The Appraisal

A tough subject, isn’t it? The who and the how are critical to your success. Of course the smart money says you use the vAuto appraisal tool. The who is often the mystery.

Does your dealership allow anyone on the management team to appraise a unit? I realize some stores only have a manager or two, so there are variables tied to that answer.

In an ideal world you never want the same person appraising the car that’s working the deal on a car. When the same person is appraising the car that’s working the deal, that’s like throwing Brer Rabbit in the briar patch.

And then there’s always that dreaded “bump.” The question is who gets to make the bump? Again, it’s one of those variables depending on the size of the store.

In a perfect world it’s the GM or GSM. Sure, the used car manager can bump him or herself, but that’s usually due to pressure from a co-manager, which doesn’t usually work out too well.

Here’s another fundamental rule you need to keep toward the front of your brain operating gear. Never bump an appraisal to make gross profit. If you need to bump an appraisal to make a deal, that’s way different.

Putting the right money on a unit is always a challenge. Stealing units is no more the answer than burying yourself. Keep in mind that most of your inventory problems come from purchase cars not trade-ins.

If you’re going to hurt yourself you are far better off to do so with a trade than with a purchase car. At least you’ve earned a new customer and have a chance to make up income in other areas such as F&I, service, etc.

Never forget that your ability to put the right number on a unit is the key to the success of the entire dealership.

But who is to say what the right number is? Often it gets down to your ability to retail that unit. This business is not about wholesaling, it’s about retailing.

You never know if it’s the “right number” until you sell the unit.

There’s an old saying, “If I could buy them for wholesale book prices and sell them for retail book prices I’d be very rich.”

That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs