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Anti-Dealer messages on websites run by Cars.com

Jun 21, 2010
17
2
First Name
Bryan
Hi All,

Some of you may be aware of this already, but for me it was a shock recently to come across the following two websites which are owned and operated by Cars.com:

whypaysticker.com
carpricesecrets.com

Both websites are used as part of their New Leads Plus program (basically a lead buying service similar to Autobytel, Dealix, etc.) which my rep explained is intended to reach a different demographic than the regular Cars.com customer. I get the rational to an extent, but feel that using negative stereotypes of dealers to entice customers to submit a lead does more harm than good to our industry and is particularly offensive when being used by a company such as Cars.com who makes it's living on the back of us dealers. I have had a long-term relationship with Cars.com and get a reasonable ROI on their product....but seeing these two sites makes me question whether I want to continue giving them our business. Am curious to everyone else's thoughts after you check out the sites...

Bryan
 
Feb 19, 2010
108
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Awards
1
First Name
Bruce
Hi All,

Some of you may be aware of this already, but for me it was a shock recently to come across the following two websites which are owned and operated by Cars.com:

whypaysticker.com
carpricesecrets.com

Both websites are used as part of their New Leads Plus program (basically a lead buying service similar to Autobytel, Dealix, etc.) which my rep explained is intended to reach a different demographic than the regular Cars.com customer. I get the rational to an extent, but feel that using negative stereotypes of dealers to entice customers to submit a lead does more harm than good to our industry and is particularly offensive when being used by a company such as Cars.com who makes it's living on the back of us dealers. I have had a long-term relationship with Cars.com and get a reasonable ROI on their product....but seeing these two sites makes me question whether I want to continue giving them our business. Am curious to everyone else's thoughts after you check out the sites...

Bryan

How do you know this? I can't find anything that would lead me to believe Cars.com owns them...
 
Jun 21, 2010
17
2
First Name
Bryan
Correct, they don't have any Cars.com branding on the site intentionally because of the nature of the sites. I was told directly from my Cars.com rep that they own and run these sites. Call your rep and they will confirm the same thing.
 
Feb 19, 2010
108
6
Awards
1
First Name
Bruce
Correct, they don't have any Cars.com branding on the site intentionally because of the nature of the sites. I was told directly from my Cars.com rep that they own and run these sites. Call your rep and they will confirm the same thing.

They are registered to an LLC home based business it seems...

FWIW the rep could just be spreading water cooler talk
 
Aug 3, 2010
137
29
First Name
Art
WhyPaySticker is associated with Classified Ventures, according to the WHOIS:

WhyPaysTicker.com - New Car Buyers: Never Pay Sticker. Get The Best Price On Your New Car

And according to this website, Classified Ventures is the parent company of Cars.

Classified Ventures® LLC

The WHOIS for CarPriceSecrets is less clear. It is associated with a residential address in Michigan, about 80mi east of Chicago. It also has a Yahoo email address for the contact. Could be a product of Cars.com, but they covered their tracks a bit better on it.

CarPriceSecrets.com - Get the Lowest New Car Price Quotes at CarPriceSecrets.com

Edit: if you look at the dealer page here: http://www.carpricesecrets.com/dealer
the phone number listed is also listed on the classified ventures website. Probably the same.
 
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Jun 21, 2010
17
2
First Name
Bryan
Yep, thanks for digging on that. Classified Ventures is Cars.com. CarPriceSecrets.com is theirs as well. Disturbing even further in my opinion that they are trying to really hide the connection.

In case anyone is wondering, I came on to this because I received an AutoBytel lead that we had the customer tell us he was tricked into filling out a form and did not want to be contacted. I asked my AutoBytel rep what the original source of the lead was (so I could potentially filter out future leads from that source) and was told the source was "Classified Ventures", which is Cars.com. This brought up another issue as to why I was paying AutoBytel for Cars.com leads (since I am signed up directly with Cars.com). Upon investigating this with my Cars.com rep, he informed me the lead came from this New Leads Plus program which is seperate from the standard Cars.com package, and these two sites are part of that New Leads Plus program.

Would love some further opinions on this from everyone. Was not planning on breaking my relationship with Cars.com, but this really bugs me...
 
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john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
1,013
668
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1
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John
Why does this bug dealers? Seriously.

The intent, admittedly, is to attract those who are anti-dealer, and... wait for it.... wait for it.... here it comes.... direct them to.....

DEALERS!

Hello?!!!

Marketing Rule #1: Fish where the fish are. Dissect Rule #1 into components. One of the components would be: If there are fish there, go there.

Are there fish in the "Don't Like Dealers Pond?" Duh. So you don't want that fish??

That's like saying you don't want to eat this delicious trout 'cuz it was caught on a worm instead of a fly.

Turn your nose up to bait fishing all you want, all you fly-fishing snobs, but my fish tastes just as sweet.

But hell, if you don't want them, don't PAY for them.
 
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ddavis

Boss
Jun 28, 2011
1,491
496
First Name
Doug
I'm starting to agree with John too often. I may need therapy. I went to whypaysticker.com and I don't see anything that is paints dealerships in a bad light. It says save hundreds from accredited dealers. I need to steal this line: "A dealership’s Internet department prices its vehicles to maximize the number of cars it sells, not the profit per car. Manufacturers decide the allocation of vehicles and dealer perks on the basis of a dealership's volume."