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Auto Accessory Tips for Low Vehicle Inventory

Whitney Williams

Lot Lizard
Nov 5, 2015
First Name
While low inventory isn’t a new issue and the residual effects are going to be around for a few more years, it’s always good to share tips that have real results! Our consultants have been working through the chip shortage, in the trenches, with dealerships for the last year. Whether your dealership had lots of volume and didn’t start to see a shortage until August 2021 or your dealership felt the shortage almost immediately, we’ve been working with everyone to find the right strategies to keep revenue up where possible.

There are many strategies out there that will help keep your sales revenue up at your dealership. We have two strategies that work for any truck or SUV and one that works for every single vehicle—which are easily repeatable.

Strategies to Sell More Vehicle Accessories

Not all strategies will work for every situation or inventory level; and, we have some that are tested to work with almost any type of vehicle you sell. Accessory selling is one of the easiest and most lucrative ways to replace revenue lost from volume sales and then to complement volume sales when inventory is back to normal.

For Customers Who Have to Wait for Their Vehicle Delivery

If your dealership is so low on inventory that your lots look like a ghost town, this strategy works for any customer that does come to the dealership and knows they’ll be waiting a couple of weeks to pick up their vehicle.

Establish the expectation that their vehicle will be getting accessories when it arrives and include the cost in the price when you’re talking to them. If it’s a truck or SUV, you can let the customer know it’ll be getting assist steps, tonneau cover, bedliner, all-weather mats, all-weather cargo mats, etc. Discuss when their vehicle will arrive and what the monthly payment will be with those added-on accessories. Most customers will accept that you’re adding these things and aren’t going to ask you not to include them. Pick the accessories that are common and would seem silly not to add!

Easy Strategy For Any Used or New on the Lot

Use accessory packages and give credit for them. 99% of your customers are going to use more than the credit is worth. So take popular packages and raise the price by $300 and offer a $300 credit, or use a package that has high profitability and then offer a credit based on the profitability. If you raise the price of a package with assist steps, all-weather mats, and a bedliner by $300 and offer a credit for that much, they’ll splurge on seat covers, mud flaps, and a bed cover/cargo organizer. Your dealership is offering them a deal and they are going to be less hesitant about getting a couple of extra things they might want.

Why These Strategies Work

These strategies work on two levels. One, you make the accessories seem like a natural part of the car-buying process, and two, they give the customers what they want. Most people don’t want a truck or SUV without assist steps. They also are going to want crossbars, cargo carriers, bike racks, snowboard carriers, and all-weather floor mats if they have kids/pets or enjoy being outside.

These strategies also work because you can use the credit as a way to lead in for the accessory presentation. No one is going to pass on hearing about a deal you have going on right now! You can also use it as an ad for your website and social media which will spread awareness about your dealership in a meaningful way. Don’t waste your ad spend on ads that aren’t providing value to your customers!
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