In-Lane and Online: More Alike Than You Think

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With over 20 years of auto auction experience, I’ve seen a lot of changes happen in that time, but none have been as radical as our current shift to digital. A lot of dealers hear the word “radical” and immediately think that change is somehow bad or difficult to make — but it’s not.

I use the word radical because it’s the advantages digital brings that are unprecedented. When you really drill down into the actual in-lane auction experience vs. the digital auction experience, they aren’t all that different. So, let’s compare the two.

Auction day for in-lane Buyers starts by checking out the run list online. Once you identify which vehicles you’re targeting, you do your research and then head over to the auction to check out the cars in person. Maybe you have a coffee, mull things over, and then move to the lane to place some bids and win some cars. After that, you work out all the post-sale details from titles to transportation, and then call it a day and head back to the dealership.

For in-lane Sellers, you list your vehicle, watch the bids roll in and then manage the post-sale transactions.

So how does that differ from the digital experience? Not by much. With a platform like ADESA Simulcast®, you still preview the run list online and do research on your target vehicles. From there you can even head to the auction to kick the tires — we offer vehicle previews at all 74 of our auction locations across North America.

The next step is the only real change — grab a cup of coffee from wherever you want and bid on the cars as they run across your screen instead of the lane. You can even double check the condition reports as you bid. Once you win, you can easily do all of the title work, financing and transport online, without having to stand in line.

For Sellers, the big difference with going digital is getting more eyes on your vehicle(s). In fact, in 2019 there were 52% more bids on Simulcast than in-lane. And with platforms like Simulcast+, you aren’t even restricted to a specific auction day or location — you can launch an auction anytime, anywhere to a whole new network of Buyers. In terms of post-sale transactions, it can all be done online, regardless of the platform you’re using.

So what’s the difference? In a nutshell, you don’t need to be physically present to bid and, now, cars aren’t lined up and driving through the lanes on sale day. That’s it. This small tweak in the auction flow results in major advantages for you. Once you’ve done your research on the run list, you can place bids on roughly 60,000 vehicles offered daily with a click rather than a wave and do it from anywhere. You can track more auctions, work more efficiently, and focus on other aspects of your business. 

Rather than thinking of digital as a radical change to the auction, start thinking of it as a radical advantage for you to unlock. Once you see how familiar and easy digital auctions like Simulcast and Simulcast+SM are to use, ask your KAR Global Sales Executive how our upstream platforms like TradeRev can give you an even greater business advantage.


New to digital auctions? Whether you’re a Buyer or a Seller, our Go Digital series can help take your dealership to the next level.

The opinions expressed in the Go Digital series are the opinions of the authors only and not those of KAR Global.

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