Fleet News

eBay fleet trial hailed a success

A MAJOR leasing company plans to sell hundreds of ex-fleet cars a year via online auction site eBay following a successful trial.

Each of the vehicles is clearly labelled as coming from Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance, with accurate descriptions and photos, including close-ups of independent RAC inspections.

The company has partnered with www.carsite.co.uk, an online service that specialises in marketing used cars. It follows a trial that saw the bank sell more than 300 vehicles via the website either through a ‘buy-it-now price’ or an online auction process hosted via eBay with back-office support from www.carsite.co.uk.

The company hopes to sell more than 1,200 cars a year via the site, which represents 6% of its annual remarketing stock, with that amount increasing to 3,600 in the future.

Cars selected for sale online are chosen with help from Carsite experts and are not necessarily vehicles they fear would not sell at a traditional auction house.

Chris Joyce, head of operations for Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance, said: ‘About 67% of new vehicle shoppers last year used the internet in some way to shop for their vehicle so it makes perfect sense for us to utilise the market as part of our multi-channel approach to disposal.

‘We were aware that people at first might be hesitant to buy a vehicle online, particularly through certain channels that may have come under fire.

‘It was therefore imperative for us to choose a partner that could provide a secure and functional proposition that in turn would eliminate the element of surprise for the customer.’

Bank of Scotland Vehicle Management executives exclusively revealed they were trialling selling fleet vehicles through eBay in an interview last year (Fleet NewsNet, May 2005).

And last week, Fleet NewsNet reported that eBay Motors wanted fleets to use its services as an alternative to traditional remarketing.

However, fleet expert Bob Blackman, of Emmerson Hill Associates, raised concerns over security and was also concerned that presenting cars for sale to such a large audience could lead to time-wasting.

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