Trust & Credibility
By: Michael Whitfield
Let’s face it:
As a seller of abandoned and impounded property, retail buyers will always look at each vehicle purchase with a healthy dose of skepticism. However, if you want your abandoned vehicle program to maximize long-term revenues, a major key to accomplishing this is by maximizing your program’s credibility.
What are some easy and tangible steps that can be taken to maintain trust and credibility with your repeat buyers?
- Make your vehicles easy to preview. This is especially important for not only online auctions, but live auctions too. Provide designated hours for buyers to preview. Make keys available for check out. Have yard staff available and visible to answer questions and supervise vehicles for tampering.
- Give as much information as you may know about the vehicle to answer as many common questions as possible. Did the engine knock or smoke when it started? Did you see (or hear) any missing catalytic converters?
- Check your tow file and DMV record search for any branded titles. Your state probably requires disclosure of title brands when known.
- Make sure your photographs can answer all common questions. Are there any missing wheels? Are any airbags deployed? What kind of transmission does it have (photograph of gear shift or pedals)? Is any glass damage or missing?
- Have a set policy for most common challenges and problems. When there is a serious mistake in your item listing, how do you rectify it? The more reasonable your policies, the more credibility you will have with your buyers. However, you should develop a consistent set of policies for common occurrences and STICK TO THEM. Your auctioneer or liquidation professional should have a series of “best practices” and be available for advice and counsel. If you do not have a sales and marketing expert that knows the abandoned vehicle marketplace, consider hiring one.
- Sometimes, you just are going to have to earn your money twice. Buyers will default. Disputes will arise. Credit Card Chargebacks can be minimized but will occasionally occur. Checks will bounce. Vehicles will get tampered with. People will buy that RV and then disappear.
There can be challenges when developing a liquidation program. How you handle these challenges is what will keep your repeat buyers engaged and actively participating in all of your sales events.