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How many Vendors is YOUR DEALERSHIP Paying who are Selling your Customer Data to Other Vendors for Cash?

So once again I ask the question at the heart of the matter.... Mr./MRS Car Dealer PAY ATTENTION HERE.... How many Vendors are YOU Paying who are Selling your Customer Data to Other Vendors for Cash? AND... is your customer information ultimately being sold by vendors you paid to other car dealers who are your competition?

Isn't it amazing how all these cockroaches scatter when you turn on the lights? For years I've been writing and blogging about this pack of self-righteous criminals pilfering through the dealers' data and stealing your customer information to resell and abuse. They called me every name in the book and slandered me. NOW, all of a sudden we're seeing multiple proofs and suspicions spotlighting the blatant criminal activity and suspected activities of these shady vendors disguised as alleged dealer partners. 

It's time to intensify the hunt and flush out all of them.Not singling out any specific vendor here BUT aren't we all getting a little sick and tired of Technology Pirates stealing your business while you pay them to lower your profits and defame your good name while all the while they are selling your customer information to other vendors and ultimately selling your customers to the competition?

Whether the customer filled out a form on some alleged Lead Providers page using your inventory as bait, or it was lifted or scraped off of the dealers' websites: When are we as dealers and car people going to rise up as one and say to them ... "Get the Hell OUT of Our Data?"

They're buying and selling your information to each other, reprocessing it and selling it to your competitors and then doing it again to your competitors competitors

AND, As I am About to Prove... Many of Your Manufacturers are in on the Scams. WE need to look at how many manufacturers are reselling Junk Leads mixed in with Organic leads that they know have a Low Closing Ratio? How many Manufacturers are forcing their dealers to take low-percentage leads they bought cheap that only have a close rate of 3.8%? Some Manufacturers middle management is deliberately making a huge profit off of their dealers reselling leads they know are worthless mixed in OEM Website organic leads that have a much higher closing ratio.

None of these vendors is contributing anything to your business you couldn't do yourself without them and redirect the money to profitable things.


Views: 3027

Tags: .com, AlphaDawg, Automobile, Car, Cars, Data, Dealer, Digital, James, Jim, More…NADA, Sales, Supersystems, Ziegler, dealership, lead, providers


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Comment by Cherie Price on May 5, 2014 at 8:23pm

My God, Jim........My apologies for taking a year and a half to respond to this most interest topic/question.

In answer to your 2 questions, my 2 answers are YES and YES.

I apologize, but I'm in a "war" with a raging headache and it's winning at the moment.  I will make one brief comment right now and we'll talk later..........sorry.  I called some months ago and "fortunately" got a rookie on the other end of the line.  In very plain blunt plain vanilla English, I ASKED (didn't tell or accuse)...."Does SELL our leads/fee to other sites?"  She responded "yes" as though it was no big deal at all (or better yet, as she didn't know the difference).  I believe, but can not swear, that we were talking about CarsForSale.  As the headache dissipates, my memory will return!

I'll be back to you - sometime THIS YEAR I hope!  ;-)  BTW, THANK YOU for your widely recognized and HELPFUL participation on ADM...........................Cher

Comment by Eric Hinkle on November 27, 2013 at 3:39pm

Both Britt and Jim Z are correct with respect to having or creating a position within the dealership to monitor the vendor relationship(s) and securing their data, notwithstanding. Obviously, there ARE companies re-selling critical data and that places dealerships at risk.  Jim mentioned doing a thorough DMS audit of vendors extracting inventory.  Totally agree with that.  The larger, legacy DMS providers now make vendors go through an approval process.  Vendors must show they have a minimum amount of their dealership clients (for any company) wishing to poll their DMS.  This does not; however, eliminate the grandfathered companies polling data from previous vendors of old.  Penny’s advice on sweeping the old vendors off your DMS will take care of those who exploit a dealer’s data for profit.  There are dealerships that can afford to create this position while there are some that may not have the budget.  Regardless, and audit can be completed within a day by most anyone familiar with the DMS with qualified user clearance.   Dealerships should view their data the same way a software vendor does.  Whether the vendor is a CRM, Inventory Management or other software that requires access to the dealer data; each dealership that allows access to their DMS should have each vendor sign an End User License Agreement.  After all, the data being accessed holds critical personal information subject to identity theft.  Alexander Lau’s post describing a large dealership that ‘frankly didn’t care’ about scrubbing vendors off their DMS should be the first person who should care.  All it takes is one devastating lawsuit to place both the DMS provider and the dealership in court as the defendant.  A quick review of the Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act (1999) (Financial Privacy Rule - Disclosure of Nonpublic Personal Information, codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 6801–6809) provides ample information to speak intelligently to those dealerships that ‘simply (frankly) don’t care’.  It is the responsibility of the dealership to secure their data and have written authorizations/rules to those accessing the same.  I am pretty certain Jim Z has alluded to this in the past and believe it was worth reiterating.  I have heard Jim speak several times.  He is ‘all about’ the dealer.  I believe he has your best interest at heart.  Listen to him.  This is not a paid advertisement.  I have never been properly introduced to Jim.  This particular subject matter is one I have studied, because I had to.  It’s a subject that will slowly - but surely creep into your dealership and by creating a logical business plan now may alleviate problems in the future.  The feds won’t stop at the vendors as more of these cases become more frequent and the authorities become more aggressive.  The vendors will start pointing fingers – and blaming the dealers that have nothing in writing to protect them. 

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 27, 2013 at 2:36pm

Comment by James A. Ziegler 17 minutes agoDelete Comment

If you pull enough threads the sweater begins to unravel.

It's humorous to me reading the self-righteous and pious damage control spin Dataium is putting on their settlement with The State of New Jersey for allegedly reselling consumer information.   I am wondering how many other states and agencies will now take a harder look at what's happening in our industry. No judgment from me in writing on Dataium either way, they settled and thats that... for now. 

Dataium Settles <---- Click There

AND then, there's the growing scandal with alleged misconduct and alleged fraud and alleged illegal activities with Digital Air Strike. 

I have already been contacted by two manufacturers' middle-management telling me bluntly to "Back Off" writing or saying anything about Digital Air Strike. 

I am NOT saying the charges made against Digital Air Strike officers are True or False. That is NOT the issue. The issue is simply stated, if anything they're saying about Digital Air Strike is True, it is bad for the dealers and bad for the industry and bad for the the dealers. What we have NOT seen is a public statement from Digital Air Strike categorically denying charges against them made on the Blogs and Social Media. All I am saying is that if only half of what is being said about Digital Air Strike is only half-true it is a disaster. 

The unsigned Blogs list government records and case numbers and other documentation which on the surface appears to be very genuine and extremely verifiable. Even though the Blogs are unsigned, they are saying it it is the work of a malicious competitor... I say "Who Cares if it's a competitor or not. Is The Information True or False?"

"If Toyota, General Motors, Chrysler,Ford and several other manufacturers got into to bed with these people, approved them as a preferred vendor, and enticed dealers to do business with them; ARE these same manufacturers going to stand up and take responsibility if these charges turn out to be true?  OR... is it more an issue now of covering your backside because it is a cluster and your incompetence might be showing?"

Here is the link to the major blog at the center of the growing scandal.... Click Here  and Click Here too and you might as well click here too to see what they're referring to. 

I predict there is a wave of exposes' and scandals about to hit our industry as more and more people take a serious look at what these vendors are, or are not doing, to our business. Dealerships and your business are at risk. I am just proud to have been the conduit that started the ball rolling and opened the door to Pandora's box several years ago. 

Are any of the companies sending feeds out of your computer... any of them... getting PAID by the companies who are receiving those feeds. Of course, I already know the answer. 

SO, in other words, unbeknownst to the dealer, have you paid a company to offer you services and they are selling your information to other companies right under your nose?

Comment by Edwin Sanchez on November 27, 2013 at 2:24pm

Britt, your right that some dealers will be able to put together their own strategies and run campaigns.  For others we will have to hold their hands and walk them thru it or manage it for them.  I agree their our some good guys out there doing a good job for their dealers.

Comment by Britt Hoffmann on November 27, 2013 at 1:27pm

Edwin, your launch sounds pretty interesting. There are plenty of dealers that are savvy enough to utilize a tool like that. The down side is that there are exponentially more that could really do damage to their marketing by using something like that without knowing how to use it. For all of the bad guys out there doing things like James is uncovering, their are plenty in the business of client success and genuinely be a service and resource to dealers. Let's be careful not to lump all vendors into the data pirating business. 

Comment by Edwin Sanchez on November 27, 2013 at 6:45am

Alex, Thanks we are in the process of updating our entire site for our December launch. 

Jim, you have been dead on about dealers letting bandits and thieves steal their customers from right underneath their nose - then again in most case's it's like taking candy from a baby (still not right though)!

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 27, 2013 at 6:14am

I love where this thread is going... three days and already 1040 page views. Edwin, I see what you're saying and I hear you. Roll it out and let us take a look and we'll be the judge. 

You are right, it's time the dealers took back control of their online presence and stop paying bandits and thieves ridiculous amounts of money to steal your customers and deliberately drive down your profits and  ruin your reputation. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 27, 2013 at 6:04am

@Edwin, you're probably going to want to remove the Lorum Ipsum Latin from your website for anyone to take you seriously @ Just a head's up. With that being said, you must be a reseller...?

Comment by Edwin Sanchez on November 27, 2013 at 4:39am

First, I won't knock vendors or agencies for selling their service.  We will be rolling out our new RTB (Real Time Bidding) DSP Ad Platform (DriveTargeting) in December that will give dealers back the power to run their own Keyword Search Retargeting, Site Retargeting, Contextual Targeting, Domain Targeting, Audience Targeting, and Geo Targeting all from one platform that connects to over 21 Ad exchanges including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo and with over 390 data sources including Experian, ComScore, and Polk.

This will put the power back in the dealers hands by allowing them to bid in real time directly and pay true ad cost without the large markups or fees!  Sorry for the self promotion but I to feel dealers are still being take advantage and paying huge mark ups on ad spend.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 26, 2013 at 4:12pm

You got that right Britt Hoffman, I am amazed that some dealers are paying ridiculous amounts of money to some of these charlatans for a Simple Retargeting Campaign they could do themselves for a fraction of the cost WITHOUT having their customers stolen and compromised by the company they paid.

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