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Jared Hamilton
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VJ VJ eCommerce Director

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The Secret Recipe for Future Used Car Sales Success

 Chapter V of "Diaries of an e-Commerce Director...

Hello, VJ here with another “Old-Time German” recipe for used car sales success. The simple recipe I’m about to share with you worked so well for my dealership that we indeed made it to the #1 used car selling franchise in the state, ranking as #2 for monthly CPO sales in the Nation. On average 50% of  my spotlighted cars were sold in the first 7 days my campaign, and at the end of the 14-day cycle we could report 80% used cars sold through our spotlight ad specials.

How did I do it? Let’s start with a familiar refrain we’ve all heard many times: “Just put the oldest units into the used car specials.” “Apply the Autotrader spotlight ads onto inventory older than 60 days.” Sound familiar? We’ve all heard this type of instruction for our Used Car Manager. The question is; does it work?

Allow me a prediction. Your answer is something along the lines of “nada,” “zip”, or “zilch.”

Am I right?

I am? Well then, it’s time for the @VJnator (follow me on Twitter) to share his secret recipe for looking like a hero in the eyes of your Used Car Manager and the rest of the crew.

When it comes to selling cars, the concept that “oldest units go first” is a myth. The reality is; the most-searched vehicles sell first. So the secret is to find out exactly what those most-searched vehicles are. The process varies by back-end tool, but the recipe usually looks something like this:

Login->>Reports->>Vehicle->>Detail Vehicles Page Views.


Here lies the secret of your future Used Car sales success. Whatever vehicles you see displayed in the first 20 positions is telling you “Please, expose me – NOW!” Once you’ve determined which vehicles are getting the most page views, you have a surefire recipe for best-selling spotlight ads.

Now, all you have to do is go through and update your ads with these most-viewed vehicles. In my case I had at least 15 cars in my spotlight ads, updating about twice a month.

Need more Pepper?

To spice up the “VJnator’s” recipe, I also worked with my website provider to synch my third-party ad vehicle specials with my website used car specials – rotating the entire special twice a month to accommodate the most popular vehicle searches- whatever was “hot and ready” right then.

Last but not least, make sure that you have optimized content written about your used vehicles to increase search traffic, And before I forget…do not just show your franchise make and models in your spotlight ads and used car specials. Show the off-brands as well. For example, if you sell VW’s but have an Infiniti showing high numbers on the “Detail Vehicles Page Views” of the Inventory – SHOW IT in these spotlights and used car special page!

Try this recipe and please let me know how it has worked for you. I am confident you’ll see an increase in your numbers and a quick turn-around.

Happy Selling!

Bryan Armstrong
Good stuff as usual VJ!
Ken Gibson
Good specifics, VJ. Question: have you analyzed the use of video combined with the spotlight ads ? KG
Thank you Gentlemen...! Ken, it was on my radar but I did not implement it knowing that I will leave the Group. I can imagine that this combination possibly would have increased conversion again.

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