Bread, milk, eggs, toilet rolls, washing-up liquid… and a ’97 Ford Escort with a built-in cassette desk.

April 7, 2011

If you haven’t already heard, Tesco have delved into the world of second-hand car trading.  Earlier this week they launched ‘Tesco Cars’a website offering thousands of used cars for sale.

Tesco chief-exec of retailing services, Andy Higginson, has said that the purpose of the site is to provide a “convenient, easy and safe” alternative to traditional used car forecourts. Higginson also stated that the cars available on the website will be around 20pc cheaper than those you might find at a second-hand garage, due to low overheads.

This isn’t the first time Tesco have looked at trying to take a share of other big money markets. We’ve seen it before with Tesco, who are considered to be juggernauts in the supermarket industry, also offer; Propertirs, mobile phone contracts, insurance, banking, clothing and even produce films.

The motoring industry is one that offers huge reward, if you can fight off the competition. With the right strategy, Tesco’s can be optimistic about taking a tiny share of the £24bn market. Higginson explains:

“It is about following the customer into areas of spend. It is a £24bn market and we will have a tiny proportion of it. We can bring trust. A lot of people find it intimidating with the hard sell. There is no hard sell here.”

How can you trust them, you may be wondering? It is a used car dealership after all.

Well, Tesco have explained that all the cars for sale on their website will have undergone independent inspections by the RAC and HPI Check. They will also display images of each vehicle as well as a brief video showing each car being test-driven by the RAC.

Sound too good to be true? It may certainly sound similar, if you’re up to date with retail news or have been following my blogs you’ll no doubt remember the PriceCheck scheme that royally backfired on Tesco – after they made promises they couldn’t adhere to.

It’s another bold retail move, which could return some serious profit if all goes to plan. However, many will still prefer a hands-on approach when it comes to dealing with used cars.

So I don’t think Boycie (or Marlene for that matter) need to panic too soon, there is still a lot of trust to be earned by Tesco, as well as a successful launch – before there is any danger of them putting his second-hand car lot, and many others out of business for good.

In other news…

Stamp collectors will get the last laugh, on Monday when the price of sending basic postal items takes a serious increase.

Over the weekend, many a stamp collector flocked to their local post offices to stock up on stamps as prices are set to rise. The cost of sending a first-class basic letter will rise from 41p to 46p, though this doesn’t seem like much, it’s a 12% increase, which is three-times greater than the level of inflation.

Second class stamps will increase in price by 12.5% to 36p from 32p.

Again, the total savings aren’t great, but many savvy customers went in and bought books of 100 stamps, saving themselves £5. To those who send letters everyday, i.e small businesses, the small increase will soon become a bit more noticeable.