Article

How To Play By The Rules On eBay Motors

December 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Rob Chesney - Also by this author

When selling a vehicle on eBay Motors, the rules of the road are to always operate with honesty and transparency. Communication is critical and can instill confidence when someone is making a large purchase online. Although a dealership may be a known entity in its community, an online brand needs to be created and maintained.

Become detail-oriented
To build a solid reputation online, begin by providing every detail you have available regarding vehicles you have listed. For example, take pictures of a vehicle from all angles, including any dents, scratches or other imperfections. The buyer will find these things eventually, so it’s best to be upfront at the beginning of the process.

A good number to start with is 12 photos. The more photos you have, the better chance you have of selling the vehicle. Although the buyer knows it is a transaction without seeing the vehicle in person, the buyer will want to look at as many pictures as possible. Don’t forget photos such as the odometer, trunk and dashboard.

Accompanying the photos, a thorough description can shed additional light on your listing. Provide complete details about the vehicle, including a list of features, the vehicle’s history, the vehicle identification number and the terms of sale.

Before posting, you should know what comes up in the vehicle history report. Any potential issues, such as flood or salvage, should be properly disclosed. Even if you have a clean title, you should disclose a previous salvage if it was in the title history. Also, include any liens on the title if applicable.

When listing, be sure to thoroughly review the vehicle protection programs, to see if your listing is eligible. These programs can provide an additional level of confidence to buyers making large purchases online.

Open up shop
Dealerships can create custom pages, so potential buyers can gather information about the business and feel comfortable, before making a purchase. A custom page serves as a store’s Web site on eBay, informing your potential customers about the dealership, its background, types of vehicles offered and can include frequently asked questions and financing options.

Also, you can include narrative content on these pages, so if your buyers regularly customize vehicles or if you also sell accessories, you should include that information. The more information you provide, the more opportunities you have to showcase your expertise and ultimately make a sale.

Communication is key
Once you have finessed your listing and it is active, you need to monitor it closely and watch for bidder inquiries and feedback. The more customer-friendly you are, the more potential you have to convert interested parties into buying customers.

Ensure that the contact phone number and email address on your account is accurate. A serious buyer is likely to initially contact you with questions to learn more about you and your dealership and, after the bid, to finalize details. Responding in a timely manner is both expected and courteous.

When potential bidders are checking out your dealership, don’t forget to check out the buyers as well. If you have questions about a buyer’s feedback rating or bidding activity, contact that person to help alleviate any issues in advance. At the same time, the buyer may have questions for you, so you’re opening an avenue for communication.

Feedback is critical
Feedback provides historical information for buyers and sellers. It lets both parties know more about who they are transacting with, and about their reputation online.

Closing the deal
When considering the price of your listing, be realistic with the starting point. If you use a reserve price that buyers believe to be too high, they will be discouraged from bidding. When you set a reserve at an attractive level, passing the reserve price creates excitement and bidding can intensify. This is where online auctions work best for sellers.

Another option is to let bidders know that they have financing options through either your dealership, or as provided through eBay Motors’s financing center. Let them know they can apply for a loan before they buy.

Building a reputation
There are several options for dealerships to build an online presence. The dealer services center offers dealer-specific services that can make online listings automated and convenient.

For example, third-party listing tools provide dealerships with the option of creating a consistent look-and-feel, with professional graphics to entice more bidders. Services such as the condition guarantee by seller program and trading assistants can aid in your listing success.

There are many options when listing your inventory online. When you play by the rules through disclosing everything you know about the vehicle, starting with the best price and communicating regularly with potential and current bidders, your listings will have the most potential for success.

Vol 4, Issue 11

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