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JT Ripton

JT Ripton Business Consultant

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5 Tips For Selling Cars To Online Remote Buyers

Today’s car dealerships can take their sales beyond the showroom and retail to buyers across the globe. Buying products online is now part of everyday life for customers, even those as large as cars, and research indicates that around 5 percent of all cars will be sold online by 2020.

Dealerships selling rare or high-end vehicles will reach more interested buyers online than in your local area, and if your business is planning to target remote buyers online, how can you improve your chances of securing sales?


Take More Pictures than You Think You May Need

Your customer is prepared to spend thousands of dollars on a car they have yet to see in person, have yet to sit in, have yet to even touch. It requires a lot of trust on their part, and securing that is vital.

The fewer pictures you have, the more difficult it will be for customers to trust you. Take more photographs than you think you actually need – buyers may want to see under the seats, inside the glove box, and close-ups of every window.

Snap pictures of the car inch by inch. Get under the hood, get in the trunk, get as much of it onto your website as you can. Use a high-quality camera, and ensure the lighting allows you to capture the car’s true color and finish. Don’t simply grab a couple of fuzzy images on your phone as the sun’s going down.


Offer Live Video Tours of the Vehicle

Live video streaming makes a terrific complement to your photos. Rather than a pre-recorded video, live video is interactive: you can answer questions from your potential buyer, and show them any part of the vehicle they want to see, all in real-time.

This is your opportunity to show the car off in its full glory, drawing attention to its strongest features and its design. Live video is especially beneficial when selling rare or high-end vehicles, as buyers are likely to want more detail before committing to high prices. They may want to hear the engine purr or get a close-up inspection under the hood.

Using a quality video streaming service is key, though, particularly when chatting to customers in distant countries with weaker connections. Your buyer will only become frustrated if your video lags, cuts out, or loses sound, and the visual quality should be crisp enough for them to see their potential purchase in great detail.

Never Underestimate the Power of Long-Distance Engagement

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking an online sale isn’t quite a ‘real’ sale. Just because you’re dealing with a customer half the world away doesn’t mean you shouldn’t approach this sale as you would others.

There’s no real difference between trying to engage your buyer online and in the flesh. You may be relying on the power of the written word, photos, and videos (we’ll get to this later) to capture consumers’ attention, but you should still employ the same techniques you’re familiar with.

Make the customer see how perfect the car is for their personal needs. If it’s a vintage car that every collector wants, focus on the unique touches, the thrill of driving it, the possibilities the buyer has ahead of them. The customer has to feel as if they’re standing in the showroom with you, as if they could reach out and touch this mouth-watering vehicle.


Be as Responsive as Possible

Customers buying cars online are willing to spend a lot of money on a product bought sign-unseen. You’re expecting them to believe in your dealership’s reliability and reputaton, so the least you can do is be responsive.

If they ask a question via email or text message, answer it as soon as you can, as effectively as you can. If they want to arrange a live video call for a closer look at the car, be willing to oblige. This goes back to our former point about the power of long-distance engagement: if you make customers visiting your dealership feel as if you would move mountains to satisfy them, keep this in mind when selling online.

Don’t become complacent because you have a vehicle the buyer really wants, even if it is rare: they may be unwilling to put up with poor response times or rude service regardless of how difficult it may be to find the same vehicle elsewhere.


Compose an Irresistible Description

Your description of the vehicle is just as vital as the pictures and live video tours. Along with your headline, this is the first chance you’ll have to capture the buyer’s attention and pull them in.

Study the type of language other successful sellers of high-end or luxury products use: your goal is to make the car appear absolutely irresistible, as if clicking away from it is simply out of the question.

The things that excite you about the vehicle are likely to be the same ones that attract the customer. What are they? How do they improve the sensation of driving it? What makes the design so different to mainstream vehicles, and why should it be in the customer’s collection?

Even when selling standard cars online, talk about how the vehicle will improve the driver’s life and offer a better experience than their current one. A lazy, vague description could mean all the difference between landing a sale and missing it altogether.


Selling cars to remote buyers online enables you to reach a more diverse demographic and target those people more likely to buy specific ‘niche’ vehicles. Have you considered integrating online sales into your dealership’s range of services?  


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