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ACV Auctions Leverages Big Data to Boost Transparency and Build Trust in Online Auctions

Published March 24, 2018


Matt Aukofer

ACV Auctions is transforming the online wholesale auto auction process by utilizing data to boost transparency for both buyers and sellers, company representatives said during a Live Stage appearance at the 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas.

In addition to data, ACV Auctions' platform is built on customer service, making it as easy as possible for end users to buy and sell wholesale vehicles by putting all the information they need at their fingertips.

"It all starts with our condition reports," said Joe Neiman, head of product for ACV Auctions, which sponsored the Live Stage at the show along with LoJack and the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB). Every month, ACV collects 50 million data points from its platform, which boils down about 6,000 data points per vehicle, Neiman said. This provides a tremendous amount of insight and transparency into the buying and selling process, which ultimately translates into trust, he added.

All of the data is standardized so that listings are consistent from auction to auction, vehicle to vehicle, making it easy for buyers to make educated comparisons.

In addition, every vehicle listed on ACV includes 40 to 70 standardized high-resolution photos, which become part of the library of data for every single vehicle. These include eight undercarriage photos to reveal any possible corrosion.

To ease worries about buying vehicles virtually, ACV scans every vehicle with a diagnostic tool to check for fault codes on their on-board computer. The data and images are combined with Carfax reports and open recall information and assembled into one place to make it easy for buyers to assess vehicles.

All of this information goes above and beyond what is available at physical auctions, where buyers often cannot even open the vehicle's hood or listen to it run. It minimizes the guesswork in the auction experience.

"We are just going deep on all of these vehicles," Neiman said.

ACV also provides detailed services for sellers, including showing them how many views a particular vehicle has gotten, who is viewing it, and historical data on who the interested parties are, including their buying tendencies and whether they have traditionally been likely to close a deal.

"If you set up a win-win in business where the seller and buyer both win, you ultimately get to the actual cash value of the vehicle," said George Chamoun, CEO of ACV Auctions. "If you become the best place to buy the vehicle, you also become the best place to sell the vehicle."

Watch the full interview below.