Technology is constantly changing and evolving. What once felt far and impossible is now in grasp and possible. Since the launch of the first e-commerce company in 1982, online sales in every domain are now unstoppable. Online car sales are a milestone in the e-commerce domain, which brought convenience, ease, and quality to the buyers’ doorsteps.
Selling and buying automobiles online was once considered too risky and complicated, but now, it has become the easiest and most trustworthy way for many. Approximately 61% of people rely on online sources for buying and selling their vehicles, as stated by Cox Automotives in 2019.
This article will thoroughly discuss everything you need to know about online auto sales and how to leverage it to help your business. So, let’s begin!
What do you mean by online car sales?
Online car sales refer to buying a vehicle through an online channel, like a dealership website or an automotive marketplace. From researching a car’s make, model, features, etc., to buying it and everything in between, it can all be done online from the comfort of one’s home. Online auto sales are much more convenient and transparent compared to traditional, i.e., offline sales.
The whole procedure is purely online, and only the test-driving step requires offline meetings. However, those, too, can be scheduled at your convenience! Online vehicle retailing saves time and energy for both buyers and sellers – a win-win situation for all! Buyers can research all their options and compare them easily, while sellers can reach a broad audience quickly.
On the other hand, buying and selling cars traditionally can be stressful and troublesome. Buyers need to hop from one dealership to another to check vehicles, and there was usually a lot of haggling as well for the final price. As for sellers, the footfall they received is much lower than digital means, and showing the cars off correctly took a lot longer.
Traditional car sales, from hundreds of paperwork to uncountable store trips, are hectic.
Why do car sellers need to go online?
Digital channels are crucial for growth in the 21st century. Buying and selling cars and other vehicles online saves buyers and sellers from unnecessary stress. Finding the desired car with needed features at one’s own pace and likings and finalizing the deal with ease and comfort, without the trouble and worry of extensive and tiring procedures, is the best aspect of online car sales.
Also, you don’t just need to have an online presence; it should be good too! Buyers tend to check out customer reviews for every retailer before engaging in business with them. If you don’t have an excellent online presence with positive reviews by multiple people, people might not trust your digital dealership and jump over to a competitor.
The complete guide to selling used cars online
Selling used cars online is simple and handy when done correctly, with the potential for significant profits! However, it is very hard to begin! Here’s our complete guide that will help you kick-start your online used car sales business:
Make your cars sales-ready
Before bringing the car out on the market, make it as fresh and new as possible. Clean it from the inside out and get rid of dirt and stains from the car. Remove any personal accessory or object in the car. Servicing and maintenance are also necessary, with a thorough checkup for any significant damages. Once servicing, washing, and repairing are done, the car is ready to be brought to the market.
Know your car’s worth
The price of every car varies based on the model, features, modifications, condition, and maintenance. Evaluate its worth and compare it to the market price. Set your price range by considering every aspect – profit, best deals, and demand. The appropriate price will help sell the vehicle quickly.
The most necessary and critical stage of selling used cars online is to create a suitable advertisement. The ad should be attractive, unique, and informative to attract customers. Begin by taking clear pictures of the car from all sides, followed by the interior. Then, work on writing the car’s description, explaining its features, condition, and model details. You should run the ad on all relevant platforms, including social media, YouTube, etc.
You must hunt down the best websites or platforms to sell the cars digitally. Go through the terms and conditions of every website and platform and shortlist the ones that align with your interest and will provide you with the best deal. Finalize the website or platform most appropriate to your conditions and list your vehicle there. You can also make your own online car dealer website for the same.
Meet the buyers
Once the listing is online, buyers will start contacting you. Some will contact you for query purposes, and others for genuine buying. Filter the buyers, put your deal forward, and finally meet the potential buyers for test drives and finalize the deal. You might have to negotiate as well. Discuss other necessary details in the meet-up itself, to be on the same page, such as the car’s manufacturing details, usage details, history of the car, registration details, etc.
Once the deal is done, and the car is ready to be sold, the documentation begins. Prepare all the needed documents, including warranty cards and manuals. The documents that are needed while selling the car are:
- Bill of Sale
- Emissions Test Documentation
- Owner’s Manual
- Warranty Documents
- Service and Maintenance Records
- Vehicle history report
- Odometer disclosure
Once you have prepared all the documents, seal the deal. Once the payment is received, hand over the documents to the car’s new owner, and the deal is done.
The deal is done, but your work isn’t! After selling the car, follow up to check if the customer is satisfied with the sale and your service. Keep the invoice secured for future reference, if any.
With this step complete, you’ve now successfully sold a car!
Best online car sales strategies for retailers & dealerships
Strategies used while selling cars online should be as effective as possible to achieve the best possible results. Needless to say, the strategies will make the task easier for online car dealers and marketplaces and will attract potential buyers.
Try to be as clear and precise in the deal as possible, without misleading the viewers. The information regarding vehicles, deals, money exchange details, and expected terms and conditions should be discussed openly without any confusion. It will help keep the buyer and seller on the same page and build trust that will last longer.
While putting the vehicle out on the market, make sure that you also put all the details of the vehicle in a clear and concise manner. No one wants to waste time gathering the information from here and there; instead, by simply going through the provided description and the car pictures, the potential buyer will decide and only contact the owner. It will save time and simplify things. Eventually, it will only attract genuine buyers.
Try to market yourself in every possible way. Use advertisements, influencer marketing, cold emails, cold messages, cold calls, etc., to attract potential buyers. Also, be smart in advertising; first, figure out your audience and then target accordingly. It will save time, money, and effort, and the advertisement will reach potential buyers only.
Be available at all times
Someone who has taken the time out to go through all the details and then decided to contact your dealership. However, if you aren’t there to receive their call or email, then they will simply buy from somewhere else. You can install a chatbot on your website to engage with the buyer initially, which can then forward the conversation to a sales rep later. Also, ensure that all your contact channels – chats, calls, emails, etc. – are always running.
Tips to source cars for selling
Sourcing cars is perhaps the most crucial step; how would you sell cars if you don’t have cars to sell? Here are a few steps you can take to find used vehicles for reselling:
List ads online
run ads stating that you’re interested in quickly buying old, used cars. People usually don’t want too much trouble selling their old cars, so they usually won’t haggle much if you quickly give them a good deal and take care of the paperwork.
Check local auctions
Sometimes, you can find good deals at local car auctions or auction websites. In fact, you can come across some classic or vintage cars too. All they need is some fixing, after which they can fetch you a good profit.
Add trade-in or sell options on your website
You can also offer your buyers the option to trade in their old vehicles when buying from your website. Apart from that, you can add the option for people to sell their used cars directly to you.
Tips to boost used car sales in 2023
Want to keep your online car retail business growing in 2023? Of course, you do! Here are a few valuable tips for you to follow:
Certified Pre-owned (CPO) programs
A certified pre-owned car is considered more desirable in the market. CPO cars are inspected by experts, and only upon verification and approval is the car brought to market. This increases the vehicle’s credibility and helps to get the desired profit. Such programs ensure that the car is technically inspected, fully refurbished, and has a warranty if any repair is required. It enhances the customer’s trust and helps the owner get the desired deal.
Build a mobile-friendly website
People usually access the internet via their smartphones, which is why your website needs to be mobile-friendly. A lousy viewing experience on mobile could result in you losing a potential sale.
Coupons and referral programs
Good deals, discounts, and coupons never fail to attract customers. Referral programs are another strategy to boost sales; asking existing customers to refer others to your business in exchange for added benefits is a great way to increase your reach.
Asking existing customers to rate and review the company and posting it online can build a good image of the company and can generate trust. Testimonials in which customers can explain their experience with the company and their shopping experience are also helpful.
Social media platforms are the best marketing tools in the 21st century. Businesses can build a large customer base via clever branding on social media, thus attracting lots of genuine customers. YouTube videos, Instagram ads, Facebook ads, tweets, etc., are great ways to market the vehicles and attract potential buyers.
While traditional (offline) car sales aren’t going anywhere, online car sales have steadily gained popularity among the masses. Also, even the people who purchase a vehicle online usually begin their car-buying journey online! That’s why it is absolutely essential for dealerships and car retailers to have digital channels for their audiences. By following the info provided in this blog, you’ll be able to set up your business in the online space quickly and effectively.