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Gary Sanders

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True Marketing Time

Recently with the help of DrivingSales.com, we conducted a survey to better understand the timing of a used car process and determine Prime Marketing Time and Total Marketing Time.

Searching any dealer’s inventory at any given point, we can find “Newly Listed” cars on AutoTrader, Cars.com or a dealer’s site that is without photos or custom comments. The survey had five questions to review the used car process from service, detail, photos to live.

The questions were not designed to argue if a car should be place online right away with or without photos, but to determine how much "online" marketing time that could be considered as wasted. As we read through the results, please keep in mind we asked about averages.

 

  • Total Marketing Time is defined as when a Used Car is through the entire process, with live photos online minus a dealers Day In Stock policy.

 

  • Prime Marketing Time is defined as when a Used Car is through the entire process, with live photos online minus the average days it takes a dealer to sell a Used Car.

 

Data Collection

Using surveymonkey.com, we create a quick free version survey that was launched as a blog post on DrivingSales.com by Gary Sanders with the help from Bart Wilson. We also pushed it out to Twitter with RT’s from Ed Brooks @velocitysales, @CobaltMarketing, Gary May @imacsweb and Brian Pasch @automotiveseo and Paul Potratz (@POTRAZ) to name a few. This allowed us to spread the word and start collecting results.

Review of Survey

The follow questions in the survey totaled over 80 responses.

1. On AVERAGE, how long after the Used Car is placed in inventory (day one) does it take to complete your Used Car Inspection?  (Used Car Inspection can include the used car Repair Order, Certified and safety check, repair or replace worn parts, tires, brakes, etc…..)

 Analysis

These answers are right in line. Dealers are aware on the importance of getting fresh inventory through the shop with 90.3% of the dealer’s surveyed get a used car through the shop less than 6 days. 74.4% dealers are able to do it in less than 4 days

2. On AVERAGE, after the completion of the Used Car Inspection, how many days does it take to complete the Interior/Exterior Detail? (This can include dent repair and touch up)

Analysis

These results show most dealers moving the used car inventory through the process and get in to the front line as quick as possible. 76 or 92.7% of the dealers surveyed get a used car detailed in less than 4 days with most done in 1-2 days.

3. On AVERAGE, after the completion of the Interior/Exterior Detail, how many days does it take to upload Photos? (Taking live photos and replacing factory default photos online)

Analysis

Photos are an important part in your cars being displayed online. Along with compelling comments, photos tell the story give your customers shopping online the information about the car.

4. What is your AVERAGE Days In Stock of your Retail Used Car Inventory from when the vehicle is TRADED IN (day one) to when it is SOLD?

 

                          Response Count                            Response %

 

7-10 Days

3

3.7%

11-12 Days

2

2.4%

12-13 Days

2

2.4%

14-15 Days

3

3.7%

16-17 Days

0

0%

18-19 Days

3

3.7%

20-21 Days

8

9.8%

22-23 Days

8

9.8%

24-25 Days

3

3.7%

26-27 Days

3

3.7%

28-29 Days

5

6.1%

30-31 Days

13

15.9%

32-33 Days

3

3.7%

34-35 Days

5

6.1%

36-37 Days

2

2.4%

38-39 Days

7

8.5%

40+ Days

15

18.3%

 

 

5. What is your “Day In Stock Policy”? (when a Used Car must be wholesale if it does not sale retail)

 

 

                                                Response Count                       Response %

 

30 Days

6

7.3%

45 Days

7

8.5%

60 Days

24

29.3%

70 Days

2

2.4

80 Days

1

1.2%

90 Days

21

25.6%

90+ Days

22

26.8%

 

 

 

Using a 60 Day Turn Example

 

If a dealer has a 60 day turn and using the average responses, marketing time could look like this:

 

  • 3 - 4 days in service
  • 1 - 4 days in detail
  • 1 - 2 days of photos

 

It could be viewed a dealer has 50 - 55 days of Total Market Time.

If it takes an average of 30 - 31 days to take SELL at retail unit, this dealer has 20 – 24 days of Prime Marketing Time.

 

What we would like to hear from the DrivingSales.com community is additional analysis of the questions. As a dealer, did you have trouble areas of getting you cars through the process? What adjustments were made?

 

  • Do you monitor your cars each step?
  • Did you see a change if you made adjustments to your comments?
  • Did you add photos?
  • Did you make a change to the layout of your photos?
  • Do you place you cars online with out photos or wait for the photos?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bart Wilson
I was actually surprised with the recon time here. It isn't taking much time to get vehicles on the lot. The questions arise when you look at the average days in stock. 7-10 days average? Thats crazy. How are they doing that?

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