Buying Wholesale Vehicles Online

Increased Options When Sourcing Vehicles Online

Over the last few years there has been increasing disruption in the auction sector. More and more competitors are moving into the space in the form of online marketplaces hoping to take a share of the lucrative wholesale vehicle industry. Some dealers have been slow to embrace these new online marketplaces though, preferring to stick to the physical auctions they know and trust. Currently, as a result of the coronavirus, physical auctions are closed meaning dealers have no choice other than to buy online if they want to source inventory from an auction. Even the most reluctant dealers might actually find that they benefit tremendously from greater supply options beyond the traditional auctions. For those that are unfamiliar we have compiled a list of options below.

Traditional Auctions


Dealers are likely most familiar with this method of sourcing online; even if they have never used simulcast themselves they have probably bid against someone using it while they were bidding in person, in-lane. ADESA, Manheim and Pipeline all offer simulcast bidding for their sales. Currently, in repsonse to the coronavirus, most auctions have switched to online only sales but some have halted all sales entirely. So, make sure that your preferred auction is still holding sales that you can participate in online and then spend a little time getting familiar with how the simulcast works. If you are new to it, it's advisable to watch a sale or two to learn the ropes before actually trying to successfully bid on vehicles that you do want. Manheim simulcast sales are accessible from the listings in the Carbly VIN scanner and you can also find more tips for buying online here.

Buying Online 24/7

In addition to their simulcast sales that allow live online participation for in-lane sales, each of the traditional auctions also offers an online option that hosts vehicles that are available 24/7 with buy it now pricing. By providing constant access to available wholesale inventory, these are fantastic options for dealers whose schedules don't align with the live sales or simply as a means of supplementing other sourcing channels. Buy it now pricing for these units can sometimes be a little steep but that isn't a reason not to make an offer on something that could work well for you on your lot. OVE, DealerBlock and Pipeline's Buy Now have vast numbers of vehicles available for purchase immediately. OVE listings are also included free for all Carbly VIN scanner customers.

Two-Sided Online Only Marketplaces

There is an ever-growing list of these two-sided online only marketplaces that make it possible for dealers to list vehicles right from their lot and receive offers from other dealers in miuntes. Utlizing modern technology they make it very quick and easy for dealers to buy and sell wholesale vehicles without the cumbersome logistics of the traditional auctions. With varying price structures they can offer significant savings on both buy and sell fees.


ADESA's TradeRev has been around now for a few years. Their platform allows dealers to launch immediate auctions for trade-ins as soon as they arrive on the lot. Dealers can also host daily scheduled sales for multiple units that have been inspected. Floorplan financing, electronic payment, arbitration, shipping and title management are also available making it easy for dealers to participate.

ACV Auctions

ACV Auctions is another modern solution to the vehicle wholesale marketplace. Dealers use their platfrom to list vehicles from their own facilities while other dealers bid on them in 20 minute online sales. ACV also inspects the vehicles so that buyers benefit from detailed condition reports, including audio recordings of the engine running and detailed photos from the underside of the vehicle. Participating dealers can also take advantage of shipping, extended arbitration, financing and title managment.


Every dealer has that area at the back of the lot where they park up trades that have just come in while they decide whether to keep them for retail or sell them at auction. Leveraging technology, BacklotCars targets these vehicles so that dealers can quickly and effortlessly list them for sale to receive offers from wholesale buyers across the country. BacklotCars inspects each of the vehicles for sale on their platform and provides a free 5 day guarantee on major vehicle items to buyers. Dealers can also choose to use their 0% interest 45 day float financing, as well as shipping and title transfer services.

Manheim Express

Manheim Express is Manheim's own version of an online only marketplace that allows dealers to buy and sell without the need to attend a traditional physical auction. Dealers can launch vehicles into the marketplace immediately and reach buyers all over the country. Sellers on Manheim Express get the added benefit of the Gauranteed First BidSM which guarantees that a vehicle will sell within 48 hours or Manheim Express will buy it at the guaranteed bid rate. Buyers can inspect vehicles using detailed 360° vehicle inspections, coupled with financing, shipping and title fees. Manheim Express listings are also included free for all Carbly VIN scanner customers.


Founded by Bruce Thompson, CarOffer is the latest of the digital marketplaces. Dealers can use it to quickly get buy bids for every trade appraisal that comes onto the lot. They can also chose the 45 day buy offer which means CarOffer will buy the vehicle for the stated price if it is still unsold in 45 days. Beyond benefiting from reduced fees and increased opportunity, buyers can become part of the Buying Matrix™ which lets them order the specific vehicles and specs they need at the prices they are willing to pay.


EBlock captures the urgency and excitment of a traditional in-lane auction and moves it onto their online platform. Dealers can sell vehicles immediately or schedule sales with start prices and reserves. Buyers across the country can easily source inventory while also taking advantage of arbitration, EFT payment, floorplan financing, transport and title processing. EBlock is also now available through Auctionedge Pipeline.

Dealers Benefit

To dealers that are unfamiliar with buying online or distrust the process, all these options for vehicle sourcing can be off-putting and overwhelming. Coronavirus restrictions or not though, dealers should embrace buying online; increased competition for the established auctions will only serve to benefit car dealers. As platforms compete on features and prices, dealers can improve their margins.

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