The auto industry has not escaped the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Car dealers, in particular, have had to make several significant changes to their inventory acquisition practices. The trend has been a necessary change to buy private party vehicles.
However, albeit necessary, used car acquisition is not without its challenges. The greatest challenge has been the lack of a sufficient supply of used cars, which has left many dealerships with empty lots.
Complications of Used Car Acquisition
Car manufacturing plants were among the millions of businesses worldwide forced to halt operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the travel restrictions placed between countries have choked out car imports. This has led to a shortage in the supply of new vehicles.
The dwindling supply of new cars hasn't stopped car dealers from keeping their inventories stocked. Like you, many have switched to acquiring and stocking used cars. This, too, has had its challenges. The process of acquiring used cars is slow, as you have to factor in the multiple searches and dealer-seller negotiations. Online listings are shrinking as the supply shortage looms over the end market, and car auctions have also been restricted because of the pandemic.
Additionally, used cars have their shortcomings, such as compromised performance. This makes it necessary for dealers to verify each car's value and quality before closing the deal. This also takes a lot of time and incurs additional inspection and repair costs. Additionally, closing deals is becoming increasingly difficult as person-to-person contact has been considerably restricted.
It will take some time for the auto industry to get back to its earlier production levels, depending on how soon the pandemic ends. In the meantime, car dealerships will have to contend with used car acquisitions.
Expand Your Markets via Private-Party Acquisition Channels
There are millions of used cars listed for sale all across the U.S. at any given time. However, these listings are scattered all over the internet and other private-party car sales platforms. Exploring these platforms should be a starting point for car dealers looking to fill their inventories.
Social media sites are a good place to start in your search for used car listings. Sites like Facebook are the first go-to platforms for first-party car owners looking to sell their cars. Unfortunately, the listings are not standardized and may require extensive searches to compile. Sales listing sites, such as OfferUp and CarGurus, are also popular with the used cars' market.
Private-party acquisition sites will diversify your markets, but consolidating viable leads will take time. To this end, it is advisable to use a premium car-acquisition software or service. This would save you a lot of time and get you leads to the best-used car deals in an increasingly competitive niche.
Getting Creative with Used Car Acquisition
Used cars have emerged as the main lifeline for car dealerships. If you are tired of playing the auction game, exploring private party channels can be a fruitful alternative. Tools like VETTX can help you do this at scale. Get in touch today to get a live demonstration of how our car acquisition software works.