You can now buy your official BMW bits on eBay. Officially.
In a brave and probably clever move, BMW is the latest household name retailer, and the first carmaker, to launch its own eBay store. Called BMW Direct, customers can now buy parts and accessories for their pride and joy direct from the eBay site. Unfortunately our initial investigations have not only revealed no actual auctions on the popular auction site, everything being fixed-price sales, but BMW aren't selling their cars cheap either. You may well be wondering at the point.
Well, Carl Sanderson, general manager of aftersales development at BMW, says: "We recognise there are customers who wish to buy BMW products but do not necessarily want to travel to a BMW dealer to make a purchase." We suspect this might be less to do with travelling distance and more because they don’t want to pay BMW dealer fitting costs or mark ups.
All items sold through BMW Direct, from brake discs to gear knobs, include postage and packaging costs and are covered by a two-year BMW warranty. There aren’t even any conditions invalidating the 2 year/24 month warranty if you fit it yourself. Badly. And if you do get stuck fitting or using your part (the BMW one) you can email email@example.com and they will help you within one working day. Smashing.
eBay UK estimate that there are more than 600,000 searches for BMW every month on eBay, and BMW can now reach these consumers directly, cutting out the middleman at the dealership. Mind you, eBay also recently reported that sales of Prince William memorabilia were up 12,491% on last year. Duh.
Still, it sounds like a good plan for BMW, could be a great way of saving costs for mechanically-minded consumers, but is likely to be less welcome news for those poor unassuming car dealers.
Now all you have to do is work out how to afford a BMW in the first place...