Car inventory shortage: 7 ways to bridge your sales gap

Jason Hilderbrand

02 May 2022 5 months ago


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Are you worried about the impact of car inventory shortage on your dealership? Here are some ways to bring in more customers to sell their cars to you.

Although many factors could be responsible for an inventory shortage, you should adapt to what you already have and showcase it as much as possible to keep the bank balance steady. In fact, you should come up with new ways to bridge the sales gap during shortages. 

People like choices; they love to compare, and if there is an inventory shortage, it may look like a call of doom for your dealership, but it isn’t really. If your showroom is comfortable, clean, and presentable, your sales team welcoming your work is half done. Next, you just need to hook in customers and entice them to sell their cars to you to eliminate your inventory shortage problem. 

You can go to auctions and try to bring in more used cars, but that may not be enough, so here are some tips on how you can get people to sell their vehicles to you:

Market your dealership on all platforms including social media

Your first step should be to promote your used car dealership on social media, as it is a quick way to reach a vast audience. Discuss what services you offer, such as used car dealerships, and if you are also offering car repair service, then mention it as it will target more potential customers. 

Social media uses algorithms that target users based on their search history and activity. So if you are promoting your service on such a platform, more people searching for used car dealerships are likely to see your offerings. 

Additionally, you can put a used car buy services ad on your website, make it part of your emails and request your followers to share it. There is no disadvantage to that, and it takes little effort to promote your used car dealership on social media. Even if you get only a few responses, this method has the potential to find new sellers to fill in your inventory.

Build trust by marketing your sales team

Besides promoting your used car dealership on social media, advertise your sales team as well. While buying or purchasing stuff online, people are unaware of who is on the other side. But if you let your sales team engage with people, it will put a face on your business and help you build a meaningful relationship with them. 

Your clients will feel at ease knowing who is on the other side of the screen, and they are not dealing with a stranger, so they are more likely to visit your dealership and sell their cars. 

Improve your SEO game

Optimize your inventory for search engine ranking. Create a virtual showroom on your website with the help of inventory management software and place all information about your used cars on a vehicle display page (VDP). People are more likely to find your dealership website if you have individual VDPs, and they may sell their used cars to you. 

If you don’t have VDPs, you may not show up on the search engine results for used cars, as this market is already dominated by big names such as Carfax, Craigslist, Autotrader, etc.

So just don’t focus on basic keyword phrases but focus on VDPs that will attract customers by searching for used car makes, models, features, prices, and mileage. So when they search for a used car buy and sell dealership near them, your corresponding VDPs on your website will pop up on the search engine results.

Buy cars that need repairs

If your dealership also includes a car repair garage, you have more chances to find people who wish to get their hands off their old cars at reasonable prices. So, if your dealership includes buying automobile parts wholesale, such as new brakes, tires, and belt replacements, you can turn someone’s junk car into a new one. It’s a relatively inexpensive way of taking care of your inventory shortage.

The prices of used cars have increased a lot in the last many years because after the covid pandemic; many dealers are struggling to fill their inventory. But if you repair an old car, you can sell it at a reasonable price and wouldn’t have to sell many cars to reach your revenue goal.

Create a presentable inventory

Make your inventory look presentable with whatever limited used cars you have in your lot. Increase the space between vehicles, park them at various angles and use potted plants to cover the gaps so that your area can look fuller and more attractive to potential clients. 

Whether you have ten cars or twenty, a clean and tidy space will give the impression that you care for your business and your vehicles are in good shape. This will make customers more comfortable while buying and selling cars. 

Get in touch with previous customers

You can get in touch with your previous customers. Some may want to sell their used car to buy a new make and model. So, you can write a letter or email to let them know that you are interested in buying cars and meet them at their home or workplaces to look at their vehicles. That way, they won’t have to take time out of their hectic schedule to visit your showroom and may feel more comfortable while selling their cars from their home or workplace. 

The more you’ll give your customers pre-offers, such as asking them for photos to provide a reasonable price on them or the condition and mileage of their vehicle, the more likely they are going to sell their cars to you.

Don’t miss out on potential deals

Your sales team must be enthusiastic all year round while trading. The lackluster response to a buyer who wishes to sell their car may turn them off or send them searching for a new dealership. Hence, your sales team must be active and responsive and should know the art of hooking in the client.  Moreover, they should also be knowledgeable, ask the right questions and be enthusiastic about the trade. Let your car sellers know what you will offer them that other dealers won’t so they could be more enchanted to sell their vehicles to you.


Jason Hilderbrand