The Great Aftermarket Auto Parts Catalog Debate Continues

The Great Aftermarket Auto Parts Catalog Debate Continues


Their organization is comprised of the people who take all the parts information and funnel it into the format you use at the counter, whether it’s in paper form or electronically.

Prior to going to Texas, I took a little, unscientific poll about how parts pros feel about e-catalogs. I know how pretty much everyone falls on the topic, but it’s always good to get a new read on the pulse. One of the first comments I received said it all:

“Please don’t take away my paper catalog.”

Paper catalog?

I didn’t even mention paper catalogs. I was asking about e-catalogs, but that’s how deep these paper catalog emotions run. But if your counterparts in Mexico have anything to say about it, paper isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s essential to how many counterpros do their jobs there. One Mexican counterpro, for example, said the absence of paper would “kill” their business. (You can read more about it in the story on page 52.)

But back to what you have to say about e-catalogs. For some of you, there’s simply too much information that many of you say you don’t need. For example:

“Do I need to see list price? Nope! I need to see what I have, how many, and what the price is, before anything else. For instance, I don’t need to scroll through loaded calipers, powdercoated calipers, calipers that make toast, before I see the plain caliper with hardware that I actually have in stock at the bottom of the page,” wrote one reader.

Someone else feels the same way:

“Why do the countermen have to scroll through a bunch of useless non-stock parts lists while the one in stock is on the bottom? Not efficient at all! Especially when the wholesale commercial customers get annoyed waiting for two minutes for a quote.”

Another counterpro sees huge advantages to using VIN:

“If parts houses had the VIN decoder that eliminated all the stuff not specific to a vehicle, that would be seriously awesome. It would help stop those wrong parts returns. A part locator would also help us to tell customers where the ‘thingamagig’ goes and what it’s connected to/beside.”

And finally:

“E-cats are just a tool. People don’t really care how you look up their parts as long as they are the right ones the first time, fairly priced, and in stock.”

Amen to that. 


We’ve officially kicked off our call for entries for the Counter Professional of the Year award, sponsored by WIX, Raybestos and Affinia. We accept entries online year-round at  Counter Professional of the Year is open to ASE-certified and AIA Import Parts Specialist-certified counter professionals, WD employees or jobbers.
The award recognizes the best and brightest in the industry today. You can either nominate yourself or someone you believe is worthy of the recognition.

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