People need cars. Your dealership doesn’t have them.
What do you do?
New cars aren’t an option when it comes to increasing dealership inventory. Dealers are entirely at the mercy of the OEMs, and the timeline to customer delivery for some popular models is six months to a year.
Naturally, dealers need to do whatever they can to keep sales moving. One solution is to bring in used inventory. But used cars and trucks can be hard to come by as well. If you’re strategic, there are ways to get more used cars in your dealership than your competition.
How To Get More Used Inventory at Your Dealership
While it may not be the same as getting a full truck delivery of new vehicles, stocking your dealership with used cars and trucks right now can help you fulfill the demand in the market. If you establish yourself as having vehicles people want to buy, you will set yourself up to be the go-to dealer once the inventory crisis passes.
Here are some strategies you can utilize to acquire inventory now.
Be Active at Auction
While you may be accustomed to the old days of sending your trade vehicles to auction, times have certainly changed. You’ll need to send a rep to the auction as a buyer. The same goes for virtual at online auctions.
With this idea, you won’t be the only dealer, so be prepared to pay up if you want the hottest models. One strategy is to look for vehicles with minor flaws that drive other dealers away but can be fixed up fairly quickly by your maintenance team. Examples could be a cracked windshield, paint scratches, hanging muffler, or anything that makes a vehicle unappealing to the eye. Often, you can swoop in, make some minor fixes, and profit nicely.
Overall, being at the auction will give you a good feel for the value of used vehicles up to the day. In this way, you’ll be competitive in evaluating and acquiring trade vehicles.
Approach Service Customers
While new car sales are down due to inventory, vehicles are still on the road and need maintenance. Approaching customers in the service bays and offering to buy their car for a solid price is a good strategy. While the customer may not want to replace their vehicle, a cash offer on the spot is always considered.
You may also run across an individual who has a second car that they may not need or someone interested in the rising price of their vehicle. Your dealership might have even called and offered to repurchase the vehicle if they purchased from you (another strategy). But nothing hits home as quickly as a cash offer in person.
Build a Car Buying Site
This one is an idea that not many dealers are doing, which makes the opportunity great. If you want to get more used inventory, advertise your dealership as a car-buying location with its own site. In this way, you can build a unique site from an organic search standpoint to show up for individuals looking to sell their vehicles. You can also sink some budget into paid search to attract visitors to the site.
Many people know that their current vehicle is worth money – sometimes more than what they owe. They are capitalizing on this opportunity, which has increased volume for terms such as “cash for my car” or “top price for my car.” They will often put the individual make and model in the keywords in addition to their location or “near me.”
Some dealers have taken this market opportunity to the next level and built an entirely separate brick-and-mortar location that just buys used cars from consumers. The Car Depot in Birmingham, AL is an excellent example of doing a car buying site the right way – and they have a physical location as well.
Continue to Create New Car Content
While this is outside of the tips to increase used inventory at your dealership, it’s important to note. While new inventory is scant, it’s essential to continue your new car marketing – at least from an organic standpoint. If you are making your dealership’s site an authority on the new models coming out, you will continue to build your brand and be the go-to dealership that customers want to come back to once inventory starts to free up.
In addition, your domain authority will continue to be essential to be found in organic search and attract customers to your site for used inventory – whether to buy or sell.
If you are interested in content marketing and SEO to build up your authority in the used car space, we can help. We can also build a used car buying site with custom form functionality if you are interested in taking your dealership’s car-buying strategy to the next level.