Edmunds recently released a report showing the latest average value for all used vehicles. During the month of March, it appears these numbers reached an all-time high, hitting $17,080, which is far more than $14,160 last year at the same time. What is causing this rise in trade-in values and what does it mean for your dealership? 

Why are Used Trade-in Values Rising?

Edmunds points to the recent chipset shortage as the main reason that trade-in values are skyrocketing. New vehicle inventory at the dealership was down 36% this past March when compared to the previous year. 

While the chipset shortage is causing trouble with new vehicle production, there are also more car shoppers hitting the market. With more people getting vaccinated and financial support being provided to many Americans, consumers are ready to upgrade their vehicles. These two factors have created the perfect storm.

Trucks appear to retain the most value right now. Among 2018 vehicles traded during March, the Ford F-250, GMC Sierra 2500 HD and F-350 Super Duty all landed in the first-place spot with 80% of their value retained on average.  

How to Benefit from Rising Trade-in Values

It’s time to market to the customers that haven’t heard from you in a while. If your customer has a vehicle that is more than a year old, they might be interested in trading it in right now. In fact, many consumers have found that the loan, which was once in the red, is now back in black, allowing them to make a little money on their vehicle.

However, your customers might think about selling their vehicle to a private party to earn this extra money, so how can you get them to give it to you? After all, you need as much used car inventory as you can get right now. Consider upping your trade-in strategy game for better results. 

The Best Trade-in Marketing Strategy

Optimize your Website 

Make sure your trade-in page is up to date and make this engagement your top priority. You might even create a dedicated “Sell Your Car” page. 

Create a Trade-in Chat on Every Website Page 

Not only should you have a Trade-in CTA on every page, but your chatbot should also be discussing the possibility. Put the idea in your customer’s head that now is the time to trade. 

Setup a Google Ad Campaign 

Now is the time to invest some money in a Google campaign. After all, your customers are going to be searching online when they are ready to trade in their vehicle. While you are at it, consider running some social media ads too. 

Create an E-Blast 

Reach out to your customers with some dedicated e-mails. Consider some of these subject matters: 

  • Time for an Upgrade? 
  • You deserve to treat yourself. 
  • If it broke, now is the time to replace it. 
  • See yourself in an upgraded ride for less money.  

The possibilities are endless. The more creative you are, the better your chances are of gaining interest. Don’t forget to utilize text messaging to fully capitalize on your message.  

It’s a Win-Win for Everyone

With your customers earning more money on their trade-in and you getting more stock, everyone ends up a winner. Brainstorm some more marketing ideas with your team and prepare for the surge of trade-ins. 

Did you enjoy this article from Brian Jones? Read other articles on CBT News here. Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.