ALBANY, N.Y. – WholesaleTrader.com launched what it called the “marine industry’s first online repo auction” on April 29, the company said in a recent press release. During the electronic auction, 107 vehicles were listed on its Web site for bidding by the dealer-network’s members around the nation.
The auction – which WholesaleTrader.com said was the first online auction for all three of the industries served by the nationwide dealer network: marine, RV, and powersports – lasted for five days, according to the company.
“Our programmers had been working for nearly a year to create the electronic auction feature of our site,” said Mark Taylor, the company’s marketing director. “It was the first ‘road-test’ of that part of the site, and I’m glad to say it worked beautifully.”
Taylor said that more than 80 percent of the vehicles attracted bids on the “dealers-only” site, although sales themselves were lower than anticipated, according to the company.
“Our dealer-members were just learning how to use the repo auction feature of our site,” Taylor said. “In some cases, they delegated the bidding to other employees, who seem to have played it safe by bidding far below the vehicle’s bare-minimum ‘reserve’ value. We expect the dealers to grow a lot more confident as our auctions continue.”
Dealers continue to join
Hundreds of dealers across the nation have joined WholesaleTrader.com’s online network – which lets dealers exchange inventory with each other online – since the site “went live” at the beginning of March, the company reported.
WholesaleTrader.com says that some dealers have found they can actually sell from the inventory of other dealers when a customer wants a vehicle the dealer doesn’t have in stock.
“We knew that the first dealers to join the network would be the larger, more aggressive ones,” Taylor said. “They can quickly slash their floor-planning costs by unloading excess inventory promptly, and by filling inventory gaps on an as-needed basis instead of feeling they have to be overstocked to satisfy possible future demand.”
Taylor said more smaller dealers are now signing up for the service.