As you know this week we had some great news. First, that auto dealers can re-open as essential businesses and the second one was DMV’s announcement, that dealers can sell remotely. In other words, you can negotiate with customers even when they are not at the dealership, and deliver the vehicle and contract, to the customer, at some other location.
The important thing to remember is that before the delivery of the vehicle, YOU must sign the contract. When the vehicle is delivered, the customer then signs the contract and other documents. Please remember that you are not allowed to do more up-selling or negotiating at the time of delivery. So, let’s talk more about selling remotely.
This is important because more and more customers will be buying cars this way in the future. First, as you know DealerXT sent out a newsletter about this subject on March 17 of this year, approximately six weeks before the DMV announcement. At that time, some people disagreed with us, but we’re glad that our interpretation of the laws was correct.
But there is something very important to watch out for when selling remotely because this will cause future lawsuits. The DMV says that the pre-contract disclosures must be made before the customer signs the contract. That means, when the vehicle is delivered, the customer must sign the disclosures before they sign the contract.
Well, we can already see what the plaintiff’s lawyers are going to use as an excuse to sue you. They are going to claim that the customer did not receive the disclosures before they signed the contract.
They will also claim that the customer did not have enough time to review disclosures or that the delivery person said something different. This is another he-said, she-said situation, which creates significant risk for your dealership.
So, how do we deal with this issue? The good news is that your DealerXT tablet has features that eliminates, or greatly reduces this risk. As you know, disclosures on the DXT tablet, and same-day photos of the vehicle, are emailed to the customer, at the end of the tablet process.
When you sell remotely, you can use the same tablet process which will send the disclosures to the customer’s email address. Now, you have documented proof by a third party of the date and time, that you sent the disclosure to the customer. This would provide sufficient time before delivery of the vehicle for the customer to review the disclosures and it would be clear that the customer received the disclosures before signing the contract.
You can print the disclosures and send it together with the contract to the customer to sign the paper copies.
So, in this regard we have some good as well. In a couple of weeks, DealerXT will have, an online signature process in place for customers. You will be able to email DXT disclosures to the customer and have them sign on their own computer or phone.
As always, if you have any questions, or if your dealership needs additional training, please let us know.
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