More Pressure on the Relevance, Future of Brick and Mortar Auctions?

September 28, 2011

I’m asking this question as I read that Toyota Financial just committed to selling 100 percent of its used vehicles through online auctions. I’ve also been hearing that more dealers are showing customers online auction vehicles when their inventory lacks a specific vehicle the customer wants.

Taken together, these trends signal that dealers and used vehicle managers should do more than just dabble with online auctions to keep their used vehicle departments humming.

Based on anecdotal evidence, I would suggest that today’s successful used vehicle retailers need to source at least 75 percent of their non-trade-in inventory from online auctions. Otherwise, it would seem to be impossible to keep pace, no matter how many buyers you deploy across the country to scour auctions.

Similarly, just as dealers developed sometimes complex approaches to visiting/buying at online auctions, they’ll need a sophisticated approach to efficiently source vehicles at virtual auction lanes. vAuto is working hard on a tool that will make this emerging challenge a relatively easy task, and I’ll share more when available.