What Dale Pollak says about trade valuation is spot on, and it also applies to upfront pricing. Dale says that having an efficient process is worth more than wringing every last dollar out of every car. Brian Benstock says the same thing about his new-car business, “making less per transaction, but doing more transactions.”
Readers of this blog already know my thoughts on upfront pricing. Trade valuation is another objection to online F&I. How can the customer desk his own deal if he doesn’t know what his trade is worth? Well, the pieces are falling into place. In addition to choosing a car online, the customer will soon be able to do his own F&I. The challenge to us, as innovators, is to present software tools that encourage customer involvement.
Update: Six years later, Brian Benstock is still at it. Read here about his vision for a digital “store without walls.”