Pandemic increases demand for auto parts at salvage yards

SOUTH TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – The trade in used auto parts has accelerated since the start of the pandemic.

More people are looking for parts to run their cars, as COVID supply chain issues drive up prices for new and used cars.

Sometimes salvage yards are the only place people can find what they need.

Shawn Sherman of Jeff’s Auto Parts in South Tucson noticed that demand increased in 2020, which ultimately saved the business.

“It was touch and go, things were getting pretty tough there. We are suffering quite badly, ”he said.

This is no longer the case for one of the smaller recovery sites in the region.

“Before, we just weren’t getting that many calls,” Sherman explained. “Now we’re getting a lot more calls. And people seem a lot more ready to buy than before… It’s enough to keep us in business. As small as we are and as bad as things look, everything will be fine, it looks like. Especially if it continues like this.

But that does not mean that these yards are on cruise control.

There are more customers but also more competition from other construction sites in the city and from online sellers.

“Sometimes we have to make a point of matching the prices, which is difficult,” said Patrick McGoldrick, who also works in sales at Jeff’s. “The profit margins are really bare, like razors. So you really have to watch everything you do. And this is the most difficult thing.

It is also becoming increasingly expensive to source second-hand parts, many of which come from cars auctioned after being destroyed.

Sherman says it has become even more important to be resourceful. He ordered a 2011 Kentucky Jeep Patriot transmitter, which he said offered the best price in the country and saved his yard customers around $ 700.

“I am able to save them money and make a little bit of money and yet it works quite a bit,” Sherman said. “So we are very grateful. “

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