Best Practices and Tips

Free Trade-in Tools Cost Money

‘It’s a part of the package, so you get it for free!’

That sounds too good to be true. It is.

The truth is, you pay for “free” trade-in tools with lower quality leads, missed opportunities, fewer vehicles being sourced, and ultimately lousy return-on-investment.

Play a little defense

Run these questions past your sales rep when you’re offered a free trade-in tool. Your salesperson will be well-equipped with objection handling answers, but the answers are important nonetheless:

  • How many leads will your tool convert from our website?
    The rep needs to quickly and decisively show you what they expect for website conversion, and should then be able to show the return-on-investment, even if they position it as “free”. No good answer? That’s a red flag!
  • Same question, but phrased differently…How can I track the results from this tool?
    If the answer is a version of ‘don’t worry we’ll tell you’, run. Every tool, plugin, solution on your website should be pumping data into Google Analytics so that your dealership has a holistic view of ROI.
  • What data sources are you using to determine the value of a trade-in?
    If they answer anything but a market value based on local supply – you can stop the conversation right here. Your values need to be based on local data so the trade-in value a customers sees reflects the reality of your market.
  • How often do your values update?
    If the answer is anything less than every day, that trade-in tool will be left behind especially in today’s fluctuating market. The values your customers see for their trade-in won’t match the market. You’ll either be paying too much for vehicles or losing customers to the dealership down the street.
  • Can I adjust the values to be more or less aggressive?
    Any tool that doesn’t allow you to configure values does nothing but box you into a difficult conversation with customers. Your dealership needs to be in control of it’s sourcing strategy with the ability to adjust your values.
  • Do you re-sell my leads?
    As strange and as horrible as this sounds, some trade-in tool providers still re-sell your first party leads that your website initiated to your competition.
Other things to watch out for

Avoid tools that immediately force customers into slow, cumbersome processes that require multiple forms and uploading images. There is a time and a place for that, but goal #1 is convert your website traffic. The purpose of a trade-in tool is not to facilitate the appraisal, it is to get a consumer through your doors.

Time yourself navigating through your trade-in process on your website. If the new tool can’t beat that time, you’re downgrading. Getting a trade-in value must be quick to not kill conversion and to ensure you a steady stream of leads.

“Free” isn’t so free after all. While this post is mostly for our current customers, if you’re not a customer and want to see TradePending and our approach ROI and valuations, schedule a time to talk.

Download your actually free poster here.