First of all sorry for the long post, here is a bit about my operation.
-I'm located in Huntington Beach CA- One man operation.
-Been a dealer professionally for a year now/ but buying & selling cars for a long time.
-Have a small office w 2 parking spaces- overhead about $1500/mo which is nothing
-all sales are online through CL & so on.
-Cash deals no finance.
-Deal in 2000-2008 Luxury sports cars usually under $10,000 & between 80k-130k miles.
-Buy most my cars from Manheim & sometimes Carmax dealer auction.
*Business has been terrible since i'd say october 2016, the first few months of last year werent bad, i was selling about 4-5 cars a month making close to 2k per copy- However since october business has been DEAD..i usually only have 4-6 cars in inventory so thought maybe that was my problem as i dont have enough, recently increased to 10 cars and headaches of finding parking and managing 10 cars by myself but this doesn't seem to help.
-Also when i finally do sell a car, profit is very minimal..what gives? I can't imagine dealers with actual overhead how they are surviving this. Auction prices are ridiculous, sometimes higher than KBB even, it almost doesn't make sense..and seems impossible to snag private sales deals these days as all dealers are doing it as well..
*Any suggestions? Whats your experience been like lately?
Many dealerships are going through the same experience, this business is not an easy one.
What are your current marketing strategies to get more people in the door? Are your cars all "sale ready" when a client does arrive or are you having trouble keeping up with the reconditioning?
Really just good Ads on CL, and car gurus..i'm all online , i also do some FB advertising but that hasn't brought me any deals.
Cars are always ready when put up for sale.
Everyone is experience sales declines. While we are on different side of spectrum than high priced used cars, our Credit Acceptance report ofr our region in PA shows widespread decline. We cater to people who "need" transportation so it remains steady. I do believe "want" cars market is the result of nearly 7 years of increasing sales in all market segments
you need to finance cars to make money.
Depends on how much income you define as "making money". I used to do BHPH, but just got sick of it between the skips and losing ground to the subprime lots in the area which can get the customer into a newer and nicer car for a similar down payment. I decided to go the opposite direction of other dealers in my area and now concentrate on mostly $2995 and under cash deals. Yes I make less than when I financed and on a slow month I really miss all the payments coming in, but I still make more than I need and I'm much happier. To make money on cash cars you just have to buy smarter because there's less margin to work with.
To keep my sales up in an off year I just lower my prices, no matter how painful it is to leave money on the table. An old dealer at the auction told me $800 x 2 is more than $1200 x 1. Some day the big grosses may come back, but it's a very crowded industry so who knows.