After a full year year review of Autotrader vs. Cars.com vs. my tier 1 digital advertising it was apparent that Autotrader was costing 2-3x more per opportunity (calls/leads) compared to Cars.com and our other tier 1 advertising. I do not and will not subscribe to the notion that Autotrader or any 3rd party site produces large amount of showroom traffic. I brought in the Autotrader reps under the condition that I would not go over anything but cost per opportunity. However they tried to convince me that this was a not a fair way to review their product and my review didn't include the showroom traffic. My rebuttal was that all things being equal Cars.com, Autotrader and our tier 1 ads would produce within a marginal variance a relatively similar amount of showroom traffic however I was spending 2-3x more per opportunity with them. Aka you are charging too much! (If anyone went to NADA and saw their booth you can see where the extra profits go. Not to mention all of their recent acquisitions, advertising etc.)
During the meetings they tried to call my bluff and said if you don't like it go ahead and submit your 30 day cancellation notification. One meeting they walked out after 5-10 minutes because I refused to buy in to the fluff. Keep in mind we are a 10 store account spending serious money with them. I called the Autotrader regions sales director who defended the reps and again wouldn't budge at all.
So I did what they advised and what I have wanted to do for years. I cancelled all 10 stores. I am reinvesting the money in tier 1 and very excited to see real results. I have been with Moore and Scarry since last year and have created a plan that should help me forget about Autotrader all together.
Never before have I seen a vendor that thinks we are here for them to the level I did over the last 2 months in dealing with them.