LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Dealers shouldn’t undervalue just how critical the trade-in process is to closing a deal, at least according to result of an online study conducted by Black Book (a div. of Hearst Business Media).

The vehicle valuation firm found that next to receiving a sales price drastically different than originally offered (27.8%), the 2,100 U.S. consumers it polled online in March indicated that a trade-in quote that’s far from their expectations (21.5%) was the second most likely scenario to kill a deal.

“Clearly, the trade valuation process remains underappreciated by dealers, and consumers still feel the process of trade valuation remains too adversarial to the transaction,” said Jared Kalfus, senior vice president of sales at Black Book. “This actually validates much of what we hear from our dealer and online trade appraisal partners who realize that having more accuracy in their trade valuation process can significantly increase their closing rates on transactions. Additionally, a lost transaction eliminates additional used inventory from the trade that translates to an additional profit opportunity.”

Many consumers cited specific frustrations with the valuations they often receive from a dealer. For instance, 36% of respondents said their researched quote was $1,001 to $1,500 apart from the dealer’s offer, while another 27% said their quote was more than $1,500 apart. Nearly half (47%) said they need the dealer’s offer to be between $501 and $1000 of their research quote for it to be acceptable.

Additionally, 46% said getting the right trade appraisal was either “very important” or “extremely important” to their decision on their next vehicle purchase, the firm study found.

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