Article

Using The Internet To Move Used-Car Inventory

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Rob Chesney - Also by this author

February is a month of challenge and opportunity for dealers. For a large portion of the country, they are facing the coldest days of the year; and buying a vehicle is the last thing on the minds of prospective customers. In general, the market is recovering from a slower January as consumers recuperate from holiday season spending.
At the same time, February presents dealers with a great opportunity because of the national media focus on new models that are unveiled at auto shows across the county. In spring, people start seriously thinking about purchasing new cars and the opportunity for dealers continues to gain momentum. In addition, ambitious citizens who submitted their tax returns early are receiving their checks and looking to spend their refunds.

As dealers seek ways to take advantage of these opportunities and keep sales up from month to month, they need to consider other strategies for reaching consumers. As the sales team pushes out the supply of new vehicles, they will likely be taking in used inventory that will perhaps be off-brand. Some of the trade-ins will have limited re-sale value in the immediate geography.

For these reasons and many more, February is an ideal time for dealers to start considering selling their vehicles on the Internet.

The most important advantage of selling vehicles online through a site like eBay Motors is the Web’s ability to expand your reach nationwide. eBay Motors is consistently ranked the number-one automotive site on the Web by Nielsen/NetRatings, with more than 10 million unique visitors per month. Since the inception of eBay Motors in 2000, more than one million vehicles have been sold on the site.

Logical connections

As with any strategy or service, knowledgeable dealers are aware of tips and tactics to succeed, beginning with vehicle selection. Off-brand trade-ins are logical candidates to sell online, even for non-franchise dealers, if their lots have become known not necessarily for a specific brand, but for a segment of vehicles. eBay Motors is a place to move these trade-ins quickly. Further, it allows sales team members to sell more new vehicles by taking trade-ins.

Trade-in vehicles that might normally be sold wholesale can be sold for higher profitability on eBay Motors. By setting your reserve at wholesale prices, dealers are assured of at least the minimum price and likely, more than they would get for the vehicle via wholesale channels while offering customers a great deal and helping to build their reputations with consumers across the nation.

Another consideration is regional climate. Dealers in Arizona will find high-demand this time of year in the Northeast for vehicles that haven’t had to endure the harsh winters. Dealers in the Northeast who have taken trade-in’s of smaller or sportier vehicles that don’t sell well in winter will find a slew of potential buyers in the South who aren’t constrained by seasons in their selection of vehicles, such as convertibles that are popular year-around in warmer regions.

On eBay Motors, buyers aren’t intimidated by distance. In fact, 71 percent of vehicles sold on eBay Motors are interstate transactions, where the vehicles were delivered to buyers outside the state of the sellers.

Moving beyond the basics

Once you’ve established a reputation on eBay Motors, think beyond the normal list of used inventory. With an established feedback rating and brand on eBay Motors, start to think big. Your entire used vehicle inventory is mostly likely ideal for eBay Motors, where a vehicle sells every minute.

Mainstream vehicles, such as the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, sell frequently on eBay Motors. Muscle cars continue to be a hot item; a Ford Mustang sells every 26 minutes and a Chevrolet Corvette sells every 48 minutes. Collector and antique vehicles continue to sell well on the site. Today many buyers are uncovering the specific classic vehicles on eBay Motors that they’ve been seeking for years.

The success of the parts and accessories category on eBay Motors also shows an additional area of monetary opportunity for dealers. The $100 trade-in that won’t even run might be worth far more once the parts are taken-off and sold on eBay Motors, where a part or accessory sells every two seconds.

The New Year always brings many new opportunities and challenges for dealers. New sales goals, dealership initiatives, new products to learn and new incentives from OEMs are just some of the issues the average dealer faces. While it’s a time for change, the New Year also allows dealers to refine processes and sample new strategies. Taking your used inventory online opens your doors to a whole new set of prospects. You can expand your reach nationally, and even internationally, and move inventory quickly to drive profitability.

Vol 3, Issue 2

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