Just before Thanksgiving, Tax Max highlighted a development that could positively impact buy-here, pay-here operators. After four years on the shelf, the banking industry has revived the Tax Refund Advance for 2016.
To help BHPH dealers take advantage of this opportunity, Chip Wiley — who is the corporate trainer and marketing specialist for Tax Refund Services and Tax Max — answered four questions he has received most about how the Tax Refund Advance is designed to function.
Where can customers get these refund advances?
Dealerships need to their tax refund season company partner to verify if they are a participant in this program. Not all tax preparers will be participating as not all tax refund associated banks are expected to offer the Tax Refund Advance product. Ask around, your state association, or national associations like NIADA or NABD for recommendations.
How can I benefit from this?
The obvious answer will be from the early influx of tax refund dollars into the market. In the past two years, tax refunds started paying out between Jan. 29 and through Feb. 5. Tax Refund Advances are expected to begin in the Jan. 15 through Jan. 22 timeframe. Dealers “in the know” will have the advantage with the timing of their marketing.
People want their refund money yesterday, so the allure of a 24-hour check is a major draw. Dealerships that work directly with a tax refund partner stand to profit the most. These companies thrive on the success of the sale of the vehicle and increased down payments, thus creating an essential partner in this critical time of year. Being able to offer your customers the ability to get their hands on early tax season money is key.
How much will this cost the customer? How much will this cost the dealership?
Ask your tax refund partner company for more details. Some Tax Refund Advance products come at no additional cost to the customer, no additional cost to the dealership, and with no credit checks.
Can I expect increased traffic from this?
That is up to you, your sales staff, your marketing, your online presence, and your vigilance to capture the tax refund customer.
If you are content with the business you attracted last year, then no, you should not expect and increase. In fact, your business should drop again this year. The significant beneficiaries will be the business owners who go after the customers and bring them in the door. This can be used as an opportunity for sales, repairs, collections, special payments, irregular payments or back-end product upgrades.
Remember, $750 is a lot of money, but customers will spend it faster than it arrived. Be proactive with the intent on seizing opportunities such as this one while your competitors sit on the sidelines. Many will not know this money is coming. It is your chance to steal market share.