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I love what I do, but it is so f-ing stressful.

mattwatson81

Getting Refreshed
Apr 10, 2009
334
10
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Matt
vAuto is great but, to quicly check your prices against the market why don't you just check Craigslist?

Craigslist will also give you a good idea on how mnay similar cars to yours (both dealer and private) are around you for sale.
If you were going to do it this way, using CarGurus, Oodle, Vast, AutoTrader.com or Cars.com would actually be a lot easier than craigslist. I think AutoTrader and some others even provide some basic market comparison in their back end tools. Seems like Oodle and Vast do on their sites.

But none would be easy comparisions when you talk about comparing to trim level, drive train, engine, mileage, etc to really make comparisons. Which is what those tools like vAuto do.
 
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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,760
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P.s. Tools and trainers don't do sh*t if the management at the top is happy with where they are.
This strikes a nerve and was topic of conversation I was having with someone just the other day.

"If it isn't broken then they're not going to fix it."

Management will sit through a meeting, they'll nod their heads like they get it, like they're totally on-board and they want change BUT as soon as the meeting is done - nothing happens. You'll leave the meeting thinking that you've done a great job at getting management to understand and you'll think you have buy-in. But the only way it's going to really get done and that's if you DO IT ALL. Which of course is impossible. You need a team to move the needle.

And why change? Their OK with the money they're making (overpaid as it is).

The owner - he too agrees for "change". But how bad does he really want it? In the end, he/she also knows it's not broken. Waive some hands around, cause a little commotion, throw some ego in the mix and "say this is what I want, or else".

But at what price? The dealership is still printing money. There's no real need for a change. Management knows the owner isnt going to really do anything about it.

Change is too damn hard.

"Fat and happy sales reps and who have fat and happy managers work only until they fill their belly, then they coast until they get hungry, then they get hustling again."

AJ - most of here on the forms feel you my friend. We've been there or we're there with you right now.

I have a dealership that I've doubled organic leads for. We have BDC that driving traffic and setting more appointments than ever before. The sales? No more than before. You would think even if you threw more shit on the wall more would stick - but for some reason only the same amount sticks. All you hear are excuses, pointing of the finger in another direction. But - but - but - but.....
 
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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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"all that digital stuff we've been wasting money on." They want a new "campaign," wholly consisting of 1/2 page ads in the newspaper! HAHA!

Funny... I remember the conversations last year as they were all patting themselves on the back for having their best year ever! Sure liked "that digital stuff" last year! hahahaaha :lol:

Simple minds equal simple actions, right?
Come'on Quinn. Nothing has changed in the last 15 years. It's all the same my friend.

People are watching TV the same way they did 15 years ago. They're making calls from the same phones they did 15 years ago. They're wearing the same pair of jorts they did 15 years ago. They use the same Yellow Pages they did 15 years ago.

Nothing has changed. You need to spend more money in the newspaper! The last 5 days of the month. Better yet! You need get a direct mail piece out - the last 5 days of the month.

When my dealers are not selling - all of a sudden the GM's become marketing GooRoos. The websites are WRONG, paid search is WRONG, email campaigns are WRONG, Videos are WRONG, It's all WRONG!

Reminds me of a SNL skit...

 

yagoparamo

Boss
Dec 30, 2009
1,892
494
First Name
Yago
If you were going to do it this way, using CarGurus, Oodle, Vast, AutoTrader.com or Cars.com would actually be a lot easier than craigslist. I think AutoTrader and some others even provide some basic market comparison in their back end tools. Seems like Oodle and Vast do on their sites.

But none would be easy comparisions when you talk about comparing to trim level, drive train, engine, mileage, etc to really make comparisons. Which is what those tools like vAuto do.
It sounds good in theory until you check what's happening in the market:

1) Private parties don't advertise on any of those sites. They are all in CL. Dealers also compete with PP, if a lot of people are selling their F250 trucks, it will make it harder to sell yours.

2) Who is cargurus?

3) Oodle (LOL). Look at this; they have about 1000 Ford vehicles in their site for WA Ford F 150 Cars for Sale in Seattle | Oodle Marketplace I take photos for pretty much franchised dealers and a few independents and I have 2400 AutoBase, Inc. - Used Vehicles So Oodle has 25% of the market if you account for private parties, independents, etc. Some of the stuff that they have like this user targa19...'s listings on Oodle looks either like someone curbing or just a fake account.

4) Vast is someone's pet project. Search for Ford and you get an impossible to work with results page Used Ford For Sale In 98012 - Vast Autos (for the purpose of price checking). The results page doesn't tell you who owns the vehicle. The results are also questionable, using mi ZIP and 75 miles it brings this: Results 1-10 of about 13,348 from 141 sites. There are not 14K Ford vehicles around my house even if you count the one in my garage.

5) Cars.com has 449 f150's in a 75 mile radious Used Ford F150 in 98012 - Cars.com

6) Autotrader will be like cars.com.

There are 3 players in the e-auto world: Cars.com, Autotarder, and Craigslist. The problem with vAuto type tools is that they work with the premise that a lot of dealers will use autotarder and cars.com and therefore their data will be good (Craigslist doesn't release data).


Now look at CL ammount of data and how easy is to produce searches:

f150 seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150" - craigslist=

2002 f150 seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2002" - craigslist=

2003 f150 seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2003" - craigslist=

2004 f140 seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2004" - craigslist=

2004 f150 red seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2004 red" - craigslist=

2004 f150 blue seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2004 blue" - craigslist=

2004 f150 blue 4x4 seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2004 blue 4x4" - craigslist=

2004 f150 blue 4x4 xlt seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2004 blue 4x4 xlt" - craigslist=


NOTE: I'm not saying vAuto doesnt work... I'm saying that to check prices manually, CL is the best plave and not the Oodles and Vast lost in hyper space web sites Matt Whatson recomended.
 
Apr 28, 2009
1,176
366
First Name
Jerry
This strikes a nerve and was topic of conversation I was having with someone just the other day.

"If it isn't broken then they're not going to fix it."

Management will sit through a meeting, they'll nod their heads like they get it, like they're totally on-board and they want change BUT as soon as the meeting is done - nothing happens. You'll leave the meeting thinking that you've done a great job at getting management to understand and you'll think you have buy-in. But the only way it's going to really get done and that's if you DO IT ALL. Which of course is impossible. You need a team to move the needle.

And why change? Their OK with the money they're making (overpaid as it is).

The owner - he too agrees for "change". But how bad does he really want it? In the end, he/she also knows it's not broken. Waive some hands around, cause a little commotion, throw some ego in the mix and "say this is what I want, or else".

But at what price? The dealership is still printing money. There's no real need for a change. Management knows the owner isnt going to really do anything about it.

Change is too damn hard.

"Fat and happy sales reps and who have fat and happy managers work only until they fill their belly, then they coast until they get hungry, then they get hustling again."

AJ - most of here on the forms feel you my friend. We've been there or we're there with you right now.

I have a dealership that I've doubled organic leads for. We have BDC that driving traffic and setting more appointments than ever before. The sales? No more than before. You would think even if you threw more shit on the wall more would stick - but for some reason only the same amount sticks. All you hear are excuses, pointing of the finger in another direction. But - but - but - but.....
Best thing I've read all month! I see this all over. You hit the nail on the head.
 

ed.brooks

Boss
Jan 15, 2010
1,104
661
First Name
Ed
Yago, Man, I really wanted to stay out of this. I offered up a free price analysis to a dealer that was facing some issues. That's it - Just willing to do a favor.

First let me start by saying I like Craigslist. But every issue faced by every dealer can't be solved with the single answer of "Craigslist".
"When all you own is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail."



I clicked many of the links you provided including:

2004 f150 blue 4x4 xlt seattle cars & trucks - all classifieds "f150 2004 blue 4x4 xlt" - craigslist=

I found 7 listings, but only 4 were actually for F-150's. Of those 4 listings, 3 were for the same vehicle - duplicates. There were only 2 2004 F-150s. I don't think either are blue. Only one had a picture (it looks black, but the private seller will take a BLUE Eddie Bauer Bronco in Trade). The vehicle showing 3 times was one of your listings. No color is listed and there is no picture, but it is priced $4400 below Kelly BLUE Book!

I did my own search on AutoTrader.com:
2004 F-150 zip 98012 - 75 mile radius

My search returned 9 listings - there were no duplicates. A the the bottom was a handy summary:
Range of prices within this search:
Highest Price: $22,950
Lowest Price: $7,988
Average Price: $15,184


If all I need is a very rough price range, I think I'd use the ATC results. The 2 Craigslist postings were both for vehicles priced well below the ATC average. If I was selling lower dollar units I would check those listings also.

When dealers need a much more detailed and thorough ranking of pricing rather than a rough range of prices, they come to us. Mileage-adjusted ranking down to trim, options, CarFax and certification status is a very time consuming process to do manually without a good tool.

My intention is to make this my last post on this matter. I don't want to get into a Vendor War.
 
Last edited:
Apr 28, 2009
1,176
366
First Name
Jerry
It really irks me when somebody comes on here asking for advice and then they never come back and interact. I noticed that the person who started this thread has since removed his name. Perhaps he had his wings clipped even more?

If you're going to start a thread, at least participate in the thread!
 

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
1,001
656
First Name
John
It really irks me when somebody comes on here asking for advice and then they never come back and interact. I noticed that the person who started this thread has since removed his name. Perhaps he had his wings clipped even more?

If you're going to start a thread, at least participate in the thread!
Wasn't it eag818 ? Two posts...
 
Jan 21, 2010
51
4
First Name
Hubert Cumberdale
It really irks me when somebody comes on here asking for advice and then they never come back and interact. I noticed that the person who started this thread has since removed his name. Perhaps he had his wings clipped even more?

If you're going to start a thread, at least participate in the thread!
My friend I bookmarked this page and I am hitting F5 every other hour to see the thread.:)
I responded to Joe Pistell on page 2.
Someone said my name is Ami, changed it on DR to AJ, I'm a guy.

As for pricing vehicles, check out AutoTempest - Find your next car... Faster. -- combines Vast, Craigslist, ATC, CarsDirect, and some others. It's pretty much a one time search for a vehicle that opens up several frames from these websites with the prices.

Jeff, Joe, Alex, Johno, Jerry, Yagoparamo, JQuinn, you all hit the nail on the head, and it's exactly what I was venting about. I just wanted to hear from you guys, the community that i've been lurking for so long, that this was common amongst most dealerships. What's common amongst dealers with real internet presence, however, differs with each dealership it seems. If I'm bringing in the traffic, appointments are being made, phones are ringing, etc, then all is well in my department as I have done my job correctly. When sales are slow when traffic is up, it just makes me feel worthless here. Because of all the post sh*tty-weekend observations I have to endure. "Why is traffic so slow" "Why didnt we get any credit apps last night last week we got 3" "Why is that dealership with 500 cars sold 12 cars this weekend and we (with 60 cars) only sold 5?"

I got a call last sunday, on my day off, from my manager, alerting me that my ISM 'wasnt bringing anybody in' 'just sits there in his office' 'ooo what if hes selling the leads to his buddies' 'i bet hes selling leads to his buddies' 'i think hes working for another dealer on his day off' 'be prepared tomorrow because were gonna change the lead process'. Basically we have to change things again according to the GM's conspiracies. For the 100th time, rather than centralizing our sales team into one permanent system of how leads will be distributed, the process of contacting leads, and reporting of the end results. What's gonna happen down the road, I guarantee, is the process will go unnoticed, managers will drop the ball, then they will all come to me with "what do you think we should do in regards to the leads and the appointments." to put the responsibility and accountability on me, the IT guy.

You're all right. Managers can't take the blame or be held accountable in any conflict. It's always the sales people (or THAT salesperson), always the advertising outlet.

You know, I actually think my frustrations and anxiety can be resolved just by looking at the reality of things. Instead of blaming the aforementioned, "Its slow everywhere" "The market is up and down right now" "The news is going on about the economy being so bad that consumer spending has decreased and we can see it here" kind of sounds better as a poor excuse than management pointing fingers at everyone and everything else rather than themselves. At least then I can work on increasing traffic rather than finding ways to revise our current traffic.