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Cars.com vs. AutoTrader.com - Do We Really Need Both? What do YOU think? We`d like to know.

To the ADM Community Members,

 

I would like to get your thoughts in regards to this....... Cars.com vs. AutoTrader.com - Do We Really Need Both??

 

Currently we are reviewing various 3rd Party sources and measuring the ROI with each of these vendors as we are exploring the possiblity of eliminating one or two and allocating these funds towards another vendor of choice. In other words, "Shaving the Fat" or nixing the weakest link.

 

Here`s the scenario; We generally have between 100 to 130 used vehicles in stock at any given time.

 

Now with AutoTrader we are a "Featured" dealer....... and see very little return on this investment as we only receive minimal(single digit) amount of leads and calls each month at the current plateau that we are on. On a very interesting note, when searching on AutoTrader for a particular vehicle, you are only searching on that one plateau. If you select "Premium Listings" and select "Low to High" pricing you only see those vehicles at the Premium Level regadless of price.

 

 

With Cars.com we see as much as 30 times the amount of calls/leads per month in their monthly reports. So why wouldn`t we as a dealer the "Cut the Fat" and beef up our Digital Marketing with Cars.com???

 

 

Why would we want to spend two & a half times more with AutoTrader to become a Premium Listing Dealer??? Will we actually sell that many more vehicles to justify this........ I highly doubt it. 

 

Also don`t you think many consumers are actually just cross-searching both of these used vehicles search portals??? We are probably getting the same consumer on both sites!

 

I realize every area in the country will produce different results that use these two vendors but I would like to know your opinion in regards to Cars.com vs. AutoTrader.com  - Do We Really Need Both?

  

Thank you all in advance for your opinion.

Ken Beam

Marketing Director

Douglas Auto Group

 

 

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Comment by Diane Anderson on March 13, 2013 at 12:27pm
Let me begin by saying, in our market we see very little cross over in shoppers between the two different vendors. After sitting through Brian's Webinar yesterday; it makes sense that we need to change the way we look at monies spent to get the biggest bang for the buck. I sent the link to the Webinar to all decision-makers. Doubt they will take the time to watch, but the data speaks for itself. We MUST change the way we do business. As Brian's latest book states...continue to do business as usual, continue to make decisions based on your gut instincts rather than data...we lose. Time to do the math.
Comment by Richard Klepach on March 13, 2013 at 9:09am

Ken, I don't prefer one over the other but it appears car.com's efforts are worth more than auto trader.com.  At least they have a fair standardized price no matter if your a large multi-franchise dealer or a small independent dealer.  What would make sense is for auto trader.com to have one set fee based on your inventory volume and stick with it.  Not charge differently based on how you want your vehicles to appear in the search results pages.  Obviously these companies are always looking for ways to make more money and become more profitable.  But fair is fair right?  If I want my vehicles to appear higher in the SRP, why do I have to pay more?

Comment by Brian Pasch on March 13, 2013 at 8:21am

Ken

Since you attended the webinar I gave yesterday, I suggest that you calculate the cost per vdp that you generate on your own website first.  By looking at how well your own efforts are generating consumers who will view your inventory is a good exercise before any cutting of the fat.  I would rather look at each marketing investment and see how well it is connecting in market shoppers to your inventory.

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