Do you suffer from lot rot? Is there a car in your online inventory that simply isn’t moving? Perhaps it’s time you borrow a page from the real estate playbook and bring fresh life to your listings by reposting them.
Occasionally, despite your best efforts to merchandise a vehicle online with several, good-quality pictures, a competitive price and descriptive seller’s notes, the car doesn’t sell. To get the vehicle off the lot — and salvage what they can of the planned profits — some dealers simply make do with an underperforming ad until they can move the car at auction.
Other dealers sell the car — and maintain their gross — by taking a time-tested tip from their neighborhood realtor. They remove the listing from the market and regroup. A few days later, they repost the listing with new photos and fresh seller’s notes.
Even car shoppers who previously saw the vehicle are apt to give it renewed attention. They likely won’t associate the latest pictures and description with the old listing that failed to catch their interest. In the case of the original ad, perhaps the pictures didn’t fully capture the car’s excellent physical condition or its unique wheels. Maybe the seller’s notes could have emphasized the fact that the car was bought new and regularly serviced at the seller’s store.
Before reposting a listing, you’ll want to fully evaluate the existing ad to determine where it may have fallen short.
1. Was the car priced competitively?
2. Did the listing include multiple photos?
3. Did the photos capture the vehicle in its best light?
4. Are there several other similar cars currently for sale?
5. Did the seller’s notes help to convey the car’s unique features and selling points?
Information about pricing and the overall availability of this car in your market can be obtained in two ways. You can utilize reporting tools provided by your third-party listing service, or you can search for the vehicle on third-party listing services such as Cars.com and AutoTrader.com. Within a few minutes, you should have a good idea of what is a competitive price and an overview of the tactics your competitors are using to move the metal.
Knowing where you can improve, it’s time to relist. Be creative. In addition to considering how your competitors are marketing similar vehicles, look back at how you’ve successfully merchandised this type of car in the past. Make adjustments where necessary.
Once you repost the vehicle, watch carefully to see if your refinements are making a difference. If you don’t see improved results, know when to cut your losses. Perhaps the vehicle simply is not in demand.
If the car sells, keep this technique in mind the next time you think you might have a case of lot rot. Your first attempt to remarket an aging car — especially one that is competitively priced and in good mechanical/physical condition — should not be on the auction block. Often times, making a few tweaks to how you present the vehicle to car shoppers is enough to reach the right buyer.
In the online world, you can often get a second chance to make a good first impression.