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MyDealerOnline

"Sell Before You Buy"

Meet our Intern: Introducing Julian Aspite of Aspite Auto Auction

We'd like to introduce you to our newest MyDealerOnline team member, Julian Aspite. Julian is going to be a senior marketing major at West Virginia University and will be assisting the marketing and sales department for the duration of the summer. Certainly a well-rounded and knowledgeable addition to the team, Julian grew up right in the action of the auction at Aspite Auto Auction, currently owned and operated by his dad, Jerry Aspite Jr., and his uncle, Antonio Aspite. Here's more from Julian himself.   

Pictured Above: MDO team members, Alexander and Andrey, initiating Julian in summertime lunch break exercises

Growing up in the auto auction world was very exciting.  I would go to auctions on Saturdays to watch my Dad and Uncle auction off cars and loved to hear them do their “fast talking.”  Hearing them speak always made me laugh and smile.  Although the auctions were fun, they were also very intimidating.  There would be a lot of people hovering around the lot hollering when they did not get the car they wanted, but I was able to get used to this quickly.  After the auctions, my Dad and I would go back to the office so he could do paperwork.  After he was finished with his work, we would go into the yard and he would drive me around on the forklift, play with dogs, and look at all the cars. Everything was very fascinating to me.

 Pictured Right: Life in the yard at Aspite Auto Auction

Now that I am grown up and working with my Dad and Uncle, the auto auction world I grew up in is very different.  Aspite Auto Auction went from working in trailers on the side of State Road to an office in a building.  They started to get nicer cars in their auctions with clean titles and made a bigger name for themselves. Since I can still remember what the yard looked like and how they ran the auctions many years ago, I am able to fully appreciate the work that my family has put into this business and where they are now.  Each day I work with my family I learn more about the industry and see how they are evolving with the digital era.         

 

Over the past few years, I’ve been working for Aspite Auto Auction when I am home from school.  I saw the company switch from only live auctions to now having live and online auctions.  The way they run their live auctions is different from the way they ran them two years ago and it seems to be changing each month.  They are able to find more efficient ways to run the auctions which benefits everyone that works for Aspite. They now use an online auction platform with an easy to use mobile app, a technology upgrade that has changed business for the better.  We are able to put vehicles online much faster with the app and online auctions run very smoothly.  It has been a great help to the company and I am very excited to see where it takes us in the future. 

Pictured Above: Aspite Auto Auction celebrating their grand re-opening after over 50 years of business

Tricks of the Trade for Improving Inventory Acquisition from Auctions

Auto industry guru, Dale Pollack, recently wrote an article in AutoRemarketing on "four ways to turn auctions cars into advantage" at used-car dealerships. Pollack suggests the following recommendations for dealers to instrumentally source auction cars:

  1. Know exactly what to buy
  2. Know where to buy
  3. Buy at the right price
  4. Do it all faster

Any professional in the pre-owned industry knows that acquiring profitable, quickly-sold inventory requires a lot of skill and a little bit of luck. Unfortunately, predetermining the exact make, model, year, mileage, etc. of car that the next customer who walks onto your lot is going to want is not technically an equation that one can figure out easily beforehand. Honing down on particular skills and taking advantage of certain technologies that provide various inventory sourcing solutions will help dealers learn how to acquire top selling cars from auctions.  

The first strategic alteration to devising a profitable vehicle acquisition strategy is knowing exactly what to buy. Although some dealers may argue that part of the fun of auctions is relying on professional knowledge and taking a bit of a gamble to win a bidding war, why not combine those two thrills with a touch of car-specific precision? As technology continues to connect consumers to a greater selection of vehicles, dealers should also leverage their own technological resources to acquire a varied selection of vehicles to fill their lot.

In a congruent AutoRemarketing article, DealerSocket's, Michael Waterman, mentions that, “As the “traditional” customer continues to evolve and has significantly more choice, it’s critical that managers leverage a fully integrated inventory management platform to ensure that science, rather than anecdotes and gut feeling, is driving their vehicle-acquisition strategy.” There are a plethora of inventory management tools available for dealers, as well as unique inventory providers, such as MyDealerOnline. MyDealerOnline eliminates the guess work for dealers at auctions and allows them to bid on vehicles that customers already intend to buy. With the ability to display thousands of auction vehicles on a dealer's website using MyDealerOnline's platform, customers can actually request to order a car that is not even on the dealer's lot. With customers already requesting particular vehicles at auctions, it is simply the dealers job to go retrieve those vehicles. Dealers know exactly what to buy with MyDealerOnline's technology. 

Knowing where to buy is another key factor to sourcing inventory from auctions. As more and more competition enters the pre-owned sector, particularly with the influx of franchise dealers, independent dealers must acclimate by increasing their sources for inventory. "With increased competition to acquire auction cars, many dealers recognize they need to expand their sourcing efforts beyond the local auction," states Pollack.

Closed auctions make it increasingly difficult for independent dealers to compete with their franchised counterparts. A proactive alternative is resorting to online auctions, where independent
dealers can attend multiple auction lanes remotely. MyDealerOnline provides access to remote auctions straight from the dealer's website. Not only do dealers have access to thousands of offsite auction vehicles, but their customers can also choose from pre-owned vehicles at these remote auction locations.

Source: NIADA Independent Dealership Action Report Fall 2015

 

Another recommendation is using bidding precision and discipline in the lanes to ensure buying at the right price. Even the most competitive bidders need to stick to their maximum bid in order to guarantee a worthwhile profit. "Careful examination of a vehicle's daily profitability is a dealer's secret weapon," claims Waterman. Dealers now have access to tools that calculate each vehicle's profit potential before even making a bid. Imagine collecting a down payment on a vehicle and having a customer decide the maximum price they want you to bid on an auction vehicle?! Make that scenario a reality with MyDealerOnline, where dealers put the buying decision in the consumers' hands. Dealers are able to preset their profit margins and let the customer determine how much they are willing to pay before the vehicle is even purchased. 

The last key to profitable inventory acquisition is doing it all faster. The longer a car collects dust on a dealer's lot, the less potential for a profitable return that car provides. Rather than gathering aging inventory, have a customer lined up on the retail side straight from the wholesale line. MyDealerOnline serves to bridge the gap between wholesale and retail, connecting retail shoppers to wholesale vehicle suppliers. Shortened sale cycles allow more time for selling and less time bidding on the wrong cars. With a few strategy tweaks to inventory acquisition, along with the help of technologies like MyDealerOnline, independent dealers can maximize profits and improve inventory purchases for their dealership's advantage. 

To learn more, visit mydealeronline.com

 

MyDealerOnline Mentioned in TechCrunch as Quality Lead Generator for the Automotive Sector

In a recent TechCrunch article, "The Future of Lead Generation," MyDealerOnline is mentioned as a startup aimed at empowering both consumers and dealers during the car buying and selling process. With MyDealerOnline's technology, consumers are given access to automotive auction inventory, presenting car shoppers with a greater selection of vehicles at the best possible prices. Traditionally, quality auction vehicles are only obtained by licensed car dealers at dealer-only auctions. MyDealerOnline's technology connects consumers to auction inventory by allowing dealers to display thousands of auction vehicles on their websites, growing their online automotive listings and increasing their inventory selection for consumers. 

In an age where companies are paying monthly dues for qualified leads and social "likes" to grow their customer base, powerful lead generation tools are as valuable as they come. Any veteran professional in the automotive  industry knows that letting a lead slip through the cracks could mean missing the sale of a car that has been sitting on their lot far past it's expiration date. With MyDealerOnline's digital communication platform, dealers can interact with eager consumers across the web as they are shopping for their next car. Through MyDealerOnline's lead management system, consumers can request more information about a vehicle, send a message, request a phone and even ask the dealer to place a bid on a car located at an offsite auction. MyDealerOnline's real-time notification system alerts dealers when a consumer is interested in a car on their website, preventing dealers from ever missing a lead inquiry. 

The ability to turn potential customers into lifelong customers comes down to capturing leads when they are looking and where they are looking during their purchasing decision. As highlighted in a previous MyDealerOnline's blog post about the power of lead generation, MyDealerOnline provides an all encompassing solution for dealers to maintain leads and capture customers before the dealer down the street is ever given the opportunity. MyDealerOnline not only provides consumers access to thousands of auction vehicles that are otherwise unattainable to the public, but also provides dealers with a lead generation tool essential for sustainability and growth in today's lead-hungry economy. 

Original article published on LinkedIn by Carly Fitzpatrick 

Independent Dealers Have No Fear, Online Inventory is Here

As more and more franchise dealerships step into the used-car sector, independent used-car dealers are finding themselves with greater competition than ever before. Not only are they competing with the dozens of other independent dealerships within a five mile radius, but also the colossal franchise dealerships with a greater inventory selection and a seemingless endless stream of cash flow.  With 40 million used cars sold in 2015, both franchise and independent dealers are fighting for a piece of the pre-owned industry’s profit. By examining DealerSocket’s Independent Dealership Action Report, we can determine the greatest challenges independent, used-car dealers encountered last year and more importantly, how to solve those challenges.

When asked what was the most important problem plaguing their dealerships in the year 2015, independent dealers responded that their top two greatest challenges included:

1. Inventory Acquisition (31%)

2. Capital to Finance Inventory (21%)

 

Coincidentally, return on investment and revenue growth ranked as the number one goal of independent dealers polled in the report. With inventory and capital proving to be the biggest challenges along with ROI and revenue growth serving as the top priority, it is evident that, “There is a direct correlation between independent dealers’ top challenge — inventory acquisition — and their No. 1 initiative — ROI/revenue growth,” the report notes. “In a circular fashion, acquiring more inventory will increase revenue and cash capital to finance more cars.”

 

The DealerSocket report concludes with suggestions for increasing both inventory and capital as well as advice for growing dealership revenue. 

INCREASING INVENTORY & CAPITAL

  • Expanding inventory search online and attracting individual sellers
  • Understanding car buyers and purchasing inventory based on their needs
  • Utilizing tools like a lender portal to offer more financing options to your customers

GROWING DEALERSHIP REVENUE 

  • Leveraging technology, like CRM, that is cost-effective and yields high returns
  • Improving selling skills, like phone handling, to raise closing rates by source
  • Decreasing spend of traditional advertising 
  • Creating a digital shopping experience that drives consumer engagement 

Looking for a technological tool to reduce your dealership's pain points and increase your dealership's competitiveness? MyDealerOnline offers a unique solution for independent, used-car dealers. With our technology, you can place auction inventory on your website or create your own custom website pre-loaded with auction inventory. Better yet, our services come with a low monthly subscription so you do not even have to finance this inventory to display on your website. Add auction inventory to your online listings, increase your digital presence and provide a greater selection of vehicles with MyDealerOnline's technology. 

Three’s a Party: The Role of Third Party Sites in Automotive Retail

Traditional automotive retail consists of two main players; the dealer and the consumer. Modern automotive retail consists of the dealer, the consumer and every other factor that now influences consumers' car buying decisions. From consumer shopping guides, to dealership reviews, to social recommendations on Facebook, we are given countless resources as consumers to guide our purchasing decisions in today's digitally-connected, review-friendly society. When it comes to third party automotive sites, three’s a party as they offer benefits for both the dealer and the consumer. This blog post explores the impact of third party marketplaces in the automotive retail sector and introduces an innovative solution for remarketing vehicles. 

Trends show that consumer shopping behaviors favor third party sites, utilizing such marketplaces as trustworthy and objective informational resources throughout the decision-making process. In fact, 2 out of 3 new car buyers, and 4 out of 5 used car buyers rely on independent research sites and marketplaces as a key resource in their car buying process.1 "Consumers like to comparison shop, and they want unbiased information that third party sites provide," stated Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com, at the 2015 Automotive News Retail Forum.2 As fragmented as the auto retailing industry is today, independent dealers continue to rely on third party sites to market their inventory. Third party sites allow consumers to view an array of inventory, shop around and find a good deal. Convenience is key for today’s consumer and the convenience of third party sites is rooted in massive amounts of inventory, avenues for comparability and reliable consumer reviews all in one place. 

 

For dealers, third party sites offer marketing opportunities difficult for independent, franchise dealerships to initiate on their own. Third party sites are today’s classified newspapers ads with better results. "Few groups have the size and resources to strike out on their own and create websites sufficient to try to attract all the business they need internally," mentioned John Krafcik, President of TrueCar, Inc.3 Third party sites allow dealers to reach a wider audience, generate leads and advertise their dealership. According to Driving Sales News, 78% of consumers looking for used cars are using a third party site in their search. Out of this 78%, they also state that 60% of the time that consumers spend going through the buying process is spent on a third party site.4 With such a high percentage of lead and sale traffic coming from third-party sites, why wouldn’t every dealer's strategy focus on broadcasting their dealership on these types of marketplaces? 

 

Well for one, third party sites require a quality leads handling process and consistent communication to produce profitable ROI. Let’s face it, marketing inventory on these sites does come with a price and in order to reap the benefits in return, they require a significant amount of management and attention on the back-end. It is important for dealers to remember that many third party sites do not necessarily consider themselves lead providers but rather inventory marketing channels.5  Given the sheer volume of consumers visiting automotive marketplaces on a daily basis, third party sites offer viable avenues for dealers to market their inventory. However, third party sites do not necessarily serve as the lead-generating power tool designed to solve all dealer hardships in automotive retail. In the past few years, AutoNation has placed less emphasis on plugging money into third party site providers and turned its attention towards brand building. "I can pay them to build their brands, or I can build my own brand," referenced AutoNation's CEO, Mike Jackson, noting that the significant fees and subscription costs for online lead generation through third party sites simply wasn't worth the cost.6

 

Given the interesting twist of third party site advantages and disadvantages for dealers, what about a tool that offers consumers a massive selection of inventory AND provides dealers quality, manageable leads through their OWN website? MyDealerOnline's revolutionary software does just that. An auto remarketing tool designed for dealers to offer a greater inventory selection without increasing their upfront capital finance requirements, MyDealerOnline aggregates auto auction inventory and places it on subscribing dealers’ sites for consumer browsing. Car shopping consumers are able to browse this inventory tool and inquire about particular cars straight through MyDealerOnline’s interactive communication platform. Dealers get real-time lead alerts and consumers get fast responses to their inquiries. MyDealerOnline's solution bridges the gap between wholesale and retail, an opportunity not available through third party site providers. To learn more about this unique concept, visit mydealeronline.com for additional information. 

Allow Your Smartphone To Help You Make Smarter Buying Choices

How much do you rely on your smartphone for everyday tasks? It’s impossible to deny how dependent and addicted today’s society is on their cell phones. From communication, to photography, to mapping directions and even shopping, we live in a world that relies on mobile devices. In a study recently conducted by Think With Google, it was discovered that 82% of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store. This is creating smarter buying options by allowing the customer to do research on a product they are interested in order to find the best deal possible. Even by just looking up an item, your smartphone has the capability to remember your search and correlate that search into the paid advertisements that you see on many sites following your search. 

Think back to the last time you were searching for a car to purchase. Whether it was new or used, did you research the car’s ratings, reviews, and prices ahead of time? According to AutoRemarketing,

71% of customers who visit a dealership with a particular car in mind end up purchasing that car.

Meaning that customers are doing their research ahead of time and it is the dealer’s responsibility to live up to those expectations to make the sale. The customer enters the dealership ready to buy, not shop and has already researched options, features and pricing comparisons. The car itself is not only important, but also the experience brought to the customer.

Reliance upon technology is not going anywhere. We rely on it to function and even if we don’t like to admit it, our smartphones are smarter than us. Consumers use their mobile devices to help them make purchasing decisions, so dealers should embrace mobile technologies that could help them make a sale. There are new technologies emerging in the market to assist dealers in staying one step ahead of buyers that are compatible with smartphones and tablets alike to always keep vital information at hand. Nextgear Capital has introduced a mobile application brought to you by Black Book that allows a dealer the opportunity to calculate profit on a used automobile using the VIN number before purchase to ensure that it is a smart buy for their customers. By using this application, dealers can create a greater opportunity for customers to find the right match in their car buying search. But with 71% of customers doing their research ahead of time, dealers need a means to bringing these options to customers in the comfort of their own homes.


MyDealerOnline has built that bridge between used car dealerships and online inventory available to customers. Dealers have the opportunity to post car listings that are available on and off their lots, creating numerous options for customers to choose from. With these mobile and technological tools, you can increase your revenue possibilities and enhance customer satisfaction with a click of a button.

 

Luck of the "On-Demand" Economy

We all know the saying, “the customer is always right,” but how far can that power be stretched? If it were not for the consumer demand for products, businesses could not prosper. However, according to Business Insider, the new “On-Demand Economy” is changing how products and services are being viewed, desired, and purchased. This “On-Demand Economy” can be defined as, “the economic activity created by technology companies that fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services.

By enabling consumers to get what they want, how they want it, and when they want it by a click of a button, industries are growing rapidly by welcoming new companies and showcasing endless categories. It comes to no surprise that the internet has revolutionized nearly every aspect of our lives, but is society adapting at the same speed? Currently, the tech-savvy millennials have taken the lead in introducing these technologies to the public. They have shown the added convenience that technology can bring and the benefits that coincide with it. The more benefits that are presented to consumers, the more accustom they become to these luxuries. As a result, they begin adapting to make this their everyday routine. 

 

"The on-demand economy is definitely the future. It offers consumers what they’ve craved for for many centuries: immediate gratification of every need at the tap of a button." 

 

 

Numerous industries have joined the technology bandwagon, such as reading e-books, online food shopping, and even car buying. Take MyDealerOnline, for example. MyDealerOnline has revolutionized the way a consumer would go about the used car buying process. In the past, you would gather information about the vehicle you are interested in, hunt throughout various dealerships for it, and take a chance that it is the right fit for you. Now, MyDealerOnline allows you to find the perfect car at the right dealership in the comfort of your own home. By adding online inventory to a used car dealership’s website, dealers can satisfy virtually any customer without the restrictions of lot space limitations.

As a final thought, take these questions into consideration:

  • Do you believe technology has entered our society for better or for worse?
  • How has technology positively or negatively impacted your everyday life?
  • The next time you are buying a used car, will you look online to find your perfect match before leaving home?

 

MyDealerOnline: The Revolutionary Inventory Solution and Lead Generation Tool for Used Car Dealerships

MyDealerOnline, a Philadelphia-based automotive technology startup, developed a revolutionary inventory solution and lead generation tool for car dealers to compete in today’s digital age. The online inventory tool aggregates automotive auction vehicles and places those vehicles on used car dealers’ websites as additional online listings for consumer shopping. When consumers are browsing the additional automotive listings on a dealer's site, they can inquire about a particular vehicle through MyDealerOnline’s lead capturing technology.

Through MyDealerOnline’s lead management system, the consumer can request more information about a vehicle, send a message to the dealer, request a phone call from the dealer and even ask the dealer to place a bid on their desired car for purchase.

The dealer is notified of these customer leads in real time by email or an alert via MyDealerOnline’s mobile application, giving dealers the opportunity to capture leads when they are still interested.

In an industry where heavy traffic volumes and high competition can be difficult for one dealership to manage, MyDealeronline provides the simple solution for maintaining leads and capturing customers before the competition. MyDealerOnline not only provides dealers with additional automotive listings to grow their online inventory but also with a lead generation and management tool to maximize their dealership's full potential. 

Could The “Car Salesman” Era Be Over?

When considering characteristics of car salesmen, what do you think of? Would it depend on how quickly you want to take home a car, the type of mood you are in, or simply past experiences? Car Salesmen are aggressive but successful, and also aggravating but consistent. It is because of these characteristics that car sales have been steadily selling in the past years of this industry. Edmunds.com decides to take a look at the profession from the salesman’s perspective rather than the customers.

 

There are two sides to every story. An enthusiastic author was assigned to go undercover as a car salesman to gain a better understanding for how the public reacts while looking for a new car. “Everyone knows that the car salesman or woman is the enemy. He or she is the person we have to do battle with if we want a new car,” he expressed. Much like other aspects in our lives, a majority of customers appreciate conducting research themselves followed by locking in the best possible deal. This brings about a sense of pride in their new purchase. Thanks to ever changing technology, this method is even made possible to the customer from the comfort of their own home.

 

As the author recalls, customers often generated a frightened or angry response to his initial greeting or sales pitch. Those who were frightened had fear of being pressured into buying a car that they are not ready for or is not right for them. Those who delivered an angry response found their hostility from various places, such as not wanting to be bothered. Regardless of their reaction, the fact of the matter is that more and more customers are gearing towards online research over traditional salesmen.


Which method do you believe customers would prefer? Give your customers the option of both by adding MyDealerOnline to your dealership by providing online inventory on and off your lot. By doing this, you are able to sell vehicles before you buy. By bringing option to your lot, you may discover customers aren’t the only ones converting to the technology age.

Tips to Turning Inventory in an Infiltrated Market

1 week, 1 month, 2 months, uh oh, don't say it; 3 months you've had a car sitting unsold on your lot. Once you've hit that three month threshold with a car you thought was going to be the next quick sell, you know it's time to start looking at other options for getting that vehicle off your lot. The unit starts aging, the return on investment begins declining and your stuck with a car that nobody seems to want. 

Trends show that sales in the used-car market have, in fact, increased over the years and will continue to do so with 38.3 million used-vehicle sales industry wide in 2015, the best annual tally in eight years, according to Edmund's 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report. Even so, are used-car dealers turning vehicles quickly enough to reduce profit loss? According to Dale Pollack, founder of vAuto, "The average market days' supply for many dealers’ used vehicle inventories is creeping toward or past 100 days. Typically, this critical metric, which indicates how quickly a dealer’s used vehicles are likely to sell in a local market, hovers near 80 days." So, what's causing cars to sit longer on used car dealers lots? Well, first of all, the supply side is flooded with inventory given the reintroduction of fleet and off-lease vehicles into the market. With a higher supply of inventory, demand lowers, and inventory turn rates decline.

Pollack offers three recommendations for helping dealers increase their inventory turn rates: 

1. Minimize acquisition mistakes- Appraise auction and trade-in vehicles with a clear view of their market potential. Looking for a guaranteed way to reduce acquisition mistakes? MyDealerOnline's auction inventory aggregation tool allows customers to browse off-side auction inventory from your website, where they can express interest and even place a deposit on a car ready for bid or buy at an auction. Imagine going to the auction already knowing which vehicles your customers want buy!? 

2. Match pricing to market conditions- With a high influx of vehicles on the supply side, you must match your inventory with competitive pricing models. With MyDealerOnline, you can set your own profit margins and dealer fees, buy cars at wholesale value and sell them to the eager customer at a reduced retail value because you did not have to finance the vehicle or wait for it to sell on your lot. 

3. Reduce average inventory age- Reduce each vehicles's days to sale in order to increase used vehicle performance and profitability. If you already know which auction vehicles consumers are interested in via MyDealerOnline's lead generation tool, then you have the opportunity purchase and sell a vehicle all in the same day. 

"Sell Before You Buy" can truly become a reality with MyDealerOnline. Turn inventory faster than you can flip a pancake and keep your profit margins high in a supply heavy market.