Car Buying at Your Fingertips: A Look Into the Online Car Auction Craze

November 21, 2020

Today, car shoppers spend 59 percent of their time online conducting research. In the process, 46 percent of car shoppers use multiple devices.

What are the top five activities they conduct online? Everything from finding cars listed for sale to getting the worth of a car, locating a dealer or auction, comparing different models, and researching car prices.

Internet car sales mark one of the biggest disruptors in the car industry to date. Online vehicle auctions are also excellent news for car dealers big and small.

More car lots than ever before now rely on these unorthodox means of purchasing vehicles. They use online car auction sites to facilitate sales and savings. What do you need to know about this process?

For starters, not all online car auctions are created equal. Let’s look at four online car auction options that need to be on your radar.

Why You Need to Use Online Auto Auctions

Efficiency remains one of the most critical components when it comes to running a car dealership. Nothing better exemplifies this point than doing business during the pandemic. Car lots have had to find faster and more flexible ways to stock their lots and sell vehicles.

Where is this most vital? The inventory sourcing process. That’s where online car auctions come into play. When you make internet auctions an essential part of your strategy, you can sell more product and ramp up revenues quickly and efficiently.

Imagine what a difference streamlining this aspect of your car business could do for your company’s future. Not only will it free up you and your employees to make more sales, but it’ll give you access to better merchandise at competitive pricing.

There’s no better time to incorporate digital auctions into your car lot operations. Still don’t believe us? Consider these advantages of going with an online car auction for your product sourcing needs.

The Benefits of Online Auctions

What do the advantages of using an online auction service look like? They include:

  • Faster turnaround times
  • Customer input
  • Greater flexibility
  • Enhanced multi-tasking
  • More access to inventory
  • Mitigation of risk factors

Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits and what they can do for your car dealership, whether big or small.

Faster Turnaround Times

How much time can the use of an online auction save you? You’d be surprised! In little more than 20 minutes, you can complete the same amount of product research and location as you’d typically spend three to four hours (or more) completing in-person.

Why? For starters, online auctions move more rapidly. What’s more, car dealerships participate in more than one auction at a time.

The result? Faster liquidation of inventory, which translates into speedier inventory turnaround rates.

More rapid inventory turnaround rates mean lower carrying costs, better margins, and an increase in cash in your hand earlier in the process.

You’ll feel better positioned to acquire cars that will attract plenty of positive attention. That way, you can get them in your customers’ hands all the more quickly.

Customer Input

What else will you love about relying on online car auctions to source products? They provide real-time input from thousands of sellers and buyers bidding on vehicles. That way, you know which vehicles are most likely to catch a consumer’s eye.

You can explore these sites using a filter to target specific types of inventory via each dealer car search. What’s more, you can create a notification for up-to-the-minute information when a car hits the auction block. It doesn’t get easier than that.

Besides sourcing vehicles by make and model, you can also filter them by location, mileage, condition, and more. You’ll also find helpful the pricing data that they provide.

Greater Flexibility

Nobody’s claiming that 2020 has been their year. Considering the great upheavals we’ve faced, from a global pandemic to a rough-and-tumble election, it’s never felt more challenging to keep a car lot afloat.

For this reason, automakers and auto sellers must be more agile than ever before. They must be capable of swift changes in direction and rapid scenario planning.

A car dealership must also be able to roll with the punches, accurately interpreting the pandemic’s likely impact across a range of critical areas.

The most successful ones will also demonstrate the ability to adjust to the volatile economy, financial market, and policy terrain. For these reasons, you must also multi-task while maintaining your current positioning.

Does this sound like biting off a lot? We get it. But remember that cultivating these talents is vital to surviving in the current climate.

Fortunately, you can use online car auctions to help you meet all of these needs.

Enhancing Car Dealership Multi-Tasking

With online auctions, you can keep your business going, your staff busy, and your product pouring in. Auctions remain open 24/7, and you can participate in them from any internet-ready device.

We’ve heard from car dealership owners who’ve continued sourcing merchandise despite being on vacation in the Caribbean. Through the convenience of online auctions, they’ve harnessed the ability to source new inventory from any location that boasts Wi-Fi.

How much time will you save by nixing the need to attend live auctions? Just set up transactions in a matter of minutes. That way, you have the assurance that when a car you’ve been eyeing is on the block, you’ll be ready to bid from anywhere in the world.

Whether you’re on vacation or spending more time at the dealership, online car auction purchasing will save you hours upon hours each week.

More Access to Inventory

Besides increasing your geographic independence, online car auctions also provide you with access to a more comprehensive inventory range than dealer-only auto auctions. (These traditional auctions tended to focus on getting rid of low-value trade-ins.)

But such is not the limitation with internet auctions. They provide you with more access to inventory than ever before. Whether you’re after vehicles that fall into the compact value or luxury categories.

Mitigation of Risk Factors

If you’ve been a car dealership owner for any length of time, you already understand how time-consuming buying and selling vehicles can

When you work with a reputable and reliable online auto auction service, however, you’ll enjoy many safeguards. For example, a car will only leave the lot after it gets sold.

Why should this matter to you? Because it’ll reduce the risk of a vehicle getting damaged in transit to the auction site.

But the mitigation of risk factors doesn’t stop there. In the COVID-19 world in which we now live, contactless transactions remain of primary importance.

A high-quality online auction platform means you get the stock you need while avoiding personal contact. If the auction’s staff takes the right safety measures, that means a vastly decreased chance of spreading coronavirus.

The Takeaway: Online Car Auctions

Every time you accept a trade-in, it comes as a gamble. Of course, this gamble remains one that dealers often must take to seal a transaction.

But when you use an online auction platform, you can find buyers for your vehicles before you bring them to the lot. For example, sites such as ACV Auctions rely on a live appraisal feature to find a buyer and a car price as a part of the trade-in process.

What does that mean for you? You don’t ever have to get saddled with a car that you can’t sell. You won’t end up overpaying for a trade-in, either.

The Cons When It Comes to Online Auctions

At this point, you may be wondering if all of this is too good to be true. Many car dealerships have questions about whether internet auctions are all they’re cracked up to be.

They wonder whether it makes sense to purchase cars sight unseen. They also have concerns about spending more time at an online auction than in person. Last but not least, they worry about garnering lower margins for the vehicles they sell at auction.

But are these concerns founded? Let’s explore the potential cons of online car auctions further.

Buying Merchandise Sight Unseen

One of the biggest concerns car dealerships face when it comes to online auctions is the risk of purchasing cars without seeing them. Fortunately, online car auction companies have come up with innovative ways around this issue.

The best ones now offer video and visuals that give you a sense of the vehicle’s appearance and condition. Many sites let you view upwards of 50 to 60 images so that you feel very comfortable with each car’s state and esthetic.

They also include comprehensive videos of vehicle undercarriages and mechanical operations. These include videos of what each car’s engine sounds like. These resources mean you can get under the hood without having to travel to the auction block.

The best auction sites also offer high-quality car condition reports. These reports provide peace of mind when it comes to making virtual purchases. You’ll feel confident with your decision based on this comprehensive information.

Investing Too Much Time in Online Auctions

As a car dealer, the one thing you never have enough of is time. Because you feel the constant pull to do more than is practically possible in the 24 hours we’re each allotted, you may hesitate when it comes to online auctions.

After all, how long will it take to master purchasing cars online? But we’re here to tell you the best websites make their buying experiences highly intuitive and straightforward.

Fantastic websites also do the work for you. That means no all-day waiting to see what you have and haven’t won. It also means customized alerts and filters. In other words, you’ll only see merchandise that you’re interested in.

Lower Margins for Auction Sales

After learning more about internet car auctions, some customers have questions about what this means for the vehicles they sell. They wonder if lower reserve prices represent a gateway to lost margins.

The simple answer is no.

When you start the pricing at a lower level, it exposes your inventory to far more potential buyers. It creates buzz, and it builds an audience that’ll generate more bids, buttressing up your expected margins.

In other words, online auctions offer a means for your vehicle dealership to increase and divest inventory safely, quickly, and smartly. You’ll spend less time on transactions.

You’ll also enjoy greater success buying and selling. Yet, you’ll still handle everything in a wholesale environment via online auctions.

The Companies Redefining Car Sales

Whether you own a car lot or are considering opening one, you need a steady supply of vehicles. Car auctions have also proven a simple way to get the supply you need to meet current demand.

Who are the companies redefining the auto industry? They include online auction companies such as:

  • ACV Auto Auction
  • BacklotCars
  • Cars and Bids
  • AutoBidMaster

How is each of these companies redefining the auto dealer experience of securing merchandise? Through innovative technologies and cutting edge processes.

Let’s take a look at each of these companies and the services they provide. With this information, you’ll have a thorough understanding of which companies are best for your current needs.

ACV Auctions

ACV Auctions represents the leading dealer to dealer wholesale marketplace. Their stated mission is to provide a level of trust and transparency once considered unimaginable.

Every day, they continue to raise the bar through their investments in technology and people. Their goal remains ensuring the best in customer service and success.

Besides their auction feature, ACV Auto Auction also offers financing through its product ACV Advance. This simple product is easy to understand and contains no hidden fees.

They also recently added the True360 Report, an unbiased third-party inspection. This feature links in real-time to Autocheck and CARFAX. It provides dealers and their customers with an accurate history of cars involved in an accident.

Backlot Cars

Backlot Cars is another online car auction company worth knowing about. This online auction website permits the purchase of cars in areas that might not otherwise have access to inventory.

They also provide ease in purchasing by offering a massive variety of cars accessible via computer and mobile devices. Their vehicle inspections offer plenty of information about each auction item, making the purchasing process a breeze.

Resources through the website include various filters to browse inventory. You also have access to mechanical inspection reports. With these extensive resources, you’ll feel confident when it’s time to make an offer.

Like ACV Auctions, Backlot Cars also offers financing through its float program. This program comes with flexible financing. No wonder hundreds of dealers around the country swear by this site.

Cars & Bids

Are you interested in a great source of modern enthusiast cars? Then, look no further than Cars & Bids. It specializes in high-demand vehicles from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s.

These include vehicles that Cars & Bids classifies as “cool,” including:

  • Mercury Capri XR2
  • Dodge Dakota Convertible
  • Porsche 911
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Ferrari F355
  • Lamborghini Gallardo

Cars & Bids prides itself on offering vehicles that are interesting, quirky, and fun. Their only limitation is that the car must come from the modern era.

The website also offers one of the most convenient and intuitive dealer car search options to sort and search automobiles. They make it easy to find the perfect vehicles for your car lot.

AutoBidMaster

When it comes to car auction experts, AutoBidMaster ranks near the top. This website has helped thousands of people purchase vehicles, both with clean and salvage titles. They do this through Copart’s online auto auctions.

AutoBidMaster offers customers the most extensive car auction inventory in North America. They provide a top-notch salvage car purchasing experience without the need for a dealer’s license.

Their unique, long-term relationship with the most active auto auctions in North America permits them to offer inclusive services, low fees, and personal care. They also pride themselves on providing superior customer service.

What does this mean for you as a dealer? Whether you have a question or require real-time support for issues, they’ve got you covered.

They provide access to tens of thousands of vehicles to their members. Membership also comes with many other benefits designed to make car purchasing a breeze.

Online Car Auctions

As you can see, the benefits are endless when it comes to relying on internet car auctions for your product sourcing needs. Cars generally range in price from $3,000 to $10,000.

Of course, you’ll find cars that fall on either side of this range, including junkers and exotics. But you can still acquire a wide variety of automobiles that’ll sell quickly for little more than a few thousand dollars.

You’ll also see that the learning curve involved with using online car auction sites proves small. After all, participating in internet auctions is similar to an in-person event. Only you don’t have to worry about traveling.

And unlike in-person auctions, if you don’t know what you want to buy, you’ve got myriad search options. When you log in to one of the sites listed above, you’ll see a search bar and menu.

Use the search field to input generic descriptions of the cars you’re looking for. Or, if you have the exact specifications on a vehicle you’d like to purchase, use the menu to navigate to its listing.

And once you find a car you’re interested in? It’s as simple as checking out the current bid and then putting in an offer.

If you know you can’t live without adding a certain vehicle to your lot? Make the maximum bid offer, and the website will automatically time out.

An Affordable and Reliable Shipper

What’s the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to ensuring a steady supply of quality products? Finding an affordable and reliable auto shipper. To get the most for your money, you want to work with a company boasting a robust driver network.

Here’s everything you need to know about cross country car shipping and how much it costs.

Find the Right Auto Transport Company

They should have a proven safety record and the ability to provide various transport types from open carrier services to enclosed carrier transport and expedited shipping.

In other words, don’t settle for anything less than a company that can provide the service you need no matter where an auction takes place. Or what type of car you need to move.

Do you have questions about where to start when it comes to finding the best auto transport service for your current needs? If so, you’re far from alone.

Fortunately, fantastic advances have been when it comes to convenient and trustworthy auto shipping accessible via the internet. Get a free, no-obligation shipping quote now.

When you choose the right auto transport company for all of your auction needs, you can rest assured your vehicles will arrive in excellent condition. You’ll also gain the assurance that comes with knowing you’ve got a reliable company that ensures a steady supply of vehicles on time.

A Streamlined Auto Purchasing Plan

Now that you’ve got the resources you need to streamline your auto auction needs, give us a call to discuss your transportation needs.

At Nexus Auto Transport, we have a reliable team of dispatchers who work with a network of more than 28,000 car haulers. The result? We provide the most efficient car relocation services in the nation.

What’s more, we’ve got the safety record, professionalism, and customer service to ensure satisfaction with every move.

Ready to explore the wide world of car auctions further? Keep reading to learn more about the five most famous car auctions in the USA.