Archive for January, 2003

Utilize All That Is Available to You

Monday, January 27th, 2003

Hurray for Tax Season! Many dealerships around the Commonwealth are really getting geared up for the upcoming Tax Return Season. Sales will undoubtedly be on the rise and for many dealers, there will be time for nothing other than buying, prepping, and selling cars. It is at times like this that the cream rises to the top! Those dealers that better manage their time will always outperform the others.

The Internet has become a valuable means of advertising for many industries, including the Used Car Industry. It is now possible to advertise your entire inventory, even the ‘back row’, 365 days a year. Photos of every car in stock can be made available to any prospective customer, at any time of the day or night! Once the customer finds the car they want on your Inventory Page, they can go to your online Credit Application and apply for credit. This application arrives to you the next time you log on to the Internet, or is sent directly to your lending partner. All this is just the beginning of what you can do with the Internet.

After financing that Internet customer, many dealers that finance their own notes are now taking payments online from customers paying with credit cards or check cards. If it is required to justify price or build value, any salesperson can log on to a third party website like www.KBB.com, Kelley Blue Book’s official website and retrieve a complete Window Sticker with Appraisal Value.

If the customer could not find what he or she was looking for while at your Inventory Page, they might have submitted a form response that describes what it is they are looking for and asks you to notify them if you find it. Today, a dealer has many prominent auction companies that also provide a myriad of other online tools. It is now possible to check the availability of a particular vehicle at the upcoming sale, not only at your local auction, but any other affiliated auctions. You can find out what similar units brought in previous auctions, and it is even possible to participate in the bid in real time while on the Internet, in some cases.

Now you have to find a shipping company, which reminds me of the time a dealer had a client skip on them. Not able to find a Recovery Company in the town where they suspected the customer was, they performed a search using Yahoo! for tow companies in the general area and within days were able to recover their collateral.

Maybe you have some Inventory left over after the Tax Rush, and are willing to explore new ways of selling cars. If so, put a few cars on E-bay. Dealers are all over the spectrum on this one. A few dealers make a good living almost exclusively through E-bay sales. Others use E-bay only as a last resort. If it is an old unit, they put it on E-bay. Rather than haul it to the auction or wholesale it and lose, E-bay provides a minimal profit on a cash sale. It helps to either have E-bay experience or hire a company to prepare your auctions. Like anything else, education has its price. These companies will often share some of the secrets of online auctions helping you avoid any pitfalls along the way.

The world of finance has found the Internet. It is now possible for anyone to pay all bills online, automatically. While I have not jumped in to this whole-heartedly, I recently began paying my credit card bills online and I love it. I get statements, account information, and make payments all at my computer without writing a check. Then, with one click I am able to download my statement with all its purchases categorized, into my Quicken software, making tax time easier!

While at work, some log on to get the news and weather. When no one is looking, they may even play Spades and Backgammon! All this does not come with out risk. Lately, we have had several clients call asking for help with network issues and virus infections. Both of these are due mainly to being on the Internet. While the Internet can save you time, it can cost a lot of time if you have to disinfect your computer. But if you use updated virus protection software and practice ‘Cautious Clicking’, those problems will be avoided!.

Explore the Internet and get out of it what you can! It can advertise your business, help you better perform for your customers, and allow more control over your personal finances. If you know of other benefits from the Internet, share them with us at webmaster@jtzenterprise.com and maybe we can pass them on next time, at the Internet Corner!