ONE PRICE: Pro or Con?

Russ Chandler
Negatives: I find it hard to believe a dealer would truly commit to this concept. Even if you advertise one price, if you have someone come in and offer slightly under, your sales reps and managers are going to give a lot of push back to accept the offer. If you they do, is it really one price? Does it count if you advertise one price but make an exception? There is still going to be the negotiation of the trade and financing. Also, it would make putting on sales and special offers a little less exciting being you wouldn't be able to leverage any typical "Big Number" type offers. Positives: On the flip side it would allow you to price everything aggressively up front, not having to compensate for room to negotiate. If you are a heavy digital dealer(and if your not you should be) this strategy should result in a higher production of analytics on 3rd party classified sights like Cars.com or AutoTrader. You may also see a positive response from your market much like you would with a "No Commission Sales" claim some dealers make about their reps. Even when you don't advertise a one-price concept I think we've all had that customer that makes it a point to only give you one chance with a price. They do it more likely to be a prick than to avoid negotiating but still, there surely are those that would just rather not negotiate.
Ron Henson
Good points Russ. I ran a One Price store for years and yes, I let people walk over floor mats. Integrity is the key. As soon as you move for one customer, the concept is out the window.
Dennis Galbraith
Over time, I think more and more stores will move to one price. Because of transparency, there is less and less to negotiate about on the front end. Russ is right, there is still going to be some negotiating on the trade and F&I. It is also the case that one price does not mean the job is any easier for the salesperson. They need to demonstrate value, the benefits divided by the price. One big pro is that a fixed price forces the salesperson to focus on demonstrating the benefits of the vehicle as they relate the shoppers needs.
Brian Pasch
The Morrie's Automotive Group in Minnesota does a great job marketing their brand message which centers around their one-price experience. Discipline is one the foundations for one price stores; you have to train everyone to stay on script. Working with their stores was a change for me because all "traditional" advertising approaches don't apply. Digital marketing strategies that use the "sale" or "discount" message can't be used. So it was an education for me but when you have the right message, the right discipline, and the right training in place, one price works.
Russ Chandler
Thanks for the input Brian. Proof that it can be done and with success is nice to have in this conversation. I'm curious, since it did work in Morrie's case, do you think it works BETTER than the traditional type message and marketing(Discount/Sale)? Was their a difference in performance from the staff? One might think the service provided to customers would increase with the focus not being on negotiating the price. For a dealer that isn't currently taking that approach it would an option if the idea was it would work better than the traditional option. Otherwise why go through the trouble of training and transitioning everyone to a one-price method in your dealership?
Matt Danskin
I have worked in a "fake" one price dealership. We would tell everyone that our price was "No Haggle". If it came down to it, we would drop the price but it was usually in the form of over allowing or claiming that the financing terms had been better secured. Our prices were very aggressive and got us tons of leads on autotrader, cars and cargurus. We avoided negotiations as often as possible but got people in with low upfront prices. It agree that the industry will move increasingly to a one price model as those who inflate their price thousands don't get a chance to talk to the customer most times.

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