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Does Autotrader think we're all oblivious?

lightnup

Noob
Nov 21, 2009
17
14
8
First Name
Stanley
Right now when someone searches for a used Impala within 10 miles of my zipcode they will be plowed over by a "Premium" listing for a dealership 60 MILES AWAY:cursin: OUR IMPALAS ARE NOT EVEN ABOVE THE FOLD!!!! Expand to fifty miles and the customer has to scroll down to the bottom of the earth to find the vehicle that is closest to home and the dealer that will pay the taxes that build their schools and libraries!!!
Brent, of the 7 used Impalas listed in a 10 mile radius, your Impalas are numbers 2 through 7 and the top one, your competitor's priced at $4,000 higher than any of yours, makes your listings look very good.

In a 50 mile radius, you have Impala listings on the first page.

The advent of Internet marketing has changed the shopping paradigm. Your local customers already know who you are, where you are and how to find you. Online car shoppers do not search just the local market when it's so easy to expand their available options with a few mouse clicks. Do you think they will not go search for possible better deals a little further away if you try to restrict them to looking only at your vehicles? Keep in mind that YOUR inventory is also showing up in searches that shoppers from 50 miles or more away are performing. Knowing that shoppers will travel a long distance to get just the right car, would you rather that your well-merchandised and competitively priced inventory not be exposed to those shoppers because they should only buy from their "local" dealer? It's a two-way street.

I guess I could pay the extra $'s to get the top spot.
Just as you would pay extra $$ to get the drive-time spots on the radio, the front or back cover of the magazine, the color centerfold in the newspaper, the larger, more noticable ad in the yellow pages, the more prominently placed billboard, the commercials during the most watched television show or the largest space on your church's weekly bulletin. Some dealers have always been willing to spend more to market themselves and have greater exposure to the marketplace than their competitors, no matter the venue.

My original response was to provide some logic for the highest-to-lowest pricing default. (If the default was switched to lowest-to-highest for a short time, as someone suggested, it must have been a local test because that was not done everywhere.) I will not be posting again as previous experience has shown that it tends to only degenerate into a "bash ATC" thread.

Thanks for your time and attention.
 

shudson

Getting Refreshed
Apr 13, 2009
37
0
0
First Name
Stephanie
Hi Autotrader guy! GLAD TO HAVE YOU HERE!!! I am sure like the rest of us on this site you joined to gain some insight and help others in the industry succeed.

I sure would like to do better with my Autotrader listings but in order to do that I would have to pay twice as much as I am right now. Not sure what would happen then. Right now when someone searches for a used Impala within 10 miles of my zipcode they will be plowed over by a "Premium" listing for a dealership 60 MILES AWAY:cursin: OUR IMPALAS ARE NOT EVEN ABOVE THE FOLD!!!! Expand to fifty miles and the customer has to scroll down to the bottom of the earth to find the vehicle that is closest to home and the dealer that will pay the taxes that build their schools and libraries!!!

I guess I could pay the extra $'s to get the top spot. You know, the "Premium" listing. But wait...what happens when all the dealers in my area pay up. Then do I have to pay even more for the "Super Fantastic Premium Listing?" Even if my dealer gave me the "ok" I would not do it just on principle. Its a racket and its bad for the industry.

Is it even legal?
So many of us feel the same way about AT and the outragous fees they charge and the game that's played to be at the top. I run into the same problem that Brent does in my own PMA and I am a so called "Premium Dealer"....I can see ATC's logic in the HIGH to LOW and explained that way does have some sense to it however the political games and who pays the most are getting old, and the ROI never makes me proud. I like Jerry wish for the day that Dealers come up with a better alternative.
In response to the cars.com hit, yes they have the same logic on High to Low however its a set fee, no games and your cars place according to Zip code and pricing. Maybe ATC needs to take lessons instead of taking up over 25% of an Internet Sales Rep's ad budget.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,990
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
shudson,
give this a look: Online Automotive Review

Compare your budget to results. Car shopping and classifieds go way back. Shoppers like it.
 

lightnup

Noob
Nov 21, 2009
17
14
8
First Name
Stanley
Right now when someone searches for a used Impala within 10 miles of my zipcode they will be plowed over by a "Premium" listing for a dealership 60 MILES AWAY.
Yes, there is a dealer who has chosen to market his dealership aggressively by having a presence at the top of all Chevrolet searches in your market. Has your dealership never paid for a billboard near a competitor to make sure your name is seen by their customers? Same concept. However, of the 7 used Impalas listed within 10 miles of your zip code, 6 are yours, 1 is another dealer in your same zip code and they take up the entire page of the listings section.

Expand to fifty miles and the customer has to scroll down to the bottom of the earth to find the vehicle that is closest to home and the dealer that will pay the taxes that build their schools and libraries!!!
When expanded to a 50 mile radius, you have several used Impala listings on the first page. That's hardly the bottom of the earth and the ones above you are more expensive, making yours look even better. Keep in mind that YOUR inventory is also showing up in searches performed by shoppers located 50 and 100 miles away from you. Would you prefer that your well-merchandised, competitively priced vehicles not be seen by those shoppers because they should only consider a vehicle from their local dealer? It’s a two-way street.



Internet shoppers know who their local Chevrolet dealer is and how to find them online. However, they are still going to search beyond their local market for competitive deals because it only takes a few mouse clicks to do so. Restricting them to seeing just your inventory will not keep them from checking out other offerings through other sites. In my market, shoppers set their search parameter for a radius of 100 miles or more 65% of the time. From the shopper's standpoint, that's the beauty of the Internet. But again, you benefit from it by being exposed to non-local shoppers just as other dealers are exposed to shoppers from your market.


I guess I could pay the extra $'s to get the top spot.... Is it even legal?
You could, just as your dealer pays the extra $$ to get radio spots during drive time, front and/or rear magazine covers, a larger yellow page ad, the centerfold and/or a color newspaper layout, a more prominently placed billboard, a commercial aired in more heavily-watched television time slots and a more prominent space on the back of your local church bulletin. In any advertising medium, there are dealers who desire more exposure for their business than their competitors have, and who understand that more prominent or more exclusive advertising “real estate†costs more. That’s why dealers pay more to be on the main highway and not three blocks off on a side road...more exposure usually costs more. And yes, it's legal.


My original post in this thread was to bring some logic to the highest-to-lowest price discussion. (If ATC recently tried a lowest-to-highest default sorting, as Joe suggests, it must have been a local test, because it was not done everywhere.)


I won’t be posting again as past experience has shown that doing so only engenders an unending bashing of ATC, which accomplishes nothing.

Thanks for your time and attention. :hello:





 

Jerry Thibeau

Sr. Refresher
Apr 28, 2009
1,172
357
113
First Name
Jerry
I won’t be posting again as past experience has shown that doing so only engenders an unending bashing of ATC, which accomplishes nothing.
I think you should stick around. You're doing a good job of explaining why things are the way they are. This is a great mechanism for you to obtain customer feedback as well as explain your position. Maybe some good will come from you becoming a permanent fixture in the community.

Mollify the restless natives with a name and picture! If anyone gives you a hard of a time, you can just jack up their rates.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,990
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
All,
AT deserves a bitch slap, not a tar and feathering. See JDPower chart below. Tar and Feather Award goes to newsprint. Stop your whining and start working these platforms harder.

 

Mitchell Brenner

Refresher
Sep 16, 2009
111
2
16
First Name
Mitchell
Dear ATC,

Please then explain why I do a 10 mile radius from my zip code, am on a premium listing, and my main competitor shows up and dominates the page at 11 miles out. Again it's Autotrader math. Since when is 11 less than 10. Then I get the line from Autotrader if the results are less than what AT wants they expand the radius to show more listings. Again, smells of getting better statistics and page views for Wall Street and $$$ from dealers but even if that was acceptable practice why does the dealer that the customer didn't ask for COMING UP FIRST? We are both paying for premium listings yet we never show up first because we price our cars correctly! How does Autotrader defend their usual arrogance on this one? Just a reminder, you asked for this, you got it! By the way, why doesn't Chip Perry answer emails from dealers which I sent to him two days before I posted to this, and other, forums? None of my "anger" is directed at my rep, Mona, who is wonderful. She just has the bad luck to work for "The Evil Empire" Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and it wasn't destroyed in a day either!

:cursin:



Yes, there is a dealer who has chosen to market his dealership aggressively by having a presence at the top of all Chevrolet searches in your market. Has your dealership never paid for a billboard near a competitor to make sure your name is seen by their customers? Same concept. However, of the 7 used Impalas listed within 10 miles of your zip code, 6 are yours, 1 is another dealer in your same zip code and they take up the entire page of the listings section.



When expanded to a 50 mile radius, you have several used Impala listings on the first page. That's hardly the bottom of the earth and the ones above you are more expensive, making yours look even better. Keep in mind that YOUR inventory is also showing up in searches performed by shoppers located 50 and 100 miles away from you. Would you prefer that your well-merchandised, competitively priced vehicles not be seen by those shoppers because they should only consider a vehicle from their local dealer? It’s a two-way street.



Internet shoppers know who their local Chevrolet dealer is and how to find them online. However, they are still going to search beyond their local market for competitive deals because it only takes a few mouse clicks to do so. Restricting them to seeing just your inventory will not keep them from checking out other offerings through other sites. In my market, shoppers set their search parameter for a radius of 100 miles or more 65% of the time. From the shopper's standpoint, that's the beauty of the Internet. But again, you benefit from it by being exposed to non-local shoppers just as other dealers are exposed to shoppers from your market.




You could, just as your dealer pays the extra $$ to get radio spots during drive time, front and/or rear magazine covers, a larger yellow page ad, the centerfold and/or a color newspaper layout, a more prominently placed billboard, a commercial aired in more heavily-watched television time slots and a more prominent space on the back of your local church bulletin. In any advertising medium, there are dealers who desire more exposure for their business than their competitors have, and who understand that more prominent or more exclusive advertising “real estate†costs more. That’s why dealers pay more to be on the main highway and not three blocks off on a side road...more exposure usually costs more. And yes, it's legal.


My original post in this thread was to bring some logic to the highest-to-lowest price discussion. (If ATC recently tried a lowest-to-highest default sorting, as Joe suggests, it must have been a local test, because it was not done everywhere.)


I won’t be posting again as past experience has shown that doing so only engenders an unending bashing of ATC, which accomplishes nothing.

Thanks for your time and attention. :hello:





 

Brent Palen

Getting Refreshed
Jul 21, 2009
83
1
0
First Name
Brent
My Autotrader rep is top notch as well. He is here to see me every month and has listened to the same complaints I gave earlier in this thread many times. I appreciate the boots on the ground approach.

As to the argument about dealers paying more for top space in newspaper, billboards, etc... I have pretty simple response. Autotrader is a SEARCH ENGINE. Search engines should provide the most relevant information to the person using it. Google has sponsored ads at the top but they do not push the more relevant information below the fold like AT's ads do. To me and probably a lot of other ISM's, that is the way we feel.

I think our mystery AT guy could be just a little less condescending with his/her comments. We are their paying customers...right? I certainly would use a more a little more empathy in my tone if I was listening to one of my customers complaints. Not "lightnup"
 

Mitchell Brenner

Refresher
Sep 16, 2009
111
2
16
First Name
Mitchell
Your arrogance comes across the same as your company's! Good job proving my point. I couldn't have shown it any better my self Mr. or Ms. Lighten Up! Too many dealers have "lightened up" on you which put you in this position, Rome!

You're not seeing the problem is "The Great God" Autotrader's problem! We are in the Premium Listings just like our competitor yet we are ALWAYS far behind in views because of your ridiculous notion of highest price first. We are not oblivious! You do this to get more page views, more $$ from dealers for the amazing statistics you can show, and more "eyes" on Wall Street! Stop sticking up for what is, and always has been, Autotrader's arrogance! Please somebody, anybody TAKE THEM DOWN!

For my fellow dealers out there read the Autotrader defense and call your reps and demand change! The ATC mystery person has accomplished one thing: It's made me even angrier!:cursin::cursin::cursin::cursin::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:




You guys crack me up with the conspiracy theories. How come this question was not asked about cars.com, whose prices are also listed highest to lowest by default?

Logically, when ranked from highest to lowest by default, shoppers will scroll through all of the listings while on the way to what they consider their price range and, like most people, will continue to scroll below that hoping for an even better price. Exposure to all dealers' inventory in all price ranges is maximized this way (assuming the shopper hasn't entered a specific price range preference).

If inventory was ranked lowest to highest, shoppers would stop looking when they get to the high end of what they consider their price range and avoid looking at listings beyond that. Higher priced vehicles, even though the prices are justified (CPO, extremely low mileage, still under warranty, etc.) would receive much less exposure. Not many people think, "Gee, let's see if we can find a higher priced one."

By default, consumers see all inventory in a 25 mile radius, so local dealers are prioritized. If the consumer wishes, they can expand their search radius to see dealer inventory from farther away, or restrict it to just 10 miles. They have the option of sorting their searches by year, make/model, price, distance and vehicle mileage.

I don't see the problem.
 

Mitchell Brenner

Refresher
Sep 16, 2009
111
2
16
First Name
Mitchell
What happened to never posting again? You're not getting bashed because you posted. You get bashed because of your arrogance just like "The Great God" Autotrader. You were meant for each other. One day when the empire crumbles remember, you could have made a difference! Instead, you chose to follow the company's whole modus operandi and treat dealers like the ignorant fools you think we are. We are not oblivious! We are not fools! We know what you're doing!

Remember "treat people with respect on the way up because you're going to meet the same people on the way down"! I'll remember to say hello while you're sinking!:D:D:D



Yes, there is a dealer who has chosen to market his dealership aggressively by having a presence at the top of all Chevrolet searches in your market. Has your dealership never paid for a billboard near a competitor to make sure your name is seen by their customers? Same concept. However, of the 7 used Impalas listed within 10 miles of your zip code, 6 are yours, 1 is another dealer in your same zip code and they take up the entire page of the listings section.



When expanded to a 50 mile radius, you have several used Impala listings on the first page. That's hardly the bottom of the earth and the ones above you are more expensive, making yours look even better. Keep in mind that YOUR inventory is also showing up in searches performed by shoppers located 50 and 100 miles away from you. Would you prefer that your well-merchandised, competitively priced vehicles not be seen by those shoppers because they should only consider a vehicle from their local dealer? It’s a two-way street.



Internet shoppers know who their local Chevrolet dealer is and how to find them online. However, they are still going to search beyond their local market for competitive deals because it only takes a few mouse clicks to do so. Restricting them to seeing just your inventory will not keep them from checking out other offerings through other sites. In my market, shoppers set their search parameter for a radius of 100 miles or more 65% of the time. From the shopper's standpoint, that's the beauty of the Internet. But again, you benefit from it by being exposed to non-local shoppers just as other dealers are exposed to shoppers from your market.




You could, just as your dealer pays the extra $$ to get radio spots during drive time, front and/or rear magazine covers, a larger yellow page ad, the centerfold and/or a color newspaper layout, a more prominently placed billboard, a commercial aired in more heavily-watched television time slots and a more prominent space on the back of your local church bulletin. In any advertising medium, there are dealers who desire more exposure for their business than their competitors have, and who understand that more prominent or more exclusive advertising “real estate†costs more. That’s why dealers pay more to be on the main highway and not three blocks off on a side road...more exposure usually costs more. And yes, it's legal.


My original post in this thread was to bring some logic to the highest-to-lowest price discussion. (If ATC recently tried a lowest-to-highest default sorting, as Joe suggests, it must have been a local test, because it was not done everywhere.)


I won’t be posting again as past experience has shown that doing so only engenders an unending bashing of ATC, which accomplishes nothing.

Thanks for your time and attention. :hello: