By: Adam Stone

Why and How to sell more off-brand used vehicles

Do you stock off-brand used vehicles at your franchised dealership? How many? Do off-brand vehicles represent 30% of your inventory? Maybe 40% to 50%? If not, we believe you are missing out on a major opportunity to drive a broader range of local car shoppers to your dealership and missing out on incremental profit opportunities in sales, finance, and service.

Why sell off-brand used cars:

The first reason you should sell off-brand used vehicles at your new car dealership is that it will bring more shoppers for new and used to your dealership. Customers shop multiple brands and easily switch their consideration between new and used in their purchase process. By only stocking mostly one brand of new and used, then you are likely missing out on customers who would like to compare a Camry to an Accord, an Explorer to a Grand Cherokee or a C300 to an A4 when they get to your lot.

Additionally, you should stock up to 50% of your used inventory as off-brand because it allows your sales staff to learn the competition by test driving competitive makes frequently. The more familiar they are with your competition, the more confident they can be when selling your new vehicle products.

Lastly, by selling off-brand used vehicles you are likely to increase your volume since the market for all of these brands versus just mostly one brand equals a bigger pond to fish in for new customers.

You will reach a broader audience and increase your ability to serve everyone in your market.

How to sell off-brand used vehicles:

At VinFuel, we have spoken to many dealers, all of them would like to sell more off-brand used vehicles, but they claim it is difficult to get off brand shoppers to their websites and on their lots. VinFuel solves that problem.

We always like to say that new vehicle shoppers are shopping for a dealer and used vehicle customers are shopping for a particular vehicle, with specific options, and in a specific color. What that means is that online search (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) are great for finding dealers whether organically or paid, but not quite as good at helping connect you with used car shoppers. Specifically, it is very difficult to rank and convert on off-brand used cars on search engines whether it’s paid or organic search results. Most people searching for a Nissan will not choose to go to a Toyota dealership website to find the Nissan they are looking for; it just doesn’t happen easily.

We always like to say that new vehicle shoppers are shopping for a dealer and used vehicle customers are shopping for a particular vehicle, with specific options, and in a specific color.

More likely is that they will rely on credible 3rd-party online marketplaces like Cargurus.com, Autotrader.com or Cars.com. There they can search and compare thousands of vehicles close to them at many different dealerships or used car lots. These 3rd party sites can be a valuable part of your used vehicle marketing strategy, but they shouldn’t be the FIRST dollar you spend because these sites do a poor job of converting visitors to internet leads and phone call leads. And even when you do get leads from 3rd party sites the sold ratio on these leads likely is somewhere from 3% to 10%.

So how do you get more off-brand shoppers to your website (by the way, your website is where you should be getting the majority of your internet leads and phone calls and where you should be converting internet leads to sales anywhere from 15% to 25%)? The answer is VinFuel.

How does VinFuel work?

Well, it is very simple. We place a code on your dealership website and collect additional shopper info from premium 3rd party data sets. Then we build an audience of shoppers who are looking for quality used vehicles like the ones you have on your lot and your website. Additionally, whether they have been to your website or not, we can target in-market shoppers with VinFuel ads that feature your used inventory that aligns closest to what they are searching for online.

So, in essence, we are taking shoppers who would typically only be using 3rd party sites to find your inventory and deep linking them directly to the vehicle detail page (VDP) on your website of the exact vehicle they are looking for through ads that we can serve all across the internet and on Facebook. VinFuel lets you reach more shoppers, more efficiently and drive more traffic to your website which in turn means more cars sold.

How does VinFuel perform?

What’s really impressive about our VIN specific ads that are customized to each shopper that the time on VDP averages between 2 and 3 minutes and the quality of the online shopper is significantly better and substantially more engaged with your inventory than any other online display visitor you will see on your website. And once they are on your website they aren’t looking at competing dealer’s ads.

Many of our clients have used VinFuel ads to replace at least one of their substantial marketing investments in sites like Cars.com or Autotrader.com.

Over 90% of our clients are using Dynamic Inventory Ads as part of their used vehicle marketing strategy, and many have used it to replace at least one of their substantial investments they have in sites like Cars.com or Autotrader.com.

Would you like to learn more about how VinFuel can help you sell more used cars and especially more off-brand used vehicles, please contact us. Our team of auto marketing experts would love to show you what VinFuel can do for your dealership