Van auction at Colchester

Weekly vans update with Matthew Davock - 27th July 2015

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This week I’ve covered physical, Manheim Online and closed manufacturer van sales. Catalogue entry numbers have reduced and inbound numbers have slowed in all Manheim sites. Are we starting to see a repeat of the 2014 summertime slowdown? And the duplication from some national fleets has diminished with some reporting de-fleet volumes will not increase until late September.

On the back of this, conversion rates have improved around 10-15% this week and some vendors have witnessed strong performance matched with higher conversion results versus previous weeks.

Physical buyer footfall numbers have been on par for this time of the year however online clickfall numbers have increased significantly. Online buyers have been the driving force behind the improved performance and conversion rates this week.
Record numbers of active buyers were seen with over 80 active buyers clicking away.

With the majority of commercial buyers being self-employed dealers an ever increasing number now choose to spend their valuable time at base. They can focus on driving retail sales like never before; Manheim’s Simulcast technology supports this way of thinking and helps their time management. Whilst the retail market gets tough these buyers have not got time to spend all day travelling to-and-from auction sites. I feel this trend will continue over the holiday period. Online buyer confidence will be key over the coming weeks.

I have spoken to many buyers this week and the majority are reporting steady retail activity for July and the phones have been ringing which is a good improvement on previous weeks. The general consensus is they are working for smaller margins knowing in most instances the benchmark vanilla stock is very easy to replace. By reducing their margins many have seen good levels of retail activity, improving cash flow and permitting them to re-invest in new stock. Quite often dealers’ will stock 2 or 3 older car derived vans rather than one larger younger panel van.

This week I have sold at two very different sales in the commercial calendar. The first was a manufacturer closed van auction with physical and online dealers were present. The stock was late plate and low mileage with some unique specifications available. Dealers were specific in their shopping list requirements but the overall result was very strong considering feedback on retail activity. Online bidding again underpinned the hall bids.

The second sale was an exclusively online late and low sale for a rental company that took place on Friday. This sale was run by Manheim Online and the conversion rate and performance was the strongest this year with buyers logging on and battling for stock. The exclusive online auction underpins my earlier observations of the week. I auctioneered both sales and instead of the buyers seeing the van driving past a rostrum they see my face and my voice as the auctioneer and the condition report and photographs of the vans on offer.

It’s very surreal; an auctioneer will always tell you we can look into the buyers eyes and determine whether they are interested or how interested they are… we sold £346,800 worth of commercial metal on the day and these vans were not even parked on Manheim auction sites. The future looks bright in the Manheim CV Online world.

To conclude, slight improvement this week, we just need to remain mindful of duplication and heavy damage, taking this into account remains high priority for conversion results.

I’ll be off on my summer jollies for a week, once returned I will update you all on the market. I’m excited to share the success of our Transit 50th fortnight of special sales. If you haven’t heard our industry leading sites and teams will be celebrating the Transit’s 50th Birthday in style… get yourself along to a sale from 3rd – 14th August where Manheim will be taking you back to the 60’s and much, much more! For every Transit we sell in that 2 week period we’ll be donating £10 to a charity pot, half of which will be shared with MacMillan and hald with the Manheim Foundation. We’re aiming to raise £5,000.

Follow all the action @lovecommercials using #transit50. Check out updates on our activities via

Thank you again for your much valued business and continued support.
Until then, keep ‘Sharing the CV Love’.
Thanks Matthew

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