The cheapest cars can slip through the net

In today’s market car dealers marketing output will almost certainly concentrate on internet advertising, with images and detailed descriptions second only to ensuring the stock is correctly price pointed.

As measuring the data becomes more scientific, car dealers are increasingly finding themselves able to be more specific in targeting the needs of their potential buyers.
Interestingly in the battle for pricing supremacy the field of operations for used cars is becoming a little blurred.

One sales manager we spoke to recently discovered that because of the way customers are asked to build their search criteria when looking for a suitable used car online, they will often concentrate on inputting pricing bands which streamline their search. The relative inflexibility of this approach means that if a car falls below that of the criteria entered in terms of price it will obviously be omitted by the database.

These cars, believe it or not, end up not getting enough visits because they are too cheap!

The incongruity is that dealers are not necessarily pricing their stock in a more individual way and are using a one size fits all approach. This may mean car dealers potentially missing out on opportunities and customers missing out on buying the cars they actually want.

This particular sales manager has now decided to take a much more balanced approach to pricing his stock and whilst understanding that pricing the car competitively (well duh!) is essential there still needs some flexibility in looking at how that price sits in the wider market, and it is not always cheapest that’s best.

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2 Responses to The cheapest cars can slip through the net

  1. Mark Robbins June 11, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    An interesting view but we find that many of the prime sites such as Auto Trader or Ebay allow the consumer to list as “lowest price first” and not a specific price bracket, therefore the cheapest always come up first. Our experience is that 99% of our internet customers are interested in the cheapest price possible, our stratergy is to have cars as good in every way, ( spec, mileage, colour etc ) as the more expensive ones but at the cheaper price, it can be achieved relatively easily but of course profits are smaller and it involves alot of hard work, particually buying the stock, then again the “Tesco” approach seems to work, smaller profits, but higher turnover, works for us, we have never been busier!

  2. admin June 11, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    I think the problem arisies when the car buyer punches in their initial criteria as in price range (min and max price). Sure the results can be ordered by price, with the lowest first but it will only display cars that fit the original criteria.

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