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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

 

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.