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3rd Party Listings

Dec 19, 2018
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Bill
I know that I am probably going to get ripped to shreds here since this forum seems to generally lead towards a disdain for 3rd party listings, but it seems my dealer group (Rydell) is leaning towards that opinion as well, so I am obviously missing something. We track our lead sources pretty heavily here and it seems to me as though we get a pretty good return on our investment. For instance, last month I attributed sales to my 3rd party listings as follows: 6 CarFax, 5 CarGurus, 4 AutoTrader, and 4 Cars.com. I pay $7,200 per month between the 4 which means I'm paying about $380 per sale. I know people have some tight measures of ROI that they like to follow, but I am not interested in missing out on any of those sales. So what am I missing?
 
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scianciolo

Boss
Oct 22, 2019
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Steven
Can I ask how large your inventory is? Paying $7,200 per month for all four 3rd party sites seems extremely low! We are over $7,200 with just AutoTrader and Cargurus and our packages are not even their highest.
 
Dec 19, 2018
92
97
Awards
1
First Name
Bill
Can I ask how large your inventory is? Paying $7,200 per month for all four 3rd party sites seems extremely low! We are over $7,200 with just AutoTrader and Cargurus and our packages are not even their highest.
We're a smaller dealer, so that plays a role. We only have about 300 cars at our normal levels. By the way, if you didn't listen to Refresh Friday, they noted the fact that our prices for our 3rd Party sites are based on our inventory levels, so why are we paying the same with our inventory levels the way they are. After watching, I called and got my Cars.com and my AutoTrader bills reduced. Note that the $7,200 was before the price reductions. I only have 100 cars now, so it would have been nice to get my bill cut in thirds like my inventory, but that was probably asking a lot. Ha.
 

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
354
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Christian
Our only 3PLP at the moment is CarFax, it's dirt cheap, gives us a lot of trade and sale leads, in addition to the vehicle history reports.

Apparently, my post about Gurus made it to some of the management team at CG, as I have received a number of contacts from them about it :rofl:

If you are at a trackable $380/sold, that's not bad. You should also be receiving some additional opportunities from people who don't submit trackable leads, but have seen the inventory, and call, browse to the site, or just show up.

My thought is drive as much traffic to the site as possible, through organic, paid search, social promotion, etc - as that *should* lead to better quality, lower cost opportunities than with the third parties.
 

Alex Vetter

Green Pea
Mar 23, 2011
11
8
First Name
Alex
I know that I am probably going to get ripped to shreds here since this forum seems to generally lead towards a disdain for 3rd party listings, but it seems my dealer group (Rydell) is leaning towards that opinion as well, so I am obviously missing something. We track our lead sources pretty heavily here and it seems to me as though we get a pretty good return on our investment. For instance, last month I attributed sales to my 3rd party listings as follows: 6 CarFax, 5 CarGurus, 4 AutoTrader, and 4 Cars.com. I pay $7,200 per month between the 4 which means I'm paying about $380 per sale. I know people have some tight measures of ROI that they like to follow, but I am not interested in missing out on any of those sales. So what am I missing?
Only thing you are likely missing is counting your web site traffic that Cars.com generates into your site that converts faster and is attributed to your website sales. We don’t withhold your information to spike leads and instead focus on driving more people directly into your website which converts to sales at higher rates than leads direct from 3rd parties. Do this analysis and we move to your #1 source of sales.
 

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
354
331
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1
First Name
Christian
Only thing you are likely missing is counting your web site traffic that Cars.com generates into your site that converts faster and is attributed to your website sales. We don’t withhold your information to spike leads and instead focus on driving more people directly into your website which converts to sales at higher rates than leads direct from 3rd parties. Do this analysis and we move to your #1 source of sales.
Great to see you posting, Alex!
 

georgenenni

3rd Base Coach
Apr 13, 2012
176
136
First Name
George
I am mostly a defender of third-party classified sites, as they can be an efficient channel to drive vehicle views, website traffic and true conversions. Since attribution to sold vehicles is typically challenging for dealers, we focus on keeping cost per VDP under $.50, and cost per true conversion under $50. Of course you need to follow those leads into the CRM for quality measurement. It regularly amazes me to take on new customer-dealerships spending $10-$18,000 a month on paid search, with zero keyword inspection, and thousands in monthly wasted dollars. At the same time they are cancelling a third-party that is delivering true conversions at 1/10th of the price of paid search. If you don’t have a solid framework for measuring digital marketing success, including most important KPI‘s and benchmarks you’re really flying blind.
 
Dec 19, 2018
92
97
Awards
1
First Name
Bill
Only thing you are likely missing is counting your web site traffic that Cars.com generates into your site that converts faster and is attributed to your website sales. We don’t withhold your information to spike leads and instead focus on driving more people directly into your website which converts to sales at higher rates than leads direct from 3rd parties. Do this analysis and we move to your #1 source of sales.
As far as referral traffic to our site goes, Cars.com is 3rd after AT and CG. I can't say I have anything set up to show at what speed they convert or whether those referrals converted at all.

I can say that as far as purely internet lead sales goes that Cars.com is the leader. We get more total internet leads from Cars.com than any other site and they do convert at a slightly higher rate as well.

For the phone I get more CG leads with AT second. AT has converted higher on the phone than CG though. For whatever reason, I get very few Cars.com phone leads. I have 45 CG, 30 AT, and only 7 Cars.com phone leads this year.

We're still working to improve our walk-in/lot lead conversions, so I don't have reliable data on that yet.
 
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ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
354
331
Awards
1
First Name
Christian
As far as referral traffic to our site goes, Cars.com is 3rd after AT and CG. I can't say I have anything set up to show at what speed they convert or whether those referrals converted at all.

I can say that as far as purely internet lead sales goes that Cars.com is the leader. We get more total internet leads from Cars.com than any other site and they do convert at a slightly higher rate as well.

For the phone I get more CG leads with AT second. AT has converted higher on the phone than CG though. For whatever reason, I get very few Cars.com phone leads. I have 45 CG, 30 AT, and only 7 Cars.com phone leads this year.

We're still working to improve our walk-in/lot lead conversions, so I don't have reliable data on that yet.

How are the phone number captures for the lead sources?