Can No-Haggle Used Car Pricing Work?

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Picture walking into a dealership, searching for a pre-owned car. 

You’ve determined which make and model you want already, and the dealership has it. You just want to go for a test drive, get a fair price, and drive away. But instead, you’re put through the ringer, negotiating a price that you aren’t quite sure is fair. Whether you buy that car or not, you leave frazzled and frustrated. 

That’s how 44 percent of car shoppers feel when buying a used car. According to a recent Autotrader survey, the majority of those looking for either a new or used car – 56 percent to be exact - still want the option to negotiate the sale price. However, almost half of car buyers would be perfectly content to forego negotiation for no-haggle pricing. 

As a dealership, that’s a tricky place to be. With the two camps split almost evenly, who do you cater to? Can you offer no-haggle pricing for some and the traditional negotiable pricing for others?

No-Haggle Used Car Pricing CAN Work

If CarMax, the largest used car retailer in the United States can make no-haggle pricing part of its core strategy, it shows it’s very possible for set pricing to be successful. The reason car shoppers want to negotiate is that they don’t trust your dealership. For no-haggle used car pricing to work, all you have to do is earn your customer’s trust. 

Offer COMPLETE Transparency in the Sales Process

The trust issue comes from decades of car shoppers getting ripped off. When you’re selling a quality vehicle that fits a customer’s needs and wants, there’s no need to pull the wool over their eyes. Providing transparency establishes trust, but it has to be done well. 

•    Show the vehicle’s history at your store. Provide reconditioning reports and costs to show the shopper how you arrived at your sale price. 

•    Be upfront about fair profit expectations. People understand that car dealerships make money – they just don’t want it to be all from the car they buy. 

•    It’s also a good idea to explain how much the base sales commission will be on the unit for a personal connection to the sale. 

If the process is transparent and explained well, no-haggle pricing could be a great option for retaining profit in the used car department.

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