NPA auction a first for Dealer Expo

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This year marks the launch of National Powersport Auctions' live auction of pre-owned units at Dealer Expo as part of a three-year deal that puts the event front and center at the Indy show through 2013.

Justyn Amstutz of NPA says the San Diego-based company has long wanted to hold an auction at Dealer Expo and with the exponential growth of the pre-owned market, it's a great time to get it off the ground.

"NPA has always been of the mindset that we need to continue to do a better job of educating the dealers on the pre-owned segment and how to acquire pre-owned bikes," says Amstutz, one of NPA's principals. "So the push has always been, let's get an auction at the biggest trade show that we have in the contiguous United States. And, with the help of Danny Phillips and his team we've signed a multi-year exclusivity agreement to provide a live auction.

"The number of pre-owned-to-new unit sales has increased exponentially across the spectrum. A large number of those pre-owned units are coming from one or two places. Either they're coming from a dealership that employs someone to buy pre-owned off the street, takes them in on trade, or they're coming from the auctions."

The live auction at Indy will give dealers a chance to bid on 100-150 units coming from a variety of NPA's business partners. It will feature bank repossessions from Harley-Davidson, Honda, GE and HSBC. There will also be some dealer consignments in the lineup, he says. In addition to the financial institutions it works with, NPA also handles OEM and factory sales for Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha.

We talked with Amstutz about the Indy auction to get all the details.

Dealernews: What is the major benefit of having a live auction at Dealer Expo?
Justyn Amstutz: It's a no brainer. You look at the Dealer Expo show. Five years ago you had every parts manager, every accessory manager in attendance. You had four or five guys from the back of the shop who were attending the show. Now, the number of educated participants, the number of dealer principals, the number of decision makers is up. You have fewer people, but you have a more highly educated, more qualified person who's going to influence the decision making, or make the actual decision for the dealership. That's the guy who is attending the show these days. That's the guy who needs to understand the tools that NPA has available, and at no cost. What better place to have it than at the largest dealer show in the country.

DN: What day is the auction and how can dealers sign up?
JA: It is on Saturday, the 19th of February. Anybody who registers with Dealer Expo can come down preview the units. If they want to register for the auction with National Powersport Auctions, we've got an expedited registration process on location. We're working on a preregistration that would allow dealers to actually have a 30-day window into NPA's value guide at no cost to them. So, if they preregister for the auction they can see what the market value is on any type of unit.

DN: How will dealers benefit from attending the auction?
JA: We're going to teach them how to generate revenue for their store. We are the largest seller of pre-owned motorcycles, ATVs and personal watercraft on this planet. We sell north of 10,000 motorcycles, ATVs and personal watercraft every single month. We just want to let dealers know that there's another tool out there to drive revenue and it doesn't have to be buying and selling products. When they want to learn how to take in trades and they need a tool to put an actual cash value on a trade. If they're registered with National Powersport Auctions, they can use our Value Guide. We're full service on transportation. We've got the least expensive transportation nationwide because of the volume that we move. We're full service in DMV. NPA has so many services that are beneficial to a dealer that the dealers are unaware of.

DN: Tell us a little bit about the education seminars NPA is offering?
JA: In conjunction with the live auction of 100-150 units, we're going to be doing dealer education on Friday [Feb. 18]. We've got two educational seminars, one of them about the macro-economic conditions of the industry and the state of the industry and how it applies to a dealership and how they can drive additional revenue into their store.
The other seminar will be about how the auction works. How not to be intimidated. How we overcome the objections and mistruths we hear about in the auction space. There are a lot of guys who are frankly afraid of what they don't know and haven't had to participate in an auction.
We all experienced amazing growth. We had 12 or 13 year double-digit compounded annual growth rate in the space and for the last couple of years we've had a cleansing period. It happens in every other industry so guys need to know how the auctions work and how they have a channel to not only purchase pre-owned units, but to consign units that they can pick up on their area, make some wholesale margin on them and not necessarily have to retail them.
We'll cover both of those topics twice on Friday, twice on Saturday. We'll have a mock auction from 2 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to get people a little bit more comfortable with it, and then we'll hit it hard and sell about 150 units from 2:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

DN: Tell us a little about the listings that will appear in the Show Dailies.
JA: There will be full catalog of the units up for auction, complete with pictures in the Show Daily newspapers.