Show your trade-in customers the facts

Many customers are now doing homework on the Internet prior to coming in to negotiate for a purchase. Most have visited an on-line service to get an invoice and to get a feel for what their trade is worth.

But it's amazing that people seem to believe everything to get off the ‘net. The information has legitimacy simply because it came from the computer! In trying to determine how to work with these folks and still preserve a reasonable gross, some dealership personnel have discovered that the Internet can actually work for them on occasion.

When working a deal that involves a trade-in, appraise the trade in the normal course of the deal. However, now, before serving up a trade allowance, go to the 'net and log on to (Kelly Blue Book). Pull off the information regarding trade-in value for the customer's car. More often than not, KBB values are more conservative than your appraisals. When that happens, simply present the KBB value to the customer. It is a value from an impartial authority straight off the Internet. Customers have trouble refuting these values, and many times you are able to secure the trade for hundreds of dollars lower than the value at which it is eventually booked.

Accounting office: a source of revenue

Do you view your accounting office as an overhead expense? Is there anything an accounting office can do to generate revenue for the dealership?

Use these strategies and help turn the accounting office into a revenue-producing department:

  • Charge a processing fee on all retail and wholesale vehicle sales. While it is common practice to charge a processing fee on retail vehicle sales, most dealerships don't charge this fee on wholesale vehicle sales.
  • Invest any excess cash in an overnight sweep account or offset flooring account.
  • List sales and service specials on all fax cover sheets. Who knows, maybe the recipient of that fax you just sent is looking to purchase a vehicle or have theirs serviced.

Avoid vacation pay problems

We have all missed having an employee's vacation pay ready on a given Friday and had to scramble to cut a check and find two check signers. On top of this problem, someone in the office had to ensure that the vacation pay was due and had not been previously paid.

To avoid this problem, try automatically paying the vacation pay on the next weekly payroll following the anniversary date of employment. Give your payroll clerk a monthly list of anniversary dates and each week and add the amount of the vacation pay to the regular check. This system is easy to administer, and employees seem to enjoy having their pay in advance.

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