Why You Should Diversify Your Used Car Acquisition Strategy

April 17, 2023
Marketplace Insights
 min read
Mitchell O'Gorman
Wholesale Automotive Expert

Over the past several years, dealers have been forced to settle for inefficient purchasing, poor quality inventory, smaller margins, and a lot full of holes that should be filled by high-quality vehicles.

The automotive industry is changing… and we’re not talking about the rise of electric vehicles, either. The shift from ICEs to ultra-advanced electric vehicles has in fact cloaked a much larger trend: the transition to a technology-first automotive industry. It’s here now, and here to stay.

Other industries have been quick to adopt online marketplaces that prioritize the customer experience, embrace the latest in technology, and constantly improve accessibility. There, as a consumer, you no longer need to settle for second, third, or even fourth best. Instead, you can order exactly what you want in moments and receive it quickly!

As a dealer, why should acquiring your inventory be any different? Over the past few years, the same channels dealers have successfully used for decades have become marred with scarce availability, over-competitive auctions, and volatile prices. 

The days of easily acquiring a large volume of high-quality vehicles at consistent, dependable prices are not behind you—they just require using every tool in your tool belt, rethinking yesteryear’s vehicle acquisition strategy, and putting today’s technology and customer data to work for your dealership.

Finding a solution to the supply shortage

Going all-in on trade-ins and auctions is no longer the best way to acquire used vehicles for your dealership. It’s slow, expensive, and ineffective in today’s market.

What’s the alternative? The answers are found with our neighbors up north—in Canada—and made available to you on Signal Marketplace.

Unless you have targeted it specifically in the past, the Canadian used vehicle import market may not have even been on your radar until now. However, over 350,000 pre-owned vehicles from Canada are sold in the United States each year—a $15B market! The best part is that these are vehicles that are already known and loved by Americans, including many best-selling domestic, pickup truck, and full-size SUV models from GM, Ford, Stellantis, and Toyota.

Importing used vehicles from Canada once was a confusing, arduous process for car dealers—at least in comparison to purchasing from auctions or receiving trade-ins. Today, importing Canadian vehicles into the United States has never been easier. In addition, favorable economic conditions have led to benefits for both parties, including better rates for the purchaser and seller. As a result, the vehicles coming in from Canada are valuable units that are otherwise difficult to find stateside. Whether it’s low mileage vehicles, 1- or 2-year old lease returns, clean late model units, or all the above, the Canadian vehicle import market has remained a consistent and valuable source of acquisition since supply shortages began in 2020.

Streamline your used vehicle acquisition with Signal

Signal wants to help you purchase great import vehicles faster, easier, and without stress. Here are some other great reasons to make Signal Marketplace part of your used vehicle inventory acquisition strategy.

1. Exclusive access at your fingertips

Every vehicle is destined for wholesale. Signal Marketplace is your opportunity to gain exclusive access to high quality, low mileage Canadian vehicles with clean titles before they ever hit the greater wholesale vehicle market.

On Signal Marketplace, dealerships can reserve multiple units quickly online with no bidding and no waiting, freeing up more time to spend on other business. This isn’t another high-priced retail marketplace, either. Signal is a dealer-only marketplace where all vehicles are listed at wholesale prices and are available the moment the DOT holding period expires.

Best of all, these vehicles can be found only on Signal Marketplace.

2. Leverage AI to grow your used car inventory, smartly

How many times have you felt forced to take an undesirable trade-in because it walked through the door on a week you struck out at the auction, and needed something for your lot? What if the vehicles you need most showed up in your inbox ready to buy instead—stopping any sense of desperation in its tracks and allowing you to have more oversight on your used car inventory?

Enter Signal Marketplace’s proprietary Predictive Inventory Engine (PIE). Made possible by AI technology, PIE analyzes data from your dealership’s Market Days Supply (MDS), competitors, and past sales history to forecast which vehicles could be home runs for you in upcoming sales cycles—and delivers a curated list of those vehicles right to your inbox every single week.

If that curated list isn’t enough, you can also scroll your way through thousands of vehicles in Signal’s inventory. Here, too, PIE grades each vehicle from 0 (Strikeout) to 99 (Home Run), making it easy to make game-time decisions! No matter which method you use, you’ll be acquiring the right vehicles for your dealership team that are easy to turn and help you keep inventory flowing.

3. Mitigate your risk

Auto auctions are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. At auction, your insight on a vehicle is often limited to a bunch of mind-numbing acronyms, a handful of all caps text, and the words “runs and drives”. All the details that truly make or break your vehicle acquisition deal are left out—the only details that really matter.

On Signal Marketplace, each vehicle goes through a rigorous inspection. Then, it is listed with detailed photos and descriptions, including price, inspection reports, CarFax history, vehicle transportation costs to your location, and more. All so you can have peace of mind and ensure your vehicle acquisition is everything you hoped it would be before you purchase.

Interested in learning more about Signal Marketplace? We’re always happy to share more about how we can help licensed dealers in the United States work smarter with our fast, intelligent platform. Book a demo today!

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