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The Amateur Knows More than the Pro

October 7th, 2014 by

I’ve discussed the various issues that are putting gross margins under pressure. Those factors aside, there’s another barrier that dealers have to contend with—the fact that consumers come to the dealership armed with more knowledge than ever. When the amateur knows more than the professionals on your lot, it’s difficult for salespeople to develop trust […]

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Double Discounting Is Hurting Dealerships

September 30th, 2014 by

So far I’ve discussed two factors that are putting gross profit margins under pressure: market-based pricing and the impending increase in the supply of used cars. There’s a third element to this equation—the fact that dealers have fundamentally changed their pricing strategy without also changing their sales and marketing approach. That’s led to a disconnect […]

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The Bubble Is Bursting: Gross Profits Are Headed for a Fall

September 23rd, 2014 by

In my previous post I discussed why pre-owned profit margins are under pressure. The factors driving this trend include transparency from the Internet, market-based pricing, and rising overhead costs from new dealership buildings. And that’s not the bad news—the bad news is that the problem is only going to get worse over the next few […]

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Two Main Reasons Why Gross Profits Are Under Pressure

September 16th, 2014 by

One of the greatest challenges facing dealerships right now is that profit margins are increasingly under pressure. Several factors are at play, but it’s clear that the Internet is making it increasingly difficult to earn strong retail gross profits per vehicle. NADA reports that the average retail gross profit for used cars in 2013 was […]

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“Used Car” vs. “Manager”: Which Piece of the Title is Most Important?

July 15th, 2014 by

A dealer asked me to stop by about a week ago and do some in-depth, one on one training with a brand-new used car manager. I consider this dealer a friend and a customer, and since the dealership was close to my home (and near the famed BBQ Trail in Central Texas for a late […]

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Five Essential Tactics to Hit Your Used-Sales Goals

February 25th, 2014 by

Even though business is better, running a successful dealership has never been more difficult. Today, dealerships are more complex; markets are highly competitive; and hitting healthy margins are more difficult than ever before. Further complicating matters, consumers have become more knowledgeable on the value of vehicles, and far less willing to compromise during the car […]

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Market Data – It’s Just Half the Story

February 12th, 2014 by

I was recently speaking to a large dealer group in Wisconsin and the topic of CarMax came up. The big box auto retailer is finishing up construction on two stores in town (their first venture in that market), and there was a sense of urgency to “figure this out” before CarMax set up shop and […]

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1/4 of Your Website Traffic Could Be Intercepted by Your Competition

October 15th, 2013 by

In my last post I discussed how to identify and measure your “true” SEO traffic. There’s an important implication of SEO traffic that I’d like to cover in this post, traffic that appears to be organic but is closer to direct. The best site traffic a dealership gets is direct traffic, which occurs when a […]

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How To Demystify the Origins of Your Website Traffic

September 18th, 2013 by

At every digital marketing conference I attend, there are multiple presentations filled with dealers asking where online traffic is coming from. The truth is this information is readily available to you — if you know where to look. If Internet shoppers don’t look at your cars online, they are unlikely to come to your showroom […]

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How To Increase Profitability By Reducing Time-To-Market

September 11th, 2013 by

Every dealer knows that the inventory that turns the fastest is often the most profitable. This is compounded by the carrying cost of the vehicle (often cited as $10 to $25 per day), for both reasons, the longer a car remains in inventory, the more it eats into your profits. That’s why it’s critical to […]

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