Watching a customer leave your store empty handed hurts. Watching an interested customer keen to make a purchase walk away empty handed because you couldn’t offer financing hurts even more. It is disheartening for sales staff and it costs money. Yet this was exactly the situation facing sales staff at Ontario-based retailer Bluewater Trailers. Despite offering competitive prices and having almost 100 trailers in its range, Bluewater lacked any financing option. All it could offer customers lacking the means to make outright purchases was leasing, hamstringing sales staff in an industry where most buyers’ top priority is walking away with a new trailer that day.
Considering Bluewater’s trailers typically cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 this lack of financing could be a real obstacle. And it was becoming an obstacle that was costing money.
Bluewater is located in the summer green, semi-rural area of Watford, near the border with Michigan. It is an area where the lack of curbed roads is matched by the abundance of nature, where you would expect to find the sort of person who loves the outdoors. It is a great place to sell trailers, especially in the warmer months. Something reflected in the 600 to 800 trailers Bluewater sells every year, mostly for personal use. However for every trailer sold there were missed opportunities. “We worked with leasing companies but we had a lot of people who didn’t necessarily want to get leases and we didn’t really have any other options for them,” Bluewater’s Mitch Deborger explained.
Bluewater was introduced to Crelogix in 2013 when district manager Steve Brown visited to explain how Crelogix worked and what it could offer. He explained how as a Canadian specialty finance company Crelogix could provide flexible consumer financing and instant loan application results. “No bank had ever approached Bluewater – they had wanted financing but had no idea of where to go or who to approach,” Steve said. “They’ve picked it up very quickly – going from zero financing to three or four deals a month.” The instantaneous loan results were of particular importance for Bluewater’s needs. “The fact that we can let someone know right away is important because a lot of trailer shoppers are just looking for the best deal and they usually need a trailer right away,” Mitch said. The partnership would complement Bluewater’s existing leasing arrangements and, uniquely, would give Bluewater, a small-to-medium sized business with five employees, access to Crelogix’s expertise. Bluewater sent its first loan application through to Crelogix in August 2013.
Strong Start, Better Future
The partnership boosted Bluewater’s sales by about $10,000 a month within its first year. A noticeable initial increase for a business with an estimated annual revenue of $2 million. Most promising, this sales increase came during the slower autumn and winter months, when sales tend to slow. “Typically spring and summer are our busiest months – especially for homeowners looking for trailers for their gardens, bikes, etc,” Mitch said. “I would say the increase in sales resulting from working with Crelogix will continue to grow.”