Custom Wheels: Solid Source of Shiny Profits
It’s unfathomable the amount of money that a dealer can make carrying custom wheels.
At an average of at least $500 per wheel, a dealer is almost forced to take a long, hard look maintaining custom wheels.
But making the money isn’t easy. As with everything else associated with the tire industry, a dealer has to work for the money that custom wheels can bring in. Just remember, no matter where you’re located, the money is there to be made.
First and foremost, a dealer has to be able to successfully install the wheels. There’s no place for shortcuts when it comes to working on your customer’s expensive new high tech wheels.
There are some simple things to keep in mind with custom wheel installation. Always use clean tools and equipment; a dirty wheel is not the best thing to hand over to a customer.
Get the right tire/wheel assembly package. Make sure the equipment can handle the wheel; there’s nothing worse than a wheel that’s been damaged by a dealer. Take your time and properly mount and balance the assemblies. And remember to check the alignment after installing the tire/wheel assemblies.
But before the wheel can be installed, it has to be sold. This always presents a problem for dealers. Keeping wheels around the showroom takes up space – a lot of space.
Dealers might want to consider putting wheel displays on the walls of the shop. That way you can get a good sampling of the wheels that are available. Even a single, stand-alone display can be effective.
If space is too tight, posters and catalogs are a viable option. Customers can still see what the product looks like and also get the specifications. But if a dealer wants to go the poster and catalog route, remember to always have the newest material available. For that amount of money, no one is going to want to buy last year’s model.
Computers are also becoming a tool for selling wheels. Whether through an in-store terminal or the Internet, computers allow customers to find the wheel they like, see if it looks good on their vehicle, and make sure to get the accurate size and cost.
Custom wheels are also a good lead-in to value added service. Even if a vehicle comes in for non-tire/wheel service, cleaning the wheel can certainly win you points with the customer.
Cleaning the wheels that enter your shop can lead you to point out that the longer dirt and grime stay on the wheel, the harder it is to come off. Then you could steer them directly to a display of tire/wheel cleaner.
But one thing to keep in mind with wheel cleanings: make sure the cleaner doesn’t damage the finish of the wheel. Clear-coat wheels need to be treated with a non-abrasive cleaner.
It’s true. Custom wheels take a lot of effort. But much of the time, that effort is rewarded with customer loyalty. And loyalty always translates into added profits.