Originally published on dealermarketing.com.
New cars have all the signature marks of a commodity product: a 2020 black Corolla LE is the same regardless of the dealership you buy it from. While your experience at each dealership and the subsequent service may be different, the actual product is always the same. On the other hand, a 2016 pre-owned black Corolla LE is unique, as the mileage, condition, and history of that particular car makes it different from every other car out there.
So what does this mean in our stores? Whenever a new car is sold, our GSM would look through the inventory list to find the oldest VIN in stock, of cars that matched the customer’s requested trim and color. This ensured we were moving our old inventory off the lot, but didn’t change the value of the vehicle for the customer. This practice is not possible with used cars: if the customer found a used car on the lot that matched their needs, that was the car they got. Rarely, if ever, could we find something similar if the customer’s desired vehicle was gone.