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Dealer demand for online auctions continues to drive forward

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Dealer buying stock online

The digital drive is gathering pace, but many still relish the physical auction experience – that’s the feedback from dealers responding to Manheim’s latest sentiment survey.

According to the poll, 58% of dealers say they are now buying vehicles from online auctions regularly, with a further 15% saying they do so occasionally. 

But for one in five dealers, the physical market place remains vital: 18% say they have not and have no intention of buying a vehicle from an online auction.

This insight correlates with the prediction made in Manheim’s white paper, published this summer.

Manheim’s Philip Nothard comments: “The switch from analogue to digital is a dominant topic in our industry but our latest dealer sentiment serves as a valuable reminder that the physical auction remains a vital component in the used vehicles ecosystem. 

“Our prediction is that 80% of all remarketed vehicles will be sold online by 2023, so it’s interesting to see this poll support that view. But that still leaves a significant number of buyers opting to stick with tradition and buy their stock physically and in person.”

The sentiment survey findings also indicate an enduring appetite for the physical auction experience; one in ten surveyed volunteering that they enjoy the physical auction experience, while one in three say they like to ‘see the metal’ before buying. 

When asked what prevents them from buying more stock online, trust that the vehicle is as described was cited by 23% of the dealers responding. Just over one in ten, say access to the right technology is a barrier and 6% simply stated ‘I don’t buy anything online’.

Philip continues: “The barriers given reflect those discussed in our recent Experience Better white paper, with trust cited as the major challenge the sector must overcome.

“But the sentiment also highlights the enduring appeal of physical auctions and the enjoyment they bring. Indeed, at many of our Manheim sites, we see dealers uniting the digital and physical experience by bidding for vehicles online from various electronic devices, while still attending and watching the auction live on site.

“Given this continuing desire by dealers to ‘press the metal’, it’s essential we ensure our physical and online auctions are developed together as complementary channels rather than at the expense of one or the other.”

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