I want you to consider not looking at the Used Car Guide books for the next 30 days. The book values are a result of a crazy market and not the reality of what these vehicles should be worth. Everyone is in a panic these days. It’s like things and values are changing moment to moment and so is your reaction.
There is only one way to get yourself out of this panic mode and that is to ignore it and do the things you know that work. That’s not to say you should ignore competitive pricing on the Internet, but on the other hand you cannot let that rule your life on every unit you are trying to buy, trade or sell. One of the workshops I’ve conducted over the years is called “When Common Sense Meets Technology.” Never has there been a time when it’s more important to apply those strategies. In some cases we are over thinking things and relying too much on data. I never thought I would make that statement, but some of us have taken it too far.
We are allowing data to create a knee jerk management style. We have forgotten our roots. I have an old friend by the name of Joe Faulk in Chesapeake, VA. Joe may be one of the best used car guys ever. For about the last thirty years Joe has been a very successful used car dealer. A few years ago he picked up a couple of New Car Franchises. (Joe, what were you thinking?) What has always impressed me so much about Joe is that when I would see him at an auction he never looked at a book when buying a vehicle. Joe based his decision on what he knew he could sell a car for. He knew his local market. He knew what he thought a car should be sold for.
For years you’ve run your business pretty much like Joe does. You used good common sense and used the books as a guide, yes, as a guide, but not as a Bible like some of you are now doing. You have fallen prey to the news media and what’s going on at the auctions today. You have to realize that part of what takes place at the auction is that it is taking advantage of two people’s ignorance.
I’m a big 60 day guy, actually 45 days, but right now is not the time to dump your crap at day 60. Right now is the time to retail your mess. Actually, that’s always my theme. You never have to dump many cars at day 60 if you manage them right from day one. I’m not selling my workshops in this article, but my current workshop titled “This Ain’t No Mutual Fund, It’s a Short Term Stock” says it all.
While I’m on the subject of inventory, a common question I’m getting these days is, “Is now the time to buy?” There is never a bad time to buy, if you buy smart and buy the right stuff. Don’t be stupid and load yourself up on anything. If you’re doing well right now with SUVs, just don’t go nuts and load up. (I will tell you “I told you so.”) There are some cars that are cheap right now (Panic has set in again) and if you buy the right stuff, at the right price point you will not get hurt. How much can you get hurt with a $10,000 car? How much can you get hurt with a $30,000 car? Stay with what you know, don’t over think it, don’t over analyze it; just put your car savvy to work. You’re smarter than the book. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs