Information overload

  27 June 2011

Can too much information be a problem? It seems that with used car valuations this is, at least, a concern. And it was one of hot topics of conversation at last week’s Vehicle Remarketing Association conference.

There was reasoned argument on both sides.

Some felt the current monthly feed of valuations from the price guides wasn’t enough to help them buy used car stock. The argument being that toward the end of the month people hold off purchasing stock because they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen next month.

The counter argument went along the lines… if information is given more frequently, people will hold off buying more frequently.

I found myself siding with the argument for more frequent information mainly because ultimately if the data was updated near constantly then it would be impossible to keep waiting to see what’s next, or nothing would be bought – which is clearly not going to happen because businesses would collapse. Instead, buyers would use the information to their advantage – to judge a trend – before buying.

It was following this line of thought about the amount of information that could potentially be available to used car buyers, coupled to the ability to buy at online auctions, that I wondered how long it would be before a buyer’s desk looked more like a city trader’s set-up covered in three or four screens all providing near live information?

I doubt that in the short to medium term, buyers will stop going out to physical auctions. But as trust grows in these systems, an increasing amount of time will be spent analysing information on a screen before buying, than ever before.

For those of us at Auto Retail Network there is no such thing as too much information, so if you’ve got any views or stories you want to share then get in touch here.

Tristan Young

Editorial director

Auto Retail Network

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