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With new car volumes down, used cars are playing an important role in helping dealers satisfy consumer demand – and stock is flying! It’s no surprise, as we’ve seen a 30% increase in bids per vehicle and a 25% increase in engaged buyers since April 2021.

When stock volume is down and competition is high, profit per vehicle is more important than ever, and you need to stack the odds in your favour. How are successful dealers finding – and, most importantly, winning – stock in this competitive market?

Finding stock…


  1. Be flexible

As dealers strengthen their used car offering, many are utilising every stock source they can to access the vehicles they need. Leveraging digital platforms is a powerful way of increasing access to more stock sources in one place.

What’s more, savvy dealers are reassessing their stock profiles in order to keep their forecourts filled – for example, increasing the age and mileage of the stock they usually sell and, in some cases, stocking brands they wouldn’t normally offer. With successful dealers adapting their stock profiles, could you be missing out on an opportunity to bolster your stock?

  1. Alert, alert!

The digital experience is not only immediate, but personalised too. Get instant notifications the second a vehicle hits the platform – and with advanced filtering, you can be notified of the exact car you need. We’ve sent out 8.6 million alerts so far this year. Choose from instant, weekly and daily notifications, plus get notifications for when vehicles you’re watching are coming to an end. There’s no reason to miss out on the stock you need!

  1. Get data-savvy

It goes without saying that you know your business better than anyone, but with so many different forces at play in the used car market, it’s more important than ever to be on top of all the changing prices, demand and consumer trends. Digital auctions don’t just allow you to buy vehicles online – they support your instinct with data, helping you concentrate your efforts on the right stock, and make decisions quickly and confidently so as to never miss an opportunity.

This links back to our first tip! By determining the desirability in your area, data such as Auto Trader’s Retail Rating and ‘days to sell’ can support you in being flexible in your approach to stock sourcing – essentially helping you pick the vehicles that are going to make you more profit, regardless of age or brand. At Dealer Auction, we provide you with the data you need to bid on a vehicle, safe in the knowledge that you can shift it quickly and profitably, meaning that cash will be back in the bank quickly.

  1. Don’t just look at ‘Ending soonest’

While it’s tempting to view the vehicles that are ending soonest on Dealer Auction in order to get a quick turnaround, remember that profit per vehicle is more important than ever. By viewing ‘newly listed’ results every now and again, you can find the freshest vehicles on the site, allowing you to do your research well in advance. Not only that, you can also sort listings by factors such as AT Retail Rating, estimated margin, and average days to sell – helping you find the right – and most profitable – vehicles for your business in just a few clicks.

…to winning stock!


  1. The magic number

You’ll have done your homework and will know what the vehicle is worth to you, so make sure to keep that figure at the forefront of your mind at all times. If the bids start rising, this means you can quickly decide whether to keep bidding or walk away. Why not use our proxy bidding system? Simply set a maximum amount and let us do the rest!

  1. Odd one out

Beat the odds! Do you normally bid in even numbers? Well, you’re amongst the majority. By placing bids (or proxy bids) in uneven increments, for example £213 instead of £200, you’ll always outbid those who place even bids. Job done!

  1. Don’t panic

We add fresh stock daily and have over 2,500 auctions ending every week, so remember that if you’re outbid, another vehicle will always come along. Only you know what you’re prepared to pay for the vehicle, so place your maximum odd amount bid a few minutes before the end of the auction, then sit back and relax.

The road to auction success

Finding the right stock is one of the perennial challenges for used car dealers…and we know how important it is to get it right.

With the current demand for quality used cars, dealers shouldn’t be compromising on their stock-buying strategies. By following the above tips, you can not only find the right stock for your forecourt, but also be confident that you’ll be in the winning position as the digital hammer falls!

We’re here to support you in strengthening your used car offering. Volumes may be less, but profits can still be strong – and by using real-time data and insight to drive your decisions, you can make every vehicle work harder for you.

Sounds good? Then why not take us for a test drive for 90 days? Buy faster. Buy smarter.

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