Cars.com launches tool where dealers can buy used cars directly from consumers

Cars.com launches tool where dealers can buy used cars directly from consumers


Shortly after its purchase of the Accu-Trade in FebruaryCars.com executives said bringing the company into the fold could help facilitate another inventory acquisition source for dealers: buying cars directly from the public.

That came to fruition this week with the official launch of Instant Offer, a new Accu-Trade-powered capability on Cars.com where consumers can sell their rides to the company’s network of some 20,000 dealers.

Instant Offer rolled out to select markets in May, and has generated more than 5,000 offers thus far, the company said. In expanding the solution across the country, Cars.com projects those numbers will “scale rapidly,” it said in a release.

“About 40% of the 27 million monthly shoppers on Cars.com have a car to trade in before purchasing a new one, and we wanted to offer a seamless experience for those consumers to connect with local dealers and have a convenient, safe and fast place to sell their car,” Cars.com president and chief commercial officer Doug Miller said in a news release

“Our new Instant Offer capability curates the best offer for a consumer and enables them to sell their used car to a qualified local retailer, collect a check and purchase a new vehicle all in the same day,” Miller said.

In a February interview with Self Remarketing, Cars.com chief executive officer Alex Vetter alluded to the dealer benefits of going this route, particularly as inventory challenges persist.

“What we’re seeing dealerships do right now is, with the inventory shortage that every dealer is struggling with, they’re sourcing vehicles through new channels — buying cars directly from the public as a way to accelerate inventory turn and keep their operation humming . And Cars.com organically has close to 20,000 private sellers coming to our platform every month,” Vetter said.

“And if we can route those to dealers who are using the Accu-Trade tool to buy cars precisely and accurately and knowing what to pay, they can really solve a pain point for users, while at the same time, replenishing their own stock to buy cars that they can now retail directly,” Vetter said. “Again, that’s turning a cost-center into a profit-center. Progressive dealers are running buying operations today that are bypassing the traditional auction and literally sourcing cars direct from the public. Together with our dealer network, we want to activate that strategy for dealers all across the country.”

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