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Does Autotrader think we're all oblivious?

DrewAment

Sr. Refresher
Apr 30, 2009
304
129
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First Name
Drew
Just an FYI that AutoTrader.com uses a "fuzz" factor of 20% for customer searches. Meaning that is a customer picks a distance of 20 miles, the search radius is actually 24 miles.

You would have to check with your local rep for your market, but most customers (last stats I saw) picked the 75 mile radius, the thinking might go is that 75 miles is normally hour drive, and most people would drive an hour for a unique piece of merchandise.

I agree with Joe, start working the systems to your advantage. Creative marketing! Most dealers just throw up a DealerSpecialties feed and think "they will come". Remember the old PPP presentation? Price - Got to have a price, not the lowest but a fair deal, Pictures - Nice quality photos, 9 minimum, Puff - good descriptions, key information.

Puff is where most dealers miss it. If the car was traded in by a little old lady from Pasadena, non-smoker, and only drove to church on Sundays....put that in your description!

Have you ever asked your local rep for a few reports? Like:

1. Searched mileage radius
2. Scarcity report - compares unique users to actual inventory on ATC
3. Top 25 makes/models for your market
etc

They have a huge database of information. Use it to your advantage.

Disclosure: I used to be an AutoTrader.com Account Rep (Sales)
 
Apr 29, 2009
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First Name
AE
"..I'll look into the issue, but you should purchase two more spotlight ads to counter your competitors' tower, side, and bottom ads."

"EMP is a great program. See this dealer who sells junk cars? Look at ALLLLLL their phone pops!"
 

Mitchell Brenner

Refresher
Sep 16, 2009
111
2
16
First Name
Mitchell
Wow! What a surprise! Autotrader, or their flunky since I don't know who you are, wants a dealer to buy stuff to fix their issue! Bloody typical!
:cursin:

"..I'll look into the issue, but you should purchase two more spotlight ads to counter your competitors' tower, side, and bottom ads."

"EMP is a great program. See this dealer who sells junk cars? Look at ALLLLLL their phone pops!"
 
Apr 29, 2009
24
0
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First Name
AE
I work for a dealership that is constantly faced with these "solutions" by ATC reps. Everytime traffic is slow, "but look at the exposure!", every other ad bombarded on our details page for a dealership 50 miles away is always countered by "buying more spotlights!"

I'm no flunky;)

Wow! What a surprise! Autotrader, or their flunky since I don't know who you are, wants a dealer to buy stuff to fix their issue! Bloody typical!
:cursin:
 

Mitchell Brenner

Refresher
Sep 16, 2009
111
2
16
First Name
Mitchell
Man now I'm disappointed that I didn't recognize sarcasm. I'm supposed to be an expert at sarcasm. Oh well. You got me!:D


I work for a dealership that is constantly faced with these "solutions" by ATC reps. Everytime traffic is slow, "but look at the exposure!", every other ad bombarded on our details page for a dealership 50 miles away is always countered by "buying more spotlights!"

I'm no flunky;)
 

DrewAment

Sr. Refresher
Apr 30, 2009
304
129
43
First Name
Drew
LOL....very funny guys...

I have found a few dealers in my time that AutoTrader.com was not a positive ROI. If you can back up the cost with sales/gross - if not, cancel - why would you continue paying for something that does not give a return.

I do want to make one more point. Have you REALLY tracked your traffic? Not just phone calls and emails, I mean walk-ins too. Training your salespeople to properly source a customer, along with correctly putting it in the CRM, should be a requirement with EVERY contact.

The only reason I ask - I consulted for a dealer recently who thought AutoTrader.com was not working, and based just off the 'leads" and calls I would have agreed, however their VDP's were WAY high (meaning allot of people were looking at their cars). We spent the next 30 days doing soft exit interviews with all sold customers (as they were sitting in FI, short 1 page survey, 5 questions) - we found that they had actually sold 6 more cars then the CRM stated. All because the salespeople were not properly sourcing and/or inputting.

Also, review your packages that you are signed up for. Moved a dealer from used car premium to used car featured plus, along with a new car package. Used cars performed about the same (proving that premium wasn't worth it for his market). New cars brought in more customers and requests. Spent same money (not more) and received better results! All by just "moving the money around".

--Drew
 

marvmotors

Noob
Nov 26, 2009
2
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First Name
Marvin
Mitch wrote: "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."

Mitch - I used to work for the post office and one thing I learned...zip codes come in all sizes and shapes. I looked up your zip code boundaries. It is 26 miles long from north boundary to south boundary. So a "10 mile radius" from your zip code would actually be a 46 mile distance (10 miles north of the northern boundary to 10 miles south of the southern boundary).

If a dealer is located in the northwest corner of a 30 mile wide zip code, it's conceivable that he wouldn't even show up in a 10 mile radius search by people from the southeast corner if a search was actually based on the shopper's or dealer's physical address (lat & long) instead of the entire zip code, even though they are both in the same zip code. That might explain the 10 mile/11 mile concern.

Just a thought.
 

marvmotors

Noob
Nov 26, 2009
2
0
0
First Name
Marvin
Brent - Respectfully have to disagree with you about Autotrader being a search engine. They don't send out spiders or bots to find all available listings on the web. They don't scrape other sites for other listings as a search engine does. Autotrader is a form of advertising. Dealers and private parties pay to advertise their cars for sale.