How to Source Quality Used Cars for Your Dealership

24 Jun 2024 Helpful Tips


Sourcing the best quality cars to sell is the key to running a successful dealership. Having the best used cars for sale will attract customers, drive sales and most importantly build your reputation as a leading car dealership in Australia.

That brings us to the question, how can your dealership source the best used cars to sell? Finding reliable, well maintained, used cars at a competitive price is often a challenging but not impossible task.

EasyCars has put together a few proven strategies that your dealership can use to source quality used cars to sell.

Let's get into it!

Understanding Your Market

Before your dealership begins to look for used cars to buy, it is vital that you understand your target market and the cars that they want. This involves:

  1. Market Research: Do online research to find out what vehicle types your intended customers are buying in your local area. Are customers looking for SUVs for Sale? Fuel-efficient cars? or maybe even Electric Cars?
  2. Customer Demographics: This point is very important and will dictate how much you can spend on used car stock. Be sure to understand the age, income, and lifestyle of your target customers. Understanding this will give your dealership an idea on how much you should pay when acquiring vehicles and how much you will be able to sell them for.
  3. Competitive Analysis: Keep a close eye on your competitors, see what they are selling and try to find gaps in the market that your used car dealership can fill.

Sourcing Channels

There are a few different channels available to source high quality used cars to sell at your dealership. Each option has their own advantages and disadvantages and should be thoroughly evaluated before proceeding.

  1. Auctions
    • Physical Auctions: Physical auctions have always been a popular sourcing channel for used car dealers. Auctions are where cars are sold to the highest bidder. They provide a wide variety of cars, and an advantage is you can inspect them before bidding.
    • Online Auctions: There is also the option of buying from an online auction. Very similar to a physical auction but the entire process happens online. Your dealership won’t be able to inspect the car prior to purchase.  
    • Tips for Auctions:
      • Set a budget and stick to it.
      • Inspect all used cars thoroughly if possible.
      • Research the market value of the different used cars that you're looking to buy beforehand to avoid overpaying.
  2. Trade-Ins
    • Trade-Ins have always been a key sourcing channel that all car dealers use to build up their vehicle stock. Accepting trade-ins from customers is a reliable way to source inventory and helps stimulate cashflow at your dealership.
    • To reduce the risk of overpaying on a customer vehicle trade-in, it is important that you have a strong, up-to-date appraisal tool.
  3. Private Sellers
    • Buying Used cars directly from private sellers is another common channel that many used car dealers use and can sometimes yield better deals.
    • Use platforms like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace to see what used cars may be available for purchase.
    • It is always important to ensure that you complete thorough inspections and background checks on vehicles from private sellers.
  4. Fleet Sales
    • Another great opportunity to source quality used cars is through Fleet Sales. Large companies often sell their fleet vehicles after a certain period of time. These vehicles are usually well-maintained and come with detailed service records making it a good sell.
    • Think about reaching out to car rental companies, corporate fleets or even government agencies to enquire about buying their used cars.
  5. Wholesalers
    • Buying used cars from wholesale dealerships is another attractive option. Wholesalers buy cars in bulk and sell them direct to dealerships.
    • Try to build a good relationship with reputable wholesalers as they may be able to provide consistent quality cars at an affordable price.
  6. Lease Returns
    • Lease returns are another good channel that your dealership can use to get more vehicle stock. A lease return is purchasing a lease car that has finished it's lease agreements.
    • Again, think about contacting leasing companies to purchase their off-lease vehicles.

Building a Reliable Network

The key to gaining consistent high quality used cars for your dealership is building a reliable network of suppliers. Here’s is how you can build your connections and grow your supplier network.

  1. Networking Events
    • Attend Australian automotive industry events, trade shows, and auctions to meet potential suppliers and to build relationships.
  2. Online Forums and Groups
    • Consider joining Australian automotive industry online forums and groups. These platforms can provide valuable insights and connections.
  3. Referral Programs
    • Implement referral programs to encourage satisfied customers to refer others looking to sell their vehicles.

Final Word,

The key to having a successful dealership is stocking the cars that customers want to buy. Sourcing quality used cars for your dealership is an ongoing process that requires diligent planning and execution. The channels and tips presented in this piece are proven ways that your dealership can gain high quality used car stock.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To read more articles like this, please visit the EasyCars latest news page here.

About EasyCars,

EasyCars by Jeal is an Australian, web-based, dealer management system that automates the buying and selling of motor vehicles. Using the latest technologies, EasyCars removes frustrations experienced at the dealership and opens your doors for greater growth.

EasyCars features include Simple Stock Management, Automated Advertising, Integrated Accounting, Government Compliance, Business Reporting, Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads, Reviews Management, Dealership Websites and more.

To learn more about EasyCars Dealer Management System or to arrange a no-obligation free demo, contact us today on 1300 473 744 or submit the form below.

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