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Autotrader vs Cars.com Value comparison

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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Jeff
For 2012 so far... cars.com email leads coming in at 3:1 vs Autotrader.

Anyone else?
The Nissan dealer I work closely with mirrors this Joe. 3:1. In return we usually have more "recorded" sales. But lets agree, AutoTrader could care less about the forum fill lead. So much so they all but hide the dame thing and have done nothing to optimize it. Heck, they lay as well just remove it all together IMO. I'm not bashing AT here as I agree that most consumers on AutoTrader do Call, Visit the Dealers website or Show Up. However, I do believe they miss out on additional conversion.

I've always said (for AT and Cars.com) to allow the dealership to determine their main "Call to Action". If the dealer is dialed into Chat, then allow Chat to be the defined call to action. If the dealers want email leads, have the form be the defined Call to Action. Maybe one dealer would rather have the AutoBiography (print or send to phone) with an extra incentive included at the pdf brochure as their main call to action. Just a thought.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Couldn't agree more - Autotrader actually makes it hard to find what you are looking for. Having to scroll through ad after ad is pretty cumbersome

hmmm... A jewel of an observation here. Lower lead counts (AT vs Cars.com) may be related to not being a "premium" dealer.

I am NOT an Autotrader premium dealer. Any premium dealers care to weigh in?

I am NOT a vAuto velocity dealer (although we use vauto to score ourselves) Any velocity dealers care to weigh in?
 

ddavis

Sr. Refresher
Jun 28, 2011
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hmmm... A jewel of an observation here. Lower lead counts (AT vs Cars.com) may be related to not being a "premium" dealer.

I am NOT an Autotrader premium dealer. Any premium dealers care to weigh in?

I am NOT a vAuto velocity dealer (although we use vauto to score ourselves) Any velocity dealers care to weigh in?
Joe, I know that you have the Chevy store and the three large used car centers. How much, if any, do you consider CarMax as a model?

I think that jberna was looking at the clutter more than the individual packages. In Phoenix, I could go with the featured package and still be at the top of the listings. I couldn't see the benefit in paying extra. I'm seeing a lot of new car listings (some volume franchises), in the premium section, without a discounted price, description and with stock photos. You have to go down to the standard listings for discounted prices and they don't permit descriptions and actual pictures. I seriously don't understand the thought process here. Dallas seemed to be a much more competitive market.

Cars.com has always been my ROI leader due to price. I closed a higher percentage of my AutoTrader leads. I think that having the MSRP and a discounted price (new cars), on the SRP helps along with having a brief description. If you have a discounted price, again on new cars, the customer has no way of knowing unless you put the MSRP in the comments section. They would have to click on the vehicle to learn this.

I'm still a big fan of vAuto. I don't think that you have to have the lowest price. There are just too many other factors to consider. The great thing is that it gives you the information to make that determination. If you are not careful, you could be pricing against yourself.

I have never felt comfortable taking full responsibility for pricing new and used cars. I have always been compensated on volume where the new and used car Sales Managers were paid on gross.
 
Aug 4, 2015
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David
AutoTrader.com vs Cars.com: I worked for Cox for years and there is no way to compare because each reports in a way to make themselves look best and do not report in the same way. There is only one way to know for sure...
 

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
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Ed
I'm going to step-in here and vouch for @Dave Christiansen - He's a 'Noob' here on the Forum and probably not familiar with the rules against blatant self-promotion, but with that said, I've known him for years and I know for a fact that his heart is in the right place; wanting to help dealers...
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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Jeff
AutoTrader.com vs Cars.com: I worked for Cox for years and there is no way to compare because each reports in a way to make themselves look best and do not report in the same way. There is only one way to know for sure

...resurrects a post from the archives and slides in a self promotion. Way. To. Go. :-)

Sorry Dave but I did a teeny bit of editing and removed your logo/image.

It's nothing personal. I've seen too many forums go sour when everyone is allowed to pitch and promote their own products.

Jump over here to get familiar with some of the rules and tips to better your experience.

Please...stick around, participate and engage. We've been at this for 10 years now.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Dave, welcome aboard. Ed gave you one hellofa intro. Looking forward to your thoughts.

The DR forums is a community of innovators and early adopters. We're highly focused on D.I.S.C. (does it sell cars). Vendors (me included) make every effort avoid the "problem-product-solution" narrative (i.e. you have this problem, my product is your solution).

HTH
Joe



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