Fleet News

Understanding the needs of van buyers

In my role at Manheim Auctions, I am often asked by vendors for comment and opinion about commercial vehicles and it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.

This industry constantly changes and over the years I have been asked to consider many weird and wonderful derivatives and how best to sell them.

Sometimes they are new to the market but that does not stop us finding buyers.

That’s one of the main reasons why I love the world of commercial vehicles. It is so very different from cars.

Cars are largely an emotive purchase, no matter how many times they are re-sold or how old they are. Commercial vehicles are, almost entirely, functional purchases.

With the exception of “lifestyle” derivatives they are a box on wheels, a tool to do a job.

Always used and often abused.

With commercial vehicles, you need to get beyond the model and the mileage.

It’s the area behind the driver that ultimately determines the used values.

From a leasing and contract hire perspective, commercial vehicles in their first life are configured and equipped to perform specific tasks.

This specification can restrict or enhance desirability in subsequent lives.

A library bus is a good example of a restricted second life market.

That’s not to say it’s worthless, it’s about marketing to the right niche buyers.

However a low mileage, clean utility chassis-cab fitted with a specialist workshop/dropside body is a good example of enhanced potential as there is a broader market appeal.

Buyers can ultimately re-body the vehicle to suit a number of different uses.

My CV team and I apply many years of experience to consider commercial vehicles from a vendor and a buyer perspective and understand the potential for conversion or
modification in order to arrive at the correct route to market and accurate valuations.

It’s crucial to understand buyers and see the market from their perspective.

The perceived desirability of certain commercial vehicles in their second lives may be some way from the reality or could appeal to a completely different buyer base than that which was expected.

If you are a vendor, next time you are at an auction put yourself in our buyers’ shoes and you will experience a highly dynamic, entrepreneurial and professional environment.

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