When shopping for used vehicles, consumers hit sites like Craigslist and Autotrader. Sometimes, consumers will go to the dealership’s website, but it is usually not the first place they will visit. Dealerships should use Craigslist, it is a great selling site, but they don’t always do it effectively. Most consumers look to purchase from private party sellers because they believe they can get a better value for a used vehicle, but this is not always the case and dealers know it.
So why aren’t some dealers selling cars on craigslist? Simple, they fail to provide the simplest of information on their ad which causes the consumer to move on to the next ad. Think about, when consumers browse Craigslist, many by mobile these days, they are given the option to view the ads with image. Now, they may like what they see, but you tell them to “call for a price.” Do you know how frustrating this can be to a consumer? I’m here to tell you that the majority will NOT call you and will not trust you because you are withholding valuable information to them.
Why do dealerships do this? Because they have been told that it is an effective marketing tool, and I am here to tell you it is not. Consumers clearly go online to get information. They didn’t go to your dealership, they didn’t call you because they want to research online. So why didn’t you give them what they want? This is a missed opportunity. When you give the consumer price on your advertisements, guess what, if they are interested, they WILL call you, they will come test drive it.
Omitting the price of a vehicle does nothing but leave frustration to an online consumer. How do I know this you ask? Because I was this consumer 2 weeks ago. I went online to Craigslist to see what dealerships in my area had available in their used inventory and guess what? NO PRICES. Do you know what I did next? I removed the option to see vehicles from dealerships and looked at private party, which is oh so frustrating, because dealing with shady Joe was not very fun, oh and of course they didn’t know if the airbags deployed even though the light is on and the airbag is sticking out of the dash after I drove 45 minutes to see the “perfect” car.
Let me tell you, after a few experiences with private party, consumers will RUN to your dealership if you treat them fairly, give them the information they request, and let them know the vehicle you are selling to them is safe for them and their family. I also passed several dealerships because although they had the vehicle on the lot, guess what. NO PRICES on the vehicles because they wanted me to come inside. It is the same principle. Sometimes after a long day of car shopping, I just want to drive through the lot to see what is available and if there is nothing in my price range, I want to move on without being drug into the dealership for hours with a 2 year old in the back.
So long story short, dealers, give them what they want. Provide your prices on websites like Craigslists and Autotrader and put the prices in the window! You will be surprised at how many more consumers just may give you a call or walk through your dealership’s doors because they found what they were looking for online and on your lot.