We know the inventory shortage a real problem that has left many Canadian dealers in vulnerable positions. Successful dealerships have learnt how to properly manage their lots by finding the perfect balance between bringing in new inventory to keep things exciting and selling enough cars to keep themselves in a good financial position. Having an inventory shortage wasn’t a common occurrence before Covid unless the dealership simply didn’t have the finances to bring in new cars. Dealerships know that having a half-empty car lot isn’t a good look for browsing customers.
Customers like to have choices when they’re shopping, even if they have their mind set on a particular car. It can be even more granular than that though, maybe they want the white Jetta over the black Jetta. Having these options and allowing your customers to see how one car feels compared to the next one is all part of the sales presentation. While there are plenty of other aspects of the sales presentation, in the end, the biggest factor is whether you have many vehicle options for your customers to choose from. If you’re currently in a position where your lot is looking barebones, you’re going to want to keep reading.
During an inventory shortage, it’s tough to buy cars from customers, but there are many things you can do to increase your chances. Not only will you need to be able to make a high enough offer to convince the customer to sell but you also need to ensure you can still make a profit on the vehicle.
The first thing you need to do is make your community aware that your currently looking to buy used vehicles. There are many ways you can do this, post it on your social media, your website, pay for advertising and do a promotion where there’s an incentive to trading in a vehicle. Surely, there are other ways to make it known you’re looking to buy vehicles but those are a good start.
The second thing you can do is reach out to some of your previous customers and let them know you’re in the market for used cars. Whether it be through a letter or email, make it known you want to buy cars. The trick with this is to make it as easy as possible for the customer. You can do this by offering to come to them and make them an offer on the spot. The less work they need to do, the more likely they will be willing to take you up on your offer.
The third thing you can do only works if you have a repair/mechanic shop at your dealership. Very commonly, when people have to get expensive repairs done they become more willing to sell their vehicle. So if you’re getting the parts at cost price and having the labour done in house, making the repairs doesn’t need to cost a fortune. It never hurts to mention your interest in a vehicle when a customer has their vehicle in the shop.
Lastly, one of the best ways you can get customers to sell you their car is by using AVA Trade or AVA Buy. Both tools are powered by Kelly Blue Book and they allow customers to value their vehicle in seconds, all online. The widget is installed directly on your website so customers have easy access to get their offer.
Once you’ve tried all four of these, if you’re still not satisfied with how full your lot looks, here’s a few things you can try:
Don’t let the inventory shortage put your dealership in a bad place, reach out to us today about our inventory products, AVA Trade and AVA Buy!
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