My name is Jeff Coyle and I’m the General Manager of Saint John Toyota, in Saint John, New Brunswick. We run with Accu-Trade out of three different stores, three different locations, Toyota, Lexus and Volkswagen. Originally we went with it for a wholesale tool and it’s adapted into our complete appraisal tool now.
Volume wise, out of our Toyota store we’re doing about 1200 new cars a year, and 800 pre-owned. Of which every appraisal we do is ran through Accu-Trade.
We used other tools in the past, and we adapted to this… A, there is a price savings a substantial price savings, but more importantly we do a better job merchandising and appraising our vehicles using Accu-Trade which we find is the most accurate numbers for an appraisal tool that we’ve ever used.
We do wholesale a fair amount through our local auctions and Accu-Trade gives you three number: a number you should take it on trade for, a number that you should hope to get at auction and a retail number. The most important thing for us in our business has been the auction number, we’ve found it to be EXTREMELY accurate.
When we take a vehicle in on trade we try to put it through our reconditioning process immediately or as soon as we can, and that’s typically when we find out if it’s going to be a retail vehicle or if we’ll wholesale it based on what it needs in the shop. Typically if it needs too much or if we’ve missed something on our appraisal process we get within a very small degree pretty close to what the auction number is on Accu-Trade. We know where we’re going to land almost every single time so it just puts a whole lot of confidence into our appraisers and into the vehicles that we’re purchasing.
We show these results to our management team. A lot of other appraisal tools you can manipulate your appraisal number by picking your cost to market, price to market, whatever you want to do, you can adjust it.
With Accu-Trade, that’s not really an option and we’ve shown how our first number, is our last number. We appraise it, we can present the reasons why through the tool, we stick with that number 100% of the time. If you have to step up on it and you’ve above your auction number you’re going to be in trouble because it’s proven that that is the number we’re going to get. Don’t wish and hope that you’re going to get more because that’s not going to happen. That’s why we use the tool, because it’s very, very accurate.
Sometimes you know, I’ll get a new car manager that will want to make a new car deal. Well, we print off every single appraisal and when the deals done, whatever it says on the Accu-Trade sheet is what I’m buying the car for because that’s our business, that’s our process. If you moved on it, it’s coming out of the new car gross no matter what your deal was. So if you stretched on a trade to make a new car deal, good chance you’re going to lose on the new car deal because I’m taking that gross back into my used car.
Sean Liptay: With your luxury dealership, how do you find Accu-Trade with the oddball pieces? Do you find that the Lexus dealership that they’re able to hit those thinly traded vehicle numbers for you also?
Jeff Coyle: I do. We wholesale about 75% of what we take on trade in the high end market. We use Accu-Trade to get our trade in number and typically at the same time that we’re appraising it, we’ll load it to an online auction like TradeRev or EBlock. It typically comes in very close to that number so we kind of use a backup just incase. Only because of where we are. A lot of our vehicles, luxury vehicles end up in Ontario somewhere after we wholesale them. It seems that the tool with be a lot more useful in a larger market, just because we don’t have much of a market for high end vehicles. It is a nice backup for us in case we can’t get bidders online and we do have to buy it without that safety net.
Sean Liptay: It sounds like you’re ahead of the curb especially in the age of profit compression at the top. You’ve got to make it up somewhere right, so you’ve got to buy the cars right.
Jeff Coyle: You have to. You have to. Days of buying cars for too much money it’s just dumb. It doesn’t make sense. You don’t have to do it. I’ve had customers sit in front of me and you know, say, well I’ve been down to the Kia store and they were giving me 15 and you’re giving me 12. I say, I’m sorry, it is not my fault that they poor business, I just am not willing to pay you that for your car. That’s it… I’ll walk a deal. That is the HARDEST part to do, trust me. That’s not a fun job but it all comes out in the wash. You’ve got to walk the odd one.
I’ll tell you another thing that I actually really like on Accu-Trade that I use. When we’re in the buying season, early spring. I like to go online, I go on TradeRev and EBlock and out proxy bids in. What I’ll do is I’ll copy and paste VIN’s and mileage out of TradeRev, I fire them into Accu-Trade, I get my number, I set my proxy then I never look at the car again because I know that if I get outbid I don’t want it. Right? With vAuto, I find I’m always adjusting my profit or adjusting my profit, or adjusting my market or my price to market, thinking I can squeeze a little here. With Accu-Trade I was doing 25 cars a night just putting proxy bids out, then I’d get my email in the morning and see what I won. I’d win 2 or 3 and that’d be about it, but I was like.. Well, I know I’m safe in them and the rest of them I don’t care because it was above where Accu-Trade said I had to be.
It sounds like a lot of work upfront but it saves you a lot of work. When you’re closing the end of an auction you go into panic mode, right? Oh, I’m only another $100, I can buy that. But with this I don’t even look, I don’t care, don’t show me the numbers… if I win them, I win them, if I don’t, I don’t.
Interested in learning more about how dealers are using Accu-Trade?Contact LOGAN anytime | TEXT: 506.874.7355 | Logan@accu-trade.ca
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