Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
The idea was simple. Show the shopper the discounts, rebates, and special prices in order to reduce negotiation of price and show value. It was speculated that if you don’t give the shopper something to compare the price to, then they will go to your competition to compare the price thus reducing your chances of getting the lead.
The #1 Toyota Dealer in the USA lists all their new Toyota’s at MSRP on their website. When attempting both methods, I found that multiple pricing actually decreased gross profit because the shopper was negotiating on the “discounted” price. We also found that no matter how many prices you listed, shoppers were still going to price shop you against your competition anyway. Automotive purchasing focus groups confirmed that the consumer expects to negotiate when they buy a car. Listing every new vehicle at MSRP increased gross profit and increased conversions, mainly because the consumer contacts the dealer to find out the “out the door price”.
This myth stems from how the western culture absorbs information. We read left to right. When we walk into a room we survey the room left to right. We were taught at a young age to comprehend visual data in a left to right manner, so the idea was that if the vehicle is facing inside towards the text it will help drive the eyes towards the vehicle information and consequently increase the likelihood of clicking into the vehicle.
After running A&B Testing with the first vehicle photo facing left one week, and right the next week, it was confirmed that VDP’s and conversions did in fact increase. It is very similar to the old trick that a restaurant server who gives the customer a black pen to sign their bill will get a 5% larger tip as opposed to using a blue pen. We can’t necessarily confirm why it happens, we just know it does. I would have every vehicle photo facing towards the vehicle information.
I heard this one from a very superstitious used car manager. After having the vehicle sit on the lot for 30 days, and after about 3 price reductions, he would increase the price of the vehicle by $500 or $1000. He speculated that by increasing the price for a short period of time, it would increase the amount of searches the vehicle would show up in, and also increase the VDP’s. I was very skeptical.
Much to my amazement, on most vehicles when he did this price bump, they showed a modest increase in SRP to VDP conversions. Since we know that VDP’s are a vital metric in order to gather leads, this should be a used car manager's last ditch effort to move the car. If your VDP’s are dropping as you lower the price, consider giving it a 5 day price bump and see what happens.
This idea came from a vAuto rep. Instead of pricing your vehicle at $29,998, you should price it at $30,000. The thought was to match your vehicle pricing to the search filters on 3rd party sites and your website. Most websites and 3rd party lead providers, allow the shopper to filter by price. The prices are usually in $10,000 or $5,000 increments. So as a shopper, if I search for a Toyota Tundra between $30,000 and $40,000, your $29,998 Tundra will not show up in my search. If your Tundra is priced at $30,000 and the shopper searches for a Tundra between $20,000 and $30,000, then your Tundra will show up in BOTH searches. More SRP’s and more VDP’s right?
When doing this, we saw very limited and inconsistent upticks in SRP’s and VDP’s. However this wasn't the biggest problem. Our average gross profit decreased almost $400 per vehicle with this pricing model. When a shopper is negotiating on a vehicle, they tend to think in terms of thousands. If you make it easy for them to do math, then they are quicker to ask for larger discounts. If you show a shopper a $28,899.99 vehicle with a $298.95 D&H, they are going to have to do some tricky arithmetic on the fly in their head. They do not ask for as deep of discounts and in turn, it saves you gross profit.
KPA Marketing Manager