LONDON: BMW, the auto manufacturer, is using online retail service eBay as a channel to sell accessories and parts straight to UK shoppers, a new move for the company.

The German firm has created the BMW Direct hub on eBay, making it the first operator from its sector to pursue such a strategy.

Around 100 bricks and mortar chains have already adopted this model, which will allow BMW drivers to acquire certified goods without needing to place orders via an official dealer.

Purchases are also to be delivered for free, and carry a guarantee lasting two years, offering peace of mind for consumers.

Carl Sanderson, general manager of aftersales development at BMW, argued that convenience would constitute a major advantage of this initiative.

"We recognise there are customers who wish to buy BMW products but do not necessarily want to travel to a BMW dealer to make a purchase," he told the Independent.

Although eBay made its name as an auction platform, approximately 60% of the property's global sales are attributable to items commanding a set price, rather than bids among competing buyers.

The automotive category is one of the site's most popular, and Angus McCarey, eBay's UK retail director, suggested BMW could be exploiting a significant source of revenue.

"There are more than 600,000 searches for BMW every month on eBay and BMW will now be able to access this existing, yet untapped customer base, while increasing its reach to the millions of other consumers who buy and sell on the site," he said.

Data sourced from the Independent; additional content by Warc staff