Found Profit

I’ve always loved selling budget cars. I’m thinking we all define budget cars differently, but let’s just say they are the cheaper cars that in the past you let “Bubba and the gang” have.

If you’re going to sell budget cars then you may want to think differently about how you recondition them and how you charge for that reconditioning. The key word is to make them safe but not perfect.

Most customers understand they are not buying a new car. Furthermore, charging full retail from your service department will eventually cause your used car manager to “throw the baby out with the bath water.” If you are using packs you may want to at least lower the packs on these units.

The one thing you should not skimp on is the recon or clean up. Spend whatever you have to spend on it to make it pretty. If you ultimately have to sell the unit in the wholesale market you will more than get the clean up money back.

These units need to be on a very short shelf life of 20 to 30 days and gone. Just because you don’t have a lot of money tied up in them, it’s not a justification to keep them hanging around. If you let them sit around too long, “lot rot” will kick in. Common sense should tell you, if it’s an inexpensive car and it doesn’t sell immediately then it’s time to move on.

Budget Center cars need to have their own location on your lot. It needs to be clearly marked off as to what it is. “The Budget Center,” or whatever clever name you can come up with. Over the years mine was called the “Chicken Coop.” There’s a long story on that which I won’t go into today. You might call yours the “Budget Corral.” Just come up with something. At the very least mark the area off with safety cones.

In most dealerships sales people are always complaining that they need cheaper cars to sell. One of the most effective things you can do on your “lot walk” each week is when you get to the budget center explain to the sales staff that if these units aren’t sold by next Wednesday, then you are going to wholesale them. Creating a sense of urgency in their mind is a good thing.

Depending on the size of your store it could easily mean another 5 to 20 sales a month. Gaining more customers is always a good thing when you do the math. Being in the “Budget Center” business makes good business sense. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs