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CarGurus Stealing Leads?

Christopher Reggie

Lot Lizard
Jul 31, 2019
First Name

Across the automotive industry, many dealers are utilizing a CarGurus third-party endorsement badge on their dealership’s website. According to CarGurus’ website, third party endorsement badges help dealers, “close more sales by showing customers your best deals.” What dealers don’t know, is an endorsement badge is actually a lead form that CarGurus is using to “capture”, “steal”, and re-market YOUR leads, FROM YOUR website to YOUR competitors.

As shown in the linked video, minutes after submitting an inquiry through the endorsement badge the customer receives an automated email prompting them to view “similar cars.” Clicking “similar cars” takes the prospect to cargurus.com where your competitor’s vehicles are listed. For the next two weeks, the customer will also be aggressively retargeted by CarGurus.


Additionally, when the initial prospect’s lead is delivered to your dealership’s CRM, the leads are sourced as a CarGurus lead when in fact the prospect originated on YOUR website.

Not only are 3rd party scripts and widgets diluting your website’s attributions, but they are also negatively impacting site speed. I encourage dealers to evaluate every 3rd party scrip on their website and remove old or unnecessary scripts. Many scripts and widgets do more harm than good. As it’s been said many times before… Less is more.

cargurus-thief logo .jpg

Jeff Kershner

May 1, 2005
First Name
CarGurus has been playing these games for a long time now. @DrewAment brought this exact issue up several months ago. And @joe.pistell pointed this little trick out in March of last year. @joe.pistell brought up the crooked ways of Cargurus way back on 2010! 10 Years ago!

When they introduced those value badges way back when, I knew they were going to be bad news.

Why do you think so many companies in our industry try getting away with this shit?


Green Pea
Mar 13, 2015
First Name
When I consult with dealers, I try to explain this and it often falls on deaf ears. I like to refer to them as the Somali Pirates of Automotive lead providers. The fear of what will be lost if they dont use their platform often wins out, because they have had poor partnerships with their PPC companies who are also just there to take their money. It is a very difficult cycle to break.


Mar 17, 2014
First Name
Unfortunately, this Car Gurus deal is getting uglier by the day.

In some markets, Car Gurus is sending lead inquiries to Carvana hours before the dealer that owns that car knows that anyone has submitted an inquiry on their car. In addition, customers are being solicited for an "Instant Trade In Offer" from Carvana. And finally, these shoppers are being solicited for auto loans as well.

I didn't believe this because I tried it on my own Car Gurus inventory. I didn't experience this.

Then I saw screen shot and screen recording evidence that support this. These are trusted peers that are showing this happening to them. Not 1 or 2 dealers, dozens of dealers. These dealers are all independents but that is because I am an independent and these are my peers. It may be happening to franchise stores too. I don't know. The independents are cancelling in waves right now.

Supposedly, Car Gurus launched this as a "test" in some markets. I don't know. I don't feel good about this.

Another thing that I have seen video evidence of, when the filter to "Remove Delivered Vehicles" is selected, the Carvana inventory still doesn't disappear.

Supposedly Car Gurus terminated the Carvana referrals and solicitations on trade in vehicles Friday or Saturday.

I sell some cars on Car Gurus. I don't make much gross on those sales because....well, we all know why. I am just having trouble trusting this company right now. We shouldn't have to be worrying about or watching for this shit. It just gets old.
  • 1Like
Reactions: Jeff Kershner
Dec 4, 2018
First Name
I watched the video.

I'm gonna be brutally honest here.

If you put that button or let CarGurus convince you to put that button on your website, shame on you.

The functionality literally just opens up the VDP on Cargurus .com - WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT OR ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN ON THEIR SITE?

Yes, the issue and answer is education, but sometimes it's also just common sense.

This is a common sense issue here.

DEALERS: You invest thousands of dollars every month - sometimes tens of thousands - in getting people to your website. Why would you then send them right through your shop and out the back door?

Anyone operating a business should know this.

Shame on CarGurus, yes, but also shame on any dealer that allows this to happen on their site.