New features of General Motors Acceptance Corp.'s remarketing Web site help dealers fine-tune the wholesale prices of vehicles they post for sale.
GMAC's SmartAuction Direct feature enables dealers to sell used vehicles to each other online. It is part of the SmartAuction Web site, which GMAC uses to sell used vehicles to GM dealers.
A new feature of SmartAuction Direct gives dealers who list vehicles the average SmartAuction selling price of comparable cars and trucks over the previous two weeks.
Another feature, called Watch List, allows site users who think a vehicle's starting price is too high to name a price at which they would consider bidding. The seller then can reduce the posted price. Potential buyers who suggest prices are not obligated to buy the vehicle.
GMAC added the features last month.
Douglas VanOrden, SmartAuction's national sales and marketing manager, says vehicles listed on the site may not attract bidders quickly because their prices are not in sync with the market.
"Sometimes I tell (dealers), 'You're pricing your vehicles too high,' " he says. "And they say, 'How do we know?'
"When you're selling a house, you get a realtor to look at the specs" to help set the price, VanOrden says. "This is our way of doing this in the auction process."
Mike Perticone, general manager of Les Stanford Pontiac-Cadillac in Jackson, Mich., says he likes the Watch List feature. "If my price is high, then make me an offer," he says.
Perticone says he typically lists six or seven vehicles weekly on Smart-Auction. He buys about 10 vehicles a week from the site. "It gives us more flexibility," he says.
About 1.3 million vehicles have been sold on SmartAuction since it began in mid-2000. That includes about 330,000 vehicles sold last year.
From 5,000 to 9,000 used vehicles are posted for sale on SmartAuction every day, VanOrden says.
Some vehicles listed for sale on the SmartAuction site also appear on UsedVehicleAuction.com. The latter site is for non-GM franchise dealers and independent used-vehicle dealers. Only GM dealers can buy off-lease and retired rental vehicles from SmartAuction.
SmartAuction Direct sold 27,000 dealer-to-dealer vehicles in 2004. VanOrden says this year's sales exceeded that total by of the end of June.
You may e-mail Arlena Sawyers at