Categories
Car Auction Retail Car Lot Wholesale Lot

Used Car Profit Hacks

When it comes to used car profit, dealers constantly consider the resale value of their inventory. Having a profitable, well maintained inventory can make a huge difference when it comes the speed in which you turn your used car lot.
Here are some simple tips on how to increase the value of your Used Car Inventory.

Wash Your CarsCleanliness Matters

Keeping your cars clean isn’t just for cosmetic appeal, it can seriously affect your cars value. As a percentage of profit improvement, a clean car has the most impact on value for the least amount of expense.
All plastic should be treated with a quality cleaner and protectant, and the carpets should be vacuumed to the point where you can actually see the lines the vacuum made. Get your detail shop a carpet rake, to really make the carpets look awesome.

Hidden garbage under the seats or in map pockets can cost you a sale. Make sure your detailers are looking everywhere and even vacuuming under the seats, trunk and map pockets.

Clean door jams make a real difference as well, have them wiped down and silicone the hinges.

Detail the engine and trunk, clean out their jams as well and be sure there are no signs of oil leaks whenever possible.

Freshen your Inventory often

cars with hoods openOne of the biggest mistakes dealers make is they don’t freshen their inventory weekly. I make it the lot person’s (porter/inventory managers) daily job. They should be flagging 2-5 cars a day to refresh.

Minor Modifications

Sometimes the smallest little details make your cars look so much better and in many cases add profit at a 2:1 ratio. When I was younger I made a living buying cheep cars with rips in the seats and dash boards. I would add seat covers and a minor patch kit for the cracks, then turn around and re-auction the car at a tremendous profit.
Simple things like spray painting the wheel wells black or silvering the end of an exhaust have amazing impact on curb appeal.

Adding Accessories

Some dealers like to add accessories, such as alarms. In my opinion the return is only equal to the value of the added item and in some cases lowers your SRP’s because it sometimes raises the price pass your competitors. Another side effect of adding the accessory in advance is you tend to give it away, instead of selling them at a profit

Minor Bodywork

Mobile paint technician’s are a used car manager’s best friend. These companies will come to your used car lot and can remove scratches and small dents without the hassle of taking your car to a repairer or body shop. They can also treat your car with an extra clear coat, giving the paint a new lease on life and providing added protection against chips and scratches.

When you have your own body shop you can fall into the trap of wanting to paint every minor dent. Dent removal without painting is the better way to go. Again its cost to profit ratio is as much a 4:1
Kevin Leigh, Dealer Simplified
Kevin Leigh

Story Book

One of the most important things you can do to increase the value of your cars is to keep a “story book” which includes such items as:

  • Printed Carfax
  • List of Work Already Preformed on the Car
  • Printed List of Reviews on the Car from Edmunds or Cars.com
  • Printed List of Standard and Added Options
  • Original Mileage statement
  • Warranties Available

Salespeople that show the storybook upfront are far more likely to get top dollar than salespeople that wait until the customer asks for the Carfax.

Categories
Car Auction Retail Car Lot Wholesale Lot

How to Stock Used Cars Customers Want to Buy.

& How to Stock Used Cars Salespeople Will Sell!

Buying Used Cars For Your Lot is Easy:

Buying used cars is easy
Lots of Rental Cars Out There

Stocking your used car lot is easy, Right? You can load up on as many cars your lot will hold, fill every spot and you could have it done today. The auctions are loaded with all kinds of cars. Sounds pretty good right but only if you like silver, white or tan x-rentals. Just because something is easy doesn’t mean you should do it. Putting cars on your lot just to fill it up can cost you thousands of dollars. Most of us have been in this spot once or twice. So how do you stock up on cars customers want to buy and that salespeople want to sell.

The good news is that with a little hard work and a little smart work you can find the cars you need and keep them rolling in. Much like looking for cars under $10,000 you are going to need some help from your team. Now don’t get me wrong some of these cars are going to have to come from the auction. Whether you buy online or at the local sale, just make sure you look for cars you need. And don’t over pay for them at the sale, if you are going to step up for a car make sure you buy it from a customer in your showroom.

Wholesale-Used-CarsUnderstand Your Used Car Market:

Once you understand your market and the stores history you can start to build a profile of what cars you need. You never want to just go off your history, this will cause you to miss out on selling the customer what they want. If you have never sold a 2008 Toyota Camry in the past, but every customer in your market is searching for one and you follow your history how many 2008 Camry’s are you going to sell? Thats right, ZERO. History is good but you need to watch the market and look for cars customers want to buy. Again its easy to buy the cars you can buy, but that doesn’t mean the customer wants to buy them from you. Its why they are still available at the sale.

So searching for cars the customer wants to buy is half the job. The other half of stocking your lots with the right cars is pleasing your salespeople. Remember they are the ones that have to sell them. If you can’t get the salespeople on board with the cars you are putting on the lot you might as well burn your money. Some salespeople will sell any car you give them, but not everyone is that comfortable with selling used cars. Most of them will walk right around a used car if they don’t feel good about it and can sell a new one instead. You have to get them in front of every used car, this will lift their confidence and sell you more used cars.

The morning bullpen

Bull Pen Cars Lined Up
Used Car Lot Bull Pen Meeting

Now if you’re asking your self how do I get that done, you may want to try bull penning. Running a morning bullpen isn’t that hard but you can’t half-ass it. The last thing you want to do is waist the teams time with nonsense. Its best to have all the work for your bullpen done the night before. You want to have the cars you are going to show lined up, you don’t want to spend time walking the lot. Also you are going to have to do some homework on the cars, start with a list (year, make, model, miles…). If any of the cars are trades have the salesperson that worked the deal talk about the car. It’s a good idea to get them involved. This is a good time to talk about your go-to market price and to find out if the team has any interest in selling these cars.

Now you can’t let the inmates run the prison but you do need their buy in if you want to move some medal. Do your best to have good information about each car, things like service history, carfax, market data and pricing. Let the team help you weed out the bad cars and you will fill your used car lot with cars people want to buy and ones your salespeople want to sell.

Categories
Dealer Software Defining Car Speak

What is a DMS – Dealer Management System?

Components of a Modern DMS

A dealership management system (DMS) or auto dealership accounting system is a bundled management information system created specifically for the automotive industry and especially for  car dealerships or large dealer groups.

Some DMS's are OutdatedDMS is not for everyone, typically small scale dealers and independent used car lots will manage their business with generic accounting packages. Even large dealer groups will outsource parts of the DMS to achieve higher quality products.

A typical example of outsourcing is inventory management. In most cases dealers are using companies like VAuto, VinSolutions or Dealer Simplified.

Another reason dealers are outsourcing is that many of the traditional DMS systems are outdated or the dealership cannot afford the massive upgrade charge. It is just less expensive to keep the basic accounting package from their DMS and bolt-on modern software such as CRM and Dealer Web Sites.

Dealers need software to support all aspects of running a dealership such as:

  • Tracking vehicle inventory
  • Tracking sales
  • Finance and insurance calculations
  • Dealer websites
  • Menu selling systems
  • Tracking
  • Accounting
  • CRM
  • Wholesale management
  • Internal company websites and message centers
  • Calculating employee commissions
  • Purchase order tracking
  • Parts inventory
  • Auction management
  • Work order management
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Proper planning
  • Follow-up

Most Common Dealer Management Systems found in dealerships today are ADP, Reynolds and Reynolds and Dealer Track. However many new DMS systems have arrived on the scene in the past few years and are offering easier integration and connectivity with software partners with modern API’s and SSL Keys.

# of Dealership using Non-DMS add-on's
Categories
Car Auction Defining Car Speak Retail Car Lot Wholesale Lot

What is the ACV – Actual Cash Value?

Used Car ACV

Understanding A.C.V

The “ACV” is the “Actual Cash Value” the dealer places on the  vehicle purchased either at auction or as a trade in. This simply means the car dealer could liquidate the vehicle for that amount. In other words, if dealer chooses not sell the customer’s trade-in as one of their pre-owned cars, they could wholesale it to another dealer and receive that cash value.

ACV is a live value that fluctuates with the market. For example if a Mustang convertible is purchased in the summer, when it is desirable, it will fetch more then if it is sold in the winter.

ACV vs. Trade Allowance

What exactly is the difference between A.C.V. and trade allowance or trade value then? If neither trade allowance or trade value represent what the dealer actually books the trade into inventory, then why do they even quote those figures? In many cases the dealer needs to quote a figure in terms of the trade that is acceptable to the customer. The customer might tell the dealer that unless they get $12,000 for the trade then there is no deal. In order to put the deal together, the dealer might give the customer the $12,000 as a trade value, but the A.C.V. might only be $9,500. That means there is a $2,500 deficit between the A.C.V. and the trade value which means there has to be a $2,500 concession on the new (or used) vehicle purchase. So even if the customers paper work said $12,000 as far as a trade value, the booked in value to the used car inventory is only $9,500. Another way to look at this is the $2,500 came off the new car price.

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section below. or contact us at Dealer Simplified