(Part 3 – Fix them)
In the first part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “assess” what would be your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.
In the second part of this 4 part blog, we reviewed how to “find” your “perfect Pre-owned inventory mix”.
Now that we know what vehicles we are looking for and how to find them, the next step is to “fix” them.
The art of reconditioning a vehicle for re-sale is essential to achieve maximum R.O.I. for the dealership!
You have to use common sense when it comes to reconditioning a vehicle.
You want to make the vehicle as presentable and sellable as possible.
You want to make sure that your perception of what the costs are to properly recondition the vehicle fall into line with what the reality of the costs are.
If you have figured that it would cost a certain amount of money to recondition the vehicle when you obtained it and it is costing you more than what you originally thought, you need to adjust your thinking when you are appraising vehicles! That being said, you don’t want to take “shortcuts’ or not recondition the vehicle correctly to compensate for a vehicle that may have been “over appraised”!
I believe proper reconditioning of a vehicle comes down to just two simple elements.
Does the vehicle LOOK GREAT and is it MECHANICALLY SOUND?
Let’s talk about the physical appearance of the vehicle first.
I believe a great looking vehicle is much easier to sell than one that doesn’t look its best!
Have you removed all of the body dings, dents and scratches? Little dings and dents are the first thing a perspective buyer looks at before they even get in the vehicle. Did you re-paint the bumper covers to take away the scratches and scuffs?
How about the interior? Have you cleaned and shampooed the entire interior? Did you remove all of the stains from the seats and carpets? How about a new set of floor mats? New floor mats are an inexpensive way to make the interior look its best!
Was the former owner a smoker? Did the former owner have pets in the vehicle? Removing ALL odors completely is essential to making it presentable to the next buyer!
Is the vehicle properly detailed for re-sale? You have to constantly monitor the cleanliness of the vehicle when it sits on the lot! Is it washed, waxed and vacuumed properly AND daily? Are the wheels clean of brake dust and polished to look good? Did the vehicle go out on a demonstration drive and get dirty by going through puddles or by having dirt brought into the inside by dirty shoes?
Are the proper warranty stickers/paperwork properly displayed in a clean and neat fashion without damage?
Did you take off any of the competitions “badges” or dealership information and affix your own?
Is your license plate bracket affixed to the vehicle properly?
All of these little details are NOT missed by your customers! Make sure you are proactive in making sure you vehicle looks its best!
Now let’s talk about the mechanical aspect of reconditioning.
The obvious part is to make sure that the vehicle is going to pass any and all State mandated requirements for safety and inspection!
I believe if there is less than 40% life on a brake pad or a tire, it needs to be replaced. It makes a great selling point and story to the customer when you explain that this is your policy! Telling a customer that you value their safety by either putting on new brakes or tires builds value in your Pre-owned vehicle!
If the vehicle is within 5000 miles of a major service interval, go ahead and do the major service! It makes two great selling points with the perspective customer! First of all, it again builds value in your vehicle and secondly, when the customer purchase the vehicle, their first service experience in your dealership will NOT involve a costly repair! The first interaction with your Service Department will be a simple oil change. This will build retention and word of mouth endorsements for your store!
Make sure all of the accessories work correctly! Navigation systems, DVD players and stereo systems should all be checked for proper working order.
Does the vehicle have any OEM aftermarket equipment? Roof racks, fog lights, spoilers, etc….it should all be checked for proper function and instillation!
In the end, “FIXING” the vehicle correctly to maximize your R.O.I. is essential for the dealership!
About the Author: With 30 years in the retail Automotive Industry, from a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.
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