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Autotrader, Cars.com or KBB?

Discussion in 'Industry Gripes' started by ryanabbott, Dec 27, 2011.

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  1. ryanabbott

    ryanabbott
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    Ryan
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    Here's the problem that I am running in to now. Cars.com and Autotrader do almost nothing (trackable) for us at all. The problem is we spend $50k each for these per year. (4 stores). KBB wants our business and we can go all in with them for a price we could be okay with. Does anyone think we would really be shooting ourself in the foot by getting rid of Cars.com and Autotrader? I am seriously thinking of going this route. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. ddavis

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    AutoTrader and Cars works, for me, every time. It's display advertising just, like the newspaper, with a separate page for each new and used car. Click on one of your cars on the website. Is this the way you would present it in the newspaper? If they are well described, with great pictures and competitively priced, why wouldn't it work? When a customer sorts by model and price, are your vehicles near the top?

    I've used KBB and it is not going to generate many leads.
     
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  4. JoePistell

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    50,000 Dollar Question:
    How important is Cars and AT the car shopper? You'd think IF Cars.com and AT.com are important to the shopper, we all would hear a lot more chatter about it on the sales floor.

    I'll ask it another way... The Ultimate Test!

    If you silently discontinued AT and Cars:

    • Would your sales reps ever know? Not mine.
    • Would your managers ever know? Not mine.
    • Would your Dealer Principal ever know? Yes.
    vAuto shows us that AT and Cars can sell iron. But, does it work if your NOT a committed velocity dealer?
     
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  5. ddavis

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    Joe, what is working for the people that are not velocity minded dealers? Who is crushing it without that mindset?

    If you silently discontinued AT and Cars:
    • Would your sales reps ever know? Not mine.
    • Would your managers ever know? Not mine.
    • Would your Dealer Principal ever know? Yes Those reps and managers are like a nest full of baby birds with their beaks in the air ...feed me ..feed me ...feed me!
     
    #4 ddavis, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  6. yagoparamo

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    Wouldn't that also depend on each market? I'm sure that vAuto hasn't penetrated yet every area. Same goes for how Cars, Autotrader, KBB, etc will work. That goes even more for Cars.com where they have different network affiliations on each market therefore different advertisement budgets going to promote the site.

    But ddavis answers is as good as it gets: If ATC and Cars didn't cut it... KBB will not do better than them. ROI may be better if they charge little and provide good leads, but volume of leads will not be there.

    I checked Craigslist for your area auburn cars & trucks - by dealer classifieds - craigslist and it will not work either (very little traffic). I don't know if there is a big metro are close to you that you may try instead.

    But reversing things, Joe's note is very important to understand nowadays: Almost nothing digital pencils if you just try to analize ROI based on $$$ Vs. calls or even what you track.
     
  7. lightnup

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    Looked up Fox dealerships 100 mile radius of Auburn, NY. on AutoTrader.com. Don't know if these are your stores or not. 102 of 279 Fox used cars (36%) have no sellers comments, no inducement for shoppers to consider YOUR car vs. those with compelling pertinent comments. All are in Featured listings when it appears that you have many, many aggressive neighboring dealers with inventory in Premium listings who get seen first. All the New cars are down in the freebie Standard section with little branding. This is like putting your V6 Mustang up against a GT or Boss and wondering why you're not winning any races.

    One more thing: Are you asking EVERY walk-in whether they have looked online (you know they have) and, if so, on what site(s)? If 70% - 80% of Internet shoppers walk in without calling or emailing first, just counting trackables is only measuring 20% - 30% of a site's effectiveness, whether it's your site, ATC, cars.com or any other site. You are probably getting lot more showroom activity from cars.com and ATC than you think.
     
  8. ryanabbott

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    This, to me is the key. With the $100K combined that we pay them, I need to decide if this money would be best used elsewhere... For some reason I don't think our sales would dip at all if we dropped them. I'm just scared to make the wrong decision.
     
  9. ryanabbott

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    This is the most accurate answer that I could have received. In regards to the comments, we just hired an outside source to write them for us and they are in process. I do agree with you that walk in traffic does find us via AT. But, are those same people finding us elsewhere as well? With Autotrader I have come to see that you get out of it what you put in. We are buried to the bottom of the listings b/c we only pay $1,075 or so a month. We aren't a partner or Alpha or whatever plan they sell because it would cost us like 5K a store a month. I know that you have to spend money to make money but that's a pretty penny. My decision this year is to go all in or pull out. With what we are paying them now I don't think the juice is worth the squeeze.
     
  10. tonybell

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    I gave AutoTrader the boot 60 days ago, same thing, they claimed that 80% of the "internet business" they sent in was floor traffic. I only see a couple of cars.com leads and they are hit or miss at best. I've seen no decrease in internet traffic, and had one of our best months, (Nov.) 107 units at $1700 per copy. As far as making the wrong decision I'm sticking my 40k per year in SEO, PPC, and mobile sites.
    As far as putting in comments on every car, and doing this and that like AT wants you to do, I have many other things to do, so...do you hire someone to ensure that every car has the preferred 34 pictures, and comments? Add that to the $3057.00 per month they charge and do you really believe that 80% of AT web users turn off the computer and drive right to the store? I've been doing this for 15 years and as stated above customers and salespeople will tell you if the customer seen the car on AT.
     
  11. ryanabbott

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    This is where I think I'm headed. It would be nice to have unlimited funds and spend it on unlimited vendors but that's just not the case. I have to pick and choose the smartest places to work with.
     

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