There are benefits to online vehicle marketplaces for both public and private fleets.  -  Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

There are benefits to online vehicle marketplaces for both public and private fleets.

Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

The ongoing supply chain crisis has hit just about every part of the auto industry. Public and private fleets place vehicle orders, only for those orders to then be canceled days or weeks later due to lack of availability. It’s leading some fleets to turn to used vehicles when needed. Government fleets can bridge these gaps by selling vehicles that still have plenty of life left in them.

Municibid, a national online government auction marketplace, is one of many sites municipalities, police departments, and other government agencies use to sell their old fleet vehicles and heavy equipment.

With inflation leading to higher vehicle prices and the supply chain crisis causing vehicle order cancellations, you might think that would lead governments to hold onto vehicles longer, meaning fewer options on sites like Municibid. But that hasn’t been an issue, at least yet, company CEO and Founder Greg Berry said.

Keeping things Moving

Online auction marketplaces can help both public and private fleets continue to do the important work they need to do.

“If they’re waiting for a new front-end loader, let’s say, and the expected delivery time is not for six months to a year and they need something now, we are a great alternative for that,” Berry said.

Depending on the specific item being sold, the government agency selling it may require it to be picked up, rather than delivering it. Berry said he has seen businesses that are willing to make the trip across the country to pick up a much-needed vehicle or piece of heavy equipment if it means filling a gap for a fleet.

Searching for Parts

The supply chain crisis has also made it difficult for fleets to find very specific, uncommon parts for vehicles and equipment. Berry said in some cases, businesses – and even vehicle and equipment dealers – make purchases on Municibid simply for the valuable parts.

Cashing In

Commercial fleets aren’t the only ones who benefit from these marketplaces. Government fleets can use the money obtained through surplus sales to purchase new vehicles and equipment. In this case, inflation works in governments’ favor, because it can lead to higher auction prices.

Used vehicle pricing on Municibid has been up 20-30% in recent months.

“With general inflation, we saw it last year especially and it continues into this year obviously, that has really helped governments earn more money for their surplus. Especially with vehicles in general, and heavy equipment,” Berry said.

Even with businesses cutting back financially amid the recession, vehicle and equipment sales continue to flow in.

“People are still buying things, and buying them at true market value,” Berry explained.

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