• Poll
Are traditional website form submissions dead?

Are traditional online leads dead?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

I started selling cars in 2012, and a lot has changed since then from a consumer behavior standpoint... but one thing hasn't. The dealer's obsession with more leads. Sure... more opportunities to do business are great, but processing and answering them with a rigorous follow-up schedule is expensive and can be fruitless.

A while back, many vendors came out with products designed to engage customers and capture their information... oftentimes with techniques like dangling the golden "trade value" or "soft pull preapproval" carrot in front of the customer to get the lead. Heaven forbid we run into one of the "do you want $500 more dollars off your trade" exit intent popups on the website, but dealers still use them.

Customers are savvier now and are filling out these forms at a rate much lower than in previous years... because they are getting the data they want, and they are smart enough to understand their information is the currency... but it doesn't make them anymore / less likely to buy a car.

The data says:

- Most low intent leads don't answer the phone or respond
- To continue to pressure customers with high-touch follow-up strategies on low intent forms is internally inefficient (and costly)
- Thank you pages and dead ends in the digital process slow down deals - you have to reengage the customer if your human response takes longer than 10 minutes

So... what's the point? Should we focus on quality transactional interactions instead?

Are low intent forms even worth it... Or should CTA's lead the customer somewhere more meaningful?

Is there still a place in the dealers' digital strategy for old-fashioned short-form lead gen as part of a higher-funnel marketing strategy?

Would love to know your thoughts!
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Upcoming (December) FTC Regulations

We are starting to hear more about the new FTC Regulations. There seems to be some overlap or discrepancy between proposed Federal Regulations and existing State Regulations.

Does anyone or has anyone dug into these new regulations and simplified it to the point that you have actually made decisions regarding what changes you will be adopting? This goes for Dealers and Vendors alike. I am interested in this.
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Dealers are the a$$holes for "markups" but what about the OEM??

Ford raises price of electric F-150 Lightning by up to $8,500 due to ‘significant’ battery cost increases

  • Ford Motor is increasing the starting prices of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup due to “significant material cost increases and other factors.”
  • The starting prices for the 2023 F-150 Lightning will now range from about $47,000 to $97,000, up between $6,000 and $8,500, depending on the model
  • Ford is the latest automaker to increase pricing of its newest electric vehicles amid rising inflation and commodity costs.

Ford, GM Raise Truck Prices as They Fight Their Own Dealers' Price Gouging

  • Some F-150 models are up by $6000–$7000 for 2023, while Chevy has increased the MSRP of the Silverado three times so far this year.

GM requires Buick, GMC buyers to buy $1,500 OnStar subscription

  • GM now requires all Buick, GMC and Cadillac Escalade buyers to pay $1,500 for a 3-year subscription to OnStar.

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BREAKING news! Carvana & Vroom is bleeding cash. Is Ecommerce in auto DOA?

Based on Vroom's & Carvana's news, Ecommerce in auto retail maybe DOA. :shakehd::rip:

Yesterday, @Alexander Lau finds:
Used car site Vroom lays off staff, 25%-50% says source, as it halts Dallas and Indiana operations

The layoffs come in the wake of tumultuous times for some of Vroom’s other competitors.

In the UK, both Carspring and Hellocar shut down last year. Shift, meanwhile, laid off staff and paused operations in at least one market, but also eventually raised more funding led by BMW.

Perhaps biggest of all was Beepi, which blew through $150 million in funding before two potential sales fell through and it was sold for parts.
Today, Carvana reports:
Carvana stock tanks after company reports wider quarterly loss
Shares of Carvana Co. CVNA, -14.35% fell more than 7% late Tuesday after the company reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and revenue that also missed expectations. Carvana, a platform for buying used cars online, said it lost $47 million in the quarter, or 45 cents a share, compared with a loss of $36 million, or 26 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose to $265 million, from $107 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report a loss of 39 cents a share on sales of $270 million.​

Any companies that Deduplicate CRM Data

Does anyone know of any company that can de-duplicate our records in VinSolutions? I am trying to clean up our CRM before we begin deleting records with the new FTC Regulations going into effect in December. We, and i'm sure everyone does, have tens of thousands of service records which do not match sales records, sales records which were never merged together, etc...

I don't want to end up deleting customer sales data from 10 years ago when they have been servicing the same vehicle we sold them ever since. New regulations will only allow us to keep records where there is a legitimate reason, like recent sales/service/parts/body shop records.

Vinsolutions claims they have not such ability nor do they offer a paid for service to do this and we simply can not take the months to manually do this for all our records.

Any help or direction would be appreciated.


Ian Deveroux
Internet Marketing Director
[email protected]

PR & News Auto Dealers Can Benefit from Cost Segregation Studies

Cost segregation studies can be one of the most advantageous tax strategies available to dealers who own property. Accelerating depreciation deductions lowers taxable income and taxes due. The auto dealership industry is prime for accelerating tax deductions and generating cash flow through cost segregation studies. From specialty equipment in service areas to required image enhancements and renovations, accelerated deductions are hidden within your auto dealership facility.

Based on the data you provide, we present you with a Feasibility Report allowing you to see how much your immediate benefit will be.
An average Cost Segregation Study offers approximately $200,000 in benefit per property.


QR Codes - In or Out?

QR Codes... has this been a hot topic lately. I was never completely sold on QR codes. I look at my entire family and only my sister and I figured out how to use them. My father, for example, has a smart phone and if you asked him to scan a QR code, it might take a couple of hours for him to figure it out (the need to download an app is their biggest drawback in my opinion). My mother - I don't think she owns a smart phone, so she's out.

"But Phil, their old." Maybe they are. ;) But I'm a techie and so is my sister. We get it and we still don't use them, other than to say we gave it a try. If I look at my closest friends, they don't use them. They all have fancy smart phones and I bet only a few have the software installed. (Its probably because I told them how to do it).

I have always said text messaging is for the masses. It may not be cool or flashy... but you know, even my father and mother can text.

These articles put an interesting twist on the future of QR codes and NFC. Industry titan Google is stepping out of the QR Code game. I think that says something. Will they be the first of many? Most likely not, and QR Codes will stick around, but there may be better technology out there soon.

Google Kills Off Those Little Square Codes You Scan With Your Phone (GOOG)

Google Throws Its Weight Behind NFC - Tech Europe - WSJ

Google Ends QR Code Initiative - PCWorld

Guess we will see how it all works out. If you have any thoughts about QR Codes and their importance, please share them with me. I really want to like them ;)
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PR & News Can you guess the value of a trade-in?

Easily one of the most fun videos we (TradePending) have put out this year.

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We sat down with four of our favorite customers at NADA 2022. They’re all experts and professionals in the automotive industry, but not experts at valuing vehicles. We decided to make them squirm a bit by guessing the value of a trade-in. The squirm factor was amplified by all of the market volatility on used vehicle prices happening at the time.

Kudos to these gentlemen for being good sports about the whole thing.

  • Shaun “Niff” Kniffin, Germain Automotive
  • Scott Skougard, Lithia Motors, Inc
  • Peter Deiser, Ed Morse Automotive
  • Paul Schnell, Alpha Auto Group

Accountants are not feeling particularly optimistic right now:

It seems that many view the economy as hanging by a thread, according to a Q2 survey that polled 949 accountants, including 100 CFOs, released last month.

The survey, which has been conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants for over 10 years on a quarterly basis, found that confidence in the North American economy has declined to levels last seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Institute of Management Accountants said their forecast, formed by a wide range of accountants, is vital, because they get “insider views on the macroeconomic environment, within different geographies, from the perspective of someone who’s dealing with the numbers on a daily basis.”

The accountants surveyed cited inflation and the global political environment as two trends fueling their bleak outlook, but supply shortages and supply-chain issues remain the highest-ranked risk. Confidence in North America is particularly grim.

US business owners of all types and sizes need to take action now.


How do Dealership Owners Buy Cars?

I am working on getting my auto dealer license (CA). This will be a side hustle for me, so I am projecting to buy/sell 5 +/- cars per year (because I love cars). I own a C-Corporation and I am the only employee which gives me a lot of freedom. Here is my question: What is the best way for an owner to obtain a car for personal use (including use by my spouse and kids) while minimizing income tax and sales tax? How to dealership owners typically buy cars for themselves?

Uncle Joe's Make Over Diary


Dear Diary. I am going to press into virgin territory and begin the Used Car King.com makeover. My goals are to DOUBLE lead counts with no new ad dollars spent (aka double the conversion rate) and boost engagement metrics 25% (time on site, pages seen, etc).

Phase1 for makeover for Used Car King - Used Cars & Trucks | Syracuse, Utica, Binghamton, Rochester, Central New York REQUIRES talking to our shoppers to see what they like and dont like.

I've added the free 4Q survey to the site to get a read on the overall score of my site.

I'm a big believer in Avinash Kaushik's belief that shopping is a TASK and web sites are here to help shoppers COMPLETE TASKS.

Survey questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
  2. Were you able to complete your task today?
  3. If you were not able to complete your task today, why not?
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more as it comes...
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Cars.com Cars.com Launches “Instant Offer” Nationwide, Empowers Consumers to Claim Highest Offer From a Local Dealer and Sell Their Car Instantly

Cars.com Has Generated More Than 5,000 Qualified Cash Offers for Consumers
Since Launch to Select Markets in May

50% of Consumers Planning to Sell a Car Prefer to Trade In Their Used Vehicle at Dealership

CHICAGO (Aug. 1, 2022) — Americans have several options when it comes to selling their car, but half (50%) prefer to work directly with a local dealership, according to a recent survey by car-shopping marketplace Cars.com (NYSE:CARS). While consumers have long been able to sell their cars to other consumers on Cars.com, they can now take things a step further.1 Instant Offer, powered by Accu-Trade, is a new capability on Cars.com that lets consumers tap the company’s large network of nearly 20,000 dealers across the country to sell their used car instantly. Consumers are able to get a competitive cash offer from a local dealership in their area and pick up a check the same day.

“About 40% of the 27 million monthly shoppers on Cars.com have a car to trade in before purchasing a new one, and we wanted to offer a seamless experience for those consumers to connect with local dealers and have a convenient, safe and fast place to sell their car,” said Doug Miller, president and chief commercial officer at Cars.com.2 “Our new Instant Offer capability curates the best offer for a consumer and enables them to sell their used car to a qualified local retailer, collect a check and purchase a new vehicle all in the same day.”

As vehicle inventory levels continue to be a concern, Cars.com’s new Instant Offer allows consumers to get a competitive cash offer for their used car while also supporting local dealerships with much-needed inventory. Consumers are already taking advantage: Since its roll out in May to select markets, Cars.com’s new solution has generated more than 5,000 Instant Offers and is expected to scale rapidly as the product goes nationwide.2

Cars.com also released new digital advertising as part of their “It’s Matchical” brand campaign to announce the new Instant Offer solution and drive awareness. Consumers interested in connecting with a dealership through Instant Offer or selling their car to another consumer can visit Cars.com/Sell.

1Cars.com Consumer Metrics, March 1, 2022

2 Cars.com internal data
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