VAN’s Tom Gregg discusses the challenges dealers face with private acquisitions

Vehicles on the internet can leave the market in as little as 2 to 3 days.

Welcome to this week’s episode of Used Cars Weekly, the original CBT News show dedicated to bringing car dealers best practices and tips for the used car department, in-depth dealer interviews, hands-on dealership strategies, as well as vendor analysis. Today, host Jasen Rice, founder of Lotpop, continues the conversation about private acquisitions with Tom Gregg of (VAN) Vehicle Acquisition Network.

marketingGregg says dealers need to have the strategy for in-house. It’s important to have somebody dedicated to the strategy of buying cars from consumers. Adding responsibility to a used-car manager isn’t the area to start. This could be someone who sold cars that you want to repurpose as a buyer. The next most important thing is it’s very different from selling cars says, Gregg. Consumers feel like they can get more from the public than a dealer. He says the success rate of buying cars than selling cars is a lot different.

Vehicles on the internet can leave the market in as little as 2 to 3 days or they could stay online for more than 30 days. Gregg says that’s why it’s important to be quick to the punch. Selling cars isn’t easy. He says often who is the best buyer is someone with a positive attitude. They have a good work ethic and they follow up with the customer.

Related: General Manager Danny Zaslavsky discusses buying inventory from private sellers

After you get a department built, Gregg says to document the process. When you have a documented process, you can look for the issues and make changes and improvements. Then you’re engaging directly with consumers on those platforms. Fifty-seven percent of listings for sale by owners come from Facebook Marketplace. The buyer will need to set up an account to use for communicating with the consumer. You’re able to ease into a more natural communication style. It’s also important to add photos, friends, and posts to make it look like a regular account.

Gregg says a lot of their larger groups have a centralized buying team that will communicate with consumers and then places their vehicles at stores that makes the most sense. He says it is challenging to buy vehicles from consumers. One of the issues is the appraisal approach that dealers have. He says dealers struggle the most with consumers during the process or the offers are too conservative.

Gregg recommends you buy everything. If the car doesn’t fit your retail strategy, as long as you buy the car and can make some profit off it, buy it. In the end you’re helping someone in your community.

Did you enjoy this episode of Used Cars Weekly? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.