Bring Back The Wash-Out Sheet?

I’ve written about this before, but you know as they say, “timing is everything,” so I’m think now might be a good time to stir things up a bit.

I’m thinking about half my readers know what a “wash-out sheet” is and the other half probably don’t. For those that don’t, in the early years of the retail auto business, dealers used a “wash out sheet” to determine how much money they made on the sale of a vehicle.

Here’s the way it worked. A new car comes into your inventory. You don’t know how much money you made until all trades are sold and thus “washed out.”

Follow the sequence. A new car creates a trade; you sell the trade. You trade in another and finally sell the last one with no trade. You then calculate the total gross generated by the sale of that one new car plus all the trades.

In this case, it took 3 transactions to determine how much total money was made. You would do the same thing if you purchased a used vehicle. If there were no trades or maybe one, the washout occurs much sooner.

With the technology that dealers have today, I believe it would be prudent to track the total gross each unit brings to the table. That would include F&I, Parts, and Service Gross generated from reconditioning on each unit as well as packs and doc fees.

Your first reaction is “We’re already doing this.” But you aren’t.

You might have a vague idea of what a single unit brings to you on the front side of the business and you might even know what a unit creates from the reconditioning gross, but you don’t have any idea what the total gross is when you track it in totality going from the first sale to the last sale that was created from the first unit sold.

The wash-out sheet is kind of like suits and ties. Keep them around long enough and they will come back in style.

Let the washing begin.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.