Dealer looking at Condition ReportsAs more dealers turn to online car shopping, there has been an increase in the demand for tools that support their buying decisions. Many NextGear Capital auction partners are taking notice and investing money in technologies such as improved condition reports to help their dealers get a head start on retailing purchased units. Independent dealers can take advantage of this by utilizing those condition reports to help maximize a unit’s attractiveness in their listings. Here are some tips for better understanding condition reports and how you can leverage them to increase your chances of turning leads into sales:

Become a CR Expert – While condition reports have been around for a long time, some dealers may still feel uncomfortable leaning into them for information on the state of a vehicle. The NAAA has set vehicle grading standards based on a unit’s inspection. By being able to reference and understand the ins and outs of this scale, you can use it as a tool to highlight reconditioning work performed by your dealership or communicate any recommendations to customers when they’re ready to purchase a vehicle.

Building Trust Through Transparency – If you want to build trust with your customers, condition reports are a great place to start. Since they will call attention to any potential issues on a vehicle, you’ll be able to have an in-depth conversation with customers helping you to establish a level of transparency since they know that you’re not trying to hide any defects. You can also use the photos included with the condition report to help sell your vehicle online. Most condition reports contain at least 15 images, and some include underbody pictures and videos with sound.

Attract More Online Buyers – If you want to widen your cast and attract buyers outside of your local area, condition reports can be a great tool to help you do so. When a customer is interested in a certain type of vehicle, they’re more likely to look further away than their local area if they’re not able to find what they’re looking for locally. You can highlight details from your condition report such as tire tread depth, battery life and the condition of the interior of the vehicle to your online listing. Be sure to include the photos as well so that you can help paint a picture of the overall state of the vehicle, which is important when a customer can’t view a vehicle in person.

Showing Off the Goods – Millennials in particular are interested in shopping for vehicles with additional features and condition reports are a great tool that can be used to help highlight these since they’re typically included on the report. Make sure that you call attention to any extras that aren’t included with a standard vehicle model like third row seating or Bluetooth technology. You should also include them as key words to your listing so they’re more likely to stand out to potential car buyers who are looking for these features.

Setting Expectations – There shouldn’t be any surprises when you purchase a vehicle after reviewing the condition report. If there’s any damage to the body of the vehicle or if the tires are worn down, that information is going to be reflected on the report, so you’ll be prepared to make any needed maintenance or reconditioning work to the vehicle before listing it. This can also be used as part of the negotiating process. If a customer is comparing your vehicle to a competitor’s and feels your price is too high, you can let them know about the work you already performed on the vehicle so they’re aware that was built into the price.

Now more than ever, dealers need to be looking for vehicles with condition reports at their auction of choice which can help them optimize their overall sales strategy. By providing you with additional guidance when it comes to reconditioning your vehicles, you’ll be able to confidently sell your inventory while also providing your customers with a full scope of each unit, eliminating any surprises for you or your customers.