In context to online sales and the recent news: http://www.autonews.com/article/20161212/RETAIL04/312129946/beepis-demise-shows-perils-for-used-car-startups I find it interesting that two big things companies like shift do: https://shift.com/car/c14132 are things beepi doesn't: - test drive as an option in the process. - need to have a cash offer available (not just 30 days). That said, I still think Beepi did some great stuff and some of their concepts remain solid. It will be interesting to see how this rebrand to "fair.com" goes. I recall their mobile app seemed to do better than expected, and fair.com seems to focus on the iOS app. I was working on this before and thought now would be a good time to post it, hopefully it's valuable to you: 5 practical ways to sell through transparency Blemish Report. Provide customers a “Blemish report” that shows what’s wrong with the car. By posting this upfront customers are more likely to trust you, do business with you, and actually pay more. Examples: A fast and free implementation Why does it work? Customers' trust of you and your dealership increases dramatically. It reduces friction when the customer sees the car in person. It’s a tool to justify the price. It reduces reconditioning expenses. Real life customers responses to issues that would normally be a show stopper are now sometimes: “It’s fine I already saw it on the blemish report” How can you do it? Create a process for your store. Buy required materials from somewhere (ie auto repair style marker pens). Instruct photographers to “take photos of anything wrong with the car” Upload photos to your website, or even a shared folder like DropBox or Google Drive. Profit. Inspection Report. Provide customers a copy of the inspection report upfront, including what wasn’t fixed. Not upon request, I think most dealers already do that, but as part of the normal process. This is in addition to an accident history report such as CarFax. Examples: Low cost / free example Beepi Carma legacy (scroll down / click Inspection and History): Why does it work? Creates trust , reduces friction, and helps justify price, similar to Blemish Report. Why would a customer trust your word that you spent about $1500 on recon? Vs actually seeing a bill for their specific car for $1,563. Sure there will always be skeptics but it edges it in the right direction. And it’s becoming a growing expectation. Allows you to choose to not repair something without hiding it - reduces risk of future backlash and increases customers satisfaction. Real life customer responses Re: 1 key “I saw it only had one key in the inspection report.” Instead of “You have to pay $500 for a new key or I’m not buying it.” How can you do it? Create a process for your store, with these two keys: Encourage Service to make the information available. Ie scan the inspection reports in a shared folder or use a software tool to capture the data directly. Encourage sales staff to show reports to customers and web team to make reports available in an effective way. High definition photos. Provide customers with high resolution photos of the car - 1024x800 resolution or greater. Examples: See above VDP links Dealer example (Can right click and open to see full resolution) Why does it work? Customers can see more detail and gain more confidence. Difference between getting an abstract idea of what the car looks like, and really “seeing it”. Photos is the #1 thing customers want to see on your site. How can you do it? Double check your camera, setup, gear etc. is good and has the right settings. Check what resolution your website is uploading in, or if you are using a syndication provider, check the images aren’t getting resized too aggressively. Don’t have to switch providers. Could literally put a button with a lead form that says “send me HD photos” and then have them ready on Google Drive. Offer a Return Policy. Did you know Carvana’s return rate is less than 4%? And of that 4%, 50% buy another car! Yet think about how much value they get out of that policy. Do you think if you offered a return policy it would increase sales by more than 2%? Why does it work? It changes the tone of the sales department. Now it’s less about trying to “trick the customer” and more about providing exceptional service throughout the sales process. Helps align the sales team’s incentive structure around dealership level goals. Ie an after sales call. It’s an amazing closing tool. How can you do it? Here is a sample terms and conditions. Concerned on accounting / revenue recognition? see CarMax’s annual report. Bonus idea: Offer upfront information on F&I office products. Offer an interest rate range. Ie Excellent credit is 5% to 8%, Great is 9% to 12% etc. etc. Why does it work? It changes the conversation, more about a person’s credit, and what they would like to see. It’s all about information. It will take a lot of work on your end to build and maintain a process like this, but the benefits of doing so are very real.