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Selling used vehicles purely online could hit prices, says Shoreham

By / 6 months ago / Latest News / No Comments

Solely using online auctions to dispose of fleet vehicles could compromise the number of bids and potentially prices, according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA).

Alex Wright, SVA’s managing director

Alex Wright, SVA’s managing director

Highlighting how physical sales remain an important part of the remarketing mix, the firm has spoken out after a series of announcements from big remarketing companies that suggest many could shift to only selling used vehicles online.

This would in turn mean that many larger vendors who are tied into solus remarketing arrangements would only ever have their vehicles sold online.

SVA MD Alex Wright said the firm’s talks with buyers have found that some have returned to physical auctions while even online buyers have said they like to see physical buyers in the hall as it supports market confidence of a sale.

“Buyers often need to see the market for themselves from the auction hall and gauge why prices are the way they are by interacting with other buyers,” he commented. “This became obvious in June when prices went through the roof as pent-up consumer demand chased a limited supply of stock. In our experience market confidence comes from people, not machines.

“It’s all about building buyer trust which enables them to buy freely from some auctions and avoid others. That’s why having a solus online deal is dangerous as vendors risk side-lining some buyers and compromising bids and prices in the long run,” he added.

Wright believes the best option for vendors is to have a benchmark clause in place which allows them to send some stock into physical auctions with buyers in attendance – enabling benchmark comparisons with online sales and ensuring the right channels are being used.

“What 2020 has taught us is that all remarketing strategies need to be reviewed and modernised to cope with challenging situations like Covid-19. The pandemic has certainly modernised the remarketing industry by getting more buyers bidding online, but that doesn’t mean they all want to bid and buy all their stock from their PC or laptop.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.