The annual feeding frenzy is going on at the auction right now. It’s tax time and the start of the selling season, the perfect storm to drive prices up. That why it’s hard to figure why dealers other than Carmax don’t have a plan that includes buying cars from private sellers. I am finding it much easier to buy from private sellers than the auction. In addition to running a dealership I talk to dealers all across the about used cars. I am finding most dealers would like to buy cars from individuals but have no idea where to start. They all will agree that Carmax is the only place that comes to mind for a customer to sell their car. Maybe that’s why Carmax sells more used cars than anyone. Here are a couple of advantages to buying cars from individuals in addition to whatever else you’re doing to acquire used vehicles. This same process works if the customer is trading.
1) Train your salespeople to handle the purchase. By that I mean train your salespeople to look at the vehicle like an detective would look at a crime scene. They need to know are any warning lights on? What’s the tread depth of the tires? What recon does the car need ? Has the car had previous paint work ? This way the salesperson can put the car in vAuto, KBB, Trade In Market Place , InstantCarOffer or what every your managers use to appraise cars and use this information to put a accurate buy figure on the car. This is great training for the salesperson and it help you separate the Purchase from the Trade on a car deal.
2) Have the salesperson present the figure to the customer. Use this work track “ We have reviewed your vehicle and can give you a $1X,XXX check for your vehicle “
3) Advertise that you buy cars !
4) Get a tool on you website that helps you capture a purchase or a trade vehicle.
5) Pay your Salespeople for every car they help you buy !
6) Make a offer on any car. This is really key. Recently a customer came in with a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica with 150K I wasn’t real excited but I offered them $1500 for it . While this was going on the customer told me they had a second vehicle they need to sell but he said “ you probably would want this one because it’s a BMW” they thought because we’re a Dodge store we wouldn’t want it. I told the customer to let me see it before they took it to another dealer. A few days later the customer comes in with a like new 2006 BMW 750li with 55k. I repeated the process and offered them $12,500, they accepted. I sold the car 2 days later for $18,000 without it ever being on the internet.
You will make more money on private party cars than any others! Don’t miss Kip’s session at this year’s Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition from April 21-23!