By Dale Pollak
Dealers know they need to give online shoppers as much information about their used vehicles as possible to capture their confidence and interest in a unit. Yet, when it comes to wholesaling their vehicles at online auctions, dealers neglect to provide photos, condition reports and other information a buyer might use to size up an acquisition.
Vehicles destined for a physical auction today likely have as many, if not more, potential buyers using online simulcast and proxy bidding to acquire vehicles rather than standing in the lanes. This pool of potential online buyers should be incentive for dealers to provide as much information as they can on a vehicle’s condition and history to raise its prospects and, potentially, its wholesale price point.
A few areas where dealers could become more effective and efficient participants in online auctions and better stewards of a “provisioning” strategy for their used vehicle inventories are:
- Use simulcast and proxy bids in tandem. Most used vehicle managers have multiple responsibilities and use proxy biddings to ensure they’re still in the game when they’re called away from their desk.
- Mind your “proxy bid discounting.” Some dealers are gun-shy about their proxy bid maximums. Today’s technology and tools can eliminate any guesswork about the “what to pay?” leg of the provisioning strategy and give dealers confidence in maximum bid amounts to offset the tendency toward discounting proxy bids.
- Pick your spots to pay up. There are times when going beyond a target acquisition price by $100 to $300 makes sense to meet broader inventory needs and goals. It sometimes pays not to leave an auction empty-handed if your dealership knows how to account for less-than-ideal profitability on a specific vehicle.
- “Go where they ain’t.” A South Carolina dealers says, “If I need a Nissan, I’m going to look at non-Nissan lanes to see if I can catch a Chevy dealer who’s trying to get rid of one.”