Despite the fact that buyers will often receive significantly less than the original offer, online car buying sites are still buying cars by the bucket load from the private sector everyday and selling them on through the trade for significant profits.
The emergence of these operations has been one of the biggest changes in the car industry in recent years and the fact that they offer a real alternative to traditional routes, such as selling privately or part exchanging, has meant that they are met with inevitable criticisms from the trade.
We have highlighted the good and the bad aspects of these sites over the last few years and the fact that more and more are springing up must indicate that there is a market for this kind of service. Traditional dealers will need to become much sharper in how they do business with customers who do not necessarily wish to buy another car but want to dispose of their existing car leaving them free to negotiate somewhere else. Not having a car to trade-in is perceived by many to be a hindrance to the negotiation process when, very often as many dealers will tell you, it is actually a help.
For example there aren’t many decent franchised dealers who wouldn’t see the value in selling a car to a customer and at the same time taking in a car which they can re-sell at another profit. However the fact that many buyers are still selling to online buying sites indicates that dealers have still not grasped the fact that by supporting customers who wish to purchase from them by giving a fair and realistic price. This may go some way towards negating the need for the customer to go elsewhere, especially when you consider that it can only be more hassle to sell your car to one place and then traipse off and buy a car from somewhere else when it would be far easier to complete both transactions under one roof and minimise the time taken to complete the process.
Sadly there are still many dealers out there who would pay a high figure through the trade or through an auction and use the potential customer who wants to support the business as a way of trying to get their car cheaply when surely it should be the other way around. A loyal customer who may have bought several cars from you and who has supported the business should surely be the biggest beneficiary of top prices given for potential retail cars?
Until car dealers wake up to the fact that the market has shrunk and sourcing those 3 year old retailable cars will be harder than ever this year, they are likely to have to buy similar cars from online buying sites who will provide a realistic alternative to customers who do not believe they will get a fair deal from their local dealer.