Does Size Matter?

September 8, 2009
Used Car ShowroomImage by daveelmore via Flickr

The below email is from Chris Irwin, someone I’ve written about in previous posts. Let us know your thoughts about his question regarding inventory acquisition.

Dale- Just thought that I’d pass along that we finished up last month with a record month for our store–84 used retailed with a bottom line of over $80K (not bad for a store in Central NH in a county of 55,000 people). Thanks for your help!

We also just hired a stocking assistant. While his responsibilities will be ensuring our vehicles are fully merchandised online in a quick and accurate manner he’ll be primarily taking our buy list and searching for vehicles via online auctions/other dealers. We’ll most likely have him create a spreadsheet that my used car manager can access at any given point in time so she’ll know when/were these vehicles are running–she can either bid on them or set proxy bids. He’ll also be identifying line ready units primarily in our market on other dealers lots that may be aged/the dealer might be more inclined to sell us. Any thoughts/ideas that some of your other stores are using to help them acquire inventory EFFICIENTLY? Thanks again for your help! Chris.


Congratulations. This is phenomenal. I meet dealers all the time that tell me that they can’t grow or get respectable volume in light of the fact that they are in small markets. Your performance improvement is testament to the fact that size does not matter. In today’s internet driven market, I see plenty of examples where stores in sparsely populated parts of the country turn themselves into regional destinations for used car sales.

The stocking analyst position is definitely the most progressive and effective approach that you can be taking. Please communicate your experience as you move forward. Stocking analyst positions are now being implemented at many stores across the country. I expect to have much more feedback in the coming weeks or months.


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