Beating the weather and the competition – JAMES BATCHELOR looks into the easiest way to restock your showroom
Being a dealer is hard at the best of times – we all know that. But buying stock and selling it on to punters during one of Britain’s coldest winters in recent times makes the job even harder.
Only the most hardcore dealers can bear to spend their days in cold auction houses, most are now using the many online offerings to buy their cars from the comfort of their own offices.
G3 Remarketing is an online trade arena that’s the perfect place for dealers to stock up when the temperatures tumble. It’s an electronic route to market for many fleet and finance companies.
The business platform is simple, and so too is buying stock from G3 Remarketing, explains Jason Smith, dealer principal of Evans Halshaw york Citroen and Peugeot, who uses the site.
‘The system is really very good,’ he told us. ‘It’s incredibly simple to use and I enjoy using it. G3 Remarketing is just one of a number of auction firms I use – both online and physical auctions.
‘Most of those auction houses have an online facility, but G3 is better than the other firms because they publish a catalogue which you are able to browse two or three days before the auction. It’s more laid-back; you are able to do your research, and then submit your bid – a bit like eBay.
‘The other difference with G3 Remarketing is their personal service. The team are friendly; I speak to them every week, and if I haven’t got the time to go to the site, they will ring me about stock that would interest me – you just don’t get that with other firms.’
Simplicity was the main aim of the operation, explains G3 Remarketing director Matt Dale.
‘From our perspective, we feel that electronic auctions are a much quicker route for purchasers to buy stock,’ he explains. ‘The ability we have got with G3 is that we have a bespoke platform that has been tailored over the last 18 months to buyers’ needs – it is currently in its third incarnation.
‘But dealers should really use us because of the service we offer and the quality of stock that we bring to market. We have a personal account manager for each buyer that uses our services, and that manager contacts the buyer about stock, handles any payments, documents and paperwork, and arranges delivery of the vehicles. It is very much a part of the high-quality, personal service we offer.
‘The quality of the stock we have all comes directly from leasing and finance companies, and the majority of the stock is one owner, has history and a V5. from a buying perspective, dealers are buying quality stock which they can buy 24/7 – if need be.’
Sounds incredibly simple doesn’t it? That is down to the firm’s business model. ‘We are agents, not purchasers,’ Dale says frankly. ‘It is not a case of us buying stock from a company, make a mark-up and then sell it. It is a case of whatever the vehicle achieves in the auction, that is put forward to the vendor and they decide whether they want to sell it or not.’
How does the firm make any money from this simple operation? Dale replies: ‘We have a standard fee that covers the majority of stock we sell, which is £105 plus VAT per vehicle. That covers about 95 per cent of the stock we sell and we charge it to the buyer, and we charge a small fee to the vendor as well.’
A wide spectrum of dealers have already used G3 Remarketing and found it to be a winning decision. ‘We have a selection of dealer groups; from the large groups who buy in bulk, right down to the smaller dealerships that we specifically target.
‘Our platform allows dealers to buy one car or 100 cars, so we encourage as many dealers to use it as possible.’
‘So, for example, if there is a car that is a little bit different – or a car that a large main agent wouldn’t appreciate and therefore wouldn’t achieve its real value – we’ll select specific vehicles and market those to specific smaller dealership groups or sites. Our platform allows dealers to buy one car or 100 cars, so we encourage as many dealers to use our platform as possible,’ explains Dale.
And those dealers are buying cars that are checked to ensure they are of high-quality. ‘All vehicles are sold as seen,’ says Dale. ‘However, if we know there is a mechanical issue with the vehicle, we do our utmost to declare that to the buyer. We also do electronic appraisals of the vehicles, and if the vehicle is delivered and is not as described, we then take that vehicle back – no questions asked.’
G3 Remarketing also has some exciting developments lined up for 2011. The firm has recruited a number of new staff who will be handling dealer relationships – a development that came about by listening to retailers. ‘That is the good, old-fashioned going out and speaking to dealers, seeing what their requirements are and allocating stock directly to them,’ says Dale.
‘We also have a new off-site, online auction programme that we are launching with a major vendor which will bring a wealth of new stock in. This will be vehicles all under 30,000 miles, and up to 18-months old. It is aimed at dealers; enforcing the high-quality product we are offering them. We are also offering an online auction located at our premises which will go up from one auction a week, to two a week in February.’
G3 Remarketing opened its doors in October 2009 just as the market was becoming quiet. ‘We opened at perhaps the worst time you could,’ reflects Dale. ‘But we have attracted a wealth of new buyers, because they have seen that in contrast to our services, going to a physical auction wastes time.
‘With the way the economy is at the moment, dealerships just can’t afford for staff to be out of the office. Our system allows them to buy the stock, it is with them within 48 hours, and they can do that within 10 or 15 minutes either by going on to the internet or by bidding by text. It is a simple process which saves dealers time,’ he says.
But why should dealers use G3 Remarketing in 2011? Dale has the answer: ‘Because they will receive a personal service – a personal account manager will look after them – the selection of stock we bring to market is growing, and the vehicles can be delivered within 48 hours.
‘Our system speeds up the time between buying the car, and the car sitting on your forecourt ready for retail.’
For more information call 0845 190 6363 or visit g3remarketing.co.uk