[podcast flashvars=”transparentpagebg: ‘yes’, titles: ‘Competitive Pricing'”]http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/julydapodcast1.mp3[/podcast]
With online automotive advertising, the road to a quick sale begins with a competitive price. Car buyers typically tell us that they look past the vehicles at either the low or the high end of the spectrum, focusing instead on the middle. Why? Many shoppers believe the cheapest vehicle will have problems that require costly repair, while the most expensive suggests they won’t get a good deal.
A competitive price also profits you, minimizing your days to turn and helping you to hold gross. In fact, your price may be $500 higher than a similar model at another store but still be “competitive” if your car includes a free CARFAX vehicle history report validating the vehicle’s excellent condition and one-owner status. Be sure to note such benefits in your sell copy so prospects understand the value they get by buying from you.
Of course, what is a competitive price varies with the vehicle, market and time of year – and how long the vehicle has been in inventory. Successful dealers continually monitor their listings, sizing up local supply and demand and tracking the competition. They use this information to adjust their prices on an ongoing basis. The arrival of summer, for example, means the convertible that languished over the winter now commands a few dollars more. Similarly, a full-size SUV will merit a few dollars less if fuel prices spike.
If you need advice on setting competitive pricing for your inventory, professional guidance is readily available. You don’t have to rely on a lucky guess or your used-car sales manager’s instincts. Through MyDealerCenter and its free Online Ad Reports, Cars.com equips our dealer customers with market-based intelligence to assist with this critical process. Companies such as FirstLook and vAuto similarly offer tools to ensure your pricing is in line.
Resist the temptation to entice car buyers with a misleading price. Some prospects may appreciate a bottom-line, out-the-door price that assumes a predetermined down payment or vehicle trade-in, but most people will move on to the next listing when they read the “fine print.” They’re also likely to cry foul when they learn the full story. How will you undo the damage to your reputation?
Remember that car buyers shop online because of the convenience and the transparency they can find nowhere else. A competitive price both demonstrates your readiness to do business and gives consumers confidence that they’ve come to the right place.