Why? How? Why have I Not seen anyone replicate Duplicate or even post anything about them? or does anyone even know there story? Weird how I hear people want to speak on "social networking" as opposed to a story like this....Please advise....
I actually mentioned them in a post here, so I'll take a swing at that. I think they've not been replicated because they were so far ahead of the Internet game--they sold $100million because of that gap and will continue to do so. And they do it Mon-Fri 9-6 by appt only, Sat 'til noon for deliveries.
To Witch Doctors, an Medical Doctor looks like a magician. Regardless, it takes quite a lot for a W.D. to become an M.D.
And I suggest that has a lot to do with them not being widely replicated.
It is my belief that there we not so ahead of their time. As I have been in business same amount of time, with same model, built around ebay. It is however their ability to scale, so rabidly that has set them apart. They must have leveraged resources ($) at a perfect time. My questions to you is what to you think there average GP is per car? I would guess that it is in and around 1k, if not lower. Thoughts?
If it were easy to sell cars on eBay Motors everyone would be doing it with the same success as Texas Direct - right? WRONG! It IS easy and the fact that everyone isn't doing reflects the real reason that their #1 position goes unchallenged. Texas Direct recognizes the importance of people, processes and transparency focused on prioritizing human nature in their selling systems. That loosely held secret may be exposed by your question and it hopefully will surface the opportunity for our fellow ADM members who may want to challenge them for their #1 title.
I was proud to participate in the eBay Motors Round Table discussion with auto industry experts that they hosted during the San Francisco NADA Conference and it was enlightening; to say the least. The universal solutions that surfaced were built on simplifying the buying/selling experience for the growing audience of online car shoppers who were slowly accepting the transition to becoming online car buyers.
Old school principles of honesty and full disclosure - referenced as transparency in today's Internet language - coupled with simple step by step instructions supported by third party credible references - exemplified by past eBay user comments reflected in their eBay statistics, a free CarFax, full vehicle descriptions, PayPal and of course the auction process that proves that you were only a few hundred dollars more than someone else in your purchase offer - are all updated and applied to their eBay Motors site and selling system with the observed experienced results.
I was also fortunate to have been able to interview Clayton Stanfield, the National Training Director for eBay Motors, several times on my Automotive Advertising Experts blog talk radio show and he taught me and my affiliated automotive advertising agencies the answer to your question. I suggest that you download the show and listen to the source, or - Clayton has offered to conduct one on one training for me and mine at the upcoming 7th Digital Dealer Conference in Nashville November 1st through the 3rd and I would be happy to invite you to join us to listen and learn about how to challenge Texas Direct.
From what I can tell, you have a much nicer eBay and web presence than TDA, but your approach does differ. I live in the Houston area and mystery shopped these guys last year. They have salesmen, they have finance mgrs, etc. And they have INVENTORY. Their approach is about a process where each car has a salesman, you can't visit without an appointment, and they have streamlined that process to where, if you want the car, they'll sell you a warranty and financing and get you out of the door muy pronto. Inventory + Pricing + Process = Profits.
TDA showroom is the Internet, open 24 x 7 x 365. When you hit their physical lot, you've likely already submitted a credit app, know your probable terms, and you've either arranged for that financing or bring the money. They don't care to be open after 6pm because they don't NEED to. $200million 9-6pm?? Yep.
Essentially, they are everything the car biz needs to be these days. And they didn't even get into the SEO discussions, as they (like you) focused on selling on eBay--an existing and well-known portal where the buyers already WERE.
Having been around Texas Direct and seeing monthly how they get even better, I have to say what seperates them is process. They are huge on process and innovators in many ways. They have 1000 vehicles on eBay Motors today. Can you imagine how many cars they have in transit, ready to detail, or even in service? They know where every car is, when it is expected to be sellable as well as what they have coming in. It is a huge task.
One of the most important things is that they get their vehicles cleaned, photographed and one the site within a couple of days. This is huge. We know that one of our best ways to profitability is in Turns. How do we maximize this when it takes average dealers 7 to 10 days to list a new inventory car?
Also. They still have great consistency. Every car has same pictures (and a lot of them) in the same order along with a good description.
70% of eBay Motors transactions happen across state lines. If you want a buyer to bid on your car and you want a good gross then you have to build trust. A buyer gets their vehicle 7 days or so after paying you in full for a delivered vehicle. If there is any doubt or perceived risk you get less bids or at least lower dollar amounts offered.
I can go on forever but my thumbs are killing me. I will help anyone who wants it. I can't promise you will be the next Texas Direct as they really are amazing at what they do and they have economies of scale that are hard to match.
But what they do it not a secret. They even sell a book telling you what they do.
I tell dealers that they need to build out their processes, monitor and manage their progress, build trust with the bidders and then help these bidders through the process. I I have seen many dealers go from zero sales per month on eBay to 30, 40 or even more per month. It takes some work and dedication on your part but if you are serious and want my help, you got it
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