The UK’s automotive industry is a highly-competitive market that sells some of the most recognisable brands on the planet. It’s estimated that there are around 5000 dealerships across Great Britain, creating something of a dog-eat-dog mentality in this busy sector. With so many options available to discerning consumers, the need to stand out from the crowd could be a matter of life and death for some businesses.

One of the ways to delight customers and carve out your own niche is through car dealership promotional merchandise. Many enterprises within the automotive industry assume that they have no option other than to buy branded merchandise directly from their manufacturer. While that might be true in some cases, many dealerships could see some impressive benefits by sourcing handover gifts from independent suppliers instead. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at why you should take handover gifts seriously before discussing the advantages of thinking outside of the box and buying wholesale merchandise.

two cars in foreground on car dealership

Why is Car Brand Merchandise Important?

For many enterprises, a key approach to developing a powerful and unique brand identity comes through supplying quality car dealership promotional merchandise. This minor yet personal touch can make a huge difference to potential customers, and it’s not always necessary to rely on grand gestures to establish your brand. In fact, smaller handover gifts such as branded umbrellas, trolley tokens, and keyrings can all combine to make a difference.

The benefits of car dealership promotional merchandise include: 

  • Brand strategy: Car dealership promotional merchandise can be an integral part of a brand’s strategy. If you proudly tell your customers who you are and what you stand for, they could be more likely to pass that message on to friends and family  
  • Make an impression: When it comes to business, first impressions count. From the very first moment a customer arrives at your dealership, they’ll get a feel for your operation. Show them you care in ways both big and small to win them over 
  • Be unique: Car brand merchandise is a great way to establish your dealership as a unique entity in an extremely competitive market. The better you stand out from the crowd, the longer you’ll be around for.
  • Inspire loyalty: Handover gifts are neat touches that can delight your customers. If you show them you care, they’re more likely to return in the years to come 

To learn more about developing a brand strategy, you can read our blog here.

smiling man in warehouse

In the meantime, let’s delve a little deeper into the benefits of buying wholesale automotive merchandise.

1 – The Advantages of Buying in Bulk

Let’s start by first acknowledging that some dealerships are bound to franchise agreements that oblige them to use their vehicle manufacturer for all handover gifts. For everyone else, the potential benefits of finding an independent supplier of car dealership promotional merchandise and buying in bulk are huge. The potential advantages of bulk buying your products include:

  • Savings: It’s possible to save up to 33% by buying car brand merchandise wholesale from an independent supplier.  This could help you to undercut any competitors who use the pricier option of the manufacturer
  • Reduce shipping costs: Buying in bulk means less deliveries, which means less shipping costs, for fewer transactions. This is especially useful for any dealerships who collect their own orders, as fuel costs can be kept at a minimum
  • Freedom: Going directly to a wholesaler gives you the freedom to shop around until you find a car brand merchandise supplier who fits the bill regarding prices, reliability, and quality

2 – Independent Specialists Pass on Production Savings

Standard wholesale prices are usually much cheaper than the brand manufacturer. In some cases, car dealership promotional merchandise is made at a fraction of the cost of the ‘average’ retailer. Therefore, reduced production costs and extra stock mean it’s almost always cheaper for automotive businesses to buy directly from an independent supplier for their promotional products. 

Many merchandise specialists keep costs down by carefully selecting the best overseas manufacturers and passing on significant savings to dealerships. Importantly, the right supplier of car brand merchandise will be able to guarantee that lower costs don’t come at the expense of premium quality. If you want to be economical and purchase with confidence, it’s essential to find an automotive specialist who can expertly combine the two.   

3 – Cut Out the Middleman

It stands to reason that the more links there are in a supply chain, the more people will want to take their cut from the product on offer. Therefore, it’s important to get as close as possible to the source of production for your car dealership merchandise. A well-chosen independent supplier of handover gifts is more likely to be closely connected to production, which cuts out the agents or distributors that are often a fact of life when using a brand manufacturer.

Additionally, cutting out the middleman can make the whole process much quicker — giving dealerships the added bonus of reduced lead times. This is especially useful when your supplies are running low and you don’t want to run the risk of disappointing customers. If you offer seasonal car dealership merchandise, longer lead times could even result in those products falling out of season, making them obsolete by the time they finally arrive.

4 – More Choice and Extra Longevity

As we’ve already established, going the extra mile to offer unique designs can make your handover gifts stand out from the crowd. An additional benefit of independent suppliers is that they often provide a wider, less restricted, range of designs and styles, giving you much more choice and involvement in the merchandise you choose to promote. Some premium car brand merchandise suppliers offer the likes of die cast metals, cross-coloured stitchings, 2D and 3D trolley tokens and keyrings, and more. 

smiling man in cap using laptop in store room

As well as offering a vast array of choices, the right supplier might also provide custom packaging for your promo giveaways. Many businesses realise that a premium unboxing experience is something that lots of customers, especially among younger demographics, really value. Therefore, if you want to present your car dealership promotional merchandise in stylish, bespoke packs — it might only be possible through an automotive industry specialist and not your manufacturer.

Ultimately, using an independent supplier could give you the freedom to bring your own creations to life, to offer seasonal gift packs, a wider range of products, and much more.

Leighmans: The Car Dealership Merchandise Specialists

Leighmans is a premium supplier of car dealership merchandise with a wealth of experience in the automotive industry. We offer a huge range of bespoke merchandise, stocking everything from umbrellas and drinkware to trolley tokens, notepads, pens, and much more. We’re excited about bringing our clients’ visions of the perfect handover gifts to life, while offering the ideal balance of quality products at value prices. 

We’re proud to work with dealerships of all shapes and sizes. So whether you’re a smaller enterprise working to a tight budget or part of the top 100 dealership groups, we’ve got something for you. Our commitment to quality has seen us working with some of the UK’s premier names, including Mercedes and Volkswagen.

If you want to improve your brand strategy with promotional gifts and want to find out more about how you could save money without compromising on quality in the process, you’ll love working with Leighmans. Contact us today.

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