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Takeaways from Navigate ’21: optimizing wholesale to drive profitability for dealers

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on November 8, 2021

“The ability to source inventory from a variety of different places, we think, is a gamechanger.” – Bruce Thompson, CarOffer Founder & CEO

As the chip shortage persists and inventory remains scarce, traditional inventory sources are no longer cutting it. Instead, dealers are looking beyond standard wholesale auctions to partners like CarGurus and CarOffer to help them acquire vehicles online.

At Navigate last month, CarOffer Founder & CEO Bruce Thompson and CarGurus VP of Product Management Andrew Grochal explained the advantages of digital wholesaling. They also gave dealers a look at how our innovative technology is helping them overcome today’s inventory challenges. You can find their full Navigate session, CarOffer and CarGurus: Optimizing Wholesale to Drive Profitability for Dealers, here. Some tangible takeaways include the following.

1. There is a powerful synergy between digital retail and wholesale.

In recent years, there’s been a fundamental shift in consumers’ preferences and behaviors that is changing both the retail and wholesale sides of the automotive business. And while the pandemic has accelerated the shift, the role of digital has been growing for quite some time.

The increasing adoption of digital retailing often gets more attention, but digital wholesaling is heading down the same path. Take used vehicle auctions, for example. While in-person auctions will likely be here for a while longer, an increasing number of wholesale auctions will occur digitally in the future. Adapting to these changes now will help dealers succeed long-term.

2. The ability to source inventory from a variety of different places is game-changing.

For years, dealers have relied on traditional auctions as the primary source of inventory. There’s a lot that goes into making a trip to the auction worthwhile, though, including taking time to attend in-person, researching the run lists, formulating bidding strategies, and more. And despite proper preparation, it’s still possible to leave without the cars you’d hoped for. Similarly, trade-ins can be a great source of vehicles, but waiting for the “right” vehicles to hit the lot can result in valuable time wasted.

The introduction of innovative new technology, such as the CarOffer Buying Matrix, lets dealers automatically bid on inventory from a variety of sources, allowing for a steady pipeline of vehicles that fit criteria set by the dealer.

3. Instant Max Cash Offer unlocks exclusive first access to local shoppers’ vehicles.

At Navigate, Bruce and Andrew walked dealers through our newest inventory acquisition innovation: Instant Max Cash Offer. The program lets dealers acquire inventory directly from our #1 audience of car shoppers. Here’s how it works:

  • A consumer selling their vehicle submits the relevant information through the CarGurus Sell My Car page.
  • In seconds, a sophisticated algorithm based on hundreds of thousands of CarOffer datapoints gives the shopper the best possible offer to purchase their vehicle.
  • The vehicle is delivered directly to a participating local landed dealer at no risk and no additional work to the dealer. They get 48 hours to decide whether to purchase or pass on the vehicle. CarGurus and CarOffer manage the pre-inspection, vehicle valuation, title transfer, and payment to shoppers for purchased vehicles. CarOffer picks up vehicles that are passed on and enters them into the Buying Matrix.

Ultimately, Instant Max Cash Offer provides a frictionless, time-efficient sourcing process for buyers. The program is available to dealers in 23 states, and we’re continuing to expand it to new areas.

Need help adjusting your inventory strategy? Visit to learn more about the advantages of becoming a CarOffer customer.

Topics: CarOffer, inventory, used cars, wholesale