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TrueCar has certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest with “Know the REAL Price”. To be fair they are not the only online lead generator that uses dealership transactional data in an effort to get between the customer and the dealership and get a piece of the car sale either through a pay for lead or pay for sale pricing model.
Both KBB and Edmunds use transactional data also, the difference… their billing model doesn’t require them to dial into your system so it doesn’t appear that they get the data directly from the dealer. In fact, they don't. They buy it from other sources the same way that TrueCar does.
DEALERS: BEHIND THE SCENES THERE ARE MANY 3RDPARTIES EXTRACTING YOUR DATA THEN RESELLING AND REPURPOSING IT AND YOU ARE NONE THE WISER.
I want to be perfectly clear on my position:
The data that originates at the dealership on the transaction of a vehicle or the service transaction of a vehicle is owned by two people:
NO OTHER ENTITY HAS THE RIGHTS, IN MY OPINION, TO DO ANYTHING WITH THE DATA OTHER THAN WHAT THE DEALER HAS CONTRACTED WITH THEM TO DO…PERIOD.
Non-PII (Non Personally Identifiable Information) or not, it doesn’t matter… To companies that are selling this data: IT’S NOT YOUR DATA TO SELL!
So to my friends - Ralph Paglia, Jim Ziegler, Keith Shetterly, Jerry Thibeau - and others, I have to say that we have been a bit unfair piling on TrueCar and not calling out KBB or Edmunds not to mention a major supplier of this data is PIN Data (Power Information Network). Yes, that’s right my friends, JD Powers is in the middle of providing this data and powering TrueCar at least up until recent months and are possibly still selling this data to others.
The web to track down the actual data suppliers is tangled and deep and I am not sure we will ever get to the bottom of who is really responsible. Suffice to say, dealers, we are being played and there are a lot of companies making their business on the backs of our hard marketing work and money spent to get a customer to our showroom and buy a car!
While there is no doubt TrueCar has been the most vocal, I have to ask how long will it go on with KBB and Edmunds if we don't put a stop to it now? How long would they have continued to use our data if TrueCar hadn’t brought it to our attention?
While KBB and Edmunds don't violate any state laws with regards to billing on the sale of a car, they are violating the very same advertising laws that TrueCar is violating.
See the PowerPoint below that shows a comparison between TrueCar vehicle pricing, KBB vehicle pricing and Edmunds vehicle pricing.
At the end of the day, no one company’s data is better than the other with a price difference from low to high of $304. Ironically, TrueCar’s price was the highest by almost exactly the amount of their fee, so you could say as many have said they are passing the fee on to the customer.
Dealers: the train has left the station on trying to keep these 3rdparties out of our business. I would be the first to agree they shouldn’t be between the customer and the dealer. We have powered them. We have bought their services to the tune of millions of dollars and we haven’t gotten our own internet marketing house in order… so they are here to stay. HOWEVER, you have a chance to stop this inappropriate use of YOUR data now before it gets out of hand…
SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Just my thoughts. What say you?
PowerPoint Compairson Between TrueCar, Edmunds and KBB