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America’s Massive Used-Car Market is Getting the EBay Treatment

With an army of inspectors and an online marketplace, ACV Auctions is helping dealers shop from afar.

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How Coronavirus Will Change the Way We Buy Cars
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America’s $350 billion used-car market would appear to be more COVID-proof than the average factory or dealership, but it’s not without its own unique challenges.

Most of the supply chain—some 40 million vehicles a year—snakes through a few massive parking lots where dealers buy and sell inventory in a continuous stream of auctions. It’s a vehicular swap-meet where thousands of middle-men kick tires, cut deals and generally risk a case of COVID. ACV Auctions, however, has been working to move the marketplace online, essentially creating a sort of eBay for slightly tired Teslas, off-lease Ford 150s, and all the other pre-owned machines looking for a home.