Used Car Selling
The business of flipping vehicles like we mentioned in the previous post ‘Car Flipping Business‘ and as we explored it in some bit of detail can be a lucrative one if done well. In this post I have chosen to explore marketing end of this exciting business. The used car sell comes with some unique dynamics that may require special attention.
The critical components of making this include among others:
- Determining the niche of your flips.
- The identification of requisite professionals and technicians
- The sourcing of the flips
- The sourcing of parts and materials
- The rehabilitation of the vehicle
- The requisite registrations of the vehicle
- The Marketing of the vehicle
- The Closing of the deal
In our last blog post I promised that I will be focusing on the marketing leg of the business of flipping cars. The marketing of flipped vehicles is somewhat peculiar; there are a couple of things to consider that are unique to the niche as mentioned earlier.
To put together a winning marketing strategy for a used car sell, one has before they even embark on the business know and understand well who their target market is for the particular flip. As mentioned in the previous post there are several sub niches within the car flipping business which include:
- High End Luxury Cars
- Vintage cars
- Mid End cars
- Low cost cars.
In going into this business you could choose to specialise on one of the sub niches or do a mix of all. There is no one guaranteed prescriptive winning formula in doing this. One just has to have the requisite skill set and rich knowledge about whichever approach you might have chosen.
Each sub niche requires an unique mindset in all levels of the car flipping business including the marketing strategy.
How well the vehicle rehab is done or what a great deal it was at sourcing will not help if the car can not be sold at a profit. The marketing of any product or service requires one to have some high level critical thinking. A level of thinking to help one come up with a pitch that will woe any potential buyer. With loads of vehicles on sale at any given time on the market, a great marketing strategy does really make a difference.
Used Car Sell: Advertising Media
As an entrepreneur you have several media through which you can market your vehicles including among others:
- The classifieds (online & local papers)
- The social media platforms
- The vehicle sales dedicated websites
- The community notice boards
Regardless of the media you choose to use; there’s critical information that all potential buyers are looking for when searching for vehicles. The important thing is to make sure that information is right there in their face when they get to you. There are three fundamental broader considerations when drawing up marketing briefs or campaigns:
- Good pictures/media
- Basic critical info:
The Name and Model of the vehicle
Year of Manufacture
Service history of the vehicle (if available)
History of Accidents
- Unique details:
Say if there’s any warranty on the paint job
Indicate the parts that were replaced especially if you have put in brand new quality parts
Mention the warranties on parts if there are any.
Give detail of any special registrations, licences and inspections the vehicle might have gone through
Mention the improvements and alterations that you may have done the vehicle and their permissibility
There are many other things that you may need to include in that marketing brief for the used car sell before you post it on chosen marketing media. Being upfront and truthful about the state of the vehicle will sell it better than any concealments in the used car selling business. Do not be tempted to misrepresent the vehicle with features it may not have trying to push for a sale.
The quality of your pictures will either break or make your sale. Before people look at detailed specifications of the vehicle their first impression is on the images of the vehicle you decide to post. You’ll be very lucky for a potential buyer to go beyond the bad quality pictures. Make that stage count, don’t just post anything.
When we talk about great quality images we are not necessarily talking about those done by high end cameras. If you have access to such a great camera that is better but you don’t have to break the bank to get great images for your sales strategy. Most of the latest smart phones can produce amazing images that can pass for the requisite quality for any car sales post.
The quality of an image is determined by a couple of other factors beyond the quality of the camera:
- Good lighting is critical
- Several shooting angles of the vehicle to give potential buyers all important views of the vehicle.
- Capture the interior well
- The images of the open engine compartment and boot are also critical
- Capture those important features of the vehicle especially if they are the added unique ones
The importance of great imagery surely cannot be overemphasized. If you can’t get the images you simply just can’t get the sale regardless of what country, city or town you live in.
Get them right and capture the hearts of buyers.
As outlined above there’s detail you just leave in your sales brief for a vehicle let alone used vehicle. The information outlined above can be and is usually deal breaker for potential buyers. While the way I put it here may look or seem bulky and overwhelming; all this information can easily be summarised to fit in most posting space requirements.
After going through your detailed information the buyer should feel confident to call you to set up a viewing or to buy. The information you put in there should be enough not only just for one to hear more from you about the car but should be good enough to close the deal. This is especially so for people who may be out of your locality, who probably may not have the opportunity to come and test drive the vehicle.
Sell the Seller
The outline of the information should itself speak beyond the vehicle. The information should also communicate the character of the seller. You want by all means the information put in there to assure any potential buyer that you are not some scammer somewhere trying to swindle them of their hard earned cash.
Many people now have a different and sceptical view towards sellers of products and services especially online sellers due to many scams littered all over the internet. Hence it is important for the information given to not just give details about the product but should be strategically constructed to allay any fears that potential buyers may have.
Buyers don’t just buy the product or service they also buy the attributes of the seller from how a product or service is described.
The Solution Factor
I earlier mentioned the need to go beyond just the attributes of the vehicle. The strategy is to find a way of subtly communicating the character of the seller (you) without directly describing yourself.
One of the attributes of many flippers be it a vehicle; a house or some furniture is the ‘ falling in love with their work ‘. Unfortunately this attribute can also go south at times. When trying to sell a car to buyers you have to consider they also have their own perspectives of cars and their function.
In putting the vehicle details you may be tempted to just go describing and mentioning the specifications and forget that buyers buy vehicles for given functions. While you may not know exactly what each buyer thinks, it’s still important to try and anticipate the uses of the various attributes of the vehicle as much as you can.
The potential buyer must feel like you have put thought about how they may benefit or even just use the vehicle. This mindset takes us back to what I mentioned earlier about knowing the target market. The description and language you choose to use should ideally speak to that target market.
Buyer-centric Car Flipping business
Buyers should feel like the vehicle and any of the added attributes are good enough to solve their known and unknown problems. Even when there’s no remodeling done on the vehicle; the language should communicate ‘solution; solutions; and solutions’ to the potential buyer.
Buyers don’t just care about a new installed fuel pump per se` unless you tell them how that will help them. A typical example:
“Brand new set of tyres” is not a solution based language but; “Brand new tyres to give you 50000 Km or approximately two years of driving”
The first description is just centred on the attribute of the part ‘tyres’ but the second detail goes far beyond to speak on the function and benefit of the part. It is therefore worthwhile to put an effort in constructing a solutions based description to the phone ringing.
In the next post we will further explore this subject of marketing and we will focus on the media to use for each such niche. We will also tackle the pricing dynamics in sales and marketing. Don’t miss it for anything as we build this car flipping business.
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