AutoNation Inc. is bidding to buy used vehicles that are listed for sale on renowned third-party websites even without having seen any of them. It offers to pay the offered amount for an automobile if the condition description proves to be accurate when it is brought to an AutoNation establishment. COO Mike Maroone of the country's biggest dealership group states that the pilot program with Edmunds.com, eBay and Autobytel will identify whether it is a practical method to purchase used-vehicle inventory compared to doing it at auctions.
He added that they would rather earn from the trade-ins instead of outbidding everyone else at the auction, adding that they try and find creative ways to purchase them. He relates that the pilot program began in the fourth quarter last year and will continue until they "validate it."
He explains that it has to be proven that it is "worth the time and the effort." Maroone did not disclose how many automobiles have been bought under the program. The guaranteed proposal to buy vehicles is provided to consumers who list automobiles for sale in areas where AutoNation has stores, a spokesperson states.
AutoNation vice president of media and owner retention Ed Cicale states that the offers to purchase are made within 24 hours of consumers' submitting vehicle descriptions.
These offers are valid for seven days or 700 additional miles on the odometer, whichever comes first. A consumer who wants to take an offer must bring the automobile to an AutoNation store, where it would be examined. If the condition of the vehicle matches the description submitted to AutoNation, the company purchases the vehicle for the price quoted to the owner. [source: Autonews]