Auction Best Practices for Tax Season

As 2015 winds down, it can only mean one thing: tax season is almost upon us! Much like how retailers anticipate the holiday season rush, auctions look forward to a surge in volume during the months after Santa’s sleigh.

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A good sign for the car industry is that our economy is continuing to improve. In November 2014, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8%, the lowest it’s been since July 2008. As employment numbers grow, a favorable auto lending condition is created, resulting in increased demand at the auctions from dealers who want to fill their lots.

While this increase in volume is a welcome sight for auctions, it also presents its challenges. Here are some tips for dealing with the tax season rush.

1) Make customer service your No. 1 commitment
In today’s competitive market, dealers have plenty of options when it comes to where they purchase their inventory. Having a healthy supply of vehicles is a factor but a high service level will ensure the dealers’ loyalty. Implementing processes to save dealers time and stress when in the auction lanes and checkout can go a long way in determining whether the dealer will be a returning customer.

2) Keep communication lines with floor plan providers open
The dealer is a shared customer between auctions and floor plan providers. As such, it is imperative that both entities work together in harmony and have open lines of communication throughout the sales process. This can help expedite the checkout and buying cycle for dealers, which allows them to focus on what they do best: sell cars. It’s important that key relationships are built in order to serve the dealers and be a viable partner in their success.

3) Be prepared for the unexpected
It’s only natural that the probability of challenges popping up would correlate with an increased volume number. As with all things in life, sometimes variables occur that catch auctions by surprise. Arbitration increases, inclement weather and changing tax laws are just a few examples of issues that can cause stress and delays during tax season. While some of these variables can’t be controlled, it’s important to be as prepared as possible by creating action plans with your auction team and being prepared for the unexpected.

As we shift into tax season, auctions have an opportunity to not only increase their bottom line but to make a splash with dealers as well. Committing to customer service, communicating openly with floor plan providers and being prepared for the unexpected are three key processes your auction can take to not only deal with the busy tax season but also stand out to dealers and help you retain their future business.