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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Last Active
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Vehicle(s) that interest me
All of them.
More about me
Have been in the car business for over 10 years and still in it.
Vehicle(s) I currently own
2007 BMW 328i
  • Re: Edmunds Members - Cars & Conversations

    Gotta hand it to my Ford dealer. They sent me an ad I haven't quite seen before. It is a printout of an email from the GM to the salesperson saying "Hey, contact Mr. Brosen. We need his car. Its in high demand." etc etc. And then there is a handwritten sticky on it from the salesperson asking me to contact him. I can only assume they printed off hundreds, if not thousands of these for all their previous customers. But they did a really good job making it look authentic. I'm sure they'll get quite a few hits from it.
    Q, you're not the only one getting them. I got exactly same thing in the mail from a local dealer, here in Vancouver Canada lol. Thing is I worked for that dealer years ago and because I bought a car while working there I'm in their database and get their sale offers all the time. Funny thing is I haven't owned the car that they think I have for about 4 years now.

    But this offer you're speaking of was exactly the same. Same letter, exact same wording, and exact same sticky note. If I remember correctly the envelopes are printed but with a very handwritten looking font, also with no return address.

    This whole creative marketing is done by marketing companies that large dealer groups hire (or purchase their programs from) to print and send out such letters and offers. Its different than traditional flyers and gets more people opening the mail and actually reading the offers instead of just throwing the flyer straight into the recycling bin before even looking at it.

    Truth is the dealership GM doesn't care about what car you own, nor does he have time to be digging through customer databases (with thousands of clients) to see who owns what. And he would definitely not have time to be sending individual emails to individual salespeople regarding individual customers.

    A computer program fills in customer names (and sometimes the make and model of the vehicle the customer owns) into the letters, and emails them to the printer. When the printed letters arrive each salesperson will get a few hundred of them with a matching list to hand write sticky notes onto (if it isn't printed), and the dealership receptionist will stamp them all and mail them out. Not much else to do on a slow February weekday morning for the salesguys so this can potentially result in some deals.

    If it costs the dealership $5000 to do a mail campaign like that with say 10,000 mailouts, and even 10 people end up purchasing something (0.1% success rate), and the dealer ends up making $30,000 out of those 10 deals then it's worthwhile for them.
  • Re: Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous

    stickguy said:

    some of the dealers near me have pretty good sites that seem to be mostly up to date. But a few other are just terrible. Hard to use, no basis in reality. But what bugs me even more are the ones where they don't list the equipment/options in any way that you can find. You pretty much have to guess based on price.

    The quality and versatility of a dealership's website is solely dependent on the subcontractor used to update inventory lists, take photos of inventory from several angles and physically post photos, options, etc.  No dealership can afford the cost involved in keeping accurate inventories on the website up-to-date.  Most depend on a subcontractor to keep the website current, accurate and simple to navigate.

    In both dealerships I worked, we used a contractor to manage the website.  A decent contractor spends at least 6 hours a day on site updating the website, removing sold vehicles from inventory, adding new inventory, and checking for accuracy.


    Years ago when I worked at a local Chrysler dealer, I started and ran their internet department. My main job was to photograph new and used inventory and publish it online.

    I had about 20 photos of each vehicle from every angle, but it was very time consuming and the way my pay plan was structured I still had to sell to top up my salary, which wasn't much to begin with. So when it got busy, the inventory didn't get updated, but was left with stock photos.

    With most of the email leads, and get-a-quote leads, we had to reply "to get the guy into the showroom", meaning quoting prices was a lose lose situation 99.9% of the time. Unfortunately, the "come in and let's talk" emails got more sales than offering rock bottom price emails, which we tried for some time. Reason being is with most shoppers, there was almost a trade in involved, many times with negative equity, as well as financing, sometimes credit issues. So it was almost never a "give me your rock bottom price and I'll come buy it now deal".

    Not to mention there were countless times when I took calls or emails asking for best price on specific models, only to find out the customer hasn't even seen the car in person, their wife didn't even know they're shopping for a car, or they were months away from buying. Negotiating is typically the last step in a consumer transaction, but many would start off with negotiating, not knowing if that's what they were going to buy.

    And yes, it doesn't help that dealers offer an "best price" button on their sites, because that's what consumers start off when car shopping when realistically they should pick a car they like and they're comfortable with before grinding down the price . Unfortunately most of the consumer shopping tools on a dealer's site are just used to generate leads to get someone to walk into the door, nothing more and nothing less.