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Prices for used cars have hit record highs recently and in the next few months, are expected to climb even higher (NADA: Trade-In Values for Used Cars Expected to Rise in June). Auctions are one source where auto dealers can find used vehicles to fill the lots, but an even better source is your own customer base. Why compete with other dealers by placing bids, when you can mine your dealership management system (DMS) for customers who may be ready to trade-in for a new, fuel-efficient vehicle?
One recommendation is to search your database for customers who purchased new cars three to five years ago—in particular, larger vehicles such as SUVs. Call them and let them know their used vehicle is in demand and offer them a free appraisal for a trade-in. If you can get it at the right price, you can make profit on both the trade-in and re-selling the customer’s old vehicle.
Dealers and salespeople, have you tried any promotions to get more used inventory on the lot? What has worked (or not) for you?