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      10-11-2021, 11:33 PM   #1
chris@kilter
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Crowdsourcing True Vehicle Availability with Kilter (U.S.)

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Hi Everyone,

I’m sure many of you have contacted a BMW dealer about a new car listed on their website, only to find out the vehicle is already spoken for. We know from our own experience this can be highly frustrating. There are so many cars on dealer websites right now that are already spoken for, but they usually stay on the website until the buyer takes delivery.

We've looked at the percentage of new BMW listings with stock photos and made some assumptions to get – directionally, at least – an idea for “true vehicle availability.” We’d be happy to share the details if there’s interest, but it’s clear the current environment is leading to a lot of disappointment and lost time for new car buyers. This is especially true with ///M cars and other vehicles where supply is still lagging far behind demand.

To help with this, we’ve added a way for you to submit information about vehicle availability on Kilter. If you contact a dealer and find out a car listed for sale is already spoken for, please let us know! It’s super easy. We’ll then confirm with the dealer and update the listing with a Pending Sale tag so everyone can benefit. See the images below for an example.

Working together, we can save everyone time and energy and have a much better idea for true inventory availability. We’ve been testing this successfully with the M5 CS for a few weeks and are excited to make this feature available for all new BMWs!


Some helps:
  • Submitting info is most easily done on our vehicle detail page, but if you're still not using Kilter to search 100% of new car inventory at the build sheet level, you can just send us a quick message via PM, our contact page, or email at hello[at]kilter.com with the VIN and what you found out.

  • It may take us a day to confirm the information with the dealer, so please be patient if the listing doesn’t update right away. We want to make sure we’re providing accurate information to the community at all times.

  • While not required, it would help if you included your BIMMERPOST username when you make a submission. If you’re helping the community frequently, once we see you’re 100% accurate with a few submissions, we can start confirming with the dealer less frequently because we know we can count on you.

  • Please try not to use our Message Dealer feature just to find out if a vehicle is available for purchase. Only use the Message Dealer feature if you have high intent to purchase that specific vehicle. There are a couple of reasons why this helps us:
  1. Most leads submitted through our Message Dealer feature come to our team first and we then pass them on to the dealer. While we’re growing fast, we’re still establishing automated connections with dealers’ systems. If we’re inundated with Message Dealer submissions, it means we have less time to stay on top of true vehicle availability and everything else we need to do to make Kilter the best it can be.

  2. Lead quality – i.e., connecting dealers with informed buyers who are highly likely to purchase – is what dealers love most about Kilter. We have a great reputation for having the best, most-informed, and great-to-work-with users and we'd like to keep our purchase-to-lead ratio as high as possible.

Thanks so much for your help with this. And thanks for using Kilter to shop for your next new car!

Chris


User submits info to Kilter about pending sale




Pending Sale tag on search results page




Pending Sale tag on vehicle details page

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Last edited by chris@kilter; 10-11-2021 at 11:53 PM..
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      10-12-2021, 10:26 AM   #2
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When I ordered my M3, it still showed up as "in transit" on the dealer site despite it being ordered for me.
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      10-12-2021, 10:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MachinesWithSouls View Post
When I ordered my M3, it still showed up as "in transit" on the dealer site despite it being ordered for me.
Same here on my G29. I believe the dealer does this for marketing reasons and if the sale falls thru they can quickly change the status.
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      10-12-2021, 10:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZ007 View Post
Same here on my G29. I believe the dealer does this for marketing reasons and if the sale falls thru they can quickly change the status.
While of course this is a possibility because every dealer group is different. This is most often because the dealer floor plans (dealer inventory is financed and owned by bank) new and used vehicle inventory. Sold or not it shows on the website because even though it is a sold order it is still part of inventory. Not everything is a marketing/sales tactic.
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      10-12-2021, 11:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachinesWithSouls View Post
When I ordered my M3, it still showed up as "in transit" on the dealer site despite it being ordered for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MachinesWithSouls View Post
When I ordered my M3, it still showed up as "in transit" on the dealer site despite it being ordered for me.
I've experienced this with my dealer as well.
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      10-12-2021, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachinesWithSouls View Post
When I ordered my M3, it still showed up as "in transit" on the dealer site despite it being ordered for me.
the same thing happened with my F36 three years ago. I'm not sure this is a "new" phenomenon.
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      10-12-2021, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunker View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MachinesWithSouls View Post
When I ordered my M3, it still showed up as "in transit" on the dealer site despite it being ordered for me.
the same thing happened with my F36 three years ago. I'm not sure this is a "new" phenomenon.
Agreed.

Wouldn't you just call the dealer to check if a car is available anyway? Idk. I tend to order mine but I guess if you need a car…
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      10-12-2021, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUSACKM3 View Post
While of course this is a possibility because every dealer group is different. This is most often because the dealer floor plans (dealer inventory is financed and owned by bank) new and used vehicle inventory. Sold or not it shows on the website because even though it is a sold order it is still part of inventory. Not everything is a marketing/sales tactic.
While I agree, in transit product is not part of inventory but listed as such. In reality, it is probably a mixture of all.
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      10-12-2021, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUSACKM3 View Post
While of course this is a possibility because every dealer group is different. This is most often because the dealer floor plans (dealer inventory is financed and owned by bank) new and used vehicle inventory. Sold or not it shows on the website because even though it is a sold order it is still part of inventory. Not everything is a marketing/sales tactic.
It's a combination of that mixed with limitations of most DMSs (Dealer Management System).

The marketing angle is not completely out of the equation though.
Back in the day dealerships would stuff AutoTraders and Newspapers with non existent inventory. That is still happening.
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      10-12-2021, 12:11 PM   #10
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What's in it for the person submitting car availability into this platform? I assume some sort of compensation since those updating availability are doing the work your company you really should be doing?
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      10-12-2021, 12:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachinesWithSouls View Post
Agreed.

Wouldn't you just call the dealer to check if a car is available anyway? Idk. I tend to order mine but I guess if you need a carů
I tend to order as well, but I would have purchased from dealer inventory if what I was looking for were available. If someone is open to buying from dealer inventory (or incoming inventory), it can be pretty time consuming to call around to confirm availability depending on how many cars meet their criteria.

Not that all these cars would meet someone's criteria, but if they're looking for a 2022 M4 Competition xDrive, there are currently 66 listed for sale in the U.S. and over 90% of those only have stock photos -- meaning they could be available or they could already be pre-sold, it's almost never clear from the listing. AutoNation dealers will sometimes put Pending Sale at the bottom of the stock photo, which is helpful, but that's about it.

If a reliable source (in this case a forum member + Kilter) has already confirmed the true availability, it can save people the time and effort of having to call around because the work has already been done. Some people may still decide to call, which is fine. One reason to do this is to get on the list with the dealer if the sale falls through. In that case, knowing the vehicle is pending sale before calling is nice to know.

As people have pointed out, this is definitely not a new thing, but more than 2/3rds of all new BMW listings right now only have stock photos. And the fraction is even higher for ///M cars and other vehicles that are in high demand. That, I believe, is new.
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      10-12-2021, 12:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OSee View Post
It's a combination of that mixed with limitations of most DMSs (Dealer Management System).

The marketing angle is not completely out of the equation though.
Back in the day dealerships would stuff AutoTraders and Newspapers with non existent inventory. That is still happening.

I agree, I have worked for my dealer group for 6 years now and never seen anything like that. The idea of those types of games still being played is insane and frustrating to me. Can not wait for the ways of the old school sleezy auto business guys that are still hanging around here and there to be gone.
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      10-13-2021, 01:08 PM   #13
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I am also curious what's in it for the user who submits the info like another person said. Gathering inventory listings, checking availability etc seems like something that could be automated.

Also it says when you use "message dealer" kilter team reviews it first then passes it on to the dealer. Seems like you're just better off just calling / messaging the dealer directly for faster response.

Also how does the company intends to make money?
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      10-14-2021, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XsltAnalyst View Post
I am also curious what's in it for the user who submits the info like another person said. Gathering inventory listings, checking availability etc seems like something that could be automated.

Also it says when you use "message dealer" kilter team reviews it first then passes it on to the dealer. Seems like you're just better off just calling / messaging the dealer directly for faster response.

Also how does the company intends to make money?
All I'm seeing is inventory aggregation here which already exists in multiple sites. I think kilter may have a slightly better handle on overall aggregation, which is useful to a degree (better if it was only unsold units) for low volume/high demand cars. I think using kilter to see potential inventory then verifying availability on BMWNA site on local search for a given zip code is pretty efficient. BMWNA may lag a day or two but the site won't display sold ordered units as available inventory if a dealer has tagged the vehicle as sold. I think dealers generally should be tagging units as sold to lock incentives for their special order units. Just my 2C.
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