Tesla recently moved all their sales online. And Telsa knows what it’s doing. They understand that running a showroom takes overhead and that overhead can be expensive.

It’s entirely possible to run a car dealership online. And it’s probably the best decision you’ll ever make as an aspiring car dealer. 85% of car customers would rather start and or complete their vehicle purchase online.

1. Start Thy Engines

Here’s how to burn that rubber when getting started. First, you’ll need to do your market research.

This means checking out the competition. Who else is selling cars online? Are they making money? What kind of marketing are they doing? Who are their customers?

Once you know this, you can start on customer research. Who is buying cars right now? What kind of customer do you want to sell to? Low end? High end? Who buys the most cars?

Create a website budget. You’re going to want to pay for the whole shebang right off the bat if you’re inexperienced in web development and marketing. You’ll want to optimize your site for search, make it easy to navigate, and make it easy on the eyes.

Begin choosing your cars. You’ll want to ensure an inspection process. You’ll want to license yourself to sell in the state you live in. But since you’re an online business, you’ll have to find out what the regulations are in every other state.

This will take some research, but once you know, you can avoid fines from other states. And state fines will add up.

2. Find Out How to Ship the Cars

You have several options for getting cars to your customers. But you need to ask yourself a few questions first.

Are you selling to people across the country? Are you selling to people internationally? Or are you selling regionally?

If you’re selling regionally, you could deliver the cars yourself. But if you’re selling across the country or internationally, you’ll need a good car delivery service.

This could mean hiring a few drivers to take the cars across the country. Or it could mean hiring a driveway service to drop the cars off directly to the customer.

Just be sure you find a bonded or insured service or employee. That’s a lot of car you’re sending across the country. If anything should happen to it along the way, you want to be sure to get your money back.

3. Pick a Memorable URL

Do some keyword research. You want to capture the market with your URL. You want it to rank on search engines.

Your URL should be simple. If it’s complicated or easy to misspell, then you’ll get nobody to your site through the URL alone.

If the URL is short and memorable, you can put it anywhere and people will remember it. This could mean creating decals for your car. Just paste them on the window and people will gawk and quickly remember your URL.

4. Get Your Marketing Running

Pay per click, SEO, SERP. If these terms confuse you, fear not. You’ll soon understand how to use each and every one of these tools.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the ability to optimize your site to rank on Google. This means content creation, correct HTML tags, and easy navigation. It’s best to hire someone for this work as it takes loads of time and can be easy to get wrong.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.