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The Gavel - February 2019

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The Gavel, Andy Conde Blog

Andy Conde, Manheim’s Head of Group Auctioneers, has years of experience at the front line of vehicle auctions. In this blog series, Andy shares his opinions on the current auction market including his top tips for vendors and buyers.

As I predicted in last month’s edition of The Gavel, the wholesale market this month was very buoyant following an unpredictable start to the year.

In a month where temperatures reached record levels for the time of year, we also saw a super-heated marketplace at many Manheim auctions.
Our auction centres have seen a huge uplift compared to January, with the only struggles coming from those centres selling lower grade vehicles with no V5C. 

We’ve seen conversion rates regularly hitting the 95% mark, and many of our fleet vendors are giving great feedback on the conversions and prices they’re achieving. At least one vendor has enjoyed a 100% success rate since the turn of the year.

Getting the best out of the market

Once again, buyer demand for good quality stock has been fierce, with many customers prepared to pay premium money for premium cars in premium condition. As such, vendors can expect grade 1 or 2 vehicles to fetch auction prices very close to CAP clean.

Having said that, V5Cs are vital, and any vehicle without one, irrespective of the grade will struggle to sell in today’s market.

Vendor representation, and developing a good relationship between vendor and auctioneer is key.

Buyers are more empowered to bid when they see a disposal manager there to make instant decisions – it gives them the confidence that if they bid, they will be able to buy.

Even better is having a switched on vendor representative who understands the market and is able to get a vehicle on sale early to encourage further bids.

Looking ahead

So what will March bring?

Supply and demand will be as important as ever in the wholesale market. From mid-March I anticipate a slight increase in units coming into the auctions and consequently demand may not be as strong.

It’s likely we’ll see conversions ease, and prices will not be as high but providing we keep the basics right and continue to talk we’re still on track for a successful month.

Andy Conde
Head of Group Auctioneers

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