Automotive, Education, Insights

Are you underestimating your trade-ins?

By Andrew Tai - Sep 03, 2021

There are no cars left.

As if supply shortages weren’t bad enough already, automakers in every corner of the industry have made it clear that we won’t be getting an influx of new vehicles any time soon thanks to the latest consequence of the pandemic: semiconductor shortages.

It’s odd to think that our entire industry could stall like a teenager learning stick on a hill, especially over something as minor as a few microprocessors. But then again, have you been in a car lately? Of course you have, which is why you know how much of even the most basic vehicle depends on computers.

So great, here we are; no supply, even as demand escalates. Car and Driver recently reported that 40% of car buyers are willing to pay an average of $5,000 USD over MSRP on their next car. It’s basic supply and demand, of course, but increases in demand don’t amount to much if you’ve got nothing to sell.

Or do you?

Look beyond the automakers

Car makers may be cutting back their manufacturing with wild abandon – GM suspended production of the Camaro back in March due to semiconductor shortages, and they’re far from alone – but there are still cars out there. Just look out at the nearest street. See any cars? You could be selling those.

Well, not those exact cars… but then again, maybe. When new cars are hard to come by, you need to turn to your preowned car lot.

A good digital retailing program is your best friend here. Many platforms are rigid and linear, meaning the customer can’t decide where to start. The top-tier digital retailing solutions, however, do away with these restrictions.

This is critical, because it’s how you get more trade-ins, and more sales. By leveraging your flexible digital retailing platform, you can create site-wide CTAs that lead directly to the trade-in module of your online purchase.

Even if your customer isn’t sure what model to buy – or if that model is available right now – they can still engage with you through your trade-in tool. Once they complete their instant appraisal, you’re in complete control.

Buy cars. Sell Cars. Repeat.

The premiere digital solutions will seamlessly pass the customer through to the next step in the sales process, encouraging them to turn that trade-in evaluation into a complete purchase. Of course, you’ll also receive activity alerts, so you know to reach out when the customer has submitted their trade.

That way, you can deal on your terms. Want to guide the customer pre-emptively to an in-stock vehicle? Easy. Prefer to secure the trade-in, and leave the customer’s purchase for later? The right digital retailing platform can make that happen. In any case, these tools make it easier to sell, but also easier gain new inventory at a time when that’s the biggest challenge you face.

Your dealership can no longer afford single-purpose solutions. The industry is changing so rapidly, with so many new hurdles and evolutions, that the only solutions worth having are the ones that grow alongside your needs.

Andrew Tai is the co-founder and senior advisor to Motoinsight, but his influence extends far beyond the company. A contributing columnist to The Globe and Mail and a prolific speaker, Andrew is a recognized authority on digital retailing within the automotive industry. Connect with him today to learn how your dealership is going to change, or see the future yourself at

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