Backlot Car Auctions: Reviews, History, and More

Car dealerships have long purchased and sold used cars among themselves during live auction events.

These vehicle "shuffles" permit dealers to secure units they know they can move. And it also enables them to accept customer trade-ins for vehicles outside their traditional market.

Through this process, the dealer with the best chances of selling a car can procure it. Hopefully.

You see, live auctions come with no guarantees. They also involve plenty of expenses and risks. After all, dealers must foot the bill to get there, and there's no insurance they'll go home with any deals. Enter online car auction websites such as BacklotCars.

These companies are redefining the game when it comes to how dealerships maintain a steady supply of used inventory. Watch the video below to learn more about the reasons why you should buy from online car auctions. Then, keep reading to find out more about Backlot Cars and whether it's right for you.

What to Know About Backlot Car Auctions

Backlot Cars represents an online marketplace allowing auto dealers to transact virtually. In the process, the website replaces the need for live auctions. And all of the expenses and loss of time that go with attending these events.

Best of all, the company inspects every car on the platform. Through this stringent process, the Backlot Cars team delivers dealers the quality they expect. After all, nobody likes unwanted surprises.

The platform also provides shipping services to move cars from the seller to the buyer. It even offers lines of credit to purchasers, thereby enhancing their buying power.

As you can see, Backlot Cars has stepped up to fill an important niche in the car selling world. It has expanded the number of potential buyers for vehicles brought to auction while allowing dealers to find better deals.

It saves sellers and buyers time and money because they no longer have to factor in travel expenses and time away from the showroom floor. It also ensures minimum loss of effort on the part of car purchasers when they get outbid.

Backlot Cars History

Founded in 2014, Backlot Cars is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. The online marketplace provides a 24/7/365 bid-ask marketplace and has attracted car dealers in nearly all 50 states.

What has put this start-up on the fast track to success? Besides making the car selling process more accessible, it has also addressed many pain points associated with online transactions. These include furnishing certified inspections. That way, buyers know what they're getting before they place a bid.

The first company to facilitate auto finance, auto dealers, and rental car companies to transact without going to physical auctions, the company continues to push the envelope. How? By providing end-to-end solutions that make the buying and selling process seamless.

Jason Davis co-founded the company and remains CEO of the brand to this day. In 2019, Backlot Cars announced $25 million in Series B funding to support its rapid expansion nationwide. With this growth, the start-up has exceeded its potential as a disruptor of the $100 billion vehicle wholesale market.

A Success Story With Impressive Backing

Leading the funding was the New York-based growth equity firm Stripes. This firm also boasts investments in software companies and other market-leading brands, including Grubhub and Upwork.

Other investors in Backlot Cars include:

  • Origin Ventures
  • Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
  • Royal Street Ventures
  • KCRise Fund
  • Pritzker Group Venture
  • Chaifetz Group

All told, Backlot Cars enjoyed total funding of $38 million with this endeavor. This effort followed other recent achievements like the company's 500 percent expansion of its geographic footprint nationwide in 2018.

Acquisition of Backlot Cars by KAR Global

In September 2020, KAR Global reached a deal to acquire Backlot Cars for $425 million. Backlot Cars’ core leadership, including its four co-founders, remained at the company's helm following the purchase. What's more, KAR agreed to keep the company’s headquarters in Kansas City.

The deal cemented KAR's role as a digital marketplace leader. Other acquisitions have included:

  • TradeRev
  • DRIVIN
  • CarsOnTheWeb
  • OPENLANE

Backlot Cars' purchase by KAR Global continues to pave the way for the digital transformation of the remarketing industry. Both entities remain committed to providing dealers with the most advanced and best platforms to source and sell inventory. What's more, dealers now enjoy an even larger reach.

In the highly competitive dealer-to-dealer space, BacklotCars has grown rapidly. This fact makes it an ideal complement to KAR's current footprint and capabilities.

With the addition of Backlot Car’s technology, leadership, and exceptional customer-service model, customers have greatly benefited. The acquisition has also enhanced KAR’s competitive position while accelerating growth for both brands.

Backlot Cars has diversified KAR’s broad portfolio of digital capabilities. Moreover, it has brought KAR closer to achieving its vision of being a leading digital dealer-to-dealer marketplace provider.

Features of Backlot Cars Dealers Need to Know About

Besides solving a significant problem faced by dealers in the larger market, Backlot Cars has opened up new trading lanes for car dealers. How? By providing customers with a transportation network for affordable and timely auto shipping.

The platform never charges a fee to sell through the website, which translates into an increased bottom line for selling dealers.

Backlot Cars also assumes 100 percent of the arbitration risk and legwork associated with creating a more streamlined and transparent buying experience. The result? Peace of mind and confidence at every step along the online car purchasing cycle.

The brand's commitment to providing the best in customer service is apparent, from inventory finance services to car inspections and auto shipping solutions.

Leveraging the Best of Backlot Cars and KARS

Besides all of these advantages of going with Backlot Cars, its acquisition by KAR has further enhanced dealer choice, overall transparency, and access to an expanded purchaser and seller population.

KAR Global remains the most progressive and innovative digital remarketing company in the world. Its entrepreneurial culture and roots have proven an excellent match for Backlot Cars.

Customers now also enjoy exposure to Backlot Cars' seller inventory and KAR’s active buyer base. Expanded purchaser access to quality wholesale inventory beyond each brand's respective local markets has led to more significant savings and top-notch experiences.

Both companies have worked hard to leverage the power of combining their technology solutions and industry expertise.

Favorable Reviews of Backlot Cars

At this point, you may be wondering what Backlot Cars reviews have to say about the company's success in achieving its vision. Via the company's website, you'll find glowing testimonies from a handful of dealers.

One of these customers, Eric Baysinger at Fountain City Motors, notes that Backlot Cars allows him to buy vehicles in areas where he previously had no access. As a result, this dealer reports getting saved significant legwork.

Cody Reich of Metro Motors KC reports that Backlot Cars makes purchasing a cinch. He also appreciates the wide variety of cars available through the website. He notes the website's utility, particularly for dealership owners and managers who must wear more than a dozen different hats each day.

Mo Rasoli of Merriam Auto Sales has found that Backlot Cars' vehicle inspections offer more information than he received when attending live auctions. He also says the customer experience proved fantastic.

Complaints Filed Through the BBB

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ranks Backlot Cars 77 out of 100 or a C+. The company is not BBB accredited, and it has had 12 total complaints over the last 12 months.

Backlot Cars has addressed each of these complaints, generally with favorable results. Most complaints have involved miscommunications regarding the condition of specific vehicles.

Resolutions based on these complaints demonstrate the company's continued commitment to providing the best service possible. That said, the complaints attest to some of the inherent issues with purchasing cars sight unseen.

Backlot Cars continues to make strides when it comes to vehicle inspections and the information it provides. Nevertheless, the platform will need to continue upping its game to compete with other online auction sites.

Backlot Cars' Online Car Auction Process

What must you do to get started with Backlot Cars? Becoming a member of the platform is straightforward and convenient. You'll need to complete just four steps before you can start taking advantage of great deals.

These steps include:

  • Getting registered
  • Browsing and bidding
  • Checking out
  • Transporting the vehicle

Let's take a closer look at each of these four steps and what you'll need to do before you can start bidding and selling automobiles.

Getting Registered

Before anything else, you must register through Backlot Cars. Fortunately, the process proves simple. Head to the website and click on the "sign up" option to submit your personal information and credentials. Then, sit back and wait for your application to get approved.

The sign-up process is free, and you'll enjoy low fees on purchases. These fees range from $100 to $400, depending on the type of vehicle you buy and its final cost.

Browsing and Bidding

After you've registered via the platform and received an acceptance email, begin browsing the wide selection of cars for sale. Companies and dealers from across the nation place vehicles for sale. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the wide selection of merchandise.

What if you don’t find what you're looking for? Rely on the search feature and its various filters to dig deeper. That way, you'll always locate the car your lot needs.

And when you find a suitable car? Bid on it as you would at a live auction. If you win the bidding war, purchase the vehicle.

Checking Out

After you've bid on and won a car, fill out the payment information via Backlot Car's secure checkout page. Voilà! You've completed the process.

From start to finish, the browsing, bidding, and buying process will take a few minutes. From there, you'll need to set up auto-shipping for your new inventory.

Transporting the Vehicle

After you've bought a car, you must transport it safely to your dealership's location. While it's tempting to opt into Backlot Cars' transportation services, keep a few things in mind. For starters, Backlot Cars likely won't provide you with the best, most competitive deals.

They don’t offer any discounts on multiple car shipping because they assume customers will choose them for convenience's sake alone. But this could leave your car dealership spending more money than needed.

What's more, you won’t know which car shipping company you're dealing with. For most dealers, this lack of transparency won't do when it comes to expensive propositions like auto shipping.

What's your alternative? Work with a third-party car transport company. This approach will ensure you're dealing directly with your company of choice. You'll also have the chance to find a company that provides discounts on multiple car shipping.

Finding a Great Car Transport Company

What should you look for in an excellent car moving company? Don't settle for anything less than a reliable brand with years of experience in the market. This company should check out through the BBB, and it should offer insurance on all of the inventory shipped.

You should also vet the company through the United States Department of Transportation. Do this by asking for its USDOT number and looking it up online. You'll gain instant access to the company's safety records.

And don't forget to hop online to explore customer reviews via Google and Yelp. Look for reviews regarding vehicles similar to those you wish to ship. It's amazing the insights you can gain through a simple survey of what other customers have to say.

Online Car Auction Success With Backlot Cars

Backlot Cars is an online car auction company with an impressive history of success and much potential for future expansion. It boasts excellent reviews from a variety of customers, although its BBB rating could use some work.

The weakest link in the company's services relates to the car shipping it provides. Because the company doesn't disclose which shipper you'll work with, there's an overall lack of transparency that many dealers find off-putting. And don't expect deals on multiple car shipping with Backlot Cars.

Fortunately, you can easily avoid these issues by working with a third-party car shipping company such as Nexus Auto Transport. Get a free, no-obligation shipping quote now.

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