• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.
Qvale Auto Group Study - Watch Video

What do you LOVE or HATE about CarGurus, AutoTrader, Cars.com etc.?

niblettc

Noob
Oct 5, 2018
1
0
1
Huntsville, AL
First Name
Christopher
There's a been a lot of negative feedback towards CarGurus lately. This got me thinking, what other practices are dealers not happy with? Not just CarGurus, but the other marketplaces too - AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc. So I'd like to pose a simple question: Are you happy with your marketplace providers? Tell me what you absolutely HATE, and what you absolutely LOVE or can't live without. Could be about their pricing model, features (or lack of) for dealer and/or shopper users, maybe something with the platform / organization as whole, or maybe you just simply don't get enough leads to justify the price.

What do you want to see from a marketplace listing site in terms of pricing, practices, tools, or features?

As a former operator of a very small independent dealer, I wasn't thrilled with the "package" pricing options. 5 car, 15 car, 25 car, etc. I hate to imagine what some of you are paying as large franchised stores.

DISCLAIMER - This is market research. I'm a software engineer by trade, and a car flipper by habit. I worked at a large new car store for several months to learn the retail part of the business, then I opened my own small independent dealership selling about 5 cars a month. I'm currently iterating on a digital product for dealers and shoppers, and I'm looking for feedback from the dealer community.
 

Retail My Ride

Getting Refreshed
Feb 14, 2020
31
17
8
USA
First Name
Jim
Just thinking about what to type got our blood pressure up and we had to stop!

You didnt even mention the absolute worst on our list - CarFax. They are the most overpriced, overrated, and arrogant company that is totally out of touch with how the used car industry really works.

If we go much further, Jeff will have to censure us!
 
  • 1
  • 1
Reactions: Gweedo and Jeff Kershner
Apr 2, 2018
6
2
1
Ventura, CA
First Name
Tim
My single biggest issue with all of them is their desire to cram their own metrics down our throats. The actual metric seems to always be in flux but the conversation is always the same. For Cars.com, it was moved units. Autotrader wants to talk about VDP's and tell you how VDP's is the only thing you should measure.

Also not a fan of any of their ad-ons. Some of them have a good core product. For instance, I still believe that Autotrader has a relevant product. I still think that customers, especially used car customers turn to Autotrader as a place to find used cars. But, I don't think that any of their ad-on products have any real value.
 
  • 1
Reactions: Retail My Ride
Visit Generations Digital

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,645
1,241
113
Maryland
First Name
Jeff
I've been a fan of Cars.com for many many years now. IMO - they offer the most fair balance between consumer and dealers. They lookout for the dealers best interest way more than compared to all the other current listing/marketplace sites.
 

Rob

Getting Refreshed
Apr 9, 2011
89
39
18
San Antonio, Texas Area
First Name
Rob
I've been a fan of Cars.com for many many years now. IMO - they offer the most fair balance between consumer and dealers. They lookout for the dealers best interest way more than compared to all the other current listing/marketplace sites.
Can't argue with that. Pretty much always been a Cars.com fan.
 
Visit Generations Digital

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,875
1,516
113
Vermont
First Name
Alex
In the pre-CarGurus days, it was easier to determine whether Cars.com or Autotrader was the better solution for a store. I'm not so sure it is that simple anymore, but here's something I discovered during my Checkered Flag Auto Group days.

Our Hyundai and VW stores did better on Autotrader. Our BMW, Jaguar, Audi, and Porsche stores did better on Cars.com. The Toyota and Honda locations had success on both platforms. The differentiator was our cost on used cars. Back then, a used car with a cost below $16,000 did better on Autotrader. Above $22,000 did better on Cars.com. There was a "no-mans land" around the $20,000 mark that was tougher to measure which site performed better.

Please note this was a 2000s discovery within the Hampton Roads marketplace of Virginia. Your mileage may vary. With that said, I still believe the method of measurement based on a vehicle's cost or selling price is still valid today. You just need to figure out what makes the most sense for you.

P.S. I measured performance on sales by hunting down the Cars.com/Autotrader leads that bought and then collected the selling price on the deal and cost of the car. Because the selling price changed so often it wasn't a good measuring stick. But when you sort your spreadsheet on cost you may see a trend.
 
  • 1
Reactions: Dan Jackson

ChrisH

Noob
Mar 13, 2015
10
5
3
Central Virginia
First Name
Chris
In the pre-CarGurus days, it was easier to determine whether Cars.com or Autotrader was the better solution for a store. I'm not so sure it is that simple anymore, but here's something I discovered during my Checkered Flag Auto Group days.
It still varies greatly from area to area and market to market. I have not found an easy way to help my dealers compare and analyze outside of shutting one off at a time. There is some looking at Google Analytics referral traffic, but it is not fail safe. I am a big proponent of focusing on a dealership's PPC and getting traffic and searches straight to the dealer site and doing less on the third parties...however, again, sometimes the third party is necessary.
 
Oct 25, 2019
4
2
1
First Name
Guy
Some dealers are starting to use our inventory feeds to display all of the inventory nationwide on their own website. Instead of paying to post their cars on other classifieds they could put that money into SEO and marketing toward their own website. The dealer could become the classified. And just like paying for preferred placement on one of these classifieds, they can place their own inventory at the top of every search. Another note, the dealer will get a lot more users opting in with them even if they end up buying a car somewhere else. Ton's of opportunity here.

Dealers are tired of supporting these classifieds who end up leaving them in the dust when the big players come in.
 
Qvale Auto Group Study - Watch Video

Gweedo

Noob
Mar 16, 2020
2
0
1
First Name
Matthew
I despise CarGurus. Their price rating which doesn't take condition into consideration really causes issues if you're selling properly reconditioned cars. They claim they are sending you way more leads than you actually get. Ugh.

I've been considering giving cars.com a shot, How do you guys do with them in the $5k-$15k range?