Updated September 8, 2020
It’s harder than ever for dealerships to make money. As local and national competition heats up, dealership margins are becoming slimmer. Customers are better informed and expect the best deal every time.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. It’s still possible to thrive in today’s ultra-competitive market — you just need the right strategy.
The winning strategy for modern dealers is simple:
Buy and sell the right inventory — at the right price — to achieve higher gross and higher turn.
Simple… if you have the right technology.
Market pricing tools have become a necessity, but with so many pricing and appraisal tools on the market, it can be tough to know where to start.
In this guide, we’ll break down two of the most popular tools available to dealers to see how they compare: VinCue and Laser Appraiser.
What is VinCue?
VinCue is a powerful pricing, sourcing, advertising, and inventory optimization tool for new and used car markets. Its powerful real-time data helps dealers achieve a higher gross and turn by providing actionable insight into their market.
The best part: Vincue allows users to access all of this information from a single dashboard. From the competitor poach report to local market sales metrics, Vincue gives dealers the actionable insight they need to optimize their inventory, streamline lead generation, and earn more on each vehicle.
What is Laser Appraiser?
Laser Appraiser is a mobile-focused VIN scanning application that displays a healthy mix of vehicle information, condition reports, and pricing information from several industry guides. Its desktop version, Dealer Studio, offers additional valuation tools and market reports.
Laser Appraiser is one of the more affordable pricing tools on the market, but with that comes limited functionality and fewer insights. For live market data, inventory management, and vehicle sourcing, dealers will have to use other tools.
Comparing VinCue vs. Laser Appraiser
In general, Laser Appraiser is a “lite” pricing and appraisal tool. While cheaper than VinCue, dealers get limited insight and functionality with Laser Appraiser. A lot of the information provided by Laser Appraiser can be found elsewhere.
Let’s look at the key features of each tool more closely and see how they compare.
Real-Time Market Data
VinCue’s real-time market data comes from over 40,000 dealership websites tracking 7 million vehicles. Up-to-the-minute information lets dealers find and examine virtually any data point:
- Market day’s supply
- Average days on market
- Brand days on market
- Market share and national sales
- Shortage reports
- Number of competing vehicles in your local area
- Individual prices listed by your competitors
- Inventory age
Laser Appraiser uses information from Cars.com to provide users with data pulled from listings on their site. Additionally, Laser Appraiser also sources market data from nearly 55,000 dealer websites.
There is a catch, however: users don’t have access to extended features and information through their mobile phone or tablet. These are only available through Laser Appraiser’s desktop client, Dealer Studio.
Vehicle Appraisal and Pricing
VinCue helps dealers win on appraisals by intelligently comparing similar vehicles and calculating the true market value. Users can input mileage, reconditioning costs, and desired profit margin, and VinCue will give you the Wholesale Appraised Value.
Laser Appraiser’s mobile VIN scanner only provides pricing information from pricing books like KBB and NADA. In-depth valuation tools are only available through Dealer Studio, which collects market data and compiles several useful reports. However, you still don’t get the same level of detail provided by VinCue.
VinCue’s built-in auction sourcing gives you access to both major and regional auctions across the country. It automatically connects your inventory data with real-time market insights so you know which vehicles to look for — then lets you bid on them without ever leaving the platform.
Laser Appraiser provides information and run lists from Manheim and Auction Edge. Dealers can easily find the vehicles they want to stock, then view things like book-pricing and vehicle history reports to see if they’re getting a good deal.
While Laser Appraiser’s search functionality can help you prepare for your next auction, users can’t actually place bids through their platform.
Inventory Management and Optimization
VinCue doubles as an inventory management and optimization tool. It ensures your website is always updated and manages your listings simultaneously by tracking your dealership activity:
- Turn rates
- Pricing age
- Inventory age
VinCue tells you exactly how your inventory stacks up to the competition by grading your sales and inventory performance. Plus, it’s best-in-class syndication allows you to capture all of a vehicle’s features and options – not just the basics. This ensures each vehicle earns its full, authentic value when you syndicate out to third-party sites.
Laser Appraiser integrates with 3rd party inventory management solutions like Dealertrack and First Look. This means you’ll need an account with one of these tools to manage your inventory.
Online advertising is critical to moving inventory and building customer loyalty. Marketing features are noticeably absent from Laser Appraiser, but VinCue delivers precision advertising to dealers with AdCue.
AdCue uses your inventory data to automatically generate ads using eye-catching details, features, and photos. It then utilizes Display and Social Media to serve these ads to your ideal audience — active customers in your area searching for vehicles you have in stock.
Vincue also helps dealers build their brand with 100% customizable, world-class websites. Owners can use Vincue to create a mobile-friendly and attractive dealership page that leaves a strong first impression and helps convert visitors.
Laser Appraiser leaves dealers stuck using two separate tools
The most obvious difference for busy dealerships: Laser Appraiser’s limited mobile functionality.
Laser Appraiser can be a convenient mobile pricing tool, but users will need to Dealer Studio for additional data and features. This essentially leaves dealers stuck using two separate tools. Additionally, you will have to subscribe to other tools for inventory management, marketing, and auction sourcing.
Vincue’s all-in-one platform, on the other hand, allows dealers to access all of their appraisal, inventory, sourcing, and advertising data from a single dashboard.
The Bottom Line: VinCue’s all-in-one platform wins on Features AND Convenience
It’s hard to compare Laser Appraiser and VinCue. In many ways, they are on two different levels.
Laser Appraiser does well for the price, but many dealers find that it isn’t enough. From mobile capabilities to real-time market data, VinCue is a notch above in almost every aspect.