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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development

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Top Ways to Manage Inventory Photos. Stop Wasting Time.

Every day your vehicle goes without a photo online, you could be losing revenue. Getting the photos online, however, is easier said than done. There are several inventory management tools on the market; though, many dealers still do it the old way. That is taking the photos on a camera (or cell phone), loading them to the computer, to then loading them onto the unit. This is a very lengthy and time-consuming process! To avoid the delay, here are some of the top things to consider when loading photos online!

Stop Wasting Time With Manually Loading Photos Online. Time is Money. There is An App For That.

Long gone are the days of taking the photos on a camera to then have to load them onto the computer; to then finally loading it up to the vehicle. One of the most significant disadvantages of doing it this way is that it can be easy to mix up the photos. Wherein, you are not saving the photo on the camera as the stock number. This means that when you are going to load them onto the website, you have to click through each vehicle to then figure out which stock number they belong too. This can easily take five extra minutes. If you have twelve or so vehicles to photo that could be as much as an hour wasted! Instead, many of today's inventory management tools have a photo app. One that enables you to load the stock list. In which case, whoever is taking the photos can click into the app, select the stock number, and load the photos. This can save a lot of time; time that can be used to do other tasks. Such as moving vehicles, or better yet merchandising the inventory!

Have a Process. Consistency is Key for Success.

Have you ever browsed a dealers site and the vehicles all have different sorts of photos or various orders? Best practice would be to have a set process; one where your inventory manager is taking consistent photos. That is ensuring that they photo each angle of the vehicle; and for vehicles with specific features, make sure to capture those add ons, such as Navigation, Back-Up Camera, Sunroof, Spoiler, Rims, etc. Anything that makes the unit stand out. In doing so, it can make it much easier for the customer to see if the vehicle has the features they are hoping for!

Bottom Line: anything your dealer can do to save time, do it! That hour or so a day is five hours a week, which is just three hours shy of an entire day lost to wasted time - time that can be used to merchandise inventory, or moving vehicles!

How do you handle your inventory photos? Do you still have your inventory manager taking photos and loading them to a computer?


Bart Wilson


Thanks for the tips.  How does this change when video is in the mix?  Would it be the same process with extra steps?

John Finucane

Great article! There are a ton of apps that make it easy (SpinCar, HomeNet, vAuto). The act of getting the photos linked up to the correct vehicle(s) is relatively simple. The majority of the work that is involved in getting all the keys etc. is the actual headache in my experience BUT that's what keeps us (CarData, Inc.) in business because Inventory Photography is a lot easier to talk about than to actually execute. I wonder how many dealers still outsource to companies such as ours vs doing it in-house with an "inventory manager" type of position.

Appreciate your article,

John Finucane - CarData, Inc. ( | @cardataus on IG

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