Going Digital with Your Appraisals

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For the most part, consumers find the car buying experience stressful and, in some cases, overwhelming. Compound that anxiety with the uncertainty of what their car is worth for a trade-in, and your potential customer may feel like running for the hills.  

To some extent, I can sympathize with them. For a long time, the trade-in experience was one in which the dealer walked into the office, came back with a number and that was that. But times have changed, and with every industry and company going digital and trending toward transparency, so should your dealership.  

Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy with their car-buying knowledge prior to purchase. Physical visits to dealerships before purchase have decreased from five to one, with 88% of retail buyers leveraging digital resources for information before setting foot into a business. Similar to wholesale auto marketplaces, vehicle trade-ins are about to experience a major digital shift, and it’s time to start leveraging tools to help you navigate through it.  

The trade-in, just like any other sale, is largely based on the customer experience, and a good customer experience is paramount. In fact, 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.  

To personalize the trade-in experience while ensuring the price is market value, dealers can use platforms like TradeRev as an appraisal tool. By simply launching the car to a digital auction, in just 45 minutes thousands of potential bidders will show you and your customer exactly how much the vehicle is worth. This allows you to have a transparent conversation with your customer around the value of their trade. 

In Canada, dealers can take the trade-in experience a step further. This year TradeRev launched Trade-In at Home, which — you guessed it — allows customers to work with dealers to trade-in their vehicles from the comfort of their own home via digital auction.  

The simple process starts with dealers inviting customers to a remote trade-in via a unique link. The customer then shares the vehicle information and photos online with the dealer, who then reviews it, adds any missing details and launches it to the open auction. By the end of the 45-minute auction, customers can decide to take the final bid or not trade-in their vehicle. With global revenue from online sales in the second quarter of 2020 skyrocketing 71% year-over-year, it’s clear the demand for services like at-home trade-ins will continue to grow. 

Both of these appraisal tactics allow your dealership to give your customers a transparent and exact value for their vehicle, ultimately reducing their anxiety around the trade-in and purchase. And whether you keep the vehicle on your lot to sell to another customer or mark it for immediate digital sale is irrelevant, because the vehicle was acquired for the exact market value. 

By equipping your dealership with digital appraisal and trade-in tools like these, you’re giving yourself a leg up on the competition by delivering a simple, fast and great customer experience. And with 87% of consumers saying they will make another purchase from the company if they had a great experience, you simply can’t afford not to adopt the cutting-edge tools your customers are coming to expect.  


New to digital auctions? Whether you’re a Buyer or Seller, our Go Digital series can help take your dealership to the next level.

The opinions expressed in the Go Digital series are the opinions of the authors only and not those of KAR Global.

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