What Dealer Management Cares About in Used Car Listings and Other Remarketing Issues

Spe­cial thanks to Used Car Mar­ket Reports read­ers who recent­ly took our sur­vey. The sur­vey results shed light on high pri­or­i­ty remar­ket­ing man­age­ment issues for deal­ers. It also digs into how deal­er staff are see­ing used car list­ing sources – which has become a grow­ing source of cus­tomers for deal­ers, and can also be a chal­leng­ing sales chan­nel for deal­ers to man­age.

How famil­iar are deal­ers with lead­ing used car list­ing sources? Very famil­iar and aware; as far as the rank­ings go, they were most famil­iar with used car list­ing source providers in the fol­low­ing order: Auto­Trad­er, Cars.com, Car­fax, and Kel­ley Blue Book.

The open-end com­ments on used car list­ing sources by deal­er man­age­ment were very insight­ful to read. Most of the sur­vey respon­dents were in three deal­er man­age­ment cat­e­gories: own­er, prin­ci­pal, pres­i­dent, or chief exec­u­tive; used vehicle/CPO man­ag­er; and gen­er­al man­ag­er. If these deal­er man­age­ment com­ments were to be orga­nized by top­ic cat­e­gories, they would fall in this order (in terms of how many com­ments were made on each top­ic):

What Deal­ers Care About in Man­ag­ing Used Car List­ing Sources

Per­for­mance: expo­sure, lead gen­er­a­tion, con­sis­tent and track­able traf­fic
Pric­ing: com­pet­i­tive pric­ing right for that mar­ket area, best for mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion
Ease of Use: easy to nav­i­gate and read for the end-user
Val­u­a­tion: cur­rent vehi­cle val­ue infor­ma­tion for users
Con­di­tion: accu­rate con­di­tion reports and vehi­cle pho­tos
Trans­paren­cy: hon­est report­ing the cus­tomers can trust
Vehi­cle List­ings: rea­son­able car list­ing fees, and real­is­tic vehi­cle list­ings

As for the chal­lenges of work­ing with used car list­ing sources, deal­er staff sub­mit­ted a wide range of con­cerns. One of those con­cerns is that the price of the used car is over-empha­sized to con­sumers. That doesn’t com­mu­ni­cate the oth­er fea­tures and dis­tinc­tions of the car such as its col­or, equip­ment con­di­tion, mpg, and oth­er fac­tors. Fees that are being charged by providers is anoth­er sig­nif­i­cant con­cern; deal­ers under­stand that used car list­ing sources have become a grow­ing and increas­ing­ly impor­tant chan­nel for remar­ket­ing, but the prof­it mar­gin on these trans­ac­tions need to make it worth­while.

For those read­ing Used Car Mar­ket Reports, here are the most impor­tant issues, by order of impor­tance, that they want to see cov­ered in the newslet­ter:

Rank­ings of the most impor­tant remar­ket­ing issues

Rank­ing num­ber:
1. Used vehi­cle val­ue trends
2. Vehi­cle con­di­tion reports
3. Trade-ins
4. Used inven­to­ry man­age­ment resources
5. Sup­ply vol­umes from off-lease, off-rental, and oth­er sources

On the whole­sale used vehi­cle mar­ket side, the top four most impor­tant issues are: whole­sale pric­ing trends; online auc­tions and video­casts; and “Recon­di­tion­ing” tied with “Vehi­cle inven­to­ry man­age­ment.” On the retail used vehi­cle mar­ket side of the busi­ness, the top three top­ics are: retail vol­ume and pric­ing trends; used car list­ings; and vehi­cle his­to­ry reports.

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