Plan Insurance Blog

Top Tips for Selling Vehicles on Auction Sites

As customers of Plan, we always like to provide you with knowledge that helps power your business ‘s performance. That is why this month we’ve compiled some top tips on selling your vehicles via auction sites and reasons why experimenting with new auction sites can help your business.

Selling cars, at this moment in time with the world in crisis may seem a daunting challenge. But as we covered in last month’s blog; how to sell a vehicle on Facebook marketplace with the aide of a smartphone and an internet connection, right now can be a great time to be a car dealer!


First up is how to deal with the competition on auction platforms, this is no doubt the biggest challenge dealers face and on that little known website eBay Motors it is very competitive. Its worth noting that eBay doesn’t just host private sellers, you’ll be battling it out with large car dealerships who use this platform to sell in volume. Buyers on the platform are notorious for using dark arts such as ‘sniping’ which can both rip last minutes bargains away from your clutches and take stock off your hands at below your preferred price. So this tactic clearly makes it harder for you to generate a decent margin on your vehicles. 

One way around this underhand practice and high level of competition is to use a site like – which makes it impossible for ‘sniping’ to occur because if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes the auction is extended by 10 minutes, this allows the other bidders to review their options and if so react with an almighty counter bid. There might be less volume but the improved margins could make up for it!

Reserve Value

Auction sites will allow you to create a reserve value, so if this value is not met the bid is not binding and protects the seller from potential losses. However, we wouldn’t recommend always placing a reserve value on your listing as having a ‘no reserve’ auction can drive more interest in your vehicle, and in turn create more bidding activity. This also should not be overlooked when searching for your stock, looking at auctions with no reserves could bring you a larger profit when it comes to selling the vehicle after procuring it.

When making a new acquisition or selling for that matter, remember to visit our MID page and submit an update.

Buy it Now Prices and Make an Offer Options

These days there are a lot more options when it comes to listing vehicles compared to the early days of online car auction sites. So much so it can be a little confusing and difficult to decide how to proceed. Experts we’ve spoken to recommend listing your vehicle at 20% above the sale price that you’d ideally like to achieve.

Then when listing the vehicle make sure you select the “Make an Offer” option. This can help get the deal over the line as the browser will be tempted into making contact and placing, what is in their mind a low bid to get a knocked down price. You then graciously accept their offer and in doing help to satisfy their universal human desire to snag a bargain.

New auction sites

Searching for the newer auction sites could help you avoid the competition when buying and selling vehicles, platforms like eBay and Autotrader can be over-saturated. You would probably rather avoid a battle to the bottom? In this case, you might want to look for new platforms and smaller more less well known vehicle auction sites such as , and who we mentioned above.

Managing and Automation

Saving time and being one of the first in the know is vital to keep your profits rolling in, and with this in mind which is a combination of dealer-auction, AutoTrader and Manheim has the tools for intelligent automated bidding, alerts as soon as relevant vehicles are listed, insight into pricing and most impressively local demand based on vehicles. Automated bidding works with you declaring a maximum bid so you can pre-determine your spend limit on a specific vehicle.

Watch Those Auction Site Sale Fees

Ensuring fees aren’t too high on one platform versus another is obviously important. Chunky percentages can really eat into your margins and prove an anti-climax post sale as the full cost of the process becomes apparent. But remember if you are really against the grain you can always opt for a free listing sites such as the Facebook marketplace.

In summary there are many sites and tactics that you can employ when buying and selling your stock online. Success is likely to depend on trying multiple auction sites, experimenting with the processes on each one and analysing the results carefully on an ongoing basis. If there are any sites or tips we’ve overlooked why not let us know via social media? 

If you are reading this blog because you are interested in selling vehicles from your home, you can get in touch with one of our expert sales agents for your insurance quote by clicking here.

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