The Commoditized VIN: Why It Makes Consumers Buy

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The Commoditized VIN: Why It Makes Consumers Buy


Because I am always going on about commoditizing the VIN and valuing vehicles, I often get quizzed by friends to look at their vehicle to see what it is worth on trade-in.

So I get down off my soap box and look at their car with them in much the same way as they would experience at a dealership. As we walk around the car, I point out the flaws, focusing on one main point: what needs to be or could be improved to better the value? Like “ugh…did you really request the colour green?…that’s going to make it worth less.”

I also show them the items that dealerships look for to be able to give more $. Does it have the options that add value? Has it ever been in an accident? And so on.

Then we talk price, or I talk price because I’m deemed an expert. “You should be able to get X amount for this, no need to take any less and if you get more…great.”

Lots of times this is a complete waste of my time, or a party trick. Some people are just curious to see what their car is worth. Sometimes I’ve insulted them as I’ve come in with a # way lower than they thought (but hey, at least they know!) And yes, my # gets used.

The last one was my buddy, Steve, trading his Rogue in on a CRV.

“How was having the price before you went to the dealership?”

“Easy, I had the # you gave and the store gave me # was very similar, I didn’t even argue because I knew how it was arrived at….just pulled the trigger and got out of there.”

By arriving at a price based on the condition of his vehicle before he ever walked into the Honda Store, the experience was made better. The adversarial nature of the trade-in transaction was nullified.

All the dealership did was co-validate the #.

Of course, there aren’t enough “car guys” like myself walking cars for people they know to go around.

This is exactly why Accu-Trade was made. It is the validation and the will to actually buy any VIN. It’s the ignition.

Put our tool in the hands of consumers and they arrive at the same # as the dealership… bingo bango… deal done, without all the head butting that happens with trade-ins.

Ah, the commoditized VIN, what else will you improve?

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