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if pictures sell cars, then why not NEW cars?

It does by a mile. I think a lot of people start their car shopping on big classified sites (Cars.com, AT, etc) - at least most people I talk to start there. I filter by new vehicles with photos only, so dealers not taking photos of their new cars aren't even coming up in the search results. I've seen some of the fees these sites charge, so not having photos to me is throwing money out the window.

Chris is right on the mark. On classified sites, if you have new car pics and the majority of your competition has stock photos, YOUR LISTING stands out.

In that same vein, if your store does not have new car pics, do a test. Take pics of your oldest units and track them. They will stand out and will get more shopper attention then they've ever had.
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The traditional argument for not taking pics of new cars is that "a new car is a new car", cars are identical between same match models. Dealers fall dangerously for this because at that point you are just: A delivery service (and delivery services are cheap). Showcase your product like it is the best in the world and the last one you can get of its kind and you will make more money.

Yago nailed it.

What if a dealership hid all the cars out back and walk-ins had to look at stock photos in a catalogue. Stupid? Yup. That's how Internet shoppers feel.
Stock photo vendors have done such a great job, our Dealers have forgot the stock photos are supposed to be temporary place holders.

If you look deeply at Stock photos (from a shoppers P.O.V.), you'll notice the interior shots are all the same.

Here's a '14 Grand Cherokee Laredo base with cloth seats... Oh oh..

This isn't an isolated situation.

Also, consider that power moonroof is a big motivator for shoppers and they're not seen in stock photos

So, if you're selling a $60 grand Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and you have REAL pics and your competitor does not, YOU win!

But... to Craig's point, from the Dealer's POV, the lead wins because "I can see the lead & it came from the Internet".


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FRIGGIN GENIUS! Did he do it?

They did and it seemed to work fine for them. They had no internal process to leads or "digital ups", so it was just them going back to their more traditional roots of phone calls and foot traffic. I can't say whether or not it worked beyond that because they also went back to their traditional method of guessing at floor traffic numbers.
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The issue is, as with many things in this industry, I'm stuck in a position where being forward thinking and innovative is not always a benefit.
I also have age working against me, but it's often difficult to prove to a client, even with hard numbers, that some of these more aggressive changes actually make sense. They would rather do it how the successful dealership down the road is doing it, because clearly it's working for him.

It's a copy/paste industry.
That being said, Geoffrey Moore's innovation chart does a great job of visualizing how new ideas percolate thru our industry.


Craig, when your talking to a client, try to identify where the decision maker is on this chart. Really really New Ideas go to the innovators (alpha/beta). They are willing to suffer thru the grief and aggravation of early ideas that can barely walk. Early adopters love tech and it's advantages, but, want the concept more stable and polished. Early majority loves tech but has a practical "show me the money" mentality. The late majority is dragged into the new idea. Laggards are a minority.
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