Warranty returns are the bane of every parts retailer’s existence. But, the headache of processing a warranty return is just the tip of the iceberg when you look at the scope of the problem for the automotive aftermarket.
The Automotive Sales Council estimates that warranty abuse costs auto parts manufacturers and distributors more than $600 million each year, although members are confident that the actual number likely is much higher.
Our guests on this episode are doing their part to educate counter pros on the importance of “checking the part” before accepting a warranty return at the parts counter. The Automotive Sales Council’s “Check the Part” campaign is an initiative that aims to reduce the sky-high return rate in the automotive aftermarket.
On this episode of the “Behind the Counter” podcast, we’re happy to have Ben Brucato, vice president of engagement for the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association; Michael Campana senior manager, quality engineering, for Dorman Products; and Ryan Kooiman, director of training for Standard Motor Products.
Editor’s note: This episode was recorded prior to the announcement that MEMA, the Vehicle Suppliers Association, would be establishing a new business structure and branding strategy. AASA was one of four MEMA divisions prior to the reorganization that was first announced in November 2022.
In this episode of “Behind the Counter,” Josh’s guests discuss:
- 1:38 – The scope of the problem in the automotive aftermarket
- 3:12 – Common types of warranty-return abuse in the aftermarket
- 6:04 – The origins of the “Check the Part” campaign
- 8:08 – How Ryan got involved in the initiative
- 10:04 – How Michael got involved in “Check the Part”
- 11:45 – How Ben got involved in the campaign
- 14:15 – The main components of the “Check the Part” campaign
- 19:57 – Whether fraudulent returns are a DIY or DIFM problem (or both)
- 22:38 – Where you can go to learn more about “Check the Part”
- 25:59 – Why parts professionals and store owners should care about fraudulent warranty returns
- 28:19 – What parts pros can do today to help prevent fraudulent warranty returns