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"Get your ePrice" for new car inventory?

Discussion in 'Inventory Software Support & Best Practices' started by Dan Dulgheru, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. Dan Dulgheru

    Dan Dulgheru
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    Hello
    What is your opinion about using call2action "Get your ePrice" for new car inventory?
    Can you explain what is your strategy when you use this call2action?
    Thanks
     
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  3. Andrew Carr

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    This is a double-edged sword. We are currently using it in our store and like a lot of things we try in this business there are pros and cons.

    The upside to this is that it engages more people and creates more leads. We use this on the new car side on our dealer site and it has increased our leads without damaging our closing ratio. The down side to this is that you are encouraging a price-based discussion and a lot of your first conversations result in the "listen man, I was just trying to get a price." type of resistance. So far the overall effect on our store has been positive.

    The key for us in working these leads, like most leads has been that when you can you want to engage these people on the phone first and ask for the appointment. Many times when you reach these people you will learn that the car they requested e-pricing on wasn't really the car they wanted anyway...the customer is just trying to get a guage on "if" you will provide them with pricing before they visit. From there you can take the discussion a million different directions.
     
  4. Dan Dulgheru

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    Thanks!
    The conclusion is that the result is positive, not negative. From your experience can you tell me please which version call2action has a better rate lock: "Get ePrice" or "Make me an offer?
     
  5. Andrew Carr

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    Personally, I am not a fan of the "make an offer" button in any fashion. Let's face it, the offer is almost NEVER going to be reasonable. The one saving grace with the "get e-price" button is that YOU as the dealership get to throw out the first number. Just like if you have a customer in your showroom you want to present the proposal. Starting your conversation trying to overcome your clients lowball is not a position I want to be in once I make my first contact. Especially since the client isn't even standing in my showroom yet.

    There are many ways to skin a cat and I am not claiming to be the king of the internet here, but the call to action buttons that I have found effective after much toying around are: contact dealer, get more info, get e-price. The first two are about the only things I have on my used (we don't offer an e-price on used). I believe that on used cars if you get the lead in the first place you are getting it because the vehicle is merchandised well and appropriately priced. If you know of another way to get a used car lead I would be happy to hear about it!

    On new I think the consumer wants to know what the "deal" is. They are confused by incentives, programs, etc. and they are looking to have it all spelled out in some fashion. Our e-price is available to help our clients feel armed and prepared.

    We NEVER imply that our e-Price will be the lowest. All of our correspondense from the time we receive the lead is promising a fast response, an accurate response, and a fair price.

    Good luck to you!
     
  6. davidmoon

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    I saw the "eprice" on a site yesterday. As a consumer, I don't get why there's a different eprice? It screams gimmick. I would rather email or call to get a price--or be prompted to do so. Consumers know that price is often negotiable, and they just want a base to deal with.
     
  7. Alex Snyder

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    The best way to do things is to actually price your inventory. Consumers have done a lot of research before visiting you or your website; they know what the price is, so you should accommodate them as the rest of the Internet does. Yes, a consumer is conditioned to expect a price without having to ask for it, and they're conditioned to seeing a price lower than MSRP.

    Think about your own Internet browsing/research/shopping habits. What do you do when you see MSRP at a retail website?

    We are doing it all wrong in automotive. We pay our Internet staff to work leads and acquire as many leads as possible, which constitutes a minor consumer channel. It is because Internet manager are good at working their payplans that makes this a "bigger" channel than it should be. Dealers still want to live in the "good ole' days" when consumers didn't have any true buying knowledge and dealers could walk all over them. Fucking A' people, that world doesn't exist, but we're all doing our best to live in it.

    Dealership models need to change, who we hire needs to change, who we keep needs to change, and how we pay people needs to change. I know you're asking about a single "Get ePrice" form and I say that is a legacy gimmick of an old model that just won't die. There are two reasons why you're using Get ePrice on your website:

    1. You're not aggressively pricing each and every new car because you're still paid by the lead or "too busy."
    2. You're not in charge, so you're just working your payplan.
     
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  8. ArtMorris

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    I believe there's a third reason for using "Get ePrice":

    3. Your manufacturer considers online inventory listings to be a form of advertising, and therefore your listing must adhere to the guidelines of the marketing covenant.

    We would like to display our true asking price on our website, but doing so would violate our manufacturer's rules.
     
  9. Alex Snyder

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    Do you ever advertise pricing or payments on TV, the newspaper, radio, or anywhere other than your website?
     
  10. Matt Wise

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    Alex, I really respect you and I think that you've been one of the pioneers for the Internet movement in the auto industry. However, you are wrong. There are too many things to consider when determining whether or not to price your new car inventory. What if a dealer has 500-1000 new cars in stock? That would make it very difficult and time consuming to price and keep up with all of those vehicles. Also, ArtMorris has a point when he says putting a price on a vehicle "would violate our manufacturer's rules". Honda, for example, does not let you advertise a price below invoice. Therefore, if you advertise a Honda vehicle at invoice on your website and your potential customer sees this and then contacts your competitor for their "ePrice", you are screwed. Plain and simple. I also disagree with the fact that dealers should "aggressively" price each and every new car. The gap between showroom customers and "Internet" customers needs to be bridged. Essentially everybody does "research" on new vehicles before they buy these days, including the customers that show up on your lot. Sometimes, these customers will show up on your lot regardless of whether or not your website gave them the information that they were looking for. Profit is not a bad word. When you aggressively price every new vehicle online, you risk the chance of "short-selling" a vehicle that might have brought close to MSRP. I think that negotiation is a part of the business that will never die. After having said all of this, there are times when a dealership should price all of their new inventory and times when they should not.

    You bring up a subject that needs to be talked about more often when you write:
    There is a huge power struggle going on right now between "car guys" and "Internet guys". "Car guys" want to make money. They want to maximize gross on every car deal. Most of the time they are thinking about profit. A lot of times, this "car guy" mentality is not too sympathetic to the average Joe. The Internet poses a huge threat because it gets harder and harder to succeed in the area that they were taught was most important. Gross. "Internet guys" may still be profit minded, but they go about it in an entirely different way. In my opinion, they often sacrifice gross to be accommodating. I think that they tend to be unit minded instead of gross minded. Typically, the "car guy" lives for the negotiation and wants the objection from the customer and the "Internet guy" wants to avoid any confrontation and for the transaction to go as smoothly as possible. The Internet guy needs the car guy and vice versa. Over time, these two personalities/philosophies will do more than coexist. There is a lot that they can learn from one another.
     
  11. ArtMorris

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    Not on TV or the radio, but we do advertise pricing in our print ads. In a printed ad we can have a line of "fine print" at the bottom to remain compliant with our manufacturers guidelines. To do something similar in a radio ad would require a John Moschitta Jr. delivery style.

    My customers have a half-dozen Honda dealers to cross shop, price is very important part of their dealership selection process.
     

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