According to a 2012 poll by eBay Motors, 35% of American taxpayers polled said they will spend at least part of their tax return to either repair their current car or buy a different one. eBay Motors and other online car-sales and car-data related sites also report a regular bump in searches during March and April – right around tax prep and tax return time. Car dealerships can attack this trend at two ends with pointed automotive direct mail pieces – one aimed at the parts and repairs spenders and one toward the new/used spenders.
Approximately 54% of Americans expect to get a tax refund (versus the 24% who say they’ll owe money) – but only 7% actually plan to splurge on something fun like a vacation (or a sports car). So, if you do sell cars that are considered more of a splurge, that 7% swath of the overall population is a pretty big target and one that’s easy to find if you do your market research effectively.
However, most auto dealerships sell what are considered necessity vehicles – for carting the family around or commuting. The great news is that 84% of taxpayers getting a refund, according to a Bank-rate poll, intend to use it to pay down their debt, save or invest for use on everyday necessities. So, if you can angle your automotive direct mailer at their “need” for a new car – something more reliable, more fuel efficient, more cost-effective with a better resale appeal or even a better deal overall with a lower interest rate or lower payment – you have a solid chance of piquing their interest.
And, for those taxpayers not in the market for a new car – don’t count them out. Send them to your service department. Recession-weary taxpayers – even those getting a huge refund from Uncle Sam – might be reluctant to get a new car and more apt to sink money into preserving their current vehicle for a few more years to come. You can capitalize on this mindset by sending out quick coupons for regular or seasonal maintenance – again, speaking to that 84% who are more interested in spending their returns responsibly. Your automotive direct mail can even speak to that inclination – and encourage them to get more out of their investment by letting you care for their vehicle.
Bottom line, between the months of March and May, the majority of American consumers will have a little more extra cash in their wallets – and you’d be foolish to ignore the earnings potential for your business!