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I often speak to groups about the importance of owning the merchandising process. It amazes me that in this increasingly competitive environment, dealers still feel they cannot take their own pictures, write descriptions, and properly list all non-standard options and features. Why are so many determined to drag their feet to change?
I think we can all agree that the primary function in your dealership is still the acquisition and disposition of inventory. You must master this process. Can you imagine a manager of a Neiman Marcus waiting for days for some outside individual to show up to re-fold the sweaters and hang the sale tags? Really? Of course not, they will delegate this critical function to internal staff. Merchandising for them is everything – why isn’t it for you?
Our most successful dealers embrace the "do-it-yourself process". They know the importance of quality photography, time to market, great pricing and more. They monitor their inventory health daily and embrace good merchandising technology and process.
Some of you are still not with me. You say it’s too hard. You can’t manage your staff. Your staff is too lazy, etc… Let’s simply look at the true cost of using an outside firm. Here are the results of an internal study performed by staff at eCarList on the TRUE cost of outsourcing. Could a negative affect on your bottom line change your mind?
We looked at 20 dealerships with similar sized/style inventory. All dealerships use eCarList for inventory management, syndication, and websites. 10 take photos in-house and manage the merchandising process internally. The other 10 use a myriad of “lot service” companies. We monitored photography, time to market, and sales turn for each dealership over 90 days. Here is what we found:
In-House Merchandising on average:
On average, the “do-it-yourselfers” will make an additional $288,000 per year. What does another "porter" cost to employ? Do the math and get on board. Can you really afford not to?