IF you’re knowingly undervaluing a customer’s part-exchange, you’re losing out.
Glass’s says word-of-mouth reports about silly offers on part-exes are hitting car dealers hard.
Some are even said to be offering below-scrap prices for perfectly decent, but old, cars. Such shortsightedness is leading some people to be venomous in their portrayal of dealers – adding the spread of negativity to the loss of a sale.
‘When it comes to valuing an older part-exchange vehicle,’ says Glass’s older car editor, John Glynn, ‘dealers should remember that many people are often emotionally attached to their cars.’
‘Undermining this attachment by making what could be seen as a derisory offer may well lead to a lack of business in future – word spreads fast among prospective buyers who feel they have been ‘ripped off’ by the motor trade.’
So what can be done, when things are hard, and the bottom line is all? ‘Do a bit of desk research – scan Auto Trader or eBay, for example – or make a call to an older car buyer or scrap merchant,’ says Glynn.
‘This would not only provide useful information on a vehicle’s value, but also demonstrate to the customer that the dealer is making reasonable efforts to arrive at a price which approaches the customer’s expectations.’
Now, more than ever, dealers should stretch themselves for their customers.
‘Referrals are the key to maintaining sales momentum in the midst of an economic downturn, so dealers should be treating customers properly. There are still businesses making good money from selling cars, and they achieve this by doing their homework on valuations, rather than assuming an incoming car is worthless.’
‘Others, meanwhile, seem prepared to jeopardise their future earnings, leaving prospective customers – and their associates – to do business elsewhere.’