The car-buying experience has changed, and the market has changed along with it.
Today’s car buyers now spend more than 60% of their time researching online and just 20% with the dealership that sells them their car. These customers already know which vehicle they want and how much it costs before ever leaving the house.
To succeed as a modern dealership, you’ll need an effective car appraisal app to make sure you’re stocking the right cars at the right price.
Some car appraisal apps only serve to help dealerships undercut their competitors on price, resulting in a “race-to-the-bottom”. But winning on price is no longer sustainable.
Dealers need a tool that helps them increase inventory turn and gross per copy.
What do the best car appraisal apps have in common? They use powerful, real-time market data to offer more accurate appraisals.
But that’s not all. The best car appraisal apps also help dealers optimize their inventory, source vehicles, and advertise to target customers.
Wherever you are in your search for the right tool, you’ll want to look for an all-in-one tool that’s backed by better data. In this article, we’ll compare some of the most popular platforms on the market to see what they deliver — and what they don’t — for dealers.
- Laser Appraiser
- Max Digital
VinCue is a powerful pricing, sourcing, advertising, and inventory optimization tool for new and used car markets. It uses real-time market data to help dealers make better decisions and grow their profits.
What it offers:
- Real-time Data: Yes. VinCue tracks over 40,000 dealership websites and 7 million vehicles to display best-sellers in your area, turn rates, local supply/demand metrics, and more.
- Inventory Optimization: Helps dealers track their sales, turn rates, pricing age, and inventory age for both new and used vehicles. Identifies highest-grossing vehicles based on their sales history and local market conditions.
- Appraisal & Pricing: Provides up-to-date wholesale and retail pricing based on similar vehicles in your market. Calculates the retail market price, then factors in gross margin and reconditioning costs to give you the Wholesale Appraised Value.
- Sourcing: Dealers can find the most in-demand vehicles around the country, view their wholesale and retail value, and bid on them — all within the platform.
- Marketing: Provides precision advertising that uses dealers’ inventory data to optimize ad placement. Helps dealers build their brand with 100% customizable, world-class websites.
- Platform: All-in-one platform that allows users to access its entire feature set in one place across desktop and mobile devices.
- Cost: $
VinCue is an all-in-one platform that allows dealers to access all of their appraisal, inventory, sourcing, and advertising data from a single dashboard. Its powerful real-time data helps dealers achieve a higher gross and turn by providing actionable insight into their market.
Laser Appraiser is a mobile-focused VIN scanning application that displays a healthy mix of vehicle information, condition reports, and pricing information from several industry guides. Its desktop version offers additional valuation tools and market reports.
What it offers:
- Real-time Data: No. Laser Appraiser only provides pricing information from pricing books like KBB and NADA.
- Inventory Optimization: Integrates with 3rd party solutions like Dealertrack and First Look for inventory management.
- Appraisal & Pricing: Mobile VIN scanner provides appraisal data from major pricing books. More in-depth valuation tools are available on the desktop client, Dealer Studio.
- Sourcing: Displays auction information from Manheim, Adesa, and Auction Edge. Their vehicle shortage report helps you stock up the right vehicles, but you cannot place bids within the platform.
- Marketing: Does not currently offer marketing solutions within its platform.
- Platform: Mobile platform offers a limited amount of features. Users will need to use the desktop client, Dealer Studio, to access additional information and tools.
- Cost: $
While Laser Appraiser positions itself as a convenient mobile pricing tool, users can’t access its more powerful data and features without using their desktop client Dealer Studio. This means they’ll essentially be using two separate tools.
Autoniq is a mobile app that aggregates pricing and market guides from sources like Black Book, KBB, and NADA. Autoniq also has its own profit guide and market report that can be used to make decisions at auction.
What it offers:
- Real-time Data: No. Autoniq relies primarily on the major pricing books. Data is limited to weekly updates.
- Inventory Optimization: No inventory management features included within the platform.
- Appraisal & Pricing: Provides dealers with access to pricing guides from the major pricing books.
- Sourcing: Gives users access to auction lists from the major (and independent) auction houses around the country. However, you’re not able to bid on vehicles through the app.
- Marketing: Autoniq does not currently offer marketing solutions within its platform.
- Platform: Mobile-app only
- Cost: $
Autoniq offers a product that, while inexpensive, is missing many key features. This makes it clear it was developed primarily as a budget solution, without all the needs of today’s dealers in mind.
Max Digital is a digital retailing platform with a customer-centric focus. It’s designed to offer transparency in the sales process and efficiency with appraisals, acquisition at auction, and leveraging an aggressive advertising strategy to increase sales.
What it offers:
- Real-time Data: Yes. MaxDigital. Provides access to a library of over 500 million vehicle attributes, broad off-brand OEM build data coverage, and daily updated market listings.
- Inventory Optimization: Integrates with First Look for inventory management. Uses pricing books in conjunction with a 10-point pricing guide to help boost sales by adjusting prices.
- Appraisal & Pricing: Relies on benchmark data from pricing books and the involvement of customers in the appraisal process.
- Sourcing: First Look identifies high potential vehicles and provides run lists from major auctions to acquire them. However, it lacks an online bidding functionality.
- Marketing: Max Ad/Max Syndication tools push listings through a variety of third-party listing sites as well as social media platforms. These tools also provide market analysis to help dealers sharpen their ad spend.
- Platform: Most tools and features are developed in-house and are included across desktop and mobile. However, they rely on third-party platform First Look for pricing, appraisal, sourcing, and inventory management.
- Cost: $$
While Max Digital offers a modern and comprehensive platform, they’ve overlooked several important concerns held by today’s dealers. Focusing on third-party listings for advertising and including customers in the appraisal process are two examples of this.
Find Your Perfect Used Car Appraisal App
The right platform for your dealership is one that strikes the balance between price, features, and data. While they might seem similar on the surface, you’ll need to do your homework to learn which one will deliver what your dealership needs to thrive.
That said, we really should emphasize Vincue’s toolkit. Dealers can use Vincue to attain a high-gross and turn by sourcing the right vehicles, pricing them correctly, and connecting with interested customers – all at a price point that any sized dealership can afford.
Want to judge for yourself? Request a free demo of VinCue in action!