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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development

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Top Reasons to Get Your Photos Online ASAP When in Recon

Every day your used vehicle sits on the side lot your dealer is losing money. It is no secret that the sooner you recon your pre-owned units, the better chances you have in holding higher gross, which means more profit. The problem, however, is that there are many hiccups along the way that can delay your car hitting the lot. Some processes can be implemented to address those concerns, and one of them is getting a few photos online before the vehicle is finished going through the recon process! In doing so, you can start to get traffic on the vehicle, which can help expedite the process. 

Here are a few tips for getting photos online for your recon unit! 

Take The Right Photos: You Do Not Need to Show Every Detail 

While the vehicle is working its way through the recon process, it is best to have the vehicle on your website. In doing so, you can start to get traffic on the unit. However, if you do not have any photos online, then you usually wind up having to interrupt the recon process to get the keys, and take photos. All of which can lead to there being a delay. To avoid this issue, have your inventory manager take a few photos; or better yet - when the vehicle is being traded-in have a process where the sales consultant takes specific photos of the unit. For example, many of today's CRM’s or trade-in tools can attach photos. That said, you can have your sales consultant take a photo of the front of the unit, sides, rear, and depending on the cleanliness of the vehicle a few interior pics to show off some of the features. 

The Photos Should Not Show A Dirty Vehicle

If the vehicle is filthy and otherwise unpresentable, then it is not best to have those photos online. What you can do, though is have the detailer quickly clean off the exterior of the vehicle. This way you can at least get three to five photos for your website. 

If You Have Interest in the Vehicle. Work With Your Sales Manager 

It sounds simple enough, but the hard truth is that when you do have an interest in a vehicle, and it is in the middle of the recon process, it can prove to be a little bit tricky. For example, if you were to get an appointment on the vehicle, and they have to stop the recon process, and the customer does not show, or the vehicle does not sell it has now delayed the unit being completed for another few days. If you do have an appointment on the vehicle, it is best to work with the sales manager and speak with service to make sure the vehicle is ready to go. You can also work with the customer and explain that it is still going through the state inspections. The main thing to consider is communication. The better your communication is internally, the easier it is to manage the recon process. 

Bottom Line: Simply taking a few photos of the vehicle before it goes through the recon process can have a positive impact on your dealership! Imagine being able to sell a few extra units a month because they had photos and were ready to go! 

Do you take photos of trade-in’s and put them on your website before it has gone through the recon process? If so, what results do you see from this?  

Ashley Garrett

This is great if your dealer has a quick turn around time for recon to lot. We take a few preview photos before a vehicle goes through service however we have a slow turn around time and A LOT of wholesale vehicles once they go through service. This creates a lot of interest in vehicles that we cant sell and upset customers. However, if you are quick and not photographing wholesale units then it works well! 

Ted Gaines

We work with our dealership clients to build both initial photography and internet uploads into their reconditioning workflow. The dealer's understanding of customer response times informs the timing of their uploads. Ashley is right in her caution about customer disappointment, but you don't have to wait for the vehicle to be on the front line to share photos. Having visibility into the recon process allows the recon operation to manage delivery expectations, and helps the dealership reduce lag times between prep and promotion.

Chris K Leslie

We've started using a GM soluion through a company called EVN. I like the uniformity of all the new vehicle images now. 

Derrick Woolfson

@Ashley, that was an issue we had too, but then we got creative, and started selling "Yard Sale Specials." These units were otherwise 'wholesale,' and we sold them "AS IS" without a state inspection. For the site, we explained in a video that the vehicle could not be test driven off the dealer lot, and that it had to be inspected. As a courtesy, we always gave the customer what needed to be fixed to pass the state inspection. We ended up making a lot more money this way vs. just selling them to a wholesaler. 

Derrick Woolfson

@Ted, exactly - but if you explain it up-front to the customer than it helps. Also, in many cases, the used car sales manager knew up-front whether or not he was going to wholesale the unit, or retail it. There were few instances that he was on the fence whether to wholesale or retail the vehicle. 

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