Helpful Energy-Saving Tips for Your Car Dealership
According to Energy Star, car dealers use more energy per square foot than a typical office building. Fortunately, there are some energy-saving tips for car dealerships that will help your business save money while maintaining good lighting, safety, and comfort.
Two tools you’ll really want to keep an eye on because they consume so much electricity are:
Compressors: Various types of compressors consume energy at different rates. They’ll also be much less efficient if not properly maintained, which is why proper maintenance is so important here.
Paint booths: These need a lot of energy, but they’re better now than they were just 5 years ago. This is because they now have better motors, air flow, ducting, controls, and lighting. So if your paint booth is out-of-date, it’s time to get a new one
Most car dealerships have a way of washing and detailing vehicles today. Whether this is by using a simple pressure washer or maintaining a fully automated car wash
these are very energy-intensive. Outside of building an entirely new detailing center, you can:
Change out lights to HID lighting and T8 lamps.
Install a heat pump for water heating. Since these concentrate the existing heat, they cost much less than gas or electric pumps for heating.
Make sure your boiler is working efficiently (look for 8% annual fuel-use efficiency). Look for any problems with combustion or sediment.
Check your water reclamation system. When working properly, it reduces your water usage by about 60%.
You open and close your bay doors dozens of times each day as vehicles come and go. Sometimes they’re left open unnecessarily for long periods of time too. There are a few things you can do to cut down on energy loss here
Car-Buying Tips From My Days as an Undercover Salesman
Some years ago, I became an undercover car salesman at two different dealerships in Southern California, as part of an investigative series for an automotive website. What I learned surprised and scared me, as I described in the resulting article, “Confessions of a Car Salesman.”
Selling cars turned out to be the perfect training for my current job as a consumer advocate and autos editor for NerdWallet. While I posed as a “green pea” — the nickname for a beginner car salesperson — the sales managers freely revealed their secrets to me so that I would move the metal and, in turn, make money for them.
Test-drive your car salesperson
Believe it or not, I felt sympathy for many of the salespeople I worked with. They face long hours, hostility from customers and constant pressure from managers who watch from “the tower,” a raised platform overlooking the car lot. Later, as I used my insider knowledge to buy more than 100 cars for an automotive website, I met many honest, intelligent, helpful car salespeople. But the work of these “good apples” was often spoiled by a rotten batch of uninformed sales stereotypes — not to mention some manipulative and even underhanded dealership managers.
Check the ‘book’ value
It takes only a minute to look up the current market value of a car — and yet many shoppers wander onto the car lot without any idea of what they should pay. This one little data point would provide an amazing amount of protection. But as an undercover car salesman, I had to stand by and watch trusting, ordinary buyers overpay for their new cars.
Don’t be a monthly-payment buyer
“What kind of monthly payment are you folks looking for?” This helpful-sounding question is the favorite trick of car salespeople everywhere. And if you answer, it can be a financial disaster for you. While it sounds like the salesperson is concerned about your budget, it’s the opening gambit for a tactic called “packing payments.” If the dealer can get you to negotiate a monthly payment rather than the purchase price of the car, it’s easy to add in — or “pack” — extras and make you overpay.
Car Buying Tips From a Car Salesman
When it comes to buying cars, most people would rather go in for a root canal than step foot on a salesroom floor. Car dealerships are filled with pushy salesmen, on the prowl for their next victim to prey upon and doing anything to make a sale. Right? Well, no – not necessarily. In fact, many car salesmen really do want to help you find the right car for you, even if it means not making the sale right away.
We spoke to an anonymous car salesman, who spilled the beans on the best insider tips and tricks to getting the best deal on your next car purchase. So whether you’re thinking of buying a new car in the next week or the next 5 years, keep reading to get the inside scoop direct from the horse’s – ahem, car salesman’s – mouth.
New vs. Used Cars:
According to our anonymous source, there’s about a 50/50 ratio between customers looking to buy new vs. used vehicles. This comes down to two very different types of customers – price shoppers and product shoppers.
Price shoppers: these are the customers looking only at the cost of the vehicle, i.e. monthly payments plus total costs. These customers usually have a dollar amount in mind when entering a negotiation with a car salesman.
Product shoppers: these are customers looking at model options and packages available for their vehicle of choice. They usually have a very specific or custom car they are looking to buy and price not the major factor in their decision.
Buying vs. Leasing Cars:
Our anonymous source has been in the car sales business for over 5 years, and he believes that leasing a car and then buying out the lease when the term is up is usually a better option for most people due to the residual value of a car
Online Marketing Tips for Today’s Car Dealer
Cars are selling again. As the economy continues to recover, car dealerships are emerging from the rubble and ramping up their sales. This time around, however, they’re dusting themselves off and getting themselves back on their feet in an economy where consumers, who are a little more money cautious, are relying on the internet to make informed purchases. Now more than ever, buyers are on a hunt for details about their investments. They’re searching for information that will tell them how to cut costs, save money and strike the best bargains.
As such, dealers of the auto industry have to use online marketing to customers where they’re most comfortable getting their information: online. With access to all of the information a consumer could ever want online, auto dealers have to log on to.
Connect with All Online Leads
Dealerships often make the mistake of leaving potential online leads to the wayside. Remember, prospective clients are on a constant hunt for a good car deal. Much more than the purchases they will make in any other industry, consumers today are researching websites and social media pages to find information about their next big car purchase.
Convert potential clients skimming your site for options into actual consumers. Start by placing call to actions (CTAs) on the pages of your websites and social media pages. Ask them for their contact information and provide them with your own. Your mission is to receive their email, phone number, or address so that you can give them a steady stream of promotions surrounding your business. Be sure to provide relevant content on these pages that detail tips on buying a car. Besides serving as a conversion portal for your business your website and social media channels should work to establish you as an expert in your field.
Regularly Update All of Your Social Channels
If you can swing it, sign up for all of the top and niche social media channels available. Sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat can work to a marketers advantage in different ways. Look into which channels your target audience is most likely to be on and sign yourself up for them. Make sure that you keep a strong and consistent presence on all of the social channels you sign up for. Juggling multiple channels while running a business can be hard without the help of a social media manager. So, if creating a solid presence is only possible on a few channels that’s okay too.
Tips on how to buy your new car smarter
As you’d expect, automotive writers get asked a lot about prospective new car purchases friends and family are looking to make, and the most frustrating part of that might be when we ask them what price range they’re shopping in — and they reply by quoting a monthly payment.
That “$350 a month” you throw at us is not the price of a car. It’s your monthly stipend to finance said car. There is a difference.
But you’d be surprised how many car shoppers don’t have a clue what they’re really paying for their new vehicle. Transport and preparation fees are a mystery to many; some don’t know if they’re being charged dealer “administration fees” or not. Hell, some are unaware of the interest rate on their financing or leasing agreement.
Focus on the overall price, not the payment
You (hopefully) know the MSRP – manufacturer’s suggested retail price – of the new vehicle you’re shopping for because you saw it on the manufacturer’s website. And you know almost nobody pays that since it’s negotiable.
Remember options – priced out monthly – can add up
With that total price in-hand, you’re in a better position to decide if you want this or that feature or option. Presented as costing you “only $30 extra a month,” a package group may seem reasonable, but multiplying that amount by the number of payments might show you said package could add a hefty bump to your vehicle’s price.