Industry Trends

The Used Car Inventory Sourcing Apocalypse Now

There’s never a dull moment in automotive. As we start to round the corner on the pandemic, sourcing new and used car inventory is going buck wild.

We’ll leave discussion on the chip shortage to the supply chain professionals, and instead focus on the exploding battle for used car inventory. “What battle?”, you say.

Carvana is buying customer cars in the time it takes to brush their teeth. “Carvana last year also bought a vehicle from a customer every 2.5 minutes on average for a total of 203,000 purchased during 2020.”

That’s a 95% year over year increase in more vehicles purchased from consumers by Carvana.

The major players are also making big pushes to acquire more inventory through company acquisition, as CarMax went 100% all-in on Edmunds. “CarMax and Edmunds jointly developed a number of strategic initiatives, including a successful online instant offer for sellers of used autos. The instant offer products on and have put CarMax in the position to become the largest online buyer of used autos from consumers”.

To sum up, these major market shifts directly affect your ability to source inventory from consumers. There also remains fundamental design and user experience issues with most trade-in tools.

As this battle heats up, now is not the time:

  • To ask consumers 100 questions on a mobile device, causing them to flee the process and ruin your website conversions.
  • To use a trade-in tool that prevents you from adjusting the values returned to consumers.

To succeed now, you need a trade-in tool that is mobile-friendly, high-converting, and customizable to adjust to market volatility. 

If you’re serious about sourcing inventory directly from consumers, you should be dead serious about the caliber of the trade-in tool on your website. Here’s what matters, and where Trade and Offer stand head-and-shoulders above the competition.

  • We get you the most leads you can possibly generate. Our mobile optimized and maximized placements let consumers get their trade-in values in 2 steps and 10 seconds. Plus, we provide ongoing content and education for inventory sourcing marketing campaigns.
  • We provide you with the most control over the ranges and the offers you present to consumers. Carvana’s aggressive inventory sourcing approach means that KBB’s Instant Cash Offers are coming in with lower numbers than Carvana. Because the dealer has no control over KBB’s valuations, they’re losing cars to Carvana without even getting a chance to speak to the consumer. 
  • With Trade and Offer, dealers that compete heavily with Carvana or Carmax can show an aggressive number to the consumer online, beating the Carvana or Carmax number. This gives the dealer the opportunity to speak to the consumer. 
  • With Offer, your customers can still get to a single price offer, both online and in-store, while keeping website conversions high. We can show you how.

Sourcing inventory and consumer transparency has never been more important. Spend 20 minutes with our team and you’ll see a clear path towards used car inventory sourcing that will survive this apocalypse and the next.

Are you looking for more ideas and help with sourcing inventory? Download our “Ultimate Checklist for Sourcing Pre-Owned Inventory“.