TO THE EDITOR:
Jim Hallett's argument that digital sales are more efficient, based on the last 120 days in the market, is completely asinine ("Digital auctions are effective and safer," Aug. 31). The used market has been skewed and is not representative of the future. If ADESA and Manheim choose to go digital-only, they are only preparing themselves for less revenue in the future, and smaller mom and pop auctions will rise from the ashes.
As an independent dealer, I purchase 300 to 400 auction vehicles a year and have experienced the digital auction trials and tribulations. I have purchased 3- or 4-year-old cars only to be disappointed because so much wear and tear was missed in the description. Further, Hallett believes a $14- or $15-per-hour vehicle inspector knows how to describe a car? And we all know pictures make all cars look better.
He also claims that miscellaneous auction costs would come down, but he makes no reference to a reduction in auction fees charged to dealers.
Hallett is correct that there is a certain danger anytime several vehicles are in motion among buyers/pedestrians. It is effectively the same danger I encounter every time I walk through my lot or when I cross the street downtown. Auctions must enforce the "dealers only" rule and hire alert and safe lane drivers.
There are still auctions in this country with actual live sales, and although they may require a little more travel time, that is where I will be investing my inventory dollars.
SCOTT CARPENTER, Owner, Auto America Inc., Grand Island, Neb.