Build a Better Strategy for Marketing your Vehicle Buying Center (VBC™)


The fact is that most dealerships’ marketing is designed to sell cars — not to buy them. That leaves many dealers who’ve embraced private-party acquisition waiting for inbound private party leads that never come. So, as much as you need marketing to sell cars to the public, you also need marketing dedicated to buying them.

To successfully market your Vehicle Buying Center (VBC™), consider the digital customer journey that would-be private sellers will experience. You need messaging that speaks to sellers specifically, and you need to be where would-be sellers are. Once there, you want to provide easy-to-use tools that provide realistic offers, and ultimately encourage them to connect with your buying agents.

Keep reading for our step-by-step guide on building an inbound marketing strategy that will help you get the most out of your private-party acquisition strategy and supercharge your vehicle buying center.

Build a Digital Customer Journey from Point-of-Contact to Point-of-Acquisition

1. Craft Meaningful Messaging

Speaking to a would-be seller is different than speaking to a buyer. Their motivations are different, they may not know what to expect, and most importantly – they may have never considered selling to a dealership. That means your messaging needs to speak to their potential motivations, educate them on the process, and position your VBC as a safe space to engage.


Get rid of a car payment?

Get rid of a car you no longer need or use?

Adjust to a life change that means you don’t need a car?

Need cash for something important now?

Buy a new car?

Needing to buy a new car is more relevant than you think. A lot of buyers think they will get more for their vehicle by selling private-party, which, at least in this market, isn’t necessarily true. It’s worth reminding private-sellers that there are advantages to trading, or just that you’ll buy their car even if they aren’t looking at one of yours.

2. Create Dedicated High-Quality Content

Next up, it’s time to create high-quality marketing content that grabs the attention of would-be sellers in your area. These can be distributed through traditional or digital channels – or a combination of both, based on your market.

  • Television & Radio Spots
  • Digital Video for YouTube, SOcial
  • Media, or Streaming Services
  • Digital Banners for Display Advertising, Social Media, Email Campaigns
  • Print Materials for traditional mail, service department tags, or flyers

We’ve seen dealers have success with content that is funny and friendly – but especially content that features testimonials. Testimonials of customers talking about how easy the selling process was generates invaluable social proof that will make other would-be sellers more confident to engage.

3. Create your Digital Front Door

If your website is a virtual showroom, you need an equivalent digital front door for your VBC. This could be a dedicated URL – think, – a dedicated landing page on your website, or, even better, both.

A dedicated VBC landing page on your website is maybe the most important because it takes advantage of all your existing SEO and organic traffic. We would even recommend changing your website’s main “Calls-to-Action” (CTAs) to include your VBC – i.e. “Buy – Sell – Service.”

Capturing sellers interest is essential, so make sure that this page is easily accessible, highly visible, and easy to navigate. It’s also incredibly important to include a vehicle appraisal tool, like VINCUE’s Vehicle Buying Center. If your Vehicle Buying Center page is only a form, you immediately lose all the momentum of a motivated would-be seller.


Pricking the right vehicle appraisal tool is also important because it creates expectations. Your offers should be spread into ranges that demonstrate opportunity for the would-be seller without creating liability for you, the dealer. Also, ranges should be based on Retail Sales Values, and not on traditional books that are at least 60 days behind the market.

Learn More about Vehicle Appraisal >

4. Bring it all Together: Generate Inbound Leads

Some dealers might be tempted to utilize third-party lead generation partners to passively capture private-party leads. However, these services charge a premium and they’re typically sending the same leads to multiple dealers. You’re paying to compete with other buying centers!

Instead, focus on driving organic traffic to your own website using all the great content you’ve created. From video to digital banners, mail to service lane tags, create curated marketing campaigns that puts your dealership out front.

  • Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • In-Store Promotions
  • Over the Phone (“Thanks for contacting us, are you calling to buy a car or sell a car?)
  • Service Lane Offers, including hang tags with QR codes directed to your VBC page

Marketing your own Vehicle Buying Center may be a heavier lift, but consider your conversion rates for third-party leads (~2%*) or even cold-calling private-listings from Facebook or Craigslist (~8%**). Comparatively, if a would-be seller is going through the effort to submit their information through your website, the hard work is already done.

When your buying agents are contacting inbound leads from your website, you can expect conversion rates above 20%.

VINCUE Boost™ Helps You Bring in More Sellers with Automated Digital Advertising

It can be tough to reach potential sellers in today’s crowded physical and digital marketplace. Digital advertising is a powerful tool and doesn’t have to be a mystery. VINCUE Boost™ lets you pick your segment, pick your budget, and automatically targets the most likely buyers in your market. 



Build a Better Strategy for Marketing your Vehicle Buying Center (VBC™)

Schedule Test Drive

We get it, change is hard. But when you think about getting rid of multiple systems and replacing them with better data and better tools, maybe it’s worth a look. Let us give you a free demonstration of VINCUE and show you what your world could look like. 


Created by dealers, for dealers, VINCUE is based on data and built for the modern automotive industry. 

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