Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.


Accessory Myth: “People aren’t buying accessories.”

Article Highlights:

  • Dealerships only capture 10% of a $41 billion accessories market.
  • Flexible payment options allow customers to buy more accessories.

The second accessory myth I hear dealership owners say about offering vehicle accessories to their customers is “my customers aren’t buying accessories so why should I sell them.” They claim the market demand for accessories is too small, and even if there was a big enough market, most of their customers can’t afford them. They believe that investing in the sale of accessories is a waste of money and an unnecessary risk: a risk they cannot afford to take, especially considering today’s market pressures.

The notion that selling accessories is a potential liability is an unfortunate misconception. The market for accessories is thriving and growing every year, and customers of all financial situations are purchasing them. Selling accessories does not pose a risk, but instead poses an opportunity for dealers to increase profits and improve customer satisfaction.

1. The accessories market is over $41 billion annually.

The myth that the accessories market is not big enough is far from the truth. Accessories accounted for over $41 billion in sales last year. Most car buyers will purchase some form of accessory. Of those who do accessorize their vehicle, nearly half will spend $500 or more, according to SEMA.

Dealerships are only capturing 10% of the accessory sales market, so where is all of that money going?

That money is going directly to accessory manufacturers, to aftermarket shops, and even retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Pep Boys. The money and demand for this service are real and available to the dealerships willing to step up and not leave money on the table.

2. Customers plan to accessorize, even if their finances suggest they can’t.

No matter the financial situation of your customers, many of them plan to purchase accessories for their new vehicles.

By offering a choice of different payment options, buyers gain the flexibility they need to complete the purchase. There are two best practices I like to suggest:

  • Offer the choice to finance accessories with their purchase. Many buyers will choose this options, since it typically means their payment will only go up a few dollars per month.
  • Offer buyers the chance to pay with cash or credit. This option is simple and the easiest choice for many customers that are only purchasing a few accessories.

What else can accessories do for you?

Offering accessories not only increases profits, but it also keeps more business within your doors. Customers will no longer need to take their business elsewhere for additional parts and features, and they can leave your dealership feeling satisfied, knowing they received a more complete and memorable experience. This can lead to more returning customers and more referrals to your dealership.

Customer experience is more important now than ever. Autotrader.com reported that 54% of consumers claimed they would rather buy from a dealership with their preferred experience over a dealership with the lowest price. And, for many, that preferred experience includes personalizing their vehicles with accessories.

Stay tuned for the next Accessory Myth article in an upcoming edition of Fuel.

Share this Article

East Region AddOnAuto Consulting Supervisor

David is the East Region Consulting Supervisor for AddOnAuto. He has over 19 years of dealership Fixed Operations experience working as a Service Advisor, Assistant Service Manager, and Service Director. David joined Reynolds and Reynolds and the AddOnAuto team in 2014. Today, he uses his industry and AddOnAuto experience to assist the AddOnAuto Business Consultants in coaching, mentoring, and leading dealerships to develop a successful accessory program.

Related Articles:

Man that is blindfolded

Every day, millions of consumers buy products online. Whether it’s Amazon, your local grocery store, or a nation-wide chain, each time you buy online you’re

car salesman working with a couple

Understanding aftermarket products has long been a challenge for car buyers. A 2017 report from the FTC found that add-on products were the biggest source

Fact check road sign

Remote F&I is an important component to digital retailing operations, but dealerships are still hesitant to take the leap in the new digital world. What

Dice spelling out of stock

After years of decreasing profit margins, dealerships everywhere are selling vehicles at prices well above MSRP due to inventory scarcity. Even used vehicles are catching