Car Dealers: “No Sales” Bring More Money Online

Dealers ship their cars off to auction only to find that 50% go unsold. We even have a special name for this; it’s called a “No Sale” or NS for short.

So what’s next for that “No Sale” car? Run it again? Ship it off to another auction at additional expense? Wait until tax season and sell it then?

According to a white paper released in September by Manheim, is earning more money online then they do at physical auctions and it takes less time to sell.

It makes sense if you think about it, opening up your inventory to potentially thousands of out of state buyers exposes your cars to customers who would never have attended the physical auction.

I call it the 80-20 rule of wholesale. Where 80% of wholesale buyers what to see the car in person and 20% will buy completely online. That is why we recommend an online bid sale with an inspection day for wholesalers to view and drive the cars. At first 80% will need to see the car, but after a while they will trust you and will bid completely online.

We have dealers who see 50-50%, because half their buyers  have migrated to online  because they trust the condition reports.

 “Buyer’s know I have their back. When you can be trusted, they don’t need to inspect the cars themselves.”

Ryan, Used Car Disposal Manager – NY.


FACT: According to a recent study by NADA, 28% of vehicle acquisitions are conducted completely online. Up 8% from 2013.

So why are so many dealers reluctant to sell cars online?

For one, the car needs to be merchandised and loaded online and that takes atech savvy person. Not always the seasoned veteran who traditionally sits in the wholesale manager position. But before you go throwing out the baby with the bathwater, your veteran is there for a reason; their experience and know-how is priceless. That’s why so many dealers have added a “Wholesale assistant.” A tech savvy car person, who works on the online business while your veteran runs the lane sales and makes final decisions.

Why wait for the car to NO SALE?

Online, lane, lot and relationship’s are all ways to move wholesale metal, but now that we see higher profits from online, doesn’t it make sense to load every car to an auction platform before we take it to auction?

That’s what many dealers are doing right now. For example, Rohrich Automotive Group in Pittsburgh PA ( started on online bid sale this summer which saves them hundreds of thousands in auction fees. They only take cars to lane sales after they have made every effort to sell it locally first. They hired Marilyn, a tech savvy auction manager, who already knows every wholesaler by name.

 “I think you should reverse your logic: Only take YOUR bid auction “No Sales” to the Manheim and Adesa, instead of the other way around. This way you don’t have to move or pay fees on 50-70% of your cars.”

Larry, GM – Honda Dealer – NJ.

Embrace Your Existing Tech

If you have already loaded your cars into an inventory tool, you should integratewith that existing data. At we partnered with vAuto, Vin Solutions, DealerTrack and other inventory tools to make it even easier for dealers to load their inventory to our online dealer auction site. Some dealers have even begun to take the pictures needed for online at the point of appraisal.

Action items: Look at online as your primary wholesale outlet. Only take cars to off site auctions when you have exhausted your cheaper alternatives. And at the very least load your “No Sale” cars online and give it a shot.

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We highly recommend Auction Simplified which not only has great bid sale software they also teach their dealers how to hold world class successful events.