How Dealers are Killing It on Craigslist

Published May 23, 2017
Homenet Automotive Logo

Getting your inventory listed online is paramount to your business. Making sure these listings appear on the right sites is even more important. Classified sites like Autotrader and are a key stop for dealerships to send their inventory. But websites like Craigslist can complement these websites and get your inventory in front of a different group of shoppers.

In fact, a 2016 case study by LotVantage found that cars listed on Craigslist sold 10 days faster, on average than those that were not.

Let’s assume the average used car results in $1500 in front end revenue. Based on LotVantage’s findings that Craigslist cars turn 10 days faster, a Craigslist vehicle makes $4 more profit a day. Might not sound like a lot, but when the average dealer has 70 spots for used inventory on their lot, that’s ($4 x 30 days/mo, x 12 months = $1440). That means each parking spot can generate an extra sale per year!  70 more sales per year is $105,000 or 6 more cars a month in profit.

So what do you need to know to get the most out of Craigslist?

  • When to Post
    • Not all days and times are created equal when it comes to posting vehicles on Craigslist. Researchers recommend posting during the “break hour” time slot of 10 am to noon during the week. Mornings are best for the weekends, as potential car shoppers begin their day perusing the Craigslist listings for the newest classifieds.
  • Proper Call-tracking numbers and Sales Reps Info
    • There’s nothing worse than getting your inventory posted to Craigslist and realizing the phone number is wrong or texting leads to the wrong person. Double checking this information can save you and your clients a lot of time and frustration.
  • What Vehicles are Most Likely to Sell in your Market
    • Market intelligence will play a huge role in your success. After all, you know your clients and what they are looking for. Or do you? A little bit of research goes a long way in helping you know what vehicles are most likely to sell the fastest. For example, a quick little sports car probably won’t garner much attention in rural Colorado where tough, four-wheel-drive vehicles reign supreme. It pays to make sure you’re targeting the right audience.
  • Consistency Counts
    • Research has proven that a daily saturation of inventory yields the greatest return on your investment when it comes to marketing on Craigslist. However, we all know it’s easy to get wrapped up in other things. Most of your listing sites get updated automatically through your syndication provider, and Craigslist is no different. The key is keeping your inventory in front of local buyers without having to even think about it! So, when consistency counts, consider a hands-free approach that will expose your inventory daily and seamlessly deliver leads to your store.

Dealers are always looking for ways to lift used sales.  Craigslist can give you a 10% lift in sold volume for a minimal investment and that figure doesn’t even account for backend profit or trade-ins.