More Specific Leads in Your Inbox- Suggested Messaging Rolling out to Marketplace
Written by Account Manager, Kayten Porter
Over the last few months, OfferUp Motors has been testing dealer specific “suggested messaging” on dealer vehicle listings for a portion of the marketplace. In addition to users being able to type their own questions, some users also saw “suggested messages” or pre-populated questions pop up on dealer listings when deciding to chat.
The goal was simple. Give shoppers a quick list of pre-populated questions while also giving dealers a more specific “jumping off” point for conversations, increasing overall lead quality and giving the dealer insight into what the customer is specifically interested in. After very positive results showing consumers are more likely to engage when they have pre-suggested chat options, we will be rolling this new feature to all dealer listings in the next few months.
So, what does this mean for you? You can expect to start seeing the below questions in your inbox accompanying new leads. That also means that as a dealer, will have deeper and more directed initial conversations that will help you identify which shoppers are more serious and further along on their car-buying journey.
We are excited to be rolling out this feature more broadly as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more quality leads to your dealership. Feel free to reach out to your Account Manager if you have any questions, and happy selling!
New Year New Features & Updates
Written by Account Manager, Michael Rambaldini
OfferUp has rolled out some new features to improve your experience selling vehicles on the app! We have implemented the capability to add trim to vehicles, a monthly payment calculator, and canned questions from shoppers. All of these features are meant to help you sell cars faster and easier on our app!
Previously, OfferUp has not displayed trim but we know how essential details like this are for our VDP dealer-listed vehicles. Trim is important information for car shoppers, and it can significantly affect the price of vehicles. Different trim offers a variety of features and extras, which can help shoppers differentiate between models, making it easier for them to find your vehicles. Different shoppers look for different features, and this will allow them to find those models more efficiently.
Aside from considering a vehicle’s features, one of the most important ways shoppers evaluate if a vehicle is right for them is by its cost. Frequently, the one question that's top of mind is, “How will this fit into my monthly budget? Monthly payment calculators have become a standard functionality on most vehicle listing sites, and OfferUp has launched our version! The calculator provides a tool for shoppers to customize the financing inputs to personalize their estimates. Monthly payment calculators give shoppers a better understanding of what vehicles they can afford, which improves the lead quality you receive on VDP dealer-listed vehicles. The calculator is currently a dealer exclusive, as it only surfaces when OfferUp shoppers are viewing dealer-listed vehicles, and not private party listings.
Is winter coming or is it already here?
Written by Account Executive, Andrew Hobby
The holidays are over and tax time is upon us, which can only mean one thing, we are stuck in the middle of winter. Whether you had a white Christmas or Santa wears shorts and flip-flops where you live, it’s January and the times are changing in our industry, seemingly day by day. If you watched the HBO show Game of Thrones, you know the motto of the House Stark is “winter is coming.” As the kingdom is situated in a very cold and sometimes violently turbulent region, it is a reminder to stay ever vigilant, just as we all must do in the car business.
The past year (or three) has been exciting in the car industry, profits are at an all-time high while inventory has been at an all-time low, but things are changing rapidly. According to Edmunds, the average price of a used car transaction was $17,638 in January 2020, and just 2 years later, through a global pandemic and automotive chip shortage, the average transaction was $30,209, with that number climbing another almost $5000 dollars by summer. That statistic coupled with interest rate hikes, inflated wholesale prices, and lenders tightening their belts with prime lenders now receiving offers in the double digits and conditions are ripe for a downturn in the used auto industry.
Let's take a look at some trends:
Deep subprime loan terms fell to an 8-year low in October of 2022 (auto finance news)
37% of car loans now have terms over 73 months (Edmunds)
The focus is rapidly shifting from available inventory to affordable inventory (Cox 1000 dealer survey
The good news is that used car prices are down 15.6% from last January and continue to trend downward according to Manheim, but is there a new normal? So what does all this mean for you as a used car dealer? It could mean that you have lenders that might start to tighten their lending requirements. It could mean that the pandemic car boom is finally starting to slow down, which is great for car buyers but may mean we have to change how we do business. Whether or not it is time to prepare for “winter” or if it is already here doesn’t matter, we need to stay vigilant, and getting your inventory in front of shoppers in every way possible is one way to do that.
If your inventory is starting to rebound, but your buyers and lenders are not, you may need to rethink your strategies. Repossession rates are at 2.2% and expected to rise to 3.8%, putting them just shy of the 4% in 2009 and the average payment is now up to $718 a month according to Automotive State of the Union. So what can you do in this rapidly changing landscape? OfferUp Motors can help in a variety of ways, and expose you to buyers who not only want your inventory but need it.
OfferUp's special finance program gets your inventory in front of our users when they need you and does it the same way you do. With inventory returning, auctions are more important than ever, and our VDP 360 concierge service can help send you qualified buyers, while weeding out all the noise and lowballers, giving you the time you need to run your business and access all the inventory you can. Staffed by live agents in our office 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, our agents will act as your agents and send you leads according to your specifications, which can be changed anytime. If floor plan interest is giving you headaches, OfferUp can promote your inventory from the oldest to the newest and help you move those aged units.
So whether or not you are experiencing or are about to experience winter in the car business, OfferUp can help you reach your goals, even amidst all the changes in the industry.
Respond Quicker and take advantage of Text Replacement Features on your Device
Written By Account Manager, Chris Leow
“A lead is only as good as the person working it," said every sales manager since the 1980s
There are plenty of focuses that pre-owned car dealerships are doing to prep for tax season: ramping up inventory, ensuring vehicles are front-line ready, taking a sales call from your favorite OfferUp rep… the list goes on.
So why do so much work, only to ignore leads when they’re piping hot? I’ve heard multiple answers from multiple areas and demographics and it all boils down to one simple issue: THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME!
While 79% of customers prefer live chat because of how quickly they can get a response, 1 in 5 will stop using a product or service because of slow response times. By using OfferUp as a live chat service, your customers can get answers to their questions in minutes and schedule more appointments... if you respond. (Source: superoffice.com)
Your smartphone has a built-in feature to allow you to enter customized responses for any situation: all you have to do is use it. I’ve talked to various customers who have customized their responses based on what they’re seeing from customers: requests for financing, wanting to schedule a test drive, or simply responding to a lowball offer.
For iPhones: tap Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement
For Android: tap Settings > General management > Samsung Keyboard settings > Text shortcuts
For example, simply typing “low1” would auto-populate the response “That's great for the down payment. When can we schedule you to come to the lot and check this vehicle out?”. To continue the conversation or when it’s applicable, you could also have “credit1” be your code to send your credit app to the customer.
Feel free to reach out to your Account Manager this week to schedule a call. Our team is happy to help you customize some responses based on the most frequent inbound messages your dealership is getting.
If you feel that the lead volume is still too much, we’d also be happy to see if we have room for your dealership in our Concierge program.
Marketing and Selling to Women in 2023
Written by Account Executive, Alicia Ward
As we enter into a New Year and look into marketing opportunities and who your customers are, you will want to take into account that according to Edmunds, 62% of all cars are purchased by women. How does this affect your business and marketing in 2023?
There are several things to factor in to boost your sales to this demographic, for example how women choose where they purchase, what they value in a vehicle, and how to market to women.
Women tend to be a relationship based when selecting where to purchase a car. They will speak with family, friends, neighbors, and online reviews when looking for a dealership that they can trust to work with. Providing incredible customer service to a woman will bring you several more customers as they will recommend your dealership's service to their entire social network. As a part of that grassroots marketing makes sure to encourage your satisfied customers to write your dealership a great review, this adds value and credibility to your business to attract more buyers.
It has been shown that when men purchase a vehicle they are more brand loyal than women, for example, they are a “Ford Person.” This is not always the case for women. Safety, vehicle features, and affordability are some of the key things women will look for when buying a car. Listen and ask questions when helping her find a vehicle, this will set you apart from your competitors. As you navigate a sale with a woman ask her “What are the key things she values in her new vehicle”. Show her options that fit her needs and values.
When establishing your marketing budget make sure to include nontraditional car marketing. Women are more likely to shop on their phones, in online marketplaces, and browse social media. Also, keep in mind a car purchase for a woman sometimes takes longer than their male counterparts, and that means dealers who find ways to advertise vehicles outside car exclusive sites could reignite a woman’s urgency to purchase when they may have put a vehicle search on hold.
Here at OfferUp, we are excited to be a part of your 2023 solution and marketing to women. We are a horizontal marketplace that brings buyers who are not looking on traditional car sites, your Verified Dealer page will include your reviews and build trust in the community, and finally, we are a local marketplace that thrives on grassroots and community marketing which is a great tool in relationship selling.
If you are not an active dealer on OfferUp you are missing out. In just the past month, we had 11 million viewers in our Cars & Trucks category. It's never been a better time to join, and with tax season just a month away now is the time to start. Give us a few minutes and we will show you how it works.