Cutting the cost of going under the digital hammer

Cooper Solutions removes seller fees on FullAuction

Cooper Solutions has removed its seller fees in a move to further support dealers selling through its trade-only online auction site, FullAuction.  Cooper Solutions is adding value to its trade remarketing solution by maximising profits for retailers, vital in the current competitive and challenging market.

FullAuction delivers similar or better results against CAP as physical auction houses and the large online players, but now allows dealers to sell their trade stock and keep 100% of the profits.  Analysis has shown that many dealers sell their stock through FullAuction before a physical auction house would have even collected the vehicles.

Barry Cooper, Managing Director for Cooper Solutions, commented, “Making the decision to stop charging sellers will ensure further increases in dealer profits. Without the overheads of physical auction houses, FullAuction delivers a cost-effective remarketing solution, but now it is an even more profitable route to disposal of stock.”

Cooper Solutions carried out detailed research into the profitability of physical vehicle auctions. After reviewing more than 71,000 car sales, it was found that physical auction fees are typically larger than the profits retailers make on each sale, putting undue pressure on dealers’ margins. Not only does FullAuction reduce the cost of selling for dealers, it also reduces the time it takes to dispose of stock, meaning dealers get the money in the bank more quickly, boosting their bottom line.

Barry Cooper continued, “FullAuction boosts the average pounds per unit and CAP performance by optimising the mix of well described stock, a large pool of buyers and outstanding profits for sellers. We have an ongoing commitment to deliver the best in digital solutions for dealers, which includes continually reviewing and improving existing solutions. Even the most successful solutions can have the potential to serve the market even more effectively, and we are committed to investing in FullAuction to ensure it continues to provide valuable support to our dealer partners.”

Who’s reaping the rewards from your trade disposals?

Barry Cooper takes a closer look at the economies of trade sales.

With increasing competition squeezing gross profit margin and customers demanding more, the modern retailer is facing challenging times.

With so much to do to ensure every day is a success, it is often the less glamorous functions of the business, like trade disposal, that get overlooked.

Just moving from physical to an online auction platform could more than double trade sale profits.


Cooper Solutions welcomes Auto Trader move to bypass physical auctions

And says the new approach to fleet remarketing should prompt motor retailers to rethink their practices too

Cooper Solutions is applauding news from the new and used car digital business giant, Auto Trader, that it is to bypass the traditional remarketing of fleet vehicles via physical auctions. The move to sell direct to dealers instead, should herald a much needed shift in mind set and future auction practices used by motor retailers themselves, it says.

Barry Cooper, Managing Director for Cooper Solutions explains, “Auto Trader has put the spotlight on the legacy networks of physical sites of the UK’s leading auction companies, which in this day and age bring a financial burden indirectly shouldered by dealers who sell stock via these channels.

“Given the business model of physical auction houses, it’s no big surprise that they need a high transaction cost to pay for their overheads. We conducted our own research to validate this point. After looking at over 71,000 car sales, we confirmed that physical auction fees are typically bigger than the profits that selling retailers make and therefore significantly reduce the sellers profit. Given the current pressure on margins this simply isn’t good for business for today’s retailers.

“The move by Auto Trader not only enriches the used stock now available directly to retailers, it opens the door for them to follow suit for trade stock. Sytner Group has been proving for many years that digital auction is their optimal route to market and now Auto Trader is on the same track.

“By pushing the direct online remarketing approach for fleet, Auto Trader confirms our own position since we launched our trade-to-trade online auction site, FullAuction. As the message gets louder and more influential as power houses get behind its logic, we would hope that more retailers will be tempted away from the more traditional legacy remarketing channels and towards a more profitable digital disposal route.”

FullAuction from Cooper Solutions, is a trade-to-trade digital auction site which operates in a similar fashion to Auto Trader’s new fleet disposal platform. With FullAuction, the maximum buyers fee is £33, as much as 10 times less than a physical auction fee for the same car, meaning retailers make more money from the sale. In addition, the new remarketing models, including FullAuction, reduce the time to dispose of stock, which means dealers get the money in the bank quicker, boosting their bottom line.

Motorbike and van appraisal diagrams added to FullAuction and FullAppraisal

Cooper Solutions brings greater specification capabilities to dealers’ fingertips

Van and motorbike dealers can now reap new benefits of FullAppraisal and FullAuction from Cooper Solutions, with the addition of electronic appraisal diagrams. Now dealers can offer the fullest possible level of interior and exterior small damage and repair detail on all of their vehicles, including vans and motorcycles, when assessing them for part exchange or sale.

FullAppraisal, the mobile vehicle appraisal tool from Cooper Solutions, allows dealers to move away from outdated paper-based process to electronic appraisals. Tablet and mobile technology captures vehicle type and customer information accurately for appraisals on the go, helping dealers secure that deal.

Tom Wheeler, Sales Manager for LMC of Farnham in Hampshire comments: “Moving from paper-based to electronic appraisal diagrams when assessing vans gives a better impression when dealing with our customers. We can process information faster and more accurately. Also, by using a second signed appraisal on receipt of the part exchange, we are able to make sure the vehicle is checked properly by the salesman and the mileage updated for remarketing routes.”

This is backed by Lee Sarjeant, Sales and Finance Manager at Vines of Guildford BMW Motorrad who adds: “The team at Cooper Solutions has worked with us to ensure appraisal diagrams and descriptions are specific to bikes only. The process is simple with just a few clicks needed.”

The addition of the motorcycles and vans appraisal diagrams to FullAuction means that is the only vehicle auction platform offering this capability. FullAuction is an alternative route to market for franchised dealer trade cars that minimises transaction costs, attracts hundreds of validated trade buyers and is quick and easy to list, sell and deliver.

“Thanks to the new van and motorcycle appraisal diagrams, dealers using FullAppraisal or FullAuction can share the highest level of specification detail on their vehicles,” explains Simon Whicher, General Manager at Cooper Solutions. “Dealers using both FullAppraisal and FullAuction benefit from vehicle specification details being seamlessly integrated into FullAuction, eliminating duplication, saving time and improving accuracy.

“This latest upgrade is part of our commitment to offering the level of information dealers need to differentiate them from their competitors, whilst enjoy a seamless and powerful online appraisal and auction experience.”

Top Selling Tips For Online Auctions

Helping dealers get the best price for their stock and boost their bottom line

Motor dealers looking to sell an entire fleet, a single vehicle or a regular supply of part exchange vehicles need to make sure they’re maximising their opportunities at online auctions, urges Cooper Solutions. FullAuction, its trade-only online vehicle auction site, makes selling easy and more profitable. To help dealers sell better, Cooper Solutions offers top tips on professional remarketing.

An accurate listing and full description of the vehicle is the most important aspect of selling a car online. It enables dealers to understand what they are buying and have confidence in the seller. A car described honestly will maximise bidding opportunities and will encourage engender more sales. Key to attracting a good level of buyer interest, which in turn helps dealers get the best price, is presentation. Vehicles that are well prepared will retail quickly, improving stock turn and cash flow, so doing a proper valet will add more than an extra level of polish.

Barry Cooper of Cooper Solutions comments, “There’s a lot that dealers can do to help their vehicles achieve exceptional values at an online auction. As ever, honesty is the best policy, buyers are unlikely to be put off by a scratch or dent – they must be able to rely upon the listings so they know the true condition of the car they are bidding on. Sellers should also make sure they have a complete service history, V5 and MOT certificate. FullAuction allows sellers to indicate when the MOT expires and whether there’s a spare key available, as well as listing all the key documents.

“Armed with our top tips and the speed and accuracy of FullAuction, dealers can sell with confidence to attract strong bidding and boost their profits.”

Vehicle Listing should include the correct registration number, mileage and number of owners. Vehicle descriptions must detail the colour and condition, highlighting low mileage and any interior features, which may help to sell the vehicle. Photography is essential to enhance the description. Wash the vehicle before taking pictures and get shots of the interior and exterior, plus a photo of the service book. Use the best pictures first, using a full shot of the vehicle as the cover image.

FullAuction is an alternative route to market for franchised dealer trade cars, which attracts hundreds of validated buyers and is quick and easy to list, sell and deliver. User analysis confirms that many dealers are selling their stock before a physical auction house would have even collected it.

Cooper Solutions’ Top Tips for Sellers At Online Auctions

• Accurate Listing and Description – make sure the description includes, colour and selling points such as low mileage and factory fitted optional extras
• Vehicle Condition – Damage markers must be noted on all listings
• Preparation – Present vehicles in the best light by valeting to remove rubbish, excess dirt, stains (particularly those that look like they smell!) and personal belongings
• Presentation – Take lots of photos of the exterior and interior and select the best ones. Remember, good lighting is key to showing off your stock at its best.
• Tyre Tread Depth – Make sure you measure across all four tyres
• Service History – Ensure you have a complete service history, V5 and MOT certificate- a vehicle with service history will be more profitable than one without and am image off the service book provides evidence for buyers
• Photo Gallery – You should provide a minimum of ten shots of the vehicle (taken in the same location). Aim for four images of the exterior and three images of the interior including the speedometer with the engine running and the dashboard
• Vehicle Checks – Include a vehicle provenance check, which verifies whether a vehicle is clocked, stolen or still on finance
• Start Price and Reserve – Carefully consider the reserve price (this is only disclosed to buyers once the auction has finished) and set a realistic figure. Start your vehicle at a low price to attract early bidders and watchers

September 2017

As FullAuction embarks on its 7th year, Cooper Solutions reveals the secret of success for online auction selling

Cooper Solutions’ FullAuction has helped retailers increase their profits on used cars with almost 1 in 3 (28%) cars sold on the trade-only online vehicle auction site achieving in excess of 100% CAP Clean, despite the fact that 90% of those cars were in fact CAP average or below.

Barry Cooper explained: “June was a typical month for retailers selling through FullAuction with respect to where they made a significant proportion of their profits. Since 2011 it has become clear that around 30% of a retailer’s trade stock is highly desirable and if these cars are well described and set at a reserve price that encourages competitive bidding once the reserve is achieved, extraordinary profits and CAP performance follow.

FullAuction boosts average £PPU and CAP performance by optimising the mix of well described stock, a large pool of buyers and low transaction costs. The result is outstanding profits for sellers.”

FullAuction minimises transaction costs, has hundreds of validated trade buyers. It is quick and easy to list, sell and deliver. Many retailers are selling their stock before a physical auction house would have even collected it, and to buyers paying considerably less than they would at physical auction.

July 2017

MSH Ltd Never Misses A Sale With E-Bidding From Cooper Solutions

Bidding on the go with FullAuction helps dealers move quickly on quality stock
from trustworthy sellers

FullAuction, from Cooper Solutions, the trade-only online vehicle auction site electric trade-only auction site is helping MSH Ltd maximise its margins. Thanks to its remote bidding capabilities and access to quality sellers, buyers such as MSH can stay one step ahead when purchasing in a competitive market. buyers can trust, it allows MSH to buy with confidence for stronger profits in a competitive market.

Matthew Hall from MSH Ltd explains the benefits of FullAuction, “The mobile bidding function is vital for me, as it means I can still use FullAuction, even when I’m abroad for months at a time. Crucially, this allows me to keep an eye on sales, meaning I never miss a deal on great quality stock. All the sellers on FullAuction are proven and trustworthy trustrworthy, giving me the confidence to buy knowing that vehicle descriptions and photos are accurate. This is essential, as I buy vehicles unseen and have them delivered straight to retailers, so our reputation depends on buying and selling from people we can trust.

FullAuction is now compatible across web enabled devices including Apple, Android and Windows, bringing users access to hundreds of validated buyers on the move. FullAuction makes it easy to list, sell and deliver vehicles for a faster, seamless buying and selling experience.

“I am more likely to buy from FullAuction than from its competitors because it allows me to cap my budget when bidding so I can avoid eroding my margins. Unlike other users who may be retailers with a large forecourt holding lots of stock, I have a very quick turnaround and therefore my margin is much tighter.

Simon Whicher, General Manager at Cooper Solutions, comments, “We continue to invest in the quality of our service to provide a fast efficient, solution help customers like MSH Ltd maximise their profits with a fast, efficient solution. With mobile bidding, buyers like Matthew Hall, can trade quickly and efficiently, even when away from their desks. FullAuction also minimises transaction costs, which combines with e-bidding to make it easier than ever for traders to snap up the best deals from sellers they can trust.”

June 2017

L&L Automotive Boosts Sales With Cooper Solutions

Harnessing the power of FullAppraisal and FullAuction for business growth

L&L Automotive Group, has chosen Cooper Solutions’ FullAppraisal and FullAuction to support its focus on expansion. Seamless integration of these services into its business has resulted in increased profits on part exchanges by xx%.

As a certified used approved Mercedes-Benz retailer, L&L Automotive in Hertfordshire, is harnessing the power of FullAppraisal, the mobile vehicle appraisal tool, to ensure cars are properly prepared and accurately described, ready for resale. By pulling in data from pricing guides, sales executives have a good starting point for part-exchange values, which can be provided to customers along with supporting images so they can review how a retailer came to their decision. Removing the traditional paper and pen appraisal process provides customers with the modern retail experience they expect, whilst sales managers can track how many appraisals carried out are converted into sales.

Andrew Gallacher, General Manager and Sales Director for L&L Automotive, explains, “FullAppraisal has replaced our traditional method for pricing cars, which involved calling upon a select group of traders to provide reasonable estimates, so we now have even greater confidence that we are benefiting from a high quality appraisal. And because FullAppraisal pushes vehicle information through to FullAuction, it has become an integral part of our resale process, making the whole procedure more efficient, faster and professional.

“It’s been a similar experience with FullAuction, which has boosted business confidence alongside increased monthly profits. As a result, we have reinvested in the businesses with the appointment of a dedicated used car controller, who has the sole responsibility of moving stock. Thanks to FullAuction, we now trade to industry respected dealers without incurring marketing expenses and with streamlined, automatic payments on sales, the whole process is slick and efficient.”

FullAuction is an electronic trade-only auction site, maximising margins for buyers and sellers alike with no listing or buying fees. Connecting FullAppraisal with FullAuction, means an accurate appraisal and a realistic auction grade – inaccurate appraisals mean a loss at auction. Vehicles can be offered to the trade whilst still on the retailers’ premises providing a seamless end-to-end trade management solution.

Gallacher adds, “Our business has grown in partnership with Cooper Solutions and its Client Support team, which ensures we continue to deliver a high quality, individual service, which our customers’ value. Cooper Solutions’ biggest strength is its ability to design tools that integrate seamlessly into the business. In addition, the team is reliable, responsive and adapts to suit our changing needs.”

Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions, says, “We work closely with customers to help them maximise the benefits of our services, support business growth and make a tangible difference to their bottom line. As a long-standing customer, L&L Automotive has seen the benefit from streamlined appraisals and sales that supports their business by boosting profits using the power of FullAppraisal and FullAuction.”

L & L Automotive is a certified Mercedes-Benz, smart and Mercedes-AMG franchise retail group based in Hertfordshire, offering new and used sales, plus fleet and business services and finance.

March 2017

AM Live 2016: The Customer Journey At Your Dealership – Is It Fit For Purpose?

Purchasing a car is not only a financial commitment for consumers but also involves a significant emotional investment. Cooper Solutions will be exploring the customer journey and the impact technology can have on this experience, as well as covering the acquisition of used car stock and disposal of vehicles during a best practice masterclass at the new AM Live expo.

Product Head Simon Whicher and Business Development Manager David Abel take to the stage to provide dealers with the knowledge they need to deliver the modern retailer experience. Breaking down the entire process, beginning with important contact points like CRM data capture, how digital appraisals can lift the customer’s perception of the process as well as providing a highly efficient and credible valuation method, and FCA compliance. The seminar will incorporate video and client testimonials to share retailers’ best practice in these areas and how the use of online auctions can help boost stock turn and ultimately profitability . Taking place on 16 November at Milton Keynes Arena, the expo is the first of its kind for the automotive retail sector and is free for dealer and manufacturer delegates upon pre-registration.

Commented Whicher: “ Avoiding duplication when entering information and eliminating chances that paperwork could be mislaid creates a more professional and engaging process with customers. The use of technology makes for a slicker and more efficient operation which is easy to track and measure. We find those who maximise their use of technology are the ones securing greater exposure and demand for their vehicles, in turn driving up margin and improving average trade debtor days. We also find it’s too easy to miss off vital pieces of information about the vehicle which can make all the difference to achieving the right hit rate and ultimately price which underpins the importance of a robust and effective appraisal process, ideally digital and integrated into the dealer’s digital remarketing process.

According to Cooper Solutions, transaction costs for online auctions can be nine times less than physical auctions. The company’s figures across the whole site over the last five years reveal a 72% conversion rate on first time listings, rising to 89% with a single relist, and 94% with two relists. Meanwhile, vehicles which are more accurately appraised benefit from an average uplift of £125 per unit through confident bidding activity.

AM Live is the only event of its kind on the automotive calendar, a one-day expo where leading sector suppliers take part in a huge exhibition highlighting latest products, services and developments alongside a jam-packed programme of ‘best practice’ seminars, an F&I theatre and a law clinic where dealers can pose legal questions.