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5 ways to rev up your dealership’s used car inventory for tax refund season

Ensure that your dealership's used car inventory is primed and ready to make the most of this annual spending surge.

The tax refund season, an annual event as eagerly anticipated as the arrival of spring itself is upon us once again. And, so far, the IRS has issued way more tax refunds than it did last year. This season offers a golden opportunity for automotive dealerships to maximize their used car sales, as customers will be eager to spend their refunds on a reliable set of wheels, especially since the average price of a new car is approaching $50,000.

However, just as a well-tended garden yields a bountiful harvest, so too must dealerships put in the effort to ensure their used car inventory is primed and ready for the influx of customers. Here are five tips to help you spruce up your dealership’s used car inventory, ensuring a successful tax refund season.

1. Give Your Inventory a Thorough Inspection

First impressions matter; nothing can sour a customer’s interest more quickly than a vehicle with glaring cosmetic issues. So, before the tax refund season begins, make sure your dealership’s used car inventory undergoes a meticulous inspection. This includes repairing any dents, scratches, or other cosmetic damages and ensuring that all mechanical components are working correctly.

2. Offer a Variety of Makes and Models

Variety is the spice of life, and this adage holds true in the used car market as well. To appeal to a diverse range of customers, ensure your dealership’s inventory includes a wide selection of makes and models. Whether it’s a fuel-efficient compact car, a rugged pickup truck, or a family-friendly SUV, offering a well-rounded assortment of vehicles will help your dealership appeal to the broadest possible customer base.

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3. Craft Compelling Descriptions and Take High-Quality Photos

For most dealerships, a significant portion of the car-buying process occurs online. So, it is crucial to ensure that your dealership’s online listings are as compelling and informative as possible. This includes crafting detailed, engaging vehicle descriptions and taking high-quality photos and a video walk-around that accurately showcase each vehicle’s features and condition.

4. Price Competitively

While tax refund season may bring a windfall for many, customers are still looking for a good deal when it comes to purchasing a used car. So, while doing car buyer surveys, include researching your local market and taking note of the average selling prices for similar vehicles. Then, price your inventory accordingly, ensuring you’re offering competitive pricing while maintaining a reasonable profit margin.

5. Offer Enticing Incentives

To differentiate your dealership from the competition and encourage customers to choose your used car inventory, consider offering a variety of incentives. These can include financing promotions, extended warranties, or even service and maintenance packages. By providing added value through these incentives, you can build customer loyalty and, ultimately, boost sales.

Plan. Do. Repeat.

Even though the tax refund season is an opportune time for dealerships to capitalize on an influx of eager car buyers, you’ll need to do the work, or you’re in-market buyer will go somewhere else. By following these five expert tips, you can ensure that your dealership’s used car inventory is primed and ready to make the most of this annual spending surge.

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Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He earned bachelor's degrees in Marketing and Television from the University of Texas in Austin and a Masters of Theology study from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. His passion for automobiles lead him to become a creative director for automotive marketing ad agency. Most recently, he was the manager of interactive marketing for Mitsubishi Motors, NA.

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