Know Your Competition

In any business it’s important to have a good idea of what your competitors are up to: what they offer, what they don’t offer, and in turn what you should be offering to your customers. This can be done pretty easily by checking your competitors website or Facebook page to view pricing, warranty information, accepted devices and any other information they offer online. If you feel like investigating further, act as a customer and call your competitor and check on a couple things: do they offer free diagnostic tests? What about pricing? How long are their turnaround times? Do they even answer the phone when you call? These are a couple things you should know in order to gain an advantage over your competition. You may find out they don’t offer repairs on certain devices, so learning and offering those repairs can automatically give you the upper hand when customers are comparing repair shops.

So to demonstrate the importance of “shopping the competition,” and to prove we practice what we preach here at eTech Parts, we decided to report on our latest project to check on our competition.

Here is an example of the most recent case study we performed at eTech Parts. We ordered two of the same parts from each company and rated quality of service by number of stars: 1 star is the lowest rating, with 5 stars being the highest. We took time to research each one before making any purchases, and took notes throughout the whole process in order to rate them as accurately as possible. Here’s what we found this time around.

IMG_7457

Competitor #1

Ease of Ordering: ★★★★
Stock of Parts: ★★★
Shipping Options: ★★
Return Policy: ★
Pricing: ★
Quality of Packaging: ★★★★★
Quality of Parts: ★★★★★
Customer Service: ★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The first competitor in our case study always delivers reliable service and credible content online. Though we are in different leagues of supplying parts, we always learn a lot about quality and excellence from this company. The packaging and parts quality is perfect, and the ease of ordering and customer service is always highly rated. We gave them a 4-star rating because even though the pricing is far too high for wholesale purchasing and they have limited parts availability, the parts we receive are consistently immaculate and the packaging excellent – as usual. They also included a $5 off coupon with our first order and sent several notifications to let me know the status of each order. We’re all about quality here at eTech Parts and so is this company.

Competitor #2

Ease of Ordering: ★★★
Stock of Parts: ★★★★
Shipping Options: ★★★★★
Return Policy: ★★
Pricing: ★★★
Quality of Packaging: ★★
Quality of Parts: ★★
Customer Service: ★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★

Our second competitor has a large stock of parts available, has plenty of affordable shipping options, and the customer service has always been very friendly (when they can be reached). However the website is convoluted and the parts we received this round were far from our standards of quality. They also package their order with packing peanuts, and if there’s anything eTech Parts employees hate with a vengeance it’s packing peanuts.

IMG_4543

Competitor #3

Ease of Ordering: ★★★
Stock of Parts: ★★★★
Shipping Options: ★★★
Return Policy: ★★
Pricing: ★★★
Quality of Packaging: ★★★
Quality of Parts: ★★★★
Customer Service: ★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★

Our third main competitor has a large stock of parts for a variety of devices but they have a much smaller selection of parts for Apple devices, and we find many parts are consistently out of stock. The parts we received this round were of good quality and the shipping was quick, but the company offers a stern warning to customers who dare return any product (I’m slightly exaggerating here). Their website is a little clustered and shipping options are few, but overall it’s a pleasant experience.

Competitor #4

Ease of Ordering: ★★★
Stock of Parts: ★★★★
Shipping Options: ★★★
Return Policy: ★★
Pricing: ★★★
Quality of Packaging: ★
Quality of Parts: ★★
Customer Service: ★

Overall Rating: ★★

The newest company in our on-going investigation has a large stock of parts at reasonable prices and offers explanations for meanings of OEM, After-Market and “Reclaimed” parts, but upon receiving our “OEM quality” parts we found they were used. When I attempted to contact them regarding this, I noticed their phone number isn’t listed on their site, and they discourage customers from contacting them by any means other than email – which they never responded to. A strict return policy, poor product packaging and a lack of customer service all makes for a slightly frustrating experience. They did however send several notifications to let us know the status of our order, and sent a $5 off coupon after the first purchase.

IMG_4553

The fifth competitor we checked on this round refused to send our order without a business slip or previous vendor receipt – but didn’t hesitate to collect payment for the order.

This is always an enlightening experience and we learn a great deal about what our competition is doing right, what they could improve on, and in turn what we can implement and improve upon in our business. eTech Parts is determined to provide the highest quality parts at the most reasonable prices for our wholesale customers. While we love hearing customers sing our praises, we also need to hear all the things we could do better, or differently – so let us know! Be sure to like us on Facebook; our community of repair technicians and business owners is thriving, so join in the conversation!

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