 percent of respondents say when forced to choose between used and A/M, they choose used — but that doesn’t mean they like used. (It’s similar to a presidential election, where people say they vote for the least bad candidate.)

Though 85.6 percent of respondents use A/M crash parts, they often don’t like them either. In fact, 50.4 percent of respondents who use A/M crash parts say they do so because they feel pressured by insurance companies.

Comments from respondents who choose used over A/M included:

• "The fit and quality of used are better."

• "Ninety-five percent of A/M parts don’t fit."

• "Used are at least OEM."

• "Used parts usually fit better and there’s more of a markup."

Comments from the 32.1 percent of respondents who prefer A/M crash parts included:

•"A/M parts require less prep time and are in better condition."

•"Too much clean up on used."

•"I don’t get paid for trim time or prep time on used parts."

• "Used parts usually need repaired or have been painted before."

Then there was one — some might label him paranoid, though inquisitive might be a better word — respondent who asked, "When we buy used parts, how do we know we aren’t buying aftermarket used parts?" To ease his mind, he stays away from used parts altogether and uses only A/M. After all, he reasons, if he’s going to end up with an A/M part either way, he might as well start with a brand-new A/M part.


Writer Georgina Carson is editor of BodyShop Business.

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