CHRISTMAS DROOP? OR WINTER DROP-OFF?

It’s an accepted fact of being in the Motor Trade that sales drop off before Christmas. Sadly they often don’t pick up until at least March time. But are we missing an opportunity? People need good cheap events to go out to in these straightened times. And a well-timed email out to all your past and present customers and local ‘noggin and natter’ organisers inviting them to an open day at your sales-site between Christmas and New Year might just generate a bit of local good-cheer and brighten up a slack time in your calendar. What’s it going to cost? A few more tea bags and a couple of extra pints of milk? I remember some of the best times I’ve had on dealers’ premises are in the bright, clear cold days of winter, with fog on the breath and the harsh light of the low sun glinting off the chrome. Cramming into a tiny office to ‘talk-turkey’ on a car that took my fancy? Everyone wants to get in out the cold! I admit, test-drives can be a little hairy. The Sunbeam Tiger I took out in 4 inches of snow down in Kent wasn’t able to have a proper road-test, and neither did I want to give it one the old adage ‘if you bend it, you’ve bought it’ is never more apt than in the tricky days of winter.

CATCH THE OPPORTUNITY

Many private buyers have extra time on their hands in the Christmas and New Year period. And with a belly-full of turkey and the optimism brought about by repeats of Morecambe and Wise on the telly, who knows – perhaps they’ll feel keen on chopping in their current classic for a shinier, fresher one from your barn? It’s worked for me many times, both as a buyer and as a seller – using those festive and bank holiday times to make sure your car is advertised with enough leeway to allow people to come and see it when they’re slack can pay dividends and up monthly sales figures.

BEATING THE ONLINE-AUCTION TIMEWASTERS

Even if you’re not in the trade, targeting your selling into a period when people have a little bit more time and optimism on their side can work wonders. It’s why so many online auctions have a finishing time late on a Saturday or Sunday evening. Catching the beer-fuelled mouse-clicker is certainly one-way to ensure a sale, though with the quantity of these type of sales which then fall through, perhaps the market as a whole is falling out of love with load-em-up auction sites?

PRIVATE ADS ARE FREE

One thing’s for sure, private sellers wishing to sell a classic through CCfS over the Christmas period should be doing it now. It is certainly a cheaper way to get in front of a wider audience, and for a longer period. Plus there’s no listings fees and commission fees, so you get 100% of the agreed sale price, in your pocket in cash when the car is driven away. (If you aren’t then you are playing a VERY dangerous game of chance!) What about the auction sites? Being seen in front of internet auction timewasters can prove a double-edged sword. Is the audience in a truly committed mood to buy what you are selling? Or are they beered-up just enough to click ‘Buy It Now’ while not being flush enough to  pay for the final round in the pub, let alone reach amongst the pocket fluff and come up with the dipper for your car? How do we know CCfS works and online auctions don’t? The amount of ‘second-bidder’ notifications we hear about. At least here on CCfS you get genuinely interested, real buyers. And that’s a fact.

DAVE RICHARDS

EDITOR

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