Our reflections on the lockdown so far

It’s now around three weeks since lockdown began and we thought it would be useful to gather together some of the thoughts and ideas that we are seeing from our conversations with the dealers who use 1link Disposal Network.

Clearly, trading on the platform has slowed to a crawl, as you would expect, but there remains some activity – and some surprising approaches.

Senior online engagement manager Mark Davis said: “Really, what we have seen is the 3,000 traders who use the platform tackling the question of ‘what do you do when you are a car or van dealer that can’t sell cars or vans?’ What we are seeing is a spectrum of different answers.

“Some, often the largest concerns, have effectively shut the doors of their businesses, furloughed considerable numbers of staff, and are waiting to see how the situation develops. Clearly, this conservative approach makes a lot of sense.

“Others though, generally independents, are taking a more active approach. They are using the time to take a strategic view of their business and trying to anticipate how their proposition can be even more relevant when the lockdown ends, looking at everything from their premises to their finance offerings.”

There remain more than 3,000 cars and vans for sale on the platform and Mark said that there were traders who were still buying stock.

“Most of what we are seeing is essentially traders acquiring a car for which they know they have a ready buyer. But there are a handful who are actively buying stock because they want to be ready for the end of the lockdown.

“Also, of course, some vendors are more willing than usual to listen to sensible offers on their vehicles, so a few dealers are taking advantage of that.”

Mark added that he was also introducing epyx’s new platform for 1link Trade Buyer to some traders, which is now in beta testing and will replace the current platform later this year.

“We had long been planning to launch our new platform this month and the lockdown means we could hardly have chosen a worse time. However, it remains something of which we are very proud and we are certain will be of genuine benefit to traders when the situation starts to ease.

“There is a general feeling that the end of the crisis will potentially unleash pent-up demand and we believe that, at that point, 1link Trade Buyer will deliver.”

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