The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association, MERA, is in talks with eBay Motors about setting up a car audio store on the site for its car audio specialist retailers collectively.
The car audio store or marketplace might appear every time someone on eBay Motors purchases a car or auto accessory, which would provide the 12-volt aftermarket much needed exposure.
Sales could be directed to the nearest MERA member who would handle fulfillment and installation. There are currently over 1,000 MERA retail members.
The biggest hurdle to the “MERA Marketplace” (there is no formal name yet) is vendor approval. Suppliers would need to agree to their products being sold on eBay Motors, a site which sold $1.7 billion in automotive equipment in the fourth quarter alone, says MERA.
Chris Cook, MERA President has not yet contacted vendors but has revealed his plans in a story in Mobile Electronics Magazine, inviting industry discussion in hopes of enlisting supplier support. The story may be viewed in the online issue here.
He noted that the MERA Marketplace would honor vendor agreements such as adhering to a minimum advertised price.
The greater point is that car audio specialty retailers must be visible where consumers shop, and consumers are now shopping online.
Additionally, while consumers are aware of much of the new technology in cars, they are not aware that you don’t need to buy a new car to use that technology. “And they may not be aware of a local retailer in their market that has those technologies,” said Cook.
An eBay Motors MERA Marketplace would put car audio specialists in front of the used car buyer who may be purchasing a 4-year old Audi A6, but would now have the option to add 2013 technology to the car.
It’s “using the traffic of used car buyers” to generate traffic for car audio and electronics, Cook said.
MERA could also engage eBay to send an email blast to millions of its subscribers who recently bought a car or auto part.
The topic will be discussed in more depth at the upcoming KnowledgeFest trade show, sponsored by MERA, at the Gaylord Texan Resort from August 17- 20. To register for KnowledgeFest visit www.knowledgefest.org.