With demand for used vehicles high and supply so limited, as we discussed in our most recent post titled, Outlook: Q4 Used Wholesale Prices and Acquisition Sources, dealers across the US are scrambling for ways to get the cars they need for their customers.
“Supply is not as big as it used to be and with that dwindle in supply you have dealers rushing to the marketplace trying to keep their supply up,” explains Brent Faron, Used Car Manager at Bo Beuckman Ford in St. Louis, Missouri during a conversation recently in our monthly best practices and training webinar.
Most Dealers Are Seeing a Lower Volume of Trade-ins
And dealers who are used to getting a lot of their vehicles as trades now have to venture to auctions and consumers to replace that gap.
Facebook Marketplace as an Acquisition Source
One of the fastest emerging trends in the vehicle marketplace is the increasingly significant role that Facebook Marketplace is playing as a source for acquiring quality used vehicles. In fact, we covered this last month here on the VAN Blog, as well, in the post titled, The Surprising Key to Sourcing Used Cars in Facebook Marketplace.
In the post, we unveiled the unexpected key to success on FBM which surprisingly was not something unique to the social media site but rather something key to your process entirely - transparency and treating customers right, two points emphasized by Brent Faron, Used Car Manager at Bo Beuckman Ford in.
What's significant about Facebook Marketplace? “It’s not easy to do,” says Faron. “It's important that you're able to siphon through,” he explains. “There are a lot of dealers that throw their inventory up there and what not.”
How to Stand Out as a Trusted Dealer on Facebook
By ‘siphon through’ Brent means how to stand out amongst other dealers competing for your business on the site. And one way to do that, he says, is to contact private party sellers using your personal Facebook page.
“We are not afraid to message someone with our personal Facebook. When the lead comes through,” explains Faron, “we contact them through our personal Facebook, ask if there's anything wrong with the vehicle, what we're willing to offer, and that working with us is going to be easy.”
“That's the big key here,” Faron says. “Just be upfront with people. People respect the fact that you are contacting them from your personal Facebook page.”
“A lot of people are afraid just like they're afraid to give their cell phone numbers out. But being upfront with people, finding the vehicles you want and giving a fair offer, that's really where our bread-and-butter is right now [acquiring vehicles from private party sellers].”
You gotta do what you have to do to get the inventory you need. And being able to buy from private parties is so important at this time right now more than it ever has been. People are willing to do crazy stuff to get those vehicles and there's a lot more you get to do when you buy from private parties. Mainly, you get to build a relationship as well.