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Alternatives for appraisal tools.

Discussion in 'Inventory Software Support & Best Practices' started by BillH, Jul 21, 2016.

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  1. BillH

    BillH
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    First Name:
    Bill
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    MAG Florida
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    So, after the xteenth frustrating call to my current inventory / appraisal vendor, I'm looking for alternatives to the big players, if they exist. I have my photos/overlays being handled with a cool package from Dealer.com and I am happy with it. My in transit cars are a big part of our inventory and they are the only vendor that seems to be able to handle them correctly for third party site feeds.

    So, taking this away from my current vendor, I end up with a very expensive appraisal tool. I can do everything in Dealer.com if I had to, but they don't offer an appraisal tool.

    We cannot justify VAuto for our used car volume. My current vendor was bought out 3 weeks after I signed up as part of the Cox deal and it's been rocky ever since.

    So, any suggestions on an appraisal / valuation tool that plays nice and gives a clear view of the market?

    Thanks!!
    Bill
     
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  3. Tallcool1

    Tallcool1
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    Clint
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    I use DealersLink. There are some really cool things about it in terms of buying and selling Wholesale vehicles, but they have a great appraisal tool. It will give you a competitive view of the market, and not only vehicles listed on Dealers Link. Will it find every single 2010 Dodge Avenger within "x" miles of your store....no. However vAuto won't either.

    I like it, and depending upon where you are located their pricing can be extremely aggressive. I believe the highest it gets is $495, and goes down from there.
     
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  4. WillMcG32

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    Bill - What are you looking to appraise? Trades? Vehicles in the lane? Both? Just trying to get an understanding of your use of the tool. There are some cheaper scanner type tools out there like VinViper & LaserAppraiser.

    I work for vAuto but I don't sell for them and I won't try to convince you to change your mind. I respect the rules here and respect your openness. I will, however, address Clint and say that I would gladly open vAuto up against any tool on the market and be confident that we see more vehicles..down to trim and equipment than any other company in the market. We pride ourselves on ensuring our data is solid and complete. It, among many other reasons, allows us to be great partners with many dealers across the country. :)

    Bill, If you'd like to reach out with any specific questions I'd be happy to help.
     
  5. Tallcool1

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    To clarify, I did not mean to imply the vAuto is an inferior product to any similar product on the market. My point was simply that nobody finds them all.

    I don't believe that anyone can dispute vAuto being the standard that all others would like to be. It's expensive for small dealers.

    I've never understood why vAuto hasn't gone to a "small" dealer package. Many vendors are beginning to do this with great success.
     
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  6. WillMcG32

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    Oh. I know you weren't. :)

    I'll respond to this other part tonight or tomorrow. Gotta jet.
     
  7. BillH

    BillH
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    Thanks for the replies! I am looking for an on site tool for trade appraisals, pricing analysis, descriptions etc. I'm using a cool product from Dealer.com for the overlays and distribution, but it doesn't do values etc. My current vendor cannot handle an overlay correctly and it's been going on for months. Meanwhile, I cannot have my cars look like #$*& while they sort our their issues.

    Aside from a few small glitches due to my unique demands, it's been very nice. So, I'm left with an inventory product that I'm using half of and paying 100%. If I could find a product that has strong appraisals and run it independent of the other systems, but feed into DDC? If it could integrate with ELeads, extra points. We've looked at and have had VAuto, it's a nice product, but they won't budge on price for 2 stores and for our size, it's too rich. Yes, a smaller lot pricing structure would be a deal saver. Why we would pay the same as a 500 car store is beyond me... If they had an option for stores our size, we'd likely be using them. Right now, they are collecting $0 instead of whatever the small dealer package would be...
     
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  8. Tallcool1

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    And that is where I am at as well. I would use vAuto in a second, but not for the same price the biggest dealers in my state pay. It isn't that I don't see the value, it is that I can't justify the cost.
     
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  9. BillH

    BillH
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    Tallcool1, maybe we can start a movement! :hey: with VAuto, they are missing an opportunity with smaller stores. That's our entire issue. If I had 500 cars on the ground, no problem, but on a good month, new and used, it might be 125.

    Does anyone have experience with the ELeads appraisal tool? I haven't been trained on it but it looks a little sparse.
     
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  10. Tallcool1

    Tallcool1
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    @BillH@BillH , I have talked with my area vAuto rep several times. He is one of those vendors that I actually WANT to do business with. He is really nice, super professional, and he "gets it". He told me that this is something that vAuto has been giving consideration to but it is very challenging since Cox Automotive bought them.

    I switched website providers about 18 months ago. I approached a provider that does auto dealerships only, and primarily franchise stores. I wanted one of their sites, and just flat out told them that I couldn't pay what they charge. I agreed to test some "pilot" type stuff, and guinea pig for them. I told them what I could pay, and explained that I am small and will require almost no hand holding or babysitting. Against their better judgement, they agreed and away we went.

    Fast forward 18 months, I have referred several customers to them. They have offered MY billing structure to all Independent stores that they sign up. They have begun to aggressively market to the small dealers. Their Sales Manager told me that they wish they had done this 5 years ago. They absolutely love their small dealers and more specifically their Independent dealers. They don't bug us to death with unsubstantiated changes, rarely ever have issues because they use in house software providers that rarely make dramatic system upgrades, and they will actually LISTEN to us when we explain why they need to change this or that.

    Us small guys can be great clients for so many of these vendors......and there are a LOT more of us than there are whales.
     
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  11. WillMcG32

    WillMcG32
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    Gentlemen, I love the feedback! Thank you so much for your honesty and candor. It's refreshing to have this dialog and one of the many reasons I love DealerRefresh. Publicly, I won't get into the inner-workings of vAuto and CoxAutomotive because that's way above my pay grade. However, I will state that we also love Independent and smaller dealers. We aren't just going after whales or groups. In fact, a good majority of our new clients are stand alone stores and independent dealers.

    Instead of justifying our pricing I'll leave you with a story.

    In September of 2014, when I was still selling, I met with an independent dealer here in Frederick, MD. It's a family owned place with three service bays. When I met with them they maybe sold 20-25 vehicles of their 60-70 units every month. (less than typical of most dealers I talk to around the country -- who sell about half their inventory) I did my "pitch" and gave them my price. Needless to say, it was overwhelming and we didn't do business that day. Fast forward to December of 2014 and they agreed to sit down again. I talked with them about the 3 most important things all dealers need to do. Don't over pay for your vehicles, Buy the right vehicles and price them right. (in vAuto world we operate on Cost to Market, Market Days Supply and Price to Market.) We had a heart to heart discussion about their business. They signed up for the same price that a dealer with 500 vehicles pays and started in January of 2015.

    They went through training and coaching with our awesome training team and their Performance Manager through the first few weeks in January. (Our PM's require 7-10 Retail Management experience in order to even be considered to work for vAuto). In February, they retailed 69 units (off of about 80)... March 31st they retailed 100. They haven't sold less than 100 since. Let me be clear 1200ish units in 2015. Cost To Market. Price To Market. Market Days Supply. My favorite part about this story is that I got to be part of the change. I don't get to talk to them every week, like their PM does, but when I had the chance to stop by the owner hugged me with tears in his eyes.

    This is something that takes commitment to doing business differently. I love that I get the opportunity to meet with dealers across the country and be a part of stories like this but the only way they happen is commitment by both parties. We are committed.

    You small guys are my favorite dealers to talk to and see the awesome changes that happen before your eyes because for you the sky is the limit.

    Parting thought - when it's an expense or a tool it will always be treated as such. vAuto is a
    partnership that comes with a tool to help you with the mechanics of the job.

    I want you both to know (and everyone else reading) that your feedback is duly noted and I've shared with leadership as I do all feedback.

    Thank you again!

    -Will
     

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