T&E purchasing decisions driven by warranty

DYIers, consumers and professionals purchased $6 billion in tools and $4.7 billion in equipment

Bethesda, Md.—In a recently released report by the Auto Care Association, research defined and explored key factors influencing the buying decisions of automotive professionals who use shop tools and equipment for service and repair.

Key influential factors for tools include warranty, recommendations by other technicians and brand preference. The report cites Lang Marketing, which stated that DYIers, consumers and professionals purchased $6 billion in tools and $4.7 billion in equipment. Also, in a five-year period from 2012 to 2017, tool and equipment sales both experienced annual growth rates of 3.8 percent.

The “Purchasing Trends Study — Tools and Equipment 2018” reports that mobile tool vendors were the suppliers most frequently used for tool purchases. Full-line parts jobbers and internet sellers, along with manufacturers were the next most frequently used suppliers.

The report was compiled from a nationwide survey of repair shop owners, service managers, parts managers and technicians, by the Auto Care Association’s Tool and Equipment Committee. More than 200 participants viewed and answered the web-based survey.


Use of suppliers for past tool purchases

Respondents rated how frequently they used traditional suppliers for past tool purchases. The mean ratings were based on a 5-point scale, where 1 = infrequently and 5 = very frequently. The chart and tables show the analysis by employment role.

Respondents purchased tools most frequently in the past from mobile vendors (3.79 mean), but infrequently from hardware retailers (2.16 mean), tool jobber/warehouse distributors (2.65 mean) and retail parts stores (2.65 mean).

The full-line parts jobber (3.57 mean) and the internet sellers (2.86 mean) were the next most frequently used tool suppliers.

While mobile vendors have consistently remained the tool suppliers of choice, respondents are increasingly gravitating to full-line parts jobbers as the second suppliers of choice. The survey also reveals that the respondents are increasingly purchasing their tools online. Last year, internet sellers were rated 2.47 mean, compared to this year’s 2.86 mean. The proliferation of online shopping is happening at the expense of brick-and-mortar hardware shops. As a result, hardware retailers are consistently ranked at the bottom, while internet sellers are ranked much higher.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.