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Top 8 inventory sources for automotive dealers

Top 8 inventory sources for auto dealers

One of the keys to a successful dealership is effective inventory sourcing. You know what kind of inventory sells best on your lot, but sometimes finding the right vehicles can be challenging. One of the questions our AFC team often answers is, “where can I find the inventory I need?” We have a ton of recommendations, including any of our 1,300+ approved sources, but here is a shortlist of both online and in-person options to explore.

Online auto auctions and marketplaces

Whether you’re bidding in a live auction from anywhere in the country or you’re browsing a marketplace at your own pace, online auctions and marketplaces are a highly efficient way to locate vehicles, not only in your local market but across the country. Here are three online marketplaces that AFC dealers love:

  • OPENLANE US. The all-new OPENLANE US brings a fully digital and highly efficient dealer-to-dealer platform featuring a 24/7 “bid-ask” marketplace, along with exclusive access to off-lease inventory not available on other marketplaces. OPENLANE US offers seamless integration not only with AFC floorplans (or floor plans), but also with vehicle inspections and transportation.
  • OPENLANE Canada. OPENLANE Canada brings the best of TradeRev and ADESA Canada into one place. With over 60,000 vehicles available every month, 15,000 unique buyers and sellers, and a variety of auction types, it’s never been easier to source and buy your next vehicle. You can even set your AFC floorplan as a default payment method to make the purchasing even easier!
  • IAA. IAA is another online source offering both salvage and run-and-drive whole car inventory. They offer a range of buyer products and services to help dealers make the best purchasing decisions, as well. The cherry on this sundae is that again, AFC floorplans are an integrated payment option.

Dealers know what kind of inventory sells best on their lots, but sometimes finding the right vehicles can be challenging.

Hybrid auto auctions

Many auctions have taken advantage of the ease of virtual sales but maintain a physical location for dealers to preview inventory; and some locations still run live sales! Here are two hybrid auctions where you can get the best of both worlds.

  • ADESA U.S. With more than 56 physical auction locations, ADESA U.S. also offers live virtual sales with ADESA Simulcast® and Simulcast+, a 24/7 bid-ask option, and in-lane bidding at select locations. ADESA U.S. focuses on wholesale inventory and also has the option to set AFC as a default payment method.
  • CarMax Auctions. CarMax Auctions are a unique source of inventory because they are only available for licensed dealers and are not open to the public—these vehicles are consumer-bought trades being resold in an auction environment. CarMax owns all their inventory, and they sell between 97-100% of their vehicles at every auction. Sales are 100% virtual, so you have access to more inventory, but you can preview at any location near you. AFC floorplans can be integrated into your CarMax Auctions payment options too!

Independent physical auto auctions

There are hundreds of independent auctions across the U.S. and Canada that offer more great sources of inventory where dealers can touch, feel, and smell a vehicle before purchasing it; and AFC is an acceptable payment method at more than 1,300 of them. To find an independent auction near you where you can use your AFC financing, visit

Consumer trade-ins

If you’re looking for something outside of the auction, consumer trades are a great option. With trade-ins, you can take in a vehicle, recon it, and have it ready for resale the very next day. AFC also offers a Lien Payoff Service to make the process seamless.

These are just a few of the inventory options today’s dealers have to search and buy in the way that suits their needs best. To see where you can shop and use your AFC credit line, use the interactive map on our Locations page:

Disclaimer: Use of auction sources is subject to third-party agreements. AFC does not guarantee the ability to use any auctions and examples are for illustrative purposes only. Dealers should consult their own advisors to make independent business decisions regarding inventory sources. AFC, ADESA Canada, TradeRev, and BacklotCars are all part of the OPENLANE (formerly KAR Global) family of brands.