Despite this, car trade expert Tony Hinkley has still managed to come up with something new.
Just launched is UKCarexchange, which you may have read about briefly in Car Dealer last month. In a nutshell, this is a price drop auction site for car dealers! We wanted to get the low-down on this unique idea and the idea behind it so caught up with the creators.
Turns out the thinking behind it is one very much rooted in dealers’ needs.
‘Many dealers have cars on their forecourts, for which they will accept less than the sticker price,’ said the firm’s Mark Briggs. ‘This can be through overstocking, getting new cars in, the car coming to the end of its set-time sales period or various other factors.
‘But how to advertise these cars, to either the trade, or the public, or both, without hindering your chances in the open market? That’s where we come in.’ Alongside your regular sales channel, says Briggs, car dealers can now advertise concurrently on UKcarexchange.
‘It’s a new outlet for selling used cars,’ he explains. ‘It’s a good way to get better prices on over-age cars before sending them back to auction.’
There is a crucial trick to this in practice – all adverts are displayed anonymously. Only by reserving and putting a deposit on a car do you find out where it’s from and how you’ll collect it. ‘It means car dealers don’t lose their retail proposition, but are still able to show cars to a wider clientele and maximise their chances.’
It solves the age-old problem of getting widest coverage in as many sales channels as possible, without one method compromising or costing another. Clever stuff. And what’s going to encourage people to put down these deposits? The no-haggle, bargain-led approach of the site! It’s both simple and, once again, ingeniously clever at the same time, and is all centered around the price-drop aspect.
Car dealers advertise cars with two prices – a starting price, and a minimum price. They can also set the amount of time it will be advertised, up to a maximum of 14 days. Then, once it starts, the price of the car will automatically drop at midnight each night, by an amount once again set by the car dealer.
This is really enticing. Potential buyers can find the car they’re looking for – the anonymous aspect means dealers will be encouraged to use it as a matter of course, ensuring a healthy choice of cars – and already note that it’s a competitive price. Then, it becomes a battle of wills: do they buy it then, or wait another day for the price to drop… taking the risk of someone else snapping it up?
‘They know right away how much they’ve got to pay,’ Briggs told us. ‘Then, they just need to keep going back! This brings an element of fun into things, spicing up the car buying process while also saving money.’
It’s really engaging and will bring interest to the online car auction sector, promises Briggs. ‘It’s the ideal home for, say, stock you need to shift fast, or older part-exchanges you may not normally advertise on your site.
‘If the prices keep dropping, people will buy – particularly as it’s a no-haggle, no-negotiation deal. Prices will automatically be sharp, which should encourage people to click the Reserve Now button and start the sales process.’
Car dealers are further encouraged to use the site as a matter of course by the pricing structure. ‘It’s free to list cars: basically, we’ll only charge if we sell the car for you. What’s more, if it sells elsewhere while it’s on display on our site, you can de-list it and not pay a penny, either.’
It’s up live and running now, with Briggs saying initial interest has already been impressive. And this is just the start. He assures us there ‘are many new features coming in the next few months. We wanted to get the site up and running, so people could begin using it and get familiar with it’.
He adds: ‘We’ll then start progressively rolling out the new tricks and gadgets, that will make it even easier to sell cars and make money while doing so.’
It could be worthwhile dropping in to the new car price drop auction service now…
For more log on to UKcarexchange.com or call 0845 519 1499