Used-vehicle retailer WeBuyCars has launched a first for the South African motor market: an online car auction for the consumer, as a natural progression of the boom in online sales the company has seen since the start of the pandemic.
“We are now adding convenience to our longstanding philosophy of offering you more value, more options and even better customer service that prioritises you and your unique vehicle needs,” says Janson Ponting, sales director, WeBuyCars.
Online auctions provide an easy-to-use platform that enables consumers to find “value buys” from the comfort of their homes. It is not only straightforward and convenient but gives consumers access to multiple vehicles that can be viewed and assessed simultaneously.
Selection is a big factor. Businesses use auctions to promote special prices and promote unit sales resulting in auctions giving consumers an opportunity to find a vehicle for much less than they would ordinarily pay when buying a vehicle off the showroom floor.
Transparency and trust underpin all WeBuyCars vehicle sales and purchases, and these qualities are inherent in its online vehicle auction offering - when you buy a car you know exactly what you’re getting.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer knowing almost nothing about cars or an experienced hand knowledgeable about cars, the online auction experience offers all the cost benefits of the traditional live auction coupled with incredible technology which removes the anxieties any potential buyer might harbour.
Those fears usually centre on opaque transparency; the unequal playing ground of competing with highly experienced dealers who are familiar with the auction process; and the all-too-real fear you may overpay for a vehicle during the adrenaline rush of the ‘live’ environment.
This is what WeBuyCars has captured in its unique technology. The experience of online car auctions has been personalised in every way to make your experience an empowering one. And this is something entirely new to South Africa, says Ponting.
He says between 300 to 400 newly acquired vehicles are made available via the WeBuyCars website daily. The auctions run seven days a week, from 13pm to 12pm the following day, giving potential buyers ample time to assess their chosen vehicle.
Ponting explains the tools to help you make your choice: “We have invested in premium technology which provides high quality 360° photographs of the interior and exterior of a vehicle. In addition to the detailed photos, our technology provides for each vehicle to be accompanied by an online Dekra condition report providing an independent evaluation. This is all available at each of our eight retail centres, where consumers can conveniently view, and test drive the vehicles before bidding.”
Being able to view and test drive vehicles go a long way to assuage any fears of buying a car as is without being allowed to test drive it.
“For most consumers, buying a car is a big decision not to be made lightly. At our online auction, you’re presented with all the information a dealer would have – and time to get the opinion of someone more qualified than you, if necessary.”
There’s much more assistance too: a team of sales staff is available to assist you in your vehicle evaluation and purchasing process. The WeBuyCars team can also assist customers, who require finance, to secure bank finance for auction vehicles. Bidders need to register and pay a R5 000 registration deposit before you will be able to bid on an auction, but the registration deposit is refundable if no sale is concluded.
Recognising that the reason people buy on auction is “to find a vehicle at a lower price than they would ordinarily pay when buying a vehicle off the showroom floor”, Ponting cautions that there are many bargains to be found but technology does not mean you don’t have to do your homework. This includes verifying the vehicle’s published retail price, test driving the vehicle and confirming any additional fees and charges that may apply.
“Whether someone feels comfortable to bid on an online auction platform comes down to their personal preference. However, we’ve seen a significant increase in online auction sales in recent times, as more and more people place trust in our technology.” Ponting concludes.