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Dealership expanding auction offerings

By Kate Swanson

Freedom Powersports creating new sales channel

It’s no secret that pre-owned inventory has become a major segment in the powersports industry. With dealers looking to move their aged inventory before the winter, sales of used units continues to be a priority for many dealers.

Freedom Powersports, a 2016 Power 50 dealership group, held its first online auction for powersports units last fall and recently announced it will host another auction on Saturday, Nov. 4. The bidding from the public will begin at 8 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. CDT. The online inventory will include thousands of used ATVs, motorcycles, side-by-sides and PWC. 

“Our industry is trending toward online sales. Last year we had good success when it came to sales, but we had a lot of success when it came to pre-registered users,” said Sarah McVean, marketing director for Freedom Powersports. “We are very excited to see where this goes and see how much we can grow with this auction.”

New to 2017, Freedom Powersports, along with its partner Powersports Auction, is expanding its auction to not only include inventory from all of 14 of its dealership locations, but opening it up for dealers nationwide to participate. 

“We’re hoping to get a good turnout in participation from dealers,” said James Scaggs, founder of Powersports Auction. “We’re trying to create a way for dealers to move used inventory and create a marketplace for buyers where they can view certified dealer inventories.”

Registration is free for both consumers and dealers, with only dealers contributing inventory. In the event of a sale, dealers will pay a commission value of 5 percent of the sale. Scaggs said there will be no consumer-to-consumer listings. “It’s dealer inventory only and public buyers only,” he added.

Dealers will be added on a case-by-case basis, with interested dealers needing to register online prior to the auction. Pre-registration is already underway, and dealers who are interested in participating in the auction can register at live.powersportsauction.com

“We learned a lot last year, and we’re really trying to make the entire process seamless for the consumer, so they can get all the info they need in order to have confidence in the bidding process without ever leaving the website,” Scaggs said. “We’ve built an integration system that aims to make it very simple for the dealer to get their inventory into the system.” 

The company has been able to integrate information from DealerSpike, DX1 and ARI. If a participating dealer has a feed through those providers, the inventory can be automatically imported into the auction’s system. Dealers will then have access to an admin dashboard, where they can log in to set prices or delete any items they don’t want in the auction up to 48 hours before the bidding begins. 

Beyond having more sources of inventory, this year’s auction has partnered with several companies to provide more options for financing, pricing, vehicle history reports through instaVIN and shipping with uShip. 

Freedom Powersports and Powersports Auction will offer instant pre-qualifications for financing and will work with different lenders to streamline the financing process. 

Another update for this year is the auction will collaborate with NADA on pricing for both the dealers and consumers. On the dealer side, NADA will provide a range of values between a rough wholesale value and a clean wholesale value and can make recommendations for starting bids. Consumers will be able to see the average retail value of the unit. 

“Our long-term goal here is to create a new marketplace for dealers to move their aging inventory that otherwise is not selling on other locations and is costing them. We’re providing an alternative before it ends up going to a physical auction,” Scaggs said.

“I think we have just skimmed the surface of this market, and we saw that people were interested,” McVean said. “As we continue these auctions, we’re going to see a brand new marketplace available to the powersports industry.” 

 

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