Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.


Utilizing Tech to Acquire Highly Profitable Inventory

aerial shot of a parking lot; some of the parking spots are filled with vehicles and some of them are empty
Article Highlights:

  • Auction marketplaces can help uncover the most valuable cars in your area.
  • Use remote inspections and MPIs to make offers on quality used vehicles.

Over the last few years, you’ve probably grown accustomed to sourcing used vehicles from a variety of places, but acquiring a decent sized inventory is oftentimes easier said than done.

There’s a lot of competition vying for the same vehicles, making it hard to consistently find the vehicles you want. It’s even harder to find these vehicles at a price point that’s going to be profitable in your specific market.

Here are some strategies you can use to help uncover the highest grossing opportunities for your dealership:


Auction Marketplaces

Auto auctions (both online and offline) are a major part of most dealers’ sourcing strategy, but with lots of bidders on the same vehicle, it can be easy to overspend. On the other end of the spectrum, many valuable opportunities can pass by unnoticed — after all, you can’t be everywhere at once. An auction marketplace can help you find that profitable middle ground.

These marketplaces compile buying opportunities from thousands of different physical and digital auctions into one platform, making it easy for you to find the vehicles you’re most interested in. You can also adjust your search criteria easily, meaning that as market needs shift, your acquisition strategy can adjust to match.


Remote Inspections

Turning to ‘for sale by owner’ vehicles on third party marketplaces like AutoTrader, Cars.com, Carvana, or even Craigslist is another great way to find quality inventory. Platforms like these allow you to connect directly with the current owner of a vehicle (and who’s going to know more about a car than the owner, right?)

Enabling sellers to complete their own remote inspections can provide you with a good idea of a car’s mechanical condition. These inspections are convenient for the seller since an appraisal doesn’t require them to visit your dealership, and they’re convenient for you since you don’t have to sacrifice making an accurate offer due to distance. Essentially, it’s a win-win.

Remote inspections can work with your lead management and tracking tools as well, combining to create entire workflows dedicated to inventory acquisition. The information gathered from customers about their vehicle can be used to trigger specific actions, like negotiating price, presenting a market-smart offer, or following up for additional details about the vehicle.


Equity Mining

Another place that good acquisition opportunities surface from is within your dealership’s own customer database.

Consider the vehicles that come into your service lane every day. In many cases, these are vehicles that you have service and ownership records readily available for, not to mention you have accurate contact information for the owner.

By utilizing equity mining tools, your dealership can be alerted when highly sought after vehicles are scheduled to come into your service lane. With the information you have on file, your sales person is perfectly positioned to pitch an attractive upgrade offer for interested customers. Plus, the results from your MPI can be used as a valuable appraisal tool, giving you an accurate estimate of recon costs involved with getting the vehicle ready for resale.


Acquiring inventory can sometimes feel like a hit-or-miss scenario – sometimes you get those highly profitable vehicles and other times you take a loss. There’s a lot of competition, and with a limited number of vehicles at any given time, things are bound to get tricky. That said, utilizing technology like auction marketplaces, remote inspections, and equity mining tools can improve your chances of coming out on top consistently.

Share this Article

Co-founder and President, AutoVision

AJ McGowan is the co-founder and president of AutoVision. He is a tech entrepreneur, investor, and inventor with over 20 patents to date for foundational internet technologies focused around large scale cloud compute and data analysis. He is software engineer at his core, previously serving as the CTO for Unicorn Media/Brightcove Technologies (BCOV) and head of solutions engineering for Limelight Networks (LLNW).

Related Articles:

Leading The Way: 3 Tips to Help Your Team Find Quality Prospects

Customers have unlimited options in today’s market, so it’s important your team makes the most of every interaction. Failure to do so jeopardizes long-term customer

Baseball resting on foul line

Three Things Baseball Can Remind Us About Funding a Deal

As we head into summer, there are many things to look forward to, like children laughing in the park and ice cream trucks spreading familiar

Understanding the FTC’s Enforcement Tools and How You Can Create Your…

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has intensified its focus on dealerships and is attempting to add new regulatory practices to their already robust arsenal. If

Is your sales team staying in tune?

Everybody enjoys a good musical performance. The singer producing an amazing melody on the microphone and the band backing them up with their instruments.  The