Mismatched tires – reason why you have mismatched tires.
Check for cupped tires, or uneven wear. Front end is out of alignment.

Driver and Passenger Sides

Look for door dings, molding damage, scratches, tape lines around molding, touch-ing and brushing these items. Give the customer the idea that you have seen them.

Trunk Area

Ask for the keys to open the trunk. Is the trunk cleaned out? (A good indication that the customer intended on trading) Do they have a spare tire and jack? Water leakage and damage? Carpet damage? Lift carpet and look for signs of repair body damage. Close trunk and look for oxidation of paint on the trunk lid.
Check brake lights, lenses for damage and cracks.
Check bumpers. Scratches and dings in rear bumpers.
Any cracks in the back windshield? Rear window defroster?


Front of Car

Check for oxidation of paint.
Check for dings and scratches.
Condition of front headlights, side turn signals.
Check for front air dam and observe condition of it.

Inside of Car

Open driver’s side door. If needed brush out seat. Start the car. Do not pump accelerator on electric fuel injected engines. If car does not start, and rapport had been built with customer, ask if it has been tuned up recently.
If car does start right away, next item to check is air conditioning. If car has air conditioning, it should take 20-30 seconds to start cooling. Leave hand in front of vent until satisfied that air conditioning works.
If system does not work, leave hand in place until customer gives you a response.
You may just want to look at him.
Next, make sure that radio and speakers work – look for smoking evidence. Look for burn holes in the carper and seats, condition of the ashtrays.
Take the odometer reading before leaving the car. Checking gas and brake pedals for wear.
Back seat – Look for worn cloth seats, or cracked leather. Look for signs of children, such as McDonald’s bags and coloring books. Assure the customer that this is normal for most people.

Under the Hood

Open the hood. Make sure engine is off.
Check oil and transmission stick, if automatic. Do not ask the customer if he changes oil every 3,000 miles because oil sticks should tell you the truth. Check for oil level and consistency. If you ask a customer if he changes his oil every 3,000 miles, he will always say, “yes”. Don’t make him a liar.
Pull transmission stick. Color should be pink or red and level should be normal.
Next check the battery cables for corrosion and battery size. Is it the right sized battery for the compartment?
Check hoses and belts for wear.
Check air breather, (if possible).

Remember the new car that you showed your customer has a clean engine compartment. Fluid levels are full. His engine compartment had probably never been cleaned to the extent of your new or used car. It leaves a lasting impression before going to negotiate.

As lowering the hood, remember that hail damage or that major body damage briefly pointed out, as you close the hood, saying, “it’s all right, let’s go inside.” This gives the customer no time to dwell on the damage but shows him that you are aware of it and you are taking it into consideration.

Questions of value or trade – What’s my trade worth? When asked this question,

“My job is to expedite the process for the used car manager who will give you absolutely TOP DOLLAR for your trade!” The salesman is not qualified to accurately answer that question.

Make sure appraisal sheets are filled out completely so no second trip is needed to check missed items.

A good walk around on a trade will automatically make a customer more realistic about the value of his own car when negotiations start. 96% of all customers say they did not get a fair value for their trade and is the biggest reason customers leave the dealership without buying! The process of the trade walk around gives the salesman a strong tool that enables both the salesman and the customer to negotiate together a fair market value for their trade.




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