More dealers are buying stock online rather than visiting traditional auctions and traders, as difficult conditions persist in the used car and van market, says epyx.
The company points out that the volume of vehicle sales through specialist e-commerce platforms such as its own 1link Disposal Network and online from auctions and other sources is increasing – and looks set to continue while vehicles are in short supply.
Gary Gibson, head of customer service, at epyx, said: “Online sourcing means that dealers can get hold of quality used cars and vans without having to leave their premises. Even if they want to see a vehicle in the metal before buying, online sales mean that they sort the wheat from the chaff, minimising wasted journeys.
“At a time when there is huge pressure on profitability among dealers, being able to maximise the use of your time in this way is an obvious advantage, and we are seeing evidence that more and more dealers are becoming comfortable with buying online.”
Gibson added that, across the industry, online buying had been gradually changing the role of the used car buyer in recent years.
He explained: “The buyer who spent their days on the road is now likely to spend a larger part of their time in front of a computer screen. Of course, because they are taking less time to buy vehicles, they can allocate more time to selling.”
Gibson added that a key part of the appeal of sourcing online was the ability to set up intelligent alerts that notified the dealer by text or e-mail when a vehicle that matched their needs became available.
He explained: “Dealers who make the best use of online sourcing set up intelligent alerts for models that meet their needs. This could be in response to a specific request – the customer who wants a three year BMW320D in a silver metallic with satnav – or it could be that you simply want to know about any two-four year old Vauxhall Corsa diesels because they always move quickly off your forecourt.
“It potentially brings a degree of precision to the used car buying process that is really not available through any other means.
“1link Disposal Network is epyx’s fastest growing platform. Dealers are learning that acquiring stock online is a faster, cheaper and generally more efficient way to do business while fleets are recognising the benefits of selling through an online tool.”
Designed for dealers to easily find the used stock that they need from cars and vans being disposed of by large fleets, 1link Disposal Network forms a component in the 1link cradle-to-grave
e-commerce vehicle life cycle which includes platforms covering vehicle procurement, service and maintenance, taxation and rental.