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Now that vAuto and competing tools optimize online pricing, is there still any relevance for customers in the "book" values, i.e. Kelley Blue Book Retail, NADA Retail etc., when we promote our discounted prices?


Do customers care if we are "below book"?  Do they care how much "below book" we are?


Do customers with easy access to optimized pricing online value that information, as a more reliable benchmark with which to comparare used vehicle pricing?


And if rational market pricing, as commonplace as it is these days, doesn't align with the traditional "book" values -- there are lots of used cars that cannot sell anywhere near book, while others are always higher than book -- what's the purpose of comparing my prices against book?  Do customers now view that with added skepticism, and does that work against me?


Agree or disagree?  Please share your opinions.

Tags: Blue, Book, Cars, First, Kelley, Look, NADA, Pricing, Retail, Used, More…Values, vAuto

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I've had high quality vehicles well below "book value" and they still didn't sell.  I've had them well above and they sold.  Price just isn't as relevant as those companies promote.  They are all a guide.  I can take 5 minutes with 90 percent of my customers, show them the fine print and get them off the "guides."


It's more important to have a market demanded vehicle than it does to have it "below book" or below "market value." 


Think about this.  When a restaurant opens a business in a certain area, do they select the items on their menu based on price or demand by their customer?  Therein lies the answer to the pricing dilemma.  If the food doesn't taste well, the business fails.  Most menus will have items that will entice the buyer and bring profit to the restaurant.  I've spent a lot of money for the same three course meal, at my favorite restaurant.  I could've paid more than 50% less at another restaurant with food that I may not finish eating because of its quality.


There are many factors to consider when selling cars.  Price is something we overcome the majority of the time.  I hope we gain another 50 companies pushing "values."  It's so confusing to the customer that it becomes irrelevant.  Not too long ago, the Automotive Industry began a race to see who would become the "Ultimate Advisor" and they're going to all fall down when Google and its competitors become the new consumer's guide.  Instead of being pertinent, automotive companies became similar.  There is a difference between followers and leaders.  There is a difference between knowledge and imagination.  Google is winning in the imagination race.


I always make it clear to the customers that they can follow anyones advice, but if I give them a guarantee, how can they really lose?  Those value companies don't offer guarantees like I do.  You can actually show up to my dealer any day of the week and go straight to the source.  I will make sure you are taken care of.  With their companies, you'd have to send them an email or chat with them online.  You have time for that?  Let me introduce you to the owner of our dealership.  Being personable is priceless.


Jason Manning


Automotive Professional Network and Resource Exchange for Car Dealers, Managers, OEM and Marketing Practitioners seeking Best Practices.

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