Today, when you electronically buy an airline ticket, you do so through an electronic hub such as Egencia or Travelocity. When realtors electronically list homes for sale, they use a multiple listing service. Many see comparable change for the remarketing of vehicles in the wholesale market.
This was a topic of spirited discussion at two seminars held last March at both the 2013 International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) Spring Roundtable and the 2013 Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR). The overwhelming consensus of remarketers is not “if” this will occur, but “when.” And, just as important, most see it happening sooner, rather than later.
The technology exists today to facilitate multi-platform selling, but, as they say, the devil is in the details. The IARA Standards Committee is proposing possible standards governing the use of multi-platform selling and is currently soliciting comments from the remarketing industry.
THE DESIRE FOR PLATFORM DIVERSITY
Multiple platforms selling is the use of an electronic hub to expose a vehicle to the most purchasing dealers. Consignors will determine the venues their vehicle assets will be posted for cross-listing on multiple platforms. Real-world remarketing experience shows that by exposing products to the most buyers, you maximize resale prices.
A central portal would provide consignors one common interface to facilitate online sale activities across multiple online platforms, allowing a single vehicle to be simultaneously listed for sale on various online sites. This central portal would connect all participating online platforms to receive and send information, including digital photos, inspection reports, floor prices, etc.
However, the IARA believes that to be successful, the simultaneous listing of vehicles on multiple online sale platforms will require standardization of industry practices associated with the online selling of vehicles. Specifically, there will be a need for standardization among auction start and end times.
The IARA envisions the acceptance of the following general principles when remarketing vehicles on multiple online sale platforms: There should be a real-time exchange of data across the various bidding platforms. Bidding received on one platform would be sent in real-time to a central portal that sends out an update, also in real-time, to all other platforms upon which a vehicle is simultaneously posted.
Initially, the central portal should be agile enough to support both competitive bidding and “buy now” sale transactions. Online sale platforms would work cooperatively with each other to allow buyers to do business in the sale platform with which they are most comfortable.
The IARA believes it is important that buyers and sellers retain the ability to operate on their preferred sales platform, while having access to the maximum exposure of vehicles.