Nowadays everything is online, in the open, in our face as soon as we log in to our social media of choice from the moment we first wake up to the moment we put our phones down (hopefully) to sleep. As this has happened, businesses have flocked to different platforms, including here in the automotive industry, to try and be where you are, to try and capture your attention, all to ultimately work on earning your business. For the three decades we’ve been in business we’ve relied on word of mouth, on creating a truly better, more equitable, and open experience for our customers. We want to earn your business, and we want to do that by doing things the right way when it comes to buying used cars. In doing so, we’ve noticed some trends in our own industry that just don’t sit right with us; let me tell you a story.
A customer, let’s call her Sam, is looking to replace her old Nissan Maxima. She’s working full time and raising a family on top of it, she’s bought a car before but it’s been a few years. The sales experience has changed. She’s looking online at major sites, dealers that are fully online, and even on Facebook. She finds a car, its perfect. It’s the perfect color inside and out, it has heated AND leather seats, a beautiful backup camera, and the price can’t be beat. So she sets up a time to go in, the test drive is great, she’s ready to make her move. She wants to pay cash. The salesman gets her the numbers, and the price isn’t what she saw online. She’s confused, she asks about it, and that’s when the salesman tells her that the price online not only reflects what the price is with putting money down, but it’s also the price when financing, they charge more for when you pay cash. By this point she’s already driven the hour to get there, she’s already fallen in love with the car, so she signs.
While Sam is fictional, we hear stories like hers all the time. Prices that seem to good to be true, all with some impossibly small text at the bottom of the page talking about putting money down, talking about “trade equity”, saying you can’t even just buy the car without financing it or having to pay a higher price just to buy the car outright. As the internet and social media have grown, other dealers have become more creative in making sure you do what they want you to do to protect them, not what they can do to help you.
Like we said before, we rely on our customers to spread the word, and we’re grateful to these customers for doing us the honor of choosing us for their next car. Whether it’s a Ford, Toyota, or Chevy, whether you want to finance or pay cash, no matter if you want to buy online or stop by first in person, our price remains the same. Now, how do we determine that price?
As you know, markets fluctuate. As supply and demand of used cars change, so too do our prices. A perfect example occurs every year, as winter comes, demand for Four Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive vehicles increases, used cars dealers like ours will buy up more of these cars, typically ours are from lease returns, in anticipation for the increased demand. So while the demand is high, so too is the supply, and prices remain could remain more stable, increase, or even decrease if the winter is mild. You can also see this change more clearly when new model years are released, since we specialize in late model preowned vehicles, they become a year older, so typically prices will decrease as demand for the newer model increases at new car stores.
Whatever the changes, our team scours the market constantly to ensure that our prices best reflect the low end of those values, we sell every vehicle for the price we would sell it to our friends and family. There’s an old adage in the car business, sell the car like you’re selling to your mother, of course that’s assuming you like your mother, but the point stands, sell to your customer like you care about them. And we do. We would never have grown to where we are today without people like you. People looking for a better, more fair, and more honest experience when they’re looking for that next preowned car, truck, or SUV.
The article above contains a fictional story of a customer in their search for a used car. The practices outlined in the above article relating this fictional dealer are not meant to be associated with any existing automotive dealership or group. North End Motors Inc. is not to be held liable should this information be used against a third party after this material has been viewed.