Enthusiasts have spent an average of $984,500 a month since July on transmission and transmission components via online auction sales, on track to outpace average sales for the first and second quarters. In Q1, transmissions and components averaged $993,800 a month, then dipped 3% in Q2, according to data from Terapeak, a developer of market-focused research software that monitors online sales and auctions.
For the months of July and August, sales are up 2.1% over Q2.
Parts for manual transmissions have outsold those for automatics nearly every month this year, on average up 8% over slushbox components.
Shifters and flywheels/flexplates are up over the last 90 days, compared to the three months prior. From June 10—September 7, shifters are up 14% against sales for the March 12—June 9 period. Flywheels and flexplates are up 27% for the same period.
Conversely, transmission rebuild kits took a big drop in the most recent three-month period, down almost 50% compared to the prior period. Clutches and clutch parts are also down, 16% compared to earlier this year.
Do online sales tell us anything about how parts move across countertops from brick-and-mortar retailers? Maybe.
Patti Freeman Evans, a senior analyst who monitors the retail industry for JupiterResearch, explains that while online sales are only a fraction of actual retail transactions, the Internet is a key influencer in buying decisions.
"We see online retail plateauing at 10%—15% of total retail down the road-about double the penetration that catalogs ever got," Evans says.
She notes that as online commerce sites continue to develop more sophisticated tools to make purchasing easier and safer, some consumers will shift more of their wallet online.
"But that growth will really be organic, not dramatic. We look to the Internet to remain a highly influential channel for retailers to affect customer purchasing regardless of what channel the actual transaction occurs in."
Terapeak Motors P&A Research provides sellers with access to comprehensive research on the past year of online auction data and allows users to get in-depth research reports on the competition and themselves. More at www.terapeak.com/motors.