Is all of your inventory online?

I hear great things about pre-owned sales all the time. The unique, lower-priced used models fit better into the budgets of some customers, and they deliver high margins, dealers report. But who’s going to buy that merchandise if you don’t show it off?

I was in a dealership a while back, and my eyes landed upon a sport bike. It was perfect for me (minus probably needing a height adjustment). It had the ideal touches of girliness and bad-assery at the same time, and I couldn’t wait to show my dad when I saw him later that night.

The problem was when I visited the dealership’s website, the bike was nowhere to be seen. So I checked the dealer’s Facebook page — nothing. Giving the dealer the benefit of the doubt that the bike might be new to the showroom, I patiently checked the dealer’s website and Facebook page for a few days before I finally gave up.

Now I don’t know the dealer’s circumstances with this bike — I never asked. There’s a chance that bike had already been sold, or there was some other reasonable excuse as to why the bike wouldn’t be online. But I was disappointed. The bike was unique, so that specific model had to be seen in order to be explained.

Bikes, ATVs, etc., get people excited. They want to show their friends and family any cool unit they see. But, if it’s not posted somewhere — preferably with multiple photos — how are they going to share it?

Was I ready to buy that bike that day? No. Could I have been convinced to buy such a unique model with the right financing? Possibly. Would I have considered taking my dad, who also rides, into the dealership to check it out? Probably. But I couldn’t show him the photos, and I had no idea how much the bike cost.

To prevent the same missed opportunities for your pre-owned inventory, tun this question through your head every time you put a unit on the floor: How is anyone going to know it’s there if you don’t show them?

Liz Hochstedler is the associate editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s twice-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis and dealership conference, Profit Xcelerator.


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