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MyDealerOnline

"Sell Before You Buy"

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 

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. 

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. 

Digital Shifts in the Automotive Industry

The traditional trends so common throughout the existence of the auto industry are slowly but surely making that big leap towards all things digital. The digital shift of the auto industry has been a tad slower than other industries but are highly visible online, with automotive marketplaces infiltrating the internet and other technologies that require minimal dealer to customer interaction. One cannot pretend these that opportunities do not entice eager car shopping consumers, so dealers must find a way to embrace the shift rather than fight it. Decisions to list inventory online and embrace eCommerce are only the beginning, as there are now additional professional service aspects to offer customers. Take AutoPoint, for example, a technological automotive marketing tool with a new software, WelcomePointfor dealerships to utilize to increase customer satisfaction.

 

WelcomePoint is a virtual greeting center for car dealerships to use throughout their business hours to maintain heavy traffic. This software can be embedded into devices such as computers or tablets and allows the dealer to have an up-to-date overview of sign-ins, appointments for individual
employees, and service histories for specific vehicles. Customers will also have the opportunity to
customize their search for a car by notifying a dealer in advance about specific details or features they are looking for. According to
AutoRemarketing, this software will enhance the car buying experience for customers and allow dealerships to run a more professional and organized business.

 

Any auto industry professional can tell you that customer satisfaction is a number one priority in the business. From services to products to feature add-ons, dealers will jump through hoops to have a happy customer drive off in their lot in the perfect car of choice. Services like WelcomePoint and products like MyDealerOnline are just two examples of how the industry is shifting to embrace all things digital. So don’t get left in the dark, learn how MyDealerOnline can revolutionize your used car dealership today!