NEW YORK -- Starting today, Sept. 13, Ally Financial will cover "reasonable" transportation costs if it agrees to take back a vehicle that was sold on its SmartAuction online remarketing site because of undisclosed damages.
Ally will reimburse the buyer for shipping it to his or her store. The seller will be responsible for return shipping. Ally also negotiates with the seller for return of the sale price.
Mark Newman, vice president of remarketing at Ally, said the reimbursement will give dealers confidence to buy vehicles on SmartAuction from any seller in the country. The move also will help Ally expand its dealer-to-dealer business, he said.
"One thing we've seen repeatedly in all studies about online usage is a concern that if I buy a car online and something is not right, I'm going to be left holding the bag," Newman said at the National Auto Auction Association convention here last week.
Dealers owned about 70,000 of the approximately 440,000 units sold on SmartAuction in the United States last year, Newman said.
Auction companies typically buy back vehicles from dealers who find undisclosed damage and reimburse buyer fees but do not reimburse transportation costs. Newman describes "reasonable" transportation costs as about $1 a mile.