How to Increase Used Car Sales During an Inventory Shortage

increase used car sales

You want to increase used car sales, but your inventory is low. Here’s what you can do. 

Figuring out the best way to increase used car sales is a continual topic of conversation at dealerships. And there are always different strategies and approaches you can take. A lot of that depends on your customer base, your location, and what kind of vehicles are typically on your lot. 

And, of course, there’s a fine line between having enough vehicles on your lot to entice customers and having too many vehicles taking up space that just aren’t moving. Ideally, your lot is a place where cars come and spend a couple of weeks, then move on to their next destination. 

But what is a dealership to do when inventory is low? How can you push sales up when you don’t have much to sell? Let’s look at a few options. 

Considerations to increase used car sales inventory
increase used car sales

First things first, if you plan to increase used car sales, but don’t have a plan to replenish the vehicles you sell, you’re running on fumes. That means you need to figure out why there’s an inventory shortage. Is it due to an overall reduction in used cars in your region or even nationally? We all know that business changed in 2020. But local events could also impact whether or not people are trading in or buying vehicles.

Aside from that, it’s worth considering where your used-car inventory is coming from. Are auctions working out in your favor? Are customers accepting your trade-in offers? It might be worth expanding your geographic reach if you truly need additional inventory. 

Setting all that aside for the moment, however, let’s look at some ways to increase used car sales even when your current inventory is limited.

5 Secrets to increase used car sales even with a limited inventory

1. Explore your waiting list. If you have customers looking for specific vehicles, now is a good time to review that list. Do you have what they’re looking for? Or something close to it? Send them a text or give them a call.increase used car sales

2. Make your lot inviting. Whether or not it’s true, your customers likely believe the cleanliness and organization of your lot reflect the quality of your vehicles. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to spruce up a dealership lot. Ensure the cars are clean and waxed, keep the lot free of weeds, trash, and other debris, and make sure your building is clean. And feel free to skip those waving noodle things. If you want some decorations, add a few trees or large plants.

3. Organize your lot. Certainly, this is part of making your lot inviting, but it deserves its own space here. For example, a disorganized car lot, with trucks askew, cars jammed in bumper to bumper, and different types of vehicles all mixed together, can make it hard for customers to find what they want. That disorganization also can feel confusing. Leave some space for people to walk between vehicles. Keep cars with cars, trucks with trucks, and so on. If you want to get fancy, you could even color coordinate your vehicles. 

4. Don’t let your lot look empty. Yes, you do want an organized and efficient lot, but you won’t increase used car sales if your lot looks empty, either. Customers want options. So even if you are low on inventory, do what you can to keep your lot looking full. That might mean moving all your vehicles into one section or adding more plants or signage. increase used car sales

5. Don’t forget your excellent customer service. Good customer service goes a long way in any kind of sales, but especially in used car sales. This encompasses everything from treating people respectfully to being honest in your sales strategy to making it easy for your customers to leave the lot with a new vehicle. Good customer service is a powerful tool that can overcome issues like inventory shortages. And even if you can’t get your customer into the right vehicle right now, they’ll remember how you treated them when the time comes, and you have more inventory. 

There’s no magic wand that will help you increase used car sales, but these five tips can certainly help.

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Patrick H.
Patrick H.