Trade Appraisal

Improve Gross Profit through better Trade Appraisal Processes

In today’s information age, customers regularly come to the dealership armed with a Redbook valuation or have checked to see what their vehicle is being sold for on

Developing strategies to bring customer trade-ins in at the correct value are critical to retaining gross in the deal.

Some dealerships use the silent walk around to point out vehicle damage whereas others use the walk drive appraisal method earlier in the sales process to build rapport and gather information about the customer.

Walk Drive Appraisal Questions

  • How long have you owned the car?

  • Where did you buy it from?

  • What do you like about the car?

  • Is there anything you don’t like?

  • What are the features on this car that you must have on your next car?

  • What accessories or aftermarket products have you fitted?

  • When was the vehicle last serviced?

  • Do you have the log books with the service history?

Use an appraisal form or mobile app to record appraisal information.

Take all vehicle identification, engine and chassis numbers from the vehicle rather than documentation.

Ensure all information is recorded to ensure accurate data entry into the dealer management system.

The appraiser needs to carefully examine the car (similar to a 6 position sell format) to identify any problems or damage and assess the overall condition of the vehicle.

Depending on the condition of the trade, the appraiser will determine whether the vehicle will be wholesaled or put on the used car lot for sale.

External wholesalers will provide a value for the trade based on the vehicle’s description, representing the amount the dealership will receive if sold wholesale.

Datamotive’s LiveMarket can be used to evaluate potential pricing for retail trades.

Redbook or Glasses Guide can be reviewed to evaluate what customer’s may think the vehicle is worth. (Glasses Guide has an app for mobile devices).

A check should be done on the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR) to identify if the vehicle is stolen or has been written off.


Online Resources

Explaining to customers how trades are valued

How to appraise a used car part 1

How to appraise a used car part 2

Maximise gross on the trade walk

Evaluating your appraisal process

Exterior Inspection

Mechanical Inspection

Interior Inspection

Test Drive


Trade Appraisal


Mark Stonebridge

Dealership Coach

Bridge the Gap between Planning and Performance


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