September 2009

Oil Analysis Improves Buyer Confidence
The Case of Automobile Auctions

by Tom Hunsaker, Regional Sales Manager

In addition to saving consumers money by impacting preventive maintenance practices, oil analysis is proving to be an asset in the resale value of equipment.  For example, in the automobile auction industry, vehicles with oil analysis data sell faster and at higher retail prices than those without these records. 

ALS Staveley Services recently tracked the experiences of a national automobile auction house. The auction house made side-by-side comparisons of vehicles listed with oil analysis information to vehicles listed without oil analysis information. The impact of the availability of oil analysis data on vehicle sales was undeniable.

The auction house selected vehicles that had not previously been selling and conducted oil analysis testing on these vehicles to identify general internal conditions.  The vehicles were offered again, but this time the listing included the oil analysis data.  The ensuing results were enlightening:

  • More than 80% of the vehicles relisted with the oil analysis data sold in less than three days. 

  • The vehicles that sold after including the oil analysis data were sold at a higher list price than the price at which they were previously marketed.

It is not difficult to understand the significant ROI (return on investment) the auction company realized in this case.  The auction company must take into consideration:

  • the cost of housing a vehicle that is not moving

  • the eventual lower sale price that it is forced to accept in order to move the vehicle

  • the ongoing marketing costs incurred to try to move the vehicle 

How much is this worth?  While each case is different, it could be worth thousands of dollars.  The typical cost of oil analysis with ALS Staveley Services is a tiny fraction of this cost.

How Does Oil Analysis Increase Buyer Confidence?

A vehicle with an internal engine or transmission problem is a costly disaster waiting to happen.  Internal, functional problems are not usually detected in sight inspections.  Moreover, dealer reports simply state vehiclerepair histories. 

Oil runs throughout a vehicle’s components much like blood runs throughout a human being.  As oil travels through the various systems, it picks up “clues” on internal engine and transmission performance (for example: particles, elements, fluid leaks).  When a small sample of the vehicle’s oil is tested in a professional laboratory setting, these “clues” can tell a real-time story of the vehicle’s internal condition.

The human eye can see dings and scratches on the outside of a vehicle; we help people see the dings and scratches that may be present on the internal machinery.  For buyers, this means more confidence in their purchase.  For sellers, this can mean a quicker sales cycle, improved pricing, and increased customer satisfaction.

Return to homepage.