Up Front With Off-Road Bumpers

Give customers the look & versatility they desire...

Many customers can’t get enough of today’s off-road bumpers, and the same often goes for shops looking to capitalize on the market.

Offering style, performance and utility upgrades, the bumpers are a staple of today’s 4×4 and overlanding markets. Opportunities have attracted a long list of suppliers, meaning there’s a lot of information to sift through.

Still, patterns emerge regarding best practices and popular sales approaches that match clients with the bumper products and related accessories they need. The following are some suggestions on how to approach off-road bumpers for the best results.

RealTruck Go Rhino Toyota off-road bumper
When you get a bumper sale, there is a chance to add onto the purchase. (Photo courtesy Go Rhino/RealTruck)


Off-road bumper suppliers suggest asking lots of questions of customers to direct them to the perfect product for each application. The queries can range from basic to hyper-specific.

“Always ask why they are looking to upgrade their bumper,” says Tony Savasta, vice president of marketing for Westin Automotive/Superwinch. “It’s the only way to get a clear picture of which benefits and capabilities are important to the customer. Some of the benefits of our Pro-Series, for example, include increased clearance, adding a winch, tighter approach angle, additional protection and improved styling.”

From there, talk about what’s planned now and in the future, says Jesse Brown, director of marketing for Magnum RT Bumpers.

“First, understand what their intended use of the product will be. Are they going to be primarily rock crawling, trail riding or cruising the local mall parking lots? This will determine the level of protection and features that they will need to be happy with their purchase,” he says. “Secondly, understand what type of upgrades they may be interested in. If you realize they have no interest in ever purchasing a winch or additional lighting that may help steer them to the bumper that will best serve their interests. Lastly, budget is always a factory. Understanding the customer’s budget allows the shop to recommend options that align with their financial constraints while still meeting their needs.”

Remember, clients appreciate being asked about their vehicle plans, says Trina Hemann, marketing manager for RealTruck Inc.

“Customers may not entirely know what bumper they will need—they know they want a bumper, but are unsure about which one,” she says.

Her suggested question list incudes:

  • Are you looking for more tire clearance?
  • Are you looking for a full-width bumper that extends or is even with flares?
  • Do you want a winch-ready bumper?
  • Do you want to have the capabilities of having an over-rider/pre-runner hoop on it?
  • Would you like to attach lights or a light bar?

If customers are unsure on future use plans then ask what they like, says Matthew McShane, site leader, South Carolina, for Fab Fours.

“Like with most accessories in the off-road market, it’s key to understand what your customer is after for their build. Is it the look that’s the most important or is it the design and function?” he says. “Where do they plan to take the vehicle? Is it a daily driver or an off-road trail vehicle? What’s cool about our brand is that we have something for the most hardcore off-road enthusiast as well as the mall crawler. And you shouldn’t discriminate from one to the other because our goal should be to make the customers love their vehicles when they drive them—whether out in the mud or on the drive to dinner Saturday night.”

The decisions really do make a difference in customer satisfaction, says Sara Ford, marketing manager for TrailFX.

“Understanding a customer’s intended use for an off-road bumper is crucial for shops to provide tailored recommendations. By asking questions like, ‘What type of off-road activities do you primarily engage in?’ shops gain valuable insights into the customer’s specific needs.”

For instance, a bumper suitable for rock crawling may differ in design and features compared to one optimized for trail riding or overlanding, Ford explains.

“This understanding allows shops to suggest bumpers with the right structural components, approach angles and recovery options that align seamlessly with the customer’s preferred off-road activities, ensuring optimal performance and satisfaction.”

TrailFX off-road bumper on blue Bronco
The goal is to find a bumper that aligns seamlessly with the customer’s preferred off-road activities. (Photo courtesy TrailFX)


There are many obvious reasons for shops to consider selling and installing off-road bumpers—and a few unexpected benefits as well.

Savasta notes that many applications are simple bolt-on installations that don’t require drilling. They can also be part of an overall upgrade package.

“Our customer feedback tells us that customers want a total solution when it comes to protection and styling, which is reflected in everything we do. This creates the possibility of add-on sales or future follow-up, increasing your order value and customer LTV (lifetime value), while enabling truck enthusiasts to complete their upgrade journey.”

Hemann also highlights a no-drill attachment while stressing profit potential.

“These are high-ticket items that can be an easy labor low-charge to do the install,” she says. “Bumpers offer great add-on options as well like lights, a light bar and winch, which increases the sale of additional items that complement it well.”

Bumpers can be a gateway to total accessorization packages, Brown notes.

“By providing off-road bumpers and offering installation services, shops have the potential to further expand their product offerings by incorporating additional accessories such as lighting and recovery gear,” he explains. “Off-road enthusiasts are often keen on enhancing their vehicles with specialized equipment to improve performance and safety during their adventures. Tap into this market and upsell complementary accessories like LED light bars, fog lights, winches and recovery hooks. This not only increases the value proposition for customers but also opens new revenue streams for the shop.”

Ford is also a believer in the benefits of product combinations.

“To boost off-road bumper sales, shops can provide package deals that combine bumpers with complementary accessories or offer discounts on additional items with bumper purchases. This simplifies the buying process for customers, presenting a comprehensive off-road solution,” she says. “Highlighting the added value and convenience of these packages helps attract customers seeking a convenient one-stop solution for their off-road customization requirements.”

McShane calls them “off-road accessories that sell accessories.”

“Our bumpers allow shops to add more accessories to them. When you add a Fab Fours stubby, for example, you can sell the customer a Warn winch, a Factor 55 recovery kit and ultra-hook, as well as off-road lighting.”

Westin off-road bumper on black truck
Customers want a total solution when it comes to protection and styling. (Photo courtesy westinautomotive.com)


Brown from Magnum RT Bumpers says it’s as simple as becoming the local trusted 4×4 expert.

“Shops that offer a one-stop solution for off-road enthusiasts by bundling bumper sales with accessory installation can attract more customers and foster loyalty within the off-road community,” he says. “This comprehensive approach saves customers time and effort by having all their customization needs met in a single location.”

You can show your versatility and inventory by parking accessorized shop and employee vehicles where everyone can see them.

“It’s not always easy, but shop trucks and Jeeps with bumpers out front always send the right message,” says McShane from Fab Fours. “In-store displays are good too, but when customers can see that your rigs are outfitted with more than just a lift, wheels and tires, it gives you credibility.”

To meet those needs, Savasta from Westin Automotive/Superwinch suggests staying current on new applications.

“We launch new products every month—XTS bumpers for Jeeps are up next,” he notes.

Then it’s just the matter of putting together the perfect package, says RealTruck’s Hemann.

“When you get a bumper sale, there is a chance to add onto the purchase. You can suggest adding a winch, a light bar, cube lights and other recovery gear,” she notes. “There are many options for easy accessories to add on, too. This is especially true for someone who may want a specific, make-it-their-own look, like a Baja look. Bumpers give that cool, customized look they want to bring their own vehicle to life.”

Ford from TrailFX adds more detail on the benefits of upselling complementary items.

“Beyond recommending the ideal bumper, these shops can suggest valuable additions such as LED lighting options to improve visibility during nighttime adventures. Additionally, proposing winches and exterior accessories like rocker guards and tire carriers can further optimize the vehicle for off-road challenges,” she explains. “By providing comprehensive solutions, shops not only ensure the customer’s safety and convenience but also contribute to creating the best possible off-road experience tailored to the individual’s preferences and needs.”

Fab Fours off-road bumper on Jeep
Bumpers can be viewed as “off-road accessories that sell accessories.” (Photo courtesy Fab Fours)

Jef White

Jef White is the executive editor of THE SHOP magazine.

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