Getting the Most Out of Your Trade

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When the time comes to buy your next vehicle, surely one of the main factors in your buying decision will be the value of your trade-in.  Here’s what you can do to make your trade-in as appealing as possible to dealers:

  1. Know your buyer–you think of your car as a trade-in towards something newer, cleaner, better.  The person appraising your car at a dealership thinks of your car as a piece of inventory.  Try to look at your car through a buyer’s eyes and ask yourself what would appeal to a buyer, specifically, a buyer whose intention it is to re-sell the car for a profit.
  2. Address any obvious issues–check engine lights or ABS lights are going to be a red flag.  They introduce an uncertain situation for the appraiser.  Will it cost $100 to fix or $1000?  Experienced appraisers draw from experience to play the odds.  If there’s a light on your dash, the odds are it’s because you brought it to a mechanic and the cost to repair it was high enough that you decided to trade instead.  Understand that if there’s a light on the dash, an appraiser is going to guess on the high end when estimating cost to repair.  If possible (and affordable), get these issues fixed before you try to trade-in your vehicle.
  3. Get your vehicle detailed–we’re all human, even the person appraising your vehicle.  An immaculately clean car is going to be valued, literally, $100’s of dollars more than a dirty one.  If you have kids, this is especially true.  Sure, the dealership’s job is to detail the car before they resell it.  But your job is to get the maximum value out of your vehicle.  Whether you detail it yourself or pay a professional, a clean car will make the initial offer higher plus give you a bargaining chip to use later.
  4. Be honest–the person appraising your car is just that–a person.  Treat them with respect and they will do the same.  You don’t have to volunteer information, it’s the appraiser’s job to ask questions for clarification.  But if they do ask questions, answer them honestly.  Everyone at the dealership wants you to buy a car–it’s how they make their living after all–and they’ll do everything they can to help you.  If you don’t feel like they are being respectful or helpful, then see #5.
  5. Buy where you are comfortable–it’s easy to get hung up on price.  Try to remember that you are making an investment–in the car, in the salesperson, and in the dealership.  Did you like your salesperson?  Did you like your appraiser?  Were they friendly?  Did you trust them?  Will you be comfortable walking into this store for service over the next 3-5 years?  Look, you shouldn’t have to pay $1,000’s of dollars to buy at a place where the people are nice.  But you might want to consider paying a few hundred dollars more to buy a car from people you like, trust, and want to see again.

 

Preparing for Winter Weather

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Winter’s coming…

We all know that temperatures will drop to below freezing, windshields take 20 minutes to defrost, and roads will be slicker than a used car salesman on the last day of the month.  But how many of us actually do something to prepare for what’s in store over the next few months?  These simple tips & tricks will keep you from freezing your buns off any more than necessary this winter.

  1.  Check your windshield wiper fluid–one of those things you never think about until you run out.  Top it off in November and chances are you won’t have to do it when it’s -10 outside.
  2. Once the temperature drops below freezing for the first time, add air to your tires to bring them up to manufacturer’s recommendations.  This will improve your vehicle’s handling & prevent you from having to do it later.
  3. Replace wearables–tires, windshield wipers, brake pads–BEFORE winter.  If they are close to needing replacement, get it done before winter hits.  Either way, you’re going to have to spend the money.  Replacing these items before winter will make your life much easier.
  4. Make sure you have an extra hat, jacket, blanket and pair of gloves in the car.  It sounds corny–until it isn’t.  Oh yeah, throw a flashlight in there too.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Don’t wait to learn this the hard way, take a few minutes today to make sure your vehicle is ready to handle everything Old Man Winter can dish out.

Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer – Blevins Brothers

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Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer – Blevins Brothers

Blevins Brothers Launch Their First Native Mobile App

Saratoga Springs, NY – October 20, 2014: Dealerbaby (www.dealerbaby.com), a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships, is proud to announce that Blevins Brothers, an auto group in Ogdensburg, NY has launched their first native mobile app via the Dealerbaby mobile platform.

“Dealerbaby allows us to connect with our customers like never before.  It puts our store literally in the palm of their hands, anywhere, anytime,” said Marc Blevins, Sales Manager at Blevins Bros.

Blevins Brothers, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership, serving Gouverneur, Canton, Watertown, Potsdam and Fort Drum, NY, has been a family run business since 1983. Last year, Blevins Brothers, began looking for a new way to reach current and potential customers. After a thorough review of options, Blevins Brothers, choose to invest in mobile for the following reasons: reach, loyalty, and the future of car buying.

Witnessing first hand the surge of customers using mobile devices made the investment in mobile and Dealerbaby a logical business decision. Prior to Dealerbaby, sales representatives found it difficult to connect with previous customers – whether it be through email or phone – customers simply did not respond. They noticed however all customers had mobile devices and knew the obvious answer was starring them in the face – reach them where they always are – on their mobile devices.  “Customers are using their smartphones all the time to stay connected to friends and family.  It was only natural to help them connect with our dealership on their devices,” said Blevins.

With Dealerbaby, if a sales representative wants to let leads or customers know about a trade-in or vehicle special, all they have to do is pull up Dealerbaby and send a tailored push notification to those who have the app downloaded. If they want to drill down and send specialized messages based on make or model, they simply select the the items predetermined in Dealerbaby and hit schedule or send. Blevins said, “The ability to update specials and deals in real-time allows our sales consultants to respond to market changes and customer demands on-the-fly.  They’re able to use the app as a sales and demonstration tool for their customers which helps them sell cars.  This is one of the main reasons why we’ve seen such a high level of buy-in from them.” 

Another feature Blevins Brothers has quickly learned to appreciate is Dealerbaby’s service appointment component. Mobile app users can quickly and easily schedule service appointments, be sent special offers, and see their full vehicle history all within the Blevins Brothers mobile app. “The service appointment scheduling feature is a win-win for the dealership and our customers.  Customers can schedule service appointments quickly from their phone, and inbound phone calls are reduced, which frees up dealership personnel to help customers in the store,”said Marc Blevins.

Knowing which models are selling, how many views a particular piece of inventory has received, how well special offers are performing, how many customers view each message, and the overall performance of marketing and sales efforts, are invaluable statistics that Dealerbaby can provide. This level of knowledge enables managers to identify and address problem areas immediately, and ultimately leads to better decision-making and higher profitability. “Ultimately, customers want a simple, efficient shopping process.  The Dealerbaby mobile app is a paradigm shift—no longer are customers tethered to their home computer to shop our store.  Now they can shop anywhere, at any time.  The features of the app follow the customer through the sales and ownership process.  Prospects can browse inventory, get special deals, and send questions directly to the store.  When that prospect becomes an owner, they can schedule service and stay updated on their vehicle history with our mobile app.  I’m convinced this is the direction technology is taking, and I’m excited we have this tool at our disposal to stay ahead of the competition,”said Blevins.

About Dealerbaby

Dealerbaby, produced by My Thank You Notes LLC, is a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Founded in 2014, Dealerbaby is dedicated to helping auto dealerships leverage their inventory and service offerings through mobile technology. To learn more, visit www.dealerbaby.com, follow them on Twitter @Dealerbaby, or email sales@dealerbaby.com

Dealerbaby Integration with Auto/Mate DMS

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Dealerbaby Announces Integration of Mobile App Platform with Auto/Mate Dealership Management System (DMS)

Integration Improves Shopping & Service Experience for Auto Dealer Customers

 

Saratoga Springs, NY – September 9, 2014 : Dealerbaby (http://www.dealerbaby.com/), a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships, is proud to announce its integration with Auto/Mate’s Open/Mate third-party integration system. Users of Auto/Mate can now experience the benefits of a native mobile app without the high costs associated with custom mobile app development. With Dealerbaby, auto dealerships can increase customer retention, profits and leads, and become a leader of the mobile dealership community.

“Our partnership with Auto/Mate gives us the ability to create a powerful user experience by letting the customer interact with the dealership on the device they use the most—their smartphone,” said Padraic Doyle, Co-Founder of Dealerbaby. “The key is the two-way communication with the DMS, which is made possible with Open/Mate.”

“More car shoppers are using smartphones and tablets to shop for cars, and mobile apps are easier to use than browsing a mobile website,” said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate. “DMS integration ensures that all inventory and service data is displayed to customers in real time, reflecting all updates in your dealer’s DMS.”

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Need Help With Your Mobile Strategy? It’s Dealerbaby To The Rescue!

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DealerbabyRescue (1)It’s Time To Say ‘Goodbye’

Mobile websites are a thing of the past – at least they should be. Far too many dealerships are claiming their stake in mobile with an outdated and clunky mobile version of their website.

Over the course of our Smartphone Revolution series, we learned just how bad mobile websites are in today’s mobile world. In fact, mobile websites could actually be hurting your business, instead of helping. We also learned that:

  • Native mobile apps are made to leverage the iOS and Android platforms.
  • Native apps allow for customized communication from you to your customers and leads.
  • Ignoring these facts could possibly lead your dealership down a path of lost profits and customers.

Dealerbaby Can Help

Get out of the mobile website game and join the native app wave of today. At Dealerbaby, we offer an innovative solution tailored to capture the interest of your current client base, while simultaneously gaining the consideration of shoppers who’ve never purchased with you before.

We accomplish this with a clean, elegant native mobile app that uses a multi-layered approach to meet the needs of various types of users.

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Don’t Be Left Behind. Go Native Or Go Home.

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You’ve got mobile on the brain. That’s a good thing – trust us. While the topic of mobile websites vs native mobile apps, and the various pros and cons of both can seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights you’ve already learned from just one short blog/email:

  • Smartphone users represent over 65% of the mobile phone market.
  • An incredible 63% of auto shoppers researched & shopped online at a dealership.
  • Increasingly, customers ignore email, phone calls, and texts if they are not from trusted sources.
  • Your mobile strategy should be customized. Users should want to “invite you in” to their lives.

It’s Time to Go Native With Your Mobile Strategy

Smartphone users prefer using apps over surfing the mobile web. In fact, users spend nearly 90% of their time using Apps on their smartphones – not surfing the web, not texting, and certainly not talking.  In fact, for every hour a user spends on their smartphone, only 9.76 minutes is spend on the mobile web. That means your mobile website may only be seen for 9.76 minutes or less! And while we would all like to see the glass as half-full, the truth is that number is less – not because people don’t like what you have to offer, but because getting to any mobile website requires more steps then desired.

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Be A Part Of The Smartphone Revolution With Dealerbaby

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In a very short 6 years, the iPhone and Android mobile platforms have come to represent over 90% of the smartphone market. In both design and operation, the iPhone has lead to a wildfire of smartphone adoption. While the open-platform Android has provided smartphone access to the masses by providing cost effective devices.

DealerbabyMobilePhone

So what does all of this mean for you?

Let’s first take a look at mobile websites. Many dealerships consider a mobile website a helpful tool to help drive traffic into their store. However, here’s a look at why mobile websites simply aren’t enough to keep up  and could actually be driving traffic away:

1) A “mobile website” is a condensed version of a “full” website – a website built to be viewed on a computer screen – not a mobile screen.  A mobile website wasn’t built to integrate with the underlying technology that drives mobile apps and does not take full advantage of unique smartphone capabilities like push notifications, GPS, or processing power.   

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Dealerbaby Operating Systems: An Overview

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There are several options on the market that you and your customers have when it comes to mobile operating systems. While a large majority of mobile phone users do not refer to their devices by their operating system, it is important you understand the difference in terms of user needs and views. Here’s an overview of the two main operating systems your customers could be using.

Apple – iOS Operating System

A Brief History:

Apple created their first iPhone in 2007 and transformed the post-PC era into the mobile world we know today. They were the first to create downloadable applications (apps) available in an App Store and are continually developing new features to maintain their edge in the ever-changing mobile world.

What Does This Mean For You?

Apple users are loyal and have become accustomed to easy navigation and simple features. Your iOS version of the app has been created with just features in mind. Let’s take a look at the iOS version of your dealership’s app to get a visual idea of what you and your customers can expect to see:
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Targeting Push Notifications

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The following an excerpt from a blog post authored by our push notification provider Zenpush.

Reaching the right person, at the right time, with the right message does not only apply to email marketing. Thinking of push notifications as an extension of your marketing team will help you better understand how to target your mobile users with information that will keep them opted-in to your messages (and keeping users opted-in is key!).

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The Benefits of Native Mobile Apps

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Gone are the days of using your mobile phone simply for phone calls. Today everything is mobile . You can deposit checks with your camera, video message with family from across the world, and challenge perfect strangers to a game of “Words With Friends”. A majority of our time is spent using our mobile devices, which is a major reason why so many companies are making the move to mobile.

Companies who initially went the web-based mobile app route have found the inability to customize, brand and contact users with push notifications troublesome, resulting in a majority of those companies switching to native mobile mobile apps.Whether it’s discovery in the app store or overall trust, users tend to prefer downloading a well constructed and easy-to-use native app over a web-based mobile app.

In addition to users overall trust level and preference, lets take a look at several benefits of investing in a native mobile app over a web-based mobile app in terms of business objectives and ROI:

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