Skip to main content

Insider Auction Info for Independent Dealers

Wholesale sourcing mistakes happen. We’ve all made them. Maybe you ran out of time to prepare and research how many cars you needed, or which ones would be best for your market. Or maybe you brought home cars you knew weren’t quite right, just because you couldn’t face coming home empty-handed.

Some dealers can absorb those costs elsewhere. But for independent dealers who must rely heavily on auction purchases, the stakes are higher.

Every car you bring back from auction has the potential to make or break your profits. That means you need to be smarter than the competition and make better decisions about which auction vehicles are right for your dealership.

Smarter Sourcing Starts With Smarter Data

The way to be more competitive and buy better cars at auction is to trust live market data. Data is the key to winning at auction. With the right metrics, you can buy better cars that sell quickly in your market and ensure the gross profit you expect. You’ve heard of the “disruptors,” yes? The buyers at the auction who never seem to put their hand down? Paying well over average MMR — don’t they care about gross? Spoiler alert: It’s the data. Live market data, the online price a car is listed for in your local market plus current demand and supply metrics. No one wants to buy a car without knowing what they can sell it for. The disruptors have that knowledge — and you can, too, with the right technology.

What Do the Metrics Mean?

Metrics are your secret weapon for finding the right cars faster. There’s no more scanning through search results for hours, just to miss a vehicle as it comes through the lane. With the right intel, you can source profitable vehicles anywhere, casting a wider net from the comfort of your office. Take a look at the following metrics and how they can help you find the best cars for your specific market:

  • vAuto Live Market Average Price — uses proprietary technology to let you know the real market average price, automatically adjusting for the odometer of the vehicle you are evaluating.
  • vAuto Live Market Average Odometer — specifies the average mileage of comparable retail vehicles in the market around your dealership.
  • vAuto Live Market Days Supply — lets you see at a glance how the current market supply matches up with the number being sold of the same year, make, model and even comparable trim level.
  • Autotrader Scarcity Index — gives you an understanding of how the search demand for a car matches up to its availability in your market.

An Acquisition Solution for Independent Dealers

We get it. Margins are thin and expenses are high. So we’ve developed a version of Stockwave especially for independent dealers. It’s loaded with the real-time data you need — and none of the extras you don’t — to help you find the right vehicles for your dealership at a monthly investment that pencils out.

Making informed wholesale acquisition decisions can be difficult in today’s dynamic used car market. To make sure you’re buying the right number of vehicles from wholesale channels, you need to put a data-driven plan in place. Our new Stockwave calculator is designed to align your wholesale buying strategy with your dealership’s retail sales goals.

About the Author

Patrick Janes brings more than 30 years of automotive industry knowledge to team vAuto. As the senior business development director for Stockwave, vAuto’s wholesale sourcing solution, Patrick knows firsthand the biggest risk to ROI is buying inventory at auction, having previously managed day-to-day operations for nine years as a dealership general manager. Before his dealership experience, he spent the first half of his career working with dealers across the country in several field offices for an OEM. For three years, Patrick served as a vAuto performance manager, building a solid understanding of customer needs and expectations. He has seen firsthand an exciting new generation of technologically savvy used car managers and owners that find Stockwave saves time and enables a more strategic approach to the acquisition process. Patrick received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Bradley University. Patrick has served as a lecturer for Northwood University since September 2018. He teaches vAuto Velocity Principles to students enrolled in Automotive Marketing & Management major: Role & Function of the Auto Dealership and Dealership Variable Operations.

Profile Photo of Patrick Janes