SMA Vehicle Remarketing - Leading the Evolution of Digital Remarketing

Technology is changing the remarketing experience.

In the final quarter of 2008 as the likelihood of an economic downturn dawned dealers across the UK took steps to reduce stock levels significantly.  There was an immediate impact upon used car values, but a longer more significant change has occurred subsequently and stock levels have never returned to 2008 levels.  That change has been access to technology to source stock, quickly and effectively, often on-demand.

Remarketing technology has evolved to become one of the most important tools for maximising returns for clients. SMA was one of the first to invest in the technology to enable multi-channel auction remarketing through physical and virtual vehicle auctions and its digital toolkit has expanded rapidly since then.  The latest addition to the digital portfolio is SMA's Timed Auctions platform.

SMA's Timed Auctions are the latest digital innovation from SMA providing online access for customers to vehicles offered for sale for a specified period of time. Each vehicle has the timer clearly displayed to show when the auction will finish.

There are three options on each vehicle:

  1. Place a bid and keep checking back to see if you need to increase your bid.
  2. Place a maximum bid and allow us to bid on your behalf up to your limit
  3. Buy it now

"A virtual auction platform offers clear benefits to buyers and vendors, what we have established is that there is a real call for wider access to on-demand stock. Vendors are looking for faster distribution and higher conversions, sellers want access to stock on demand, but importantly they want it in a known and guaranteed condition so that they start to market it straight away.

"To support this we provide a unique money-back guarantee for on-line purchases on vehicles displaying a completed Fleet Inspection Report and we also provide buyers with a full description of each vehicle and a photographic portfolio to help them in their marketing" observes SMA Managing Director Bob Anderson.

In terms of buyer confidence, SMA's ViewItNow has proved to be popular. ViewItNow offers a full 360-degree view of vehicles on offer, voiced over by an SMA technician, providing a full description of the vehicle.  It is technology that allows vehicles to be brought to market more quickly, something that also helps vendors because SMA can take the auction to the vendor, completing the full assessment at the vendor's premises.  For buyers, it means stock can be sourced beyond traditional mileage restrictions because they can see the stock, have it delivered by SMA, and importantly have it guaranteed to be 'as described' with money-back support.

"SMA's Timed Auctions are simply the latest digital development, we have plans to accelerate the use of technology to work alongside our Auction Centre network.  There is a place for both options," concludes Anderson.

The SMA Digital Portfolio

As well as Timed Auctions, a range of additional well-proven digital services offered by SMA see the business growing its footprint nationwide with buyers and vendors:


  • Live Bid - is providing access to over 7,000 vehicles per week
  • BuyItNow - provides access to stock that can be purchased outside of the auction arena
  • ViewItNow - allows buyers to view still images, full condition reports plus a full 360 video and voice tour by a qualified appraiser
  • IMS - allows buyers and vendor to manage their account with SMA on-line
  • On-line Guarantee - all vehicles displaying a completed Fleet Inspection Report are covered by the exclusive SMA Online Guarantee

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Our grading system is changing

NAMA grading has been developed to provide a long awaited industry standard grading scheme to be used across all auctions within the UK.

We have now introduced NAMA grading across our sites, and over the coming weeks you will notice more vehicles being offered for sale displaying a NAMA grade. These grades are easy to identify as they are 1,2,3,4,5 and U in place of the SMA grades A,B,C,D and E.

Please make sure you have familiarised yourself with the grades. We will still produce condition reports providing additional information for each vehicle as we always have.