As a professional, who sells new or pre-owned vehicles to customers every day, you have a lot of responsibilities. Not only are you responsible for selling a car that your customer will fall in love with the moment it leaves the lot, but you also strive to sell a vehicle that is safe and drives well.
When your customer drives away happy, you’re happy; if you end up selling a lemon of a vehicle, not only will you have an unhappy customer, but it might affect the reputation of your dealership.
No one wants to drive a lemon, and a good and honest car dealer doesn’t want to sell one either. Whether you specialize in selling compact cars, large trucks (or everything in between) here are some ways to help you ensure that you sell a vehicle that runs great, won’t tarnish your reputation, or violate the lemon laws in your state that protect vehicle consumers.
Keep in Mind That Newer Vehicles May End Up Being Lemons
When most people think of vehicles that are lemons, they think of a car with significant interior and exterior damage, a vehicle with high miles, and has a long list of problems that can’t be fixed.
If you’re unlucky enough to come across any lemons at your dealership, there’s a good chance that most of them will fit the description, but don’t rule out that a new vehicle can’t have issues.
Always Check the History
Vehicles of all sizes, makes, and models can have a sketchy or unknown history. You probably know a lot of people in the industry who ignore the “red flags” about a vehicle’s history and decide to sell it as is and at a discounted price.
As a dealership that strives to provide the best service you can, you know how crucial it is to be honest with your customers (even if it means they might pass on buying a vehicle). Try to fill in all the blanks when looking at the vehicle’s history, but if you can’t figure out the whole history of the car, make a note of it and be honest with your customers.
If you sell a car and fail to provide all the relevant information, you are not only tarnishing your reputation but may also be putting your customer’s life at risk. You may also be violating lemon laws.
While many car buyers trust the dealership, most will do their own VIN check with services like CarFax and other research before buying, so if they find out anything different than what you tell them, you might lose a sale.
Know the Vehicle You Are Selling
Similarly, to knowing the history of the vehicle that’s for sale in your lot, it’s good to know the ins and outs of the vehicles that you’re selling. Is there a dent on the hood of a pre-owned car or a patch of mismatched paint? Interior and exterior flaws are just a few of the red flags that consumers are urged to look for when shopping for a vehicle.
Even if the price is right, your customers are likely to ask about anything that doesn’t look (or even sound) the way it should, so it’s best to get to know the vehicles as much as possible.
Don’t Pass Up on Getting An Inspection
Your dealership might have an in-house certified mechanic that checks out and fixes all your cars. If you don’t have one, don’t forget to have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. Even if you don’t have anything fixed on the car, before you put it on the sale lot, you will have accurate information that you can pass along to interested buyers.
Much like checking out a vehicle’s history, more car buyers are taking their potential purchase to a mechanic for a thorough inspection. If a mechanic finds a major issue that you did not tell the buyer about, you’re likely to lose the sale and make you (and your dealership) look less than trustworthy.
Stay on Top of Recalls
One of the tell-tale signs of a lemon is a vehicle that has multiple recalls to addressing a serious safety issue. While many people assume that older vehicles are the only ones to be recalled, as someone who works in a dealership you’re aware that all cars may be affected by a recall.
Rather than waiting to receive recall information from the manufacturer, get in the habit of reading the news and checking out safety issues and, if you don’t already.
Learn the Lemon Laws In Your State
Even if you have a good track record of not selling any lemons, there’s always the chance that you could (regardless of how careful and responsible you are). One of the best things you can do, along with the other reminders we mentioned, is to learn about the lemon laws and recalls in your state.
Lemon laws are designed to protect consumers, but it’s also important for a dealership to know how the law works because sometimes the law might be on your side.
Let’s use North Carolina as an example. According to Lemon law statute, North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 20-351 et seq., any new vehicle under 10,000 lbs, that is sold or leased in NC is covered. Problems that are covered include any defect that significantly impairs the value of the vehicle. The coverage period is two years from the date of original delivery or 24,000 miles of operation (whichever is first).
It’s important to keep in mind that every state classifies a lemon a little differently and each case is different.
About the Author
Landon resides in North Carolina and enjoys all things automotive. As an avid Jeep enthusiast, he is always researching the latest automotive trends and enjoys journaling about them in his free time.
Author: Contributing Writer
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