Best PracticesJul 23rd, 2018

5 Ways Online Auctions Help Dealers Sell Luxury Vehicles


Online auctions started out as an easy way to liquidate low-end trades. They have quickly evolved to the preferred method to buy and sell all types of inventory. Dealers no longer have to sell their luxury vehicles at a once-a-month highline auction, and they don’t have to be apprehensive about taking them as trades. Online auctions give dealerships of all sizes a convenient, live marketplace to buy and sell every kind of wholesale inventory — including highline luxury metal — any day, every day. Selling luxury vehicles online is becoming a daily occurrence. In the past few months, online auctions have seen Bentleys, Porsches, and BMWs trade hands. Some noteworthy highlights have included a new 2018 Dodge Demon for $118,500 (still on the showroom floor), a pre-owned 2013 Ferrari 458 for $200,000, and a wild used 2017 Mercedes G-Class SUV for $239,500.The following are five reasons online dealer-to-dealer auctions are becoming the preferred method to buy and sell highline wholesale inventory.

1. Nationwide audience of highline buyers available on demand

When marketing high-dollar wholesale inventory, it’s essential to have a large audience of serious buyers. With online auction platforms, sellers can put their luxury and highline inventory in front of a national audience instantly, and more views from more bidders mean a successful sale is more likely. Also, the inherent transparency provided by online auctions means sellers can see by the auction views that their cars are getting the attention they deserve.

2. Reduced risk of damage due to transportation, lot theft, and auction drivers

With online auctions, a high-dollar car leaves your lot only after it is sold, eliminating the risk that a vehicle might sustain damages during transport to a physical auction. Gone are the days when drivers loaded specialty vehicles onto a car carrier, when parts might be stolen or damages sustained while a car was in an auction lot, or when more than a week might pass before a vehicle crossed the auction block.

3. Instant liquidity means faster inventory turn

It seems logical that the same level of attention placed on retail inventory turn would be applied to wholesale. Dealers wouldn’t sell their retail inventory one day a week, so why are wholesale dealerships willing to settle for one-day-a-week physical auctions as their only option? High-end cars depreciate by the day, and physical auctions can easily take two to four weeks to cash a car. In that time, a value guide may devalue an $80,000 unit by $2,000 because the vehicle is aging in inventory. That’s like taking money out of the seller’s pocket. Online auctions allow vehicles to be cashed immediately, without the hassle and expense of a physical auction. In addition, sellers know what their monthly statements look like on the last day of the month.

4. Managers stay in the dealership instead of traveling to rep cars on the block

Used car managers are an invaluable asset. When they’re on the road repping cars at an auction, who is reviewing retail pricing, accurately appraising trades, and properly setting up cars? Online auctions happen on location, allowing managers to stay in the store. Cars don’t have to leave the lot, and neither does management.

5. Informed and confident buyers make for the most active marketplace

Online auctions can lower risk. Thorough and consistent condition reports, coupled with photographs of the entire vehicle, give buyers precisely what they need to make an informed decision, and bid with confidence.

The result? Stronger final bid prices and satisfied buyers.The next time you’re in the market to buy or sell a high-end vehicle, take advantage of the opportunities made available to you by online auction platforms. They put you in the driver’s seat. Joe Neiman is a co-founder of ACV Auctions, the fastest-growing online wholesale dealer-to-dealer auction platform in the country. For more information about ACV Auctions, visit

Authored by

Joe Neiman

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