How the Shortcomings of E-dealers Reinforce the Need for Dealerships

An objection that is overwhelmingly on the rise in our industry is that customers are seeing cheaper prices for the same vehicle you are selling from e-dealers like Vroom and Carvana. This will most often come during the write-up when you’re presenting the final price to your customer. So how do we overcome this objection and how does this objection actually set us up to close the sale?

Buying Process

When customers buy from these online platforms, they don’t have the assurance that they’re getting exactly what they want because in most cases they haven’t test driven the car before it is sent to them. E-dealers don’t have a massive presence in the industry. In fact, only 1% of market share in the US is attributed to e-dealers like Carvana. So, if you live in an area where they don’t have a strong presence, they will need to ship the car to you to test drive it. If you don’t like it or find issues with it, you can return it but by the time they’ve shipped it to you, you’ve test driven, it, you return it, and try a new vehicle, you’ll already be several weeks into not owning a vehicle. For a lot of people, that means not being able to get to your job, not being able to take your kids to school, etc.  

That is the human element to sales that e-dealers don’t consider. That’s why, even in this hyper digital age, customers still want the experience of going to a dealership. When you go to a dealership you get the chance to inspect the car yourself, not just blindly trust the seller's inspection.

Service

When customers buy from e-dealers, they also don’t get the same benefits of service as a dealership. One of the aspects of buying from a dealership that adds value to the experience is that the customer now has a place to bring their vehicle if they ever have issues with it. When you buy from an e-dealer, unless you sign up for an extended warrant, which costs more and sends you to a third-party servicing center when you report issues, you’re on your own to find service and there’s no guarantee that the service you get will be quality.  

Customer Support

Lastly and most importantly, e-dealers don’t have the customer support you get from sales professionals. While it’s true that customers are more informed than ever before because of all the information they can gather on their own online, at the end of the day, they aren’t professionals and the professional consultation you get at a dealership is what most customers need to make their decision.  

Sales pros are there to inform and guide customers to the right vehicle that they know will work well with their lifestyle based on the interview they’ve had with the customer. When you’re not a car expert like sales pros are, it’s hard to know for sure what will work best for you and your family. That is why we see so many customers ending up dissatisfied with the vehicle they’ve purchased on e-dealers versus vehicles purchased at in-person dealerships.  

Using This for the Objection

Now, when you get the objection that your customer has seen a similar vehicle being sold at an e-dealer for less than you’re offering, use these points as ammo. Buying from an e-dealer is a cold transaction that completely eliminates the human element of sales which is already so lacking in our industry. It complicates all of the important elements around buying a vehicle like the buying process, the service, and the customer support. When you bring all of these things to light with your customer, they’ll not only appreciate the service you’re providing more, but they’ll be willing to spend the extra money at your dealership.  

Sources:

- https://seekingalpha.com/article/4441270-carvana-online-used-car-retailer-to-grow-revenues-by-67-percent-in-2021