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TrueCar using Zag Dealer Data to Create Value???

Discussion in 'Off Topic & Everything Else' started by chevydealer, Feb 17, 2010.

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  1. chevydealer

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    Big buzz I heard at NADA was that TrueCar.com, which is owned by Zag, is using data that Zag pulls from dealers' DMS to power their values that they show to consumers.

    If this is true, I doubt any of the Zag dealers know about it (or approve of it).
     
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  3. Alex Snyder

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    Zag :rocket:
     
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  4. Jeff Kershner

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    That's the question we all want to know. Where is the data coming from? I hope dealers realize IF we are allowing companies like TrueCar / Zag access our dealers transactional data...we are truly hurting our own business.

    I asked TrueCar exactly where their data came from after receiving an email (not sure how I was on the list) in regards to the Toyota Recall.

    Me- "Can you tell me exactly where TrueCar gets their data/pricing from?"

    TrueCar - Hi Jeff,

    TrueCar creates Price Reports by gathering data of what others paid for their vehicle in a local market area. We collect extensive sales data on more than 43% of all new vehicles sold. All data shown on the site is less than 4 weeks old.

    We bring truth and transparency to the sales process by aggregating data from many different sources to show car buyers and dealers how much people actually paid for a particular car in their geographic area.


    Me- "This is the part I'm confused with...

    "gathering data of what others paid for their vehicle in a local market area"

    How are you obtaining this information and with many deals being structured differently (trade-in allowance, rebates and such)?

    Is 43% enough to give an accurate price on what consumers are paying. - was being facetious.

    From experience, the pricing is not so accurate (mis-representated) especially in today's climate where incentives are changing weekly.

    I would love more information."

    TrueCar - Hi Jeff,

    You don't even need half of 43% to get an accurate representation of prices for the US market. However, TrueCar is insatiable about data, and our goal is to find 100% of all purchase transactions, even if that means finding the same transaction multiple times from multiple sources within the car-buying ecosystem. At the moment, TrueCar captures 43% of all new car transactions across the US, including actual purchase prices, to provide an accurate reflection of the automotive marketplace for new vehicles. Our data comes from vehicle registration information, dealer management systems, finance data, third-party vendors and more. We even work together with many dealers who gladly give their data (even cost data) in order to use TrueCar as tool within their business. TrueCar does not manipulate the raw data, nor do we interpret it. TrueCar simply presents the most accurate and timely data possible to show both dealers and consumers what others really pay for their new cars.

    We do not include trade-ins in the price curve. Since trade-ins can skew the price of a new vehicle sale by thousands of dollars, trade-in prices are removed from the transaction data we use to show you good price, great price and average price paid.

    The TrueCostTM tab and details tabs above the price curve will give you more insight into how our data is broken down.

    Please let me know if this answers your questions.


    -------------


    • TrueCar is insatiable about data, and our goal is to find 100% of all purchase transactions, even if that means finding the same transaction multiple times from multiple sources within the car-buying ecosystem.
    • TrueCar captures 43% of all new car transactions across the US, including actual purchase prices- 43% capture is an amazing percentage
    • Our data comes from vehicle registration information, dealer management systems, finance data, third-party vendors and more. We even work together with many dealers who gladly give their data (even cost data) in order to use TrueCar as tool within their business. - YES, dealers are allowing TrueCar to access your dealers transactional data

    Well, I hope TrueCar voyages off into other verticals. I'd LOVE to know what Steve Job has invested in each and every Mac, iPod and iPad so we can "we bring truth and transparency to the sales process".

    I'm all about truth and transparency but my transactional data is MY BUSINESS and MY DATA. If you are using ZAGs service, chances are you ARE sending your transactional data to them to "prove a sale". Could this data be making it's way to other services like TrueCar?

    If this is the case -- dealers....well, you get the picture right?
     
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  5. Alex Snyder

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    I smell a DealerRefresh blog article in the works. This kind of stuff bothers the crap out of me. I don't know how I'd react if I found out one of my vendors was supplying our data to Zag. Actually, I know exactly what I'd do.
     
  6. chevydealer

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    This refreshes that old debate we all used to have with Reynolds: Whose data is it anyway?

    Last I checked it's my data, not the vendors', and especially not a vendor who allegedly uses my data against me.
     
  7. cromero

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    It is fact, Truecar is using Zag.com to get their data. Scott Painter said it when he got something like 2 million to start Truecar.com after the failure of Zag.com.

    I remember during the summer there were many heated blog sessions about this on ADM, were some vendors wich I will not name said they thought it was a great idea. I said that there model is like having someone stand in front of your dealership and telling people what the dealer down the street paid for their car.

    Using dealers data to sell them another product so they can make less money, and charge them for it. Truecar.com, what a business.
     
  8. aguyler

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    Jeff-If you really want to know the cost of the IPad you can get it...High-end iPad costs $346.15 to make - 2010-02-11 18:29:22 | Purchasing
     
  9. chevydealer

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    Well, I hope TrueCar voyages off into other verticals. I'd LOVE to know what Steve Job has invested in each and every Mac, iPod and iPad so we can "we bring truth and transparency to the sales process".


    - Andy, I think Jeff was making a point - I doubt he really cares how much it costs to make an iPad...
     
  10. Rob Fontano

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    This gives new meaning to "Third Party Parasite"
     
  11. Chris Fousek

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    Ok so this post got me thinking and now I am thinking enough is enough and here is why.

    Zag made a big push in 2009 presenting themselves as a vendor
    with a new pricing model that was going to better for the industry. No monthly fee, no cost per lead, simply a cost per sale. Sounds fair? Simply set ZAG up with a login to your DMS so they can cross check for their customers and invoice you when there is a match. Simple enough right? Sounds fair right? Good deal right? Don’t worry about being charged for bogus leads. Don’t worry about inflated monthly rates. Ok, I’m interested.

    Prior to signing up with Zag they provided me with a Quick Facts about Zag sheet and here is how they addressed this process:
    “Zag = Sales Matching
    In order to track sales, we connect to your sales records through your DMS system. The sales information is used solely for the purpose of sales matching and is handled with the highest level security.â€

    O.k. so far so good. Well….let’s see….

    I’ll say this; I have been a Zag dealer for the past few months and have had some success with the customers that they have brought through. I will also add that a number of these are certainly customers who would not have come our way without Zag. These are primarily membership customers who are willing to travel a distance, and in many cases out of state, to buy from a member dealer. But at what cost to the dealership and is worth it? The cost is this; we are paying ZAG and giving them daily access to our DMS so that they can gather their market data daily so that they can turn around and sell it back to us as different vendor for their own TrueCar pricing product. Is this worth it? Do I need to say that again? No nor do I want to. Do I feel good about this deal? No. Is Zag doing anything wrong? No it’s right there in the contract and here it is:

    “Zag may use certain information related to the sale of vehicles sold by dealer and Zag reserves the right to use macro-level, aggregated data to evaluate performance and best practices with the primary objective of better understanding customer behavior, pricing trends and other statistical insights that may lead to an improved implementation of Zag and it’s affiliates’ products and services.â€

    Does this sentence contradict their quick fact sheet? I'll let you be the judge.

    So they had a plan and so far it’s working. But dealers can take control and turn away from this pricing model and turn away from vendors accessing our data in this fashion.

    I am sending out my cancellation today. Will I loose customers? Will I loose deals? Yes but I can certainly utilize the resources that are going to Zag and use them as productively or even more so and that is the good thing about digital marketing. That good thing being the ability to tweak your spend, fine tune your lead mix and optimize your funnel to flow baby flow. That sounds like another post brewing’ …
     
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