Blake Stallworth, general manager at Bill Alexander's FlightLine Mazda-Mitsubishi in Yuma, Ariz., has peace of mind when he buys used vehicles on CarOffer's dealer-to-dealer platform.
That's where he and 7,000-plus dealerships create customized standing orders for the exact used vehicles they want and at price ranges they are willing to pay.
The platform does the rest, matching Stallworth's orders to vehicles for sale by other stores on the platform and then purchasing the vehicles and arranging for delivery to his dealership in about a month.
"With the inventory shortages, microchip shortages and prices of all inventory, having a tool like CarOffer absolutely makes it so much easier to source inventory as opposed to going to auction," Stallworth said.
He typically takes delivery on 10 to 30 used vehicles a month from CarOffer. Stallworth said he has not used the platform's dealer-to-consumer feature.
The dealer-to-consumer capabilities of such tools, however, could be underpinning a significant shift in retailing. Frey said the platforms are helping to separate the trade-in from the new-car purchase.
As consumers have more options to get offers on their vehicles from dealerships using platforms such as CarGurus or Cars.com and from large used-vehicle retailers such as CarMax and Carvana, they will be more apt to sell their vehicles separately instead of trading them as part of a vehicle purchase, Frey said.
To get their fair share of those vehicles from consumers, dealerships will have to be on the digital platforms where consumers seek to sell their vehicles, and they'll have to be aggressive to win those vehicles, he said.
Cars.com's Vetter said 11 million vehicles change hands annually through private-party sales. Those sellers often bypass dealerships because they want transparency, efficiency and easy ways to sell their vehicles for maximum value. With its new acquisition, Cars.com should be able to help dealerships deliver that transparency and ease and move a big segment of peer-to-peer sales into the dealership retail system, he said.