Where have you been?

August 24, 2015


Over the weekend I received the below question from a dealer. My reply follows.

3Q&AQ: Can we create a feature in vauto that shows the sales history and results on every car like the Manheim results? This way when we appraise a car we will make a better decision by knowing when we sold it and how much we sold it for.

A:  For the sake of my own sanity, I will assume that you are either new as a vAuto user and/or new to the used car business. This is because years ago I launched vAuto against two well-established, well-funded inventory solution providers that made stocking, appraising and pricing recommendations based on historical transaction experience. At that time, the industry was convinced that historical experience on the used car lot was good science for making decisions. I challenged that notion with the belief that unlike standardized packaged goods, used vehicles and their values perform predictably in the context of the live market. Put another way, past experience is not a reliable indicator of future performance on the used car lot.

Although it took many years, authorship of three books and much effort, today it is fair to say that most of the industry has adopted a methodology of pricing, appraising and stocking, largely, if not totally on competitive information derived from a local live market. vAuto’s market leadership, as well as the ever growing majority of Velocity-minded dealers, validates the correctness of this approach. Accordingly, although we always listen intently and often respond accordingly, we will not provide historical information in vAuto as a means of assessing vehicle values or desirability for inventory. Having said that, I respect the fact that there are still some who believe otherwise, and for those individuals or dealerships, there are still some inventory management products that continue to offer historical information as a means for decision support. Much thanks for your question.