Online Versus Offline Auctions—It’s Not an Either-Or Question

When the economic recession hit, no one expected it would last this long or that it would have the kind of effect it’s had on the auto industry. Dealers have realized that they need to run their businesses much more efficiently than before to stay competitive and remain afloat. For used car dealers, the biggest boon to their business is the ability to facilitate quick sales to offload used car inventory and experience rapid turnover on the lot.

Historically, physical auctions have dominated the landscape as the de facto method for dealers to buy and sell wholesale used vehicles. In the past decade, however, online auctions have taken hold of the industry and have become a widely adopted and embraced sales channel for dealers to buy and sell vehicles. The ease of use and the sheer time and cost savings alone have prompted dealers nationwide to reassess their business practices, with some dealers, abandoning physical auctions completely.

The great thing about the remarketing industry is that there is ample room for multiple sales channels and it is not an either-or scenario. Consider the impact if dealers had the ability to use both online and independent physical auctions simultaneously to market their vehicles. It would certainly create a much more efficient sales process and expedite the way in which inventory leaves the lot. Luckily, premier online auctions now offer the ability for used car dealers to use online and physical sales channels simultaneously to ensure their vehicles get sold faster because they have a wider sales network, resulting in greater profits and more efficient inventory management. In addition, dealers can also save on transportation costs and hassle of shuttling vehicles from auction to auction and instead work both sales channels while the vehicle remains on their retail lot.

Using a “dual exposure” method for vehicles, dealers and consignors can mutually market their unsold vehicles online and also generate additional revenue through a number of value-added services offered through the online channel, such as marshaling, reconditioning and third-party inspection services, as well as other additional fees. Furthermore, by partnering with independent auctions and offering this service to dealers and consignors, key online auctions are helping to level the playing field and provide greater exposure for vehicles no matter where they’re sold, as well as provide additional inventory sources for their network of buyers.

Today’s market is competitive. It is essential that everyone in the industry streamlines their business practices to ensure not only that they are working as efficiently as possible, but also remaining one step ahead of its competition and profitable. By taking advantage of the ability to market vehicles through a dual channel approach and use all the methods available for managing inventory, any dealer can be successful in this economy.

Andrew Iorgulescu is the vice president of business development for OPENLANE. For more information visit

Andrew Iorgulescu


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