Selling used cars seems like a simple process; you buy for one price and sell for a higher one. OK that may be over simplifying a not too complicated business, but if car sellers stick to some basics of preparation, presentation and price (the three P’s) they can usually be sure to turn a profit most of the time.
With the knowledge many car buyers can now acquire at the click of a mouse, the process of buying and selling cars has become more scientific and involves many different factors.
For example if we examine the journey of a used car from the dealer first buying it until the customer drives it off the forecourt then there are many factors and people involved in a successful outcome.
When a car becomes available on the trade market, which could be through auction, underwrite from rental or leasing company, manufacturer stock or part exchange, to name but a few, the process to profitably selling that car begins and not everything that goes on in that journey is necessarily measurable and the repeating of which doesn’t necessarily mean the same outcome every time.
Without getting in too deep we have to ask the question why a customer would choose one car over another. Well in the old days before the net buyers would have to do the research on the run to a certain extent and make their comparisons by visiting the sites which contained cars they were potentially interested in. These days those comparisons can be done on line and the choice can be narrowed based on each different customer’s buying criteria.
To say that similar examples are compared only on price may be true in some cases but that is too simplistic to cover all bases, some dealers will tell you that if a car is advertised too cheap buyers will be turned off thinking there is a catch, when very often it may just be a car they have had in stock for too long and therefore financially the company decide the car has to go and will be reduced in price until that happens.
On the other hand if there are a selection of cars of similar age and mileage, and one or two are advertised well over the market price, they will not gain any enquiries due to the price being too high.
Finding the optimum price usually depends on the market with some notable exceptions. For car dealers to really get ahead of the competition and to appeal to as many potential car buyers as possible the three P’s always need to be adhered to but at the same time their must be the personnel available to successfully deal with the ensuing enquiries.
Gaining an advantage over the competition to ensure that the cars advertised are desirable is about much more than price. It is about culture, professionalism, reputation, experience, customer centricity and desire with enthusiasm as well as having the right volume and balance of cars for sale.
Potentially, from when a car is bought wholesale or trade to when it is picked up by its new owner there could be as many as a dozen or more people involved in the outcome and playing a role in how profitable or not that outcome is. Increasingly the successful dealers are looking at all the aspects which go into that process and dissecting them regularly to ensure the enquiries are constant and can be converted into appointments and ultimately sales.
So when one dealer has one grainy picture, or worse no image at all of car he is trying to sell, compared to one which has 9 different high quality images of inside and outside of the car whether the former is much cheaper or not the perception of the potential buyer is such that 9 times out of ten they will follow up on the latter model.
Although this will not always result in a successful sale because, as we have pointed out, there are many other factors to be resolved which cannot always be measured there will certainly be a much greater possibility of success.
As we say in the trade if you don’t buy a ticket you can’t win the prize!