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Auto turntables - Do's and Dont's - need advise

CARBIZ

Getting Refreshed
May 17, 2010
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Evan
Group,

I am about to undertake the whole photobooth project and I need some advise about the automatic turntable. I think I've nailed down the style of booth and concept I am going after.. (stationary camera, automatic turntable, spin on website, 360 degree interior cam, etc...) Now comes the time to make, what seems to be, the most largest financial decision of the project.. the turntable.

Do I spend $10-15K on an inexpensive model, or is there no other option besides ponying up for the Carousel-USA at $30K??

I am also going to start a thread inquiring about Sister Technologies EZ360 software, spin, camera solution if anyone has any thoughts on them.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
IMO,
  1. shoot indoors only if you have to (4 seasons requires lots of re-shoots, rainy days cause delays)
  2. Buy a turn table only if you have to (a bigger booth is 300% faster, no turn table needed and produces better shots)

HTH
Joe
 
Reactions: jscole86

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
Evan,

Are you planning to upgrade your VDPs too?
(not a snarky leading comment, just an honest question)
 

CARBIZ

Getting Refreshed
May 17, 2010
34
19
8
First Name
Evan
Evan,

Are you planning to upgrade your VDPs too?
(not a snarky leading comment, just an honest question)
Great question Joe. So at Nada this January I spoke with our current website provider (VinSolutions) about their options for responsive websites. They told me they were going to be upgrading dealers to the those platforms later this year. After the show I took a few of their new templates for a demo and didn't fall in love. I decided to can Vin for my website and custom build. We are about 50% of the way through the build and recently I've been feeling like our existing photos won't match the new site. So to answer your question, yes we are going to have all new VDP's (completely custom built) to match the new site and new photos.

The photo booth decision was a tough one for me because I was always a proponent of showing off our building in our lead photo (to build credibility to a used car store). Still a little on the fence but have decided to lean enough forwards carvana'ish display model to make the change.
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
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Craig

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,670
1,091
114
First Name
Craig
I decided to can Vin for my website and custom build. We are about 50% of the way through the build and recently I've been feeling like our existing photos won't match the new site. So to answer your question, yes we are going to have all new VDP's (completely custom built) to match the new site and new photos.
A+ call in my books.
Custom site gives you so much more freedom to do everything that you want.
Just make sure you learn from everyone else that has done it already so you don't make the same mistakes.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
... yes we are going to have all new VDP's (completely custom built) to match the new site and new photos.

The photo booth decision was a tough one for me because I was always a proponent of showing off our building in our lead photo (to build credibility to a used car store). Still a little on the fence but have decided to lean enough forwards carvana'ish display model to make the change.
Evan,
Beware carvana's eye candy. From my travels, it mostly excites Dealer Principals, NOT car shoppers. We conducted a shopper study of Carvana. Car shoppers were under whelmed by the amazing photo UI*. Carvana's most awesome accomplishment is NOT the photo booth, it's the 'scratch and dent' annotation. All shoppers in the test were amazed at Carvana's transparency and honesty, AND, they thought ALL other dealers had scratches and dents and they would hide this from them (take away: Dealers, STOP fixing scratches and dents pre-sale!! Use it for a closing tool! ;-)

Also, Carvana's chat opens with a default statement "This is a real photo of the real car". IMO, this is a design miss AND a great lesson for us.

Lastly, Shoppers have a job to do. They want to leave your site smarter than when they came in. Build your custom design to satisfy this need and you'll kick a**. (note: not one shopper comes to your site thinking "I hope I can send them a lead today")

Sorry to ramble. I'm a used car guy at heart, love what you're doing!

Joe


*partially due to the totally new image navigation UI that wasn't fully used.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
Evan,

Test your current site with usertesting.com

Try my favorite test themes:
"Its time to replace your old car, your at carbiz.com, you'd like an SUV with 3rd row and a roof and you want to keep your payments under $350 a month. You're at lunch break, you've got 7 minutes before it ends. See what you can find in 7 mins or less).

Would you agree this is a real world shopper test? Try it, you'll be amazed at what you find.
 
Reactions: Chris Cachor

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
Evan,

One other thought. If you decide to get the indoor booth, lighting will make or break your project. While I was working with Todd Caputo at UsedCarKing.com, we built 2 versions of the booths, lighting was the hardest part. After I left, Todd improved his booths again and hired a pro. His current booth lighting is way better than my 2 earlier versions.

HTH
Joe
p.s. interior lighting needs to happen without a flash, so, you need a lot of ambient light to make it work.