“It is not terribly expensive to staff your auction appropriately and it is money well spent.”
In an effort to keep costs down, many dealers short change on staffing during the viewing day at their bid sale. If you only have a used car manager there, sometimes you can lose control of such things as keys, where the cars are, who’s driving them and lot theft. I believe there’s a minimum standard to run a good sale correctly, the following is a short list depending on your size.
Bid Lot Attendant:
Before the inspection period, their responsibilities include:
- Organizing the lot
- Taking photos for your online site
- Creating condition reports
- Keeping track of keys or zip tying the keys around the steering wheel
During the actual viewing – inspection period the bid lot attendant can be a critical piece of the successful auction puzzle. Their responsibilities will include:
- Jump starting cars with dead batteries
- Keeping an eye on the wholesalers so parts don’t go missing (Most buyers are respectful and honest business people, I am sorry to even have to talk about lot theft, but it is a factor at bid sales. Some unscrupulous wholesalers will pull spark plug wires or computer plugs to make the car less valuable to the next bidder in an effort to buy the car cheap.)
- Handing out run lists, food etc.
- Just being an extra set of hands to help the Bid Wholesale Manager do his/her job.
After the bid sale:
- Moving sold units to their staging area for pickup
- Helping truck drivers when they are here to pick up the cars
- Prepping for the next auction.
Bid Lot Cashier:
Smaller dealerships will have the Wholesale Manager preform this task at the end of auction but if you are selling 50 cars or more per week you may consider bringing over a billing clerk or accounting person to help out with these steps.
Before the auction their responsibilities will include:
- Making sure that there are titles and lien releases on each car to be sold at auction
- Prepping the paperwork in advance so that billing will go smoother once the car is sold
- Coordinating with the wholesale manager so he or she knows which cars are ready for sale
- Managing and maintaining new registrations and verifying that wholesalers have dealer licenses and are capable of buying at your dealer wholesale auction
- Collecting tax forms for tax exemption by the wholesalers
After the Auction is over, their responsibilities will include:
- Calling the winning bidders to set up a time for vehicle pickup.
- Once they know the vehicle pick up times, they will schedule billing with the billing office so they don’t get bogged down.
- When wholesalers arrived to pick up vehicles, they will collect payments, hand over title work and mark the transaction as paid.
In general, be organized on your inspection day; have an extra lot attendant so you can focus on the important things like meeting and glad handing the wholesalers when they arrive.
When your auction ends having appropriate billing staff and cashiers ready to bill the transactions can make all the difference.
Try to have everything billed for pickup the next day and be ready for some out of town visiters who may want rush billing.