It’s interesting to me that in this day and time, as knowledgeable as we have become due to the advent of software, we still can’t seem to put a handle on who should price our used cars, how we should price our used cars, or what (software) should price our cars. Well, I may have a simple solution to this problem.
A month ago I had an idea to go out to the number one sales force in North America and Canada and find the answer. So where did I look, well Sunday morning I went to the Walmart parking lot where the cars, trucks, motor homes and motorcycles are parked with for sale signs on them. I went to the drug store parking lots and to the corner parking lots where the banks were closed, but the used cars for sale were out front.
I picked out three vehicles, I wrote down the miles on the vehicles, the prices, the equipment and phone numbers. I waited for two weeks and I called each one. I think what you will find from this experiment is very interesting.
One was a 2006 Toyota Tacoma, nice truck with 32,000 miles. The other was a 2003 Ford Mustang with 92,000 miles. The third and final vehicle was a 2002 Ford Excursion with 131,000 miles. I called on the Toyota truck seller and he immediately told me the vehicle had been sold. I asked him if he sold it at the price he wanted. He told me his truck was very nice and he got what he wanted even though he had to give a little discount. He was happy and wished me luck in finding a Toyota like the one that had served him well.
In calling on the Mustang, I found out they had given the vehicle to their granddaughter at much urging from the wife. He thought she was too young to have the Mustang and I almost never got off the phone with him.
The interesting vehicle was the Ford Excursion. This individual had his truck with 131,000 miles for sale at $8,890. I asked him if he had already sold his truck and he said yes. I asked him if he got what he wanted for it since it seemed a little expensive. He said he had to discount it $500 because it needed new tires and he told me that the buyer said if he would put new tires on it they would buy it. This truck was clean, however the miles were high and the tires were weak. I asked him why someone would want a vehicle with 131,000 miles on it and he asked me why I would want one with 131,000 miles on it. I made up a story that I wanted to pull a camper trailer and didn’t want to invest in a new one. He told me that the individual that bought his truck wanted to pull a stock trailer and was going to be in cattle yards and on farms, so the truck was going to get dirty and messed up. The buyer was more concerned with how the vehicle had been serviced and any problems that the seller may have had had or experienced while owning the Excursion. The seller said he spent a lot of time with the buyer telling him exactly what had happened to the truck during the time he had owned it and the things that he had done to it. That’s when I asked him if he thought that by sharing the knowledge of what he had done with his truck like how he used his truck and serviced his truck, helped him sell it. He said absolutely because the buyer knew what he wanted. The buyer was looking for a Ford Excursion and he knew what he wanted to use it for and he saw it at Walmart parking lot when he went shopping with his wife.
His closing comment to me was: “I guess I was at the right place at the right time with the right vehicle.”
Let’s analyze those three stories. All three of those vehicles found a home somewhere within two weeks. They were priced according to what the seller wanted not what someone told them they should ask. In each case the individual selling their vehicle was prepared and knowledgeable on presentation and were firm and committed to what they felt their vehicle was worth. I personally think that gross is a state of mind and a state of strength or weakness in a sales manager. It is easier to blame poor performance on something else rather than himself, for the inability to train his staff on how to make gross profit on a pre-owned vehicle.
Now, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Til next time