Q I’m tired of dumpy sales. I want to do something aggressive in 2013 to bump up my bottom line. I’ve had some luck selling toolboxes. Is putting an extra push on toolboxes a good way to make more money, or is the time involved not worth it? A Selling toolboxes is definitely a good way to...
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“To be an effective toolbox salesperson, you have to know your acquisition price,” says Mata. “Once you know your cost, then you know what your minimum acceptable deal is.” A toolbox may list for $5,000 with a 40 percent margin. But if you hold firm to the $2,000 profit, you won’t be as successful as if you take a little less margin per sale and make more sales.
“Is it better for me to make $1,000 on the deal or to ride [the toolbox] around on the tool truck waiting to make $2,000?,” asks Mata.
QHow can I sell the toolbox I just got on trade? I don’t feel like I ever make any money on the used boxes. Am I giving customers too much on their trades or what?
AYou should keep an ongoing list of customers (and non-customers) looking for used toolboxes. When you’ve sold the new box, start calling your list to sell the old box. Most likely that used box will be sold within days, if not hours.
“There is an absolute, ongoing, everyday market for used boxes,” says Mata. “A younger apprentice mechanic may be looking for a bigger box but isn’t ready to pay full-bore, yet. Or, especially during the down economy, [a technician may] need one for home because they’re doing work from home.”
If no one on your list wants the toolbox, mention it to everyone coming on your truck. Ask if they’re interested or if they know anyone looking for a good used toolbox.
How To Price Your Trade-in
Pricing trade-ins is where it gets confusing. You’re not trying to make a big profit on the box; you’re basically trying to get out of the box what you’ve paid your customer for it.
“Let’s get down to what you’ve truly got into the box, not what I’ve shown the customer, but what you’ve got into it,” says Mata. On your books it looks like a $2,000 toolbox. But it’s not. It’s a $1,000 box – the extra $1,000 was an allowance. And you don’t need to mark up the toolbox. You can sell it for what you gave your customer and still be making money, Mata advises.
“A toolbox deal isn’t just the sale of a new box,” Mata says, “It’s every box behind it that you take in trade. So it’s not uncommon to have three deals that make up one. One box deal normally has two children, so there’s three customers paying for one piece of product.”
Sell just one toolbox a month and you could put an extra $12,000 or more in your pocket. And it’s a great cash flow booster since you don’t have to carry any financing.
There are two keys to selling toolboxes: 1) Stock one or two on your truck; 2) Be aggressive; you can’t just wait for customers to ask for a new toolbox.