And They Said You Couldn’t Sell Used Vehicles on the Internet

LAS VEGAS – Anne Marie Delligatta of Autobytel.com, in a speech given at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing, described how the Internet, contrary to what some people think, is an efficient and cost effective tool for automotive remarketing. With 30 percent of vehicle expense tied to marketing and distribution, traditional remarketing techniques can waste time and money. There’s redundant distribution -- the average used vehicle is redistributed two or three times before reaching the retail market. Pre-owned vehicles carry, on average, redistribution expenses of $1,600, not including manufacturer residuals. As a result, the customer gets no added value. Also, the longer a car is on the lot, the lower the profits, which is another inefficiency in used-vehicle sales.

Through the Internet, sellers gain increased exposure, both locally and on a wider scale. The expense of selling the vehicle is reduced, as well as the acquisition cost for the customer. Internet sales also provide an opportunity for more one-on-one marketing with customers, letting sellers learn more about their market. Customer referral, word of mouth, and web sites are not only transaction tools, but an information gathering and analytical tool. Companies also can reach people in their own homes, a wider audience than those who go to lots. This personal approach focuses more on customer needs.

For buyers, there is a larger inventory to pick from, as well as more information to research. They get the choice of multiple purchasing options. They have ancillary product availability – every aspect of buying a used car can be addressed from that one website, from insurance to financing, warranty to transportation. Lifecycle management tools can also be supplied, providing reminders on service, parts availability, and resale information.

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