Wow, I Wish I Was Only 30!

Wow, I Wish I Was Only 30!

For 30 years, we have watched, reported and written about the view from the automotive aftermarket parts counter. Over the years, many trends have come and gone. Things have changed!


This issue marks our 30th anniversary. Yes, 30 years ago in October we launched the very first
Counterman magazine. For 30 years, we have watched, reported and written about the view from the automotive aftermarket parts counter. Over the years, many trends have come and gone. Things have changed!


11964430thlogoj_00000069409Thirty-five years ago, I was working at the counter of my family’s parts store. I was young, inexperienced, and of course, I thought I knew it all. It goes with the age group. If you have teenagers, you know what I am talking about.

Back then, you really had to dig for information. Cross references and application guides were our tools, along with a rack of catalogs as long as a small car. The counter was about 10 feet from the door and, with the catalog rack on it, you felt like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain.

Today, (thankfully) things have changed. Stores are bright and parts are displayed where customers can look, touch and read about them. Catalogs are electronic and have 3D images, part attributes and lengthy descriptions. A counterperson can be more effective, and the customer wins.

One thing that has not changed is the importance that the counterperson plays in this industry.

Counterpeople are responsible for getting the right part to those who need it. Regardless if it’s a DIYer or a DIFM customer, the person behind the counter decides on the right fit and brand for that part consumer. Recent survey data shows that counterpeople influence DIY parts decisions more than 80 percent of the time, and DIFM parts fill more than 70 percent of the time. It is imperative today that you have the right training and knowledge to serve this critical function.

We here at Counterman understand and highly regard the counterperson position. As a counterperson, you should constantly try to expand your knowledge base and improve your ability to function in that role. One of the ways you can improve your standing is to become ASE certified. ASE parts certification (P2) is designed to ensure that counter professionals are educated and informed on the vast array of subjects they may encounter during their day. Holding a P2 certification makes you a true counter professional and shows your customers that you are there to serve them in the best way possible.

I urge you to check out our ASE P2 test preparation guide in this month’s issue. Then head on over to, get registered and take the challenge.

You May Also Like

What’s Really Driving The Automotive Aftermarket’s Growth?

NPD’s Nathan Shipley looks at the many moving pieces contributing to the industry’s recent spike in demand.

aftermarket growth

Almost 18 months ago, early in the pandemic, the automotive aftermarket faced the threat of plummeting demand, like many other retail industries tracked by NPD. Looking back, we know that demand did the opposite: accelerating as the first round of federal stimulus was issued and remaining well above pre-pandemic levels ever since.

Strength In Numbers

The automotive aftermarket is filled with great people. In fact, many say it’s our strong suit.

Teamwork automotive aftermarket
Never Stop Learning

With so much internet-based training content available, it’s never been easier to expand your knowledge base.

Continuing Education
Welcome To 2035 – What Things Might Look Like

The future is what we make it. We need to start addressing technology now so 2035 becomes a bright future.

Future of Transportation
Seems Like Everybody’s Talkin’ About Electric Vehicles

Not only are people talking about EVs, but according to the latest U.S. sales figures, they’re also buying them.

Tesla Electric Vehicle

Other Posts

Still Time To Nominate Someone For Counter Pro Of The Year

We’ll be accepting nominations through Aug. 1.

Bring On 2021!

We’re hopeful that 2021 will begin to usher in a return to normalcy for the aftermarket – and our nation.

No Asterisk With The Counter Pro Of The Year Award

Don’t let the crazy events of this year deter you from nominating yourself (or a colleague).

Curbside Pick-Up Or Curbside Letdown?

A recent visit to a home-improvement retailer did not go well.