With buy here, pay here a growing and potentially lucrative niche within the used car industry, dealers are able to explore which types of customers represent the best prospects for this specialized type of purchase and financing.
What is the one market segment often overlooked? Answer: 1.4 million Americans who fil bankruptcy every year. But before you write them off as deadbeats, you should know the facts about them. Bankruptcy filers are not always dealing with a lack of funds; often times, they are merely experiencing cash flow problems. According to research conducted at Harvard Law School, the typical profile of the American middle class bankruptcy filer is just that – typical.
The filer’s average age is 38; 44 percent of filers are couples. Thirty percent are women filing alone; 26 percent are men filing alone. Bankruptcy filers are slightly better educated than the general population, but two out of three have lost a job, and half have experienced a serious health problem. Combine these factors with misuse of easily obtained credit or divorce, and it’s easy to see why people with relatively high household incomes may fall behind in payments, resulting in bankruptcy.
If you’re promoting buy here, pay here programs, one of the best ways to reach bankruptcy filers is through direct mail. Although broadcast (radio and televistion ads) can be effective, they may also generate negative media coverage. Direct mail, by its very nature, is targeted. And direct mail is a terrific way to communicate directly to your prospective buyer.
There are companies that can help you reach these people. For example, mailing lists and telemarketing list of recent bankruptcy filers in your area are available. Whether you want to send a letter with a limited-time rate offer or simply announce a seasonal sales event, direct mail is an extremely cost-effective marketing channel.
Regardless of which broker you choose to obtain your bankruptcy prospects, make sure of the quality of your list. The two keys to measuring and ensuring list quality are accuracy and freshness. Ask some basic questions before you buy: Is the list clean? Are there duplicate names? How current is the list? When was it last updated or revised?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make important purchase decisions, and help you evaluate whether the price you’re paying is a fair one.