Market Conditions Commentary
This is proxy bidding broke down to view the pixels that make up the picture. I think the pixels have to be understood for positive results.
by Robert Hollenshead
Apr 16 2012 4:46PM
This is proxy bidding broke down to view the pixels that make up the picture.  I think the pixels have to be understood for positive results.

All pictures are made up of pixels, just ask Chuck Close the famous pixel painting portrait artist.  In my world, when you break the big picture down to view the pixels, what you will see is not what it looks like from a distance.  In my opinion, it  can’t be understood without exposing the pieces that could make the proxy process successful.  If you don’t it’s like lying down in late afternoon traffic expecting not to get run over.

Some of the countless pixels needed to understand a proxy bid follow.  These points need to be part of process so the results are not a pin the tail on the donkey (Mr. Lazybones), adverse selection, mud front line, producing guarantee.  Thinking that the proxy will ever be a substitute for working your balls off at an auction is delusional.   Expect that if you leave any of these pixels out the picture.  Here you go:

A CR is a pixel.

Knowing how to interpret a CR is a pixel.

Knowing who did the CR is a Pixel.

Know who they did the CR for and why,  is a pixel.

Knowing the CR varies from place to place, and consignor by consignor is a pixel.

Who the seller is a pixel.

Knowing where the seller sources from is a pixel.

Knowing if you have recourse with the seller is a pixel.

Knowing if you have recourse with the auction is a pixel.

Knowing how the auction handles transporters is a pixel.

Knowing your transporters skills and lack thereof is a pixel.

Knowing that most auctions will not help you with a CR problem is a pixel.

Knowing it can chew up half your day on the phone fighting with the auction over a bad CR is a pixel.

And dealing with Car (False) Fax is a pixel.

And how consistent you are 52 weeks a year is a pixel.

And the post-sale prevention process is a pixel.

And the volume you do 52 weeks a year for decades is a pixel.

And where you stand in relation to all others in the industry is a pixel.

The fact that there isn’t anybody that is in your category is a pixel.

The fact that there is no turnover is a pixel.

And follow up is a pixel.

And different arb policies is a pixel.

And fees that continue to go up is a pixel.

And a condition report that is worthless is a pixel.

And setting your search based on a numbering system designed to gaff for recon is a pixel.

And having a condition report vary from auction to auction by 3 points with zero consistency is a pixel.

And proximity to your location is a pixel.

And your theory on the market view is a pixel.

And a cleanup is a pixel.

And how that fits in a particular dealership’s reality is a pixel.

And wanting to force a change in the market is a pixel.

And thinking you can make something evolve the way you want it to is delusional, but a pixel.

And this pixel can make how others perceive your vision as an ugly picture, even though you thought it was a good pixel when you put it there.

And thinking that you can think for other people is a pixel.

And depending on someone else to think for you is a pixel.

And suggesting that you should buy cheap and sell cheap is a pixel.  But if everyone were to do that, how do you buy cheap?

And how would you stop someone from buying all the tits to leave you with mud?

Ever see a front line of mud?  Is a pixel

Ever see a front line of tits?  Is a pixel

Who does more business?  Is a pixel

Who is more successful?  Is a pixel

To think everyone is blind and will allow you to pick off fat merch on a proxy bid is brain death and a pixel.

You will get cars, and your front line will look like you got them on a proxy bid, pure mud.

Proxy bidding can be good if you like adverse selection.  Rarely will you get a unit with tits on a proxy.  You will get mud however, and if mud is what you need, dig in.  But if you are looking for point units, pay attention.  Technology is without doubt our future, like it or not.  But I am not guessing when I tell you that knowing these pixels, knowing a car, not a system, is job security.

Emotion will never be eliminated from the process unless we permit our common denominator to be diminished to silliness.  Emotion happens in the lanes when I got something yours eyes can't get off of.  That same emotion follows to your front line and bingo, like magic, tail-lights and profit.  Ever get somebody excited about mud?

Therefore, use a proxy bid, but pay attention.  Pay attention to the point that a proxy bid is a way of making yourself aware of where the merch is that you want or need.  Then, pay attention.  Because if you don’t, plan on a front row of mud, and keep the want ads nearby.  Because mud sells like mud and fat ones sell like ice cream in the Sahara.

Now, here’s the pixels necessary to build confidence and trust with a buyer who can’t see the merch and has to use the above pixels to source inventory:

Be the largest volume seller in North America is a pixel.

Sell more cars on Simulcast than anyone or any group is a pixel.

Sell 3,000 units a month and get a hit on simulcast on about 70% of all units run at an auctionis a pixel.

Consistently present your merch 52/for decades the same way and in the same order is a pixel.

And managing your working cap, or turn so you don’t burn, is a pixel.

And arranging your lane logically is a pixel.

And not having auction numbers is a pixel.

Taking pride in your  reputation to the point that your word is more important than making money is a pixel.

And how you present yourself is a pixel.

And how dealers talk about you is a pixel.

Buying cars in good demographic areas so they aren’t slugs is a pixel.

And dealing with jealousy and lies is a pixel.

And developing technology is a pixel.

And understanding how to adapt to technology in the best way is  a pixel.

Surrounding yourself with solid people with integrity is a pixel.

And how you treat the smallest dealer is a pixel.

And trust is a pixel.  In fact, the only pixel that matters.  And to find a seller you can trust is like winning the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo on a tricycle.

Here’s what it really is about.  It's all about merch, without it, you got, gotts-a –la-gool.  it’s all about trust, without it, you are dealing with a share-cropper that even when he’s reading from the Bible, he’s telling a fib.  It’s all about understanding an auction, cause if you don’t or you listen to high theoretical verbiage, lay down in rush hour traffic cause you playing Russian roulette.

It requires decades of sacrifice to gain the trust of the general dealer body.  On average,  1,000 dealers per week that log on to my lanes to buy.  Why?  In my opinion, it’s partly because  I put myself in the shoes of the user.  When a unit comes up short and I have a simulcast bidder, I am selling.  Why else would he come back?  To get stroked?  And trust.

Starting to get my view of the Proxy bid picture?

See you in the lanes.

Robert Hollenshead
Founder and President

R. Hollenshead Auto Sales Inc.
1373 Lancaster Road - Manheim, PA 17545
office: (717) 664-2700
cell: (610) 960-6346

4 Readers' Comments

Pat Francis
MN 55302
10 years ago
As a one man show how am I supposed to get to all the auctions all over the country?
The proxy bid is the only way I can buy at this time because I am also selling retail cars during the day.
Can you change the auction to run at night? That would be great.
Thanks Pat

Robert Hollenshead
PA 17545
10 years ago
I can't change anything Pat. Are you from Country Chevrolet? If so, thank you for the cars I sold you last week.

But watching the simulcast event and bidding live seems to me to allow a buyer to lay off units that aren't exciting and hit a real one for the last two or three bumps to be sure you have some fat units on the lot. It is very hard to put enough on good merch and very easy to put too much on slugs when you don't "feel" the action.

Jeff Weiss
VA 20186
10 years ago
Jeff here from Country Chevrolet. Would not ask you to move the auction to run at night. Thanks for the good inventory. Buying in the lane during the daytime is good enough for us. Thanks Jeff

Robert Hollenshead
PA 17545
10 years ago
Thank you Jeff and thank you for your business. I see you hitting in simulcast. Thanks