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The Messy, Dirty Truth about Upfront Pricing

If your dealership is not already working with one of those lead-providing services that require “upfront pricing,” I'm sure you've been approached by them. Why do these services push dealerships in this direction? Because of the mistaken belief that “upfront pricing” is the only way to get consumers to walk in your dealership’s door.

Boy are they wrong.

Upfront Pricing is Bogus Pricing

We all know it’s impossible to give accurate upfront pricing. Dealerships simply use that “upfront price” (which is usually based on aggregate national car sales data) to lure people in, and then try to avoid angering them when the inevitable “bait and switch” has to occur. Think of the TV ads that advertise a car for $299/month. That’s $299/month based on whose trade-in? Whose credit rate? Which county’s tax rate? Etc.

With upfront pricing a consumer chooses the car they want, does their research, and heads to the dealership thinking they're going to get a great deal. Once they arrive, they discover that the dealership’s main goal at this point is to either switch them to a different vehicle or make up for that cut-rate upfront price with lower prices on the trade in, higher interest rates and additional fees.

Appointments Sell More Cars

My recommendation: Stop using the fake lure of a fake price. Instead, let customers know that if they make an appointment you can give them a much better deal. It will be real numbers based on their real situation – and you won't have to jack up those other numbers to make up for what you’re losing on the price.

You can sell more cars with appointments versus upfront pricing because appointments:

  • Create better customer expectations
  • Allow customers to meet with the actual decision maker
  • Provide an easier, more streamlined customer-centric process
  • Increase your sales peoples’ morale

To learn more visit:


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