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Can used cars with top quality photos be priced higher?

Dec 9, 2015
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First Name
Elmer
Hi Folks, I need your expert views. I am working as a used car photographer for various dealerships and I looking to built more value into my services. During a brainstorm (non-automotive) people suggested dealers can price their cars higher with top quality photos. What do you think?


 

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
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Ed
My sense is that bad pictures are a 'disqualifier' - they will cause a consumer to remove a vehicle from their consideration set. BUT, I doubt that great pictures will cause them to spend more money.
 
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Tony Do

Noob
Jun 7, 2016
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Tony
Better quality pictures will generate traffic but not justify a higher markup on a vehicle.

Well informed customers will:
  1. Have an idea of the general market price of a vehicle
  2. Know how much they want to spend relative to that market price
You will just be overlooked due to pricing vs. a quality picture.

However, if the demand is there the customer will inquire about a vehicle regardless of a quality picture.

EX. An extremely low mileage vehicle priced well below market value with a stock photo will generate leads all day long.
 
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Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
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Clint
I tend to agree with other responses.

Most of the time, customers filter vehicles by price. Your high quality photos will rarely be seen if the money isn't right.
 
Dec 9, 2015
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Elmer
Thanks for the comments, guys. And of course I'm not talking about a pice hike of 1000s of $ up, here, just a couple of 100s. Depends on the car also. For a Fiat 500 like the example above priced at € 8.5k it will be extremely difficult, but about Jags, Astons, Bentleys and big Mercs & BMWs?
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
Great thread Elmer!
I'd re-phrase your thesis. I'd say "a dealership with great photos will sell MORE cars than than one with average photos".

Variables to consider:
  • I'll add a twist to what Ed says:
    they will cause a consumer to remove a vehicle from their consideration set.
    I'll give Ed's observation a twist... "they will cause a consumer to remove a DEALER from their consideration set."*
  • Merchandising Thoughts:
    • From a shopper's POV... Quality of pics = Quality of store's CX. Shoppers look at the quality of the photos as insight into the quality of the store's experience (think shopping hotels online)
    • Photo quality isn't all about 'style' its about delivering info*.
    • 'Relative photo quality' matters (alot). If your dealer's competitors are creating sh*tty photos, then your photo improvements will really stand out. Likewise, if everyone is taking great photos then your YOUR job and your ROI is far more difficult.
HTH
Uncle Joe

*So far, my research has led me to conclude: "The majority of shoppers don't know cars. They find Internet shopping to be overwhelming & they prefer to use photos to drive their info consumption. As a result, Internet Car Shoppers often use the 'net to find a dealer that'll give them a productive buying experience".
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
Also, I haven't dug deeply into the marketplace dynamics of EU vs USA. I'll assume that EU dealers have a ROBO model like the USA (100's of cars for sale, most shoppers plan to tradein and do financing at store. 99% of Shoppers want to ask for a lower price (aka negotiate). Regulations are in place to protect shoppers from dealers)
 

LotPop

Getting Refreshed
Sep 25, 2013
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Jasen
All things being equal, the dealer with the nicer, cleaner pictures could ask few hundreds more then the dealer taking bad pics or ones by the back dumpster. For this vehicle example above on the Fiat, the pics are both pretty good but bottom one obviously has more info and better detail and they might be able to ask $250-$500 more, then others with cars that look less appealing. Doesn't mean they will get the extra $250-$500 but I think the consumer would go to the dealer with the nicer presentation of the vehicle if its within a few hundred dollars of the less appealing ones.

So yes, I think you can ask 1-5% more (% depending on the dollar amount of the vehicle, 1-3% for more expensive cars 2-5% on cheaper ones) and get the customer first.

All things being equal, I think the truck at the bottom could ask a little more then the one on top if the rest of the presentation of the truck is better then the other. They might not be able to hold to all of the mark up but I think they would get the first shot at the customer. I think Carvana has shown a great presentation of their vehicles and could get the first shot at a customer if they were within the 1-5% price range of ones that don't look as nice online.

 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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Jeff
Let's throw a spin on this discussion...

What about Transparent Merchandising?
Taking photos that highlight any apologies, scratches, dings, tears, etc.. one could say this devalues that particular vehicle, BUT DOES IT? Could this approach build enough trust through transparency that it not only has no effect on devaluing the vehicle but quite the opposite?


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Tony Do

Noob
Jun 7, 2016
10
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Tony
Jeff,

We highlight damages all the time, it's a must with our customer base. Our inventory is higher mileage diesel trucks. Some have seen extremely heavy use and abuse.

If anything it reinforces the ideals of transparency and honesty that we attempt to convey to the customer.

It's a solid win in our books and usually takes out the haggling aspect of any negotiations as we have disclosed damages prior to a purchase.

Note: We do sell Rolls-Royces, Lamborghini's, and Bentleys from time to time and this practice also assists with closing the sale with customers that are not available locally to view the vehicle.
 
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