1. Understanding the need of our buyers first
We are very lucky to be able to connect with people from all walks of life –
Young and enthusiastic – Who just got their driving license and are raring to shop for their first car.
Young adults – Who needs to commute frequently due to their career and require a fuss-free workhorse.
Young executives – Young and ambitious and ready for their next upgrade into an entry level continental car like the BMW 3 Series or the AUDI A4.
The next Takumi Fujiwara – JDM lovers who love even more to modify their vehicles and build their next Tamiya car (or have their very own tofu shop).
Family Man – That requires an MPV so that it can fit his family of 5-7 comfortably.
Mature Businessman – Who wants a BMW 5/7 series, Audi A6 or Merc Benz E/S class.
The list goes on and on.
The most important lesson that we have learnt is to listen and understand our buyer’s needs. Being able to empathise with our customer’s needs and wants allows us to advise and recommend them a car that would better suit their needs.
2. Being realistic with the offer price
A very huge chunk of our time is spent on managing customer expectations (both the buyer and the seller). This is usually due to unrealistic offers or asking prices by either party and honestly, we don’t blame them; who doesn’t want to buy as low as possible while selling as high as possible?
Car sellers > Be ready to offer some discounts and send your car for a workshop inspection. Always remember that you are competing with dealerships who are offering cars that are usually spruced up with a warranty and lemon law protection attached.
Car buyers > The beauty of buying from a direct seller means you get an honest opinion of the vehicle; and more often than not, that means the car is not going to be in “Showroom condition”. While prices are usually negotiable, please refrain from asking for huge discounts that are usually unrealistic.
As much as we try to filter away unsavoury buyers before a viewing, there will be occasions where the buyers still give a lowball offer, sometimes below scrap value due to their lack of market knowledge.
Handling hundreds of enquiries everyday have taught us to ensure that our buyer put on a realistic offer price before the viewing happens. I mean seriously, if the seller is willing to give you a $5,000 discount, are you sure you dare to buy?
3. Providing financial advice
A car is likely the second most expensive purchase you would make after your house.
One of the mandatory steps during the purchase process is to provide our buyers with a financial breakdown – advising them about the (i) Loan Amount, (ii) Interest Rate and how much is the (iii) Monthly loan repayment amount.
We frequently noticed that many (young) Singaporeans tend to punch above their financial weight and while we totally understand that a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is much sexier than a Toyota Vios, we normally advise our customers to be honest with themselves and not strain themselves over with the budget.
It’s extremely important for us to ensure that our buyers are buying within their financial capabilities. The honest truth is that it makes little to no difference to us whether you purchase a small hatchback or a luxury sedan. We really just want our customers to be happy, since we are all here for the long haul.
4. Workshop Inspection
Being a consignment agent means that otua.auto has to keep both our buyer’s and seller’s interest in mind. As we pass on the savings to the sellers, we also want to make sure that our buyers are treated fairly. While reasonable wear and tear are to be expected, we have to make sure that the powertrain of the vehicle is in good condition. This includes:
- OBD-2 Scan to check for faults/defects
- Car air conditioning
- Suspensions and more
Unlike most dealerships, we would never say our cars are in perfect condition. Why would we do that when we know that most used cars would have some kinks or minor issues that need to be fixed?
That is why we always recommend buyers to send the car for an inspection.
5. After sales support
After every successful deal, we would usually encourage our buyers to take up a one year warranty program with us at only $1.50* per day for a year. This is an excellent opportunity for our buyers to really protect themselves from any nasty surprises. An engine overhaul will easily cost about $2000-$3000 (sometimes more), so why take chances?
otua. auto provides a full fledged service of car towing, car servicing and repairs. For all our customers, do feel free to contact your respective client adviser should you have any need for after sales support.
Yes! So these are the 5 important lessons we have learnt and will ensure that all our buyers are assisted and advised accordingly.