What’s the ratio of customers who arrive on your lot open to buying used vehicles versus the only-new buyers? Probably a fraction of the amount that come looking to buy new. Of course, your profit margin is usually way higher on new vehicles, but there are many more reasons to turn folks down your Used Car Lane. We’ll get to those nuggets of inspiration, but first, here’s a list of other things that you just can’t beat buying used.
When singer Beck mumbles, “Where it’s at?,” the response isn’t “I’ve got two MP3 players and a microphone.” It’s “two turntables,” and Beck and every EDM DJ in the world won’t stop spinning records just because they’re almost entirely gone from the scene. Digital downloads may have killed the record star, but you can still find these bastions of vinyl. Check around college campuses (if you’re near Santa Rosa Junior College in Sonoma County, California, The Last Record Store should be a stop on your tour), urban-hipster areas, and more. What can you do there you can’t do on iTunes? How about flip through actual sleeves with gorgeous cover artwork, make stacks in your arms, and discover works from people long gone from the scene?
Ahhh, everything old is new again. We’ve already seen things like flared pants, neon, and fringe vests come and go for a second tour. While you can probably purchase a brand new, mass-produced-in-a-sweatshop version from any store in the mall, if you want something authentic, you’ve got to go used. Or as some stores say, vintage. It can revamp your entire look – or look for a day. The best thing is, used clothes run the gamut of all budgets. In charity shops like the Salvation Army, you can fill a paper sack with new looks for an entire week and spend about a dollar.
Quick, close your eyes and picture the term “Fixer Upper.” Did your heart just start to race at the fact that you’ve now got a reason for multiple trips to Home Depot, new tools, and getting your hands dirty? Or did you have a panic attack along the lines of the movie “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long? Used homes are not always money pits. In many cases, their owners are so desperate to sell that they’ve invested an immense amount of money to increase the home’s value, including fresh paint, updated appliances, new windows, and professionally cleaned carpets. And you’re much more likely to be able to bargain on a used home.
Peanut the Elephant is a Beanie Baby, and at one time, caused so much panic and disorder that people were breaking into malls to get the fist-sized blue beanbag. Oh, and paying around $5,000 for it too. So $5,000 for a small stuffed animal isn’t so great, but the thrill of the hunt is pretty nice. Becoming a bounty hunter for something you collect, whether it is baseball cards, original verified chunks from the Berlin Wall, or Hello Kitty paraphernalia, makes the chase fun. After all, there’s always the thrill of finding something that you know is a diamond in the rough, but the seller thinks is just an old clam.
Which leads us to cars. Even if you don’t want to memorize statistics, there are some good things to know. The Bankrate website notes that a new car can depreciate up to 30% in the very first year it’s driven off the lot. You can also let your customers know that they’ll almost definitely pay less in insurance on a used car, since insurance is valuated at the worth of the car, as is the registration cost. When you factor in all of the hefty research and stats available on used vehicles through options such as Carfax reports, customers should have lots of peace of mind.
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