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If You Use CARFAX You Must Read This!

Imagine negotiating with a consumer and when you get to talking about the price of the car, your customer tells you that you need to take $370 off your price because CarFax said so. The consumer tells you that ON YOUR OWN website, they clicked the CarFax report and it told them that the car was worth $370 less.

The question that begs to be answered is: Less than What???

This is not a fantasy. Check out this CarFax link to a car that is offered at Checkered Flag in Virginia.

The Checkered Flag Group was unaware of this great "NEW" feature offered and implemented by CarFax. Every car has an icon to print a free CarFax report. Ouch.

This "NEW" feature just blew up 2 car sales today. Ouch!

When you look at the CarFax report, there is NO explanation to where this deduction in value comes from. There are no accidents or damage according to this screen.

Does anyone have any idea what this is all about?

Views: 489

Tags: carfac, carfax, carfax prices, values

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Comment by Tim Jennings on May 13, 2010 at 9:46am
So CarFax calls to try and sign me up on their Free service reporting product. (They have been trying for all 3 years its been out) 32 min later (I checked the time stamp) I had rep somewhat agreeing with me about flaws in the pricing tool they just rolled out. He didn't know how they came up with the + - = number as well. He gave me his speech and I said, ' You told me you sold cars, If you used that word track to a customer, do you think that would buy that explanation? He said probably not. Point is he was taking notes and said he wanted to hear all feed back, If the powers at be hear enough feed back maybe things will change. SO LETS CONTINUE TO GIVE THEM THE FEED BACK!!!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 28, 2010 at 5:41pm
CarFax is now officially wearing the old Microsoft "I Don't Give a Damn Because I'm Smarter Than Everyone And Especially Anyone Who Disagrees With Me" hat. Well, even that old behemoth is smarter than this CarFax move nowadays . . .

Hey, maybe it's really like New Coke from decades ago--and they "didn't mean it". :)
Comment by Kristen Greer-Mauro on April 28, 2010 at 5:35pm
I attended a marketing study on this feature before the roll out and I really didn't think they were going to go through with it. In the test group it actually told you WHY they valued it higher or lower. The tool tip roll over for “what’s this?” it would say this vehicle is valued lower because of - "accident", "higher then typical mileage" etc, I guess they pulled that part.

They showed us some that were valued $1000 and $1500 negative! I believe the examples were a car that was in an accident and another with the airbags deployed. So far I've only seen $50 bucks here, $100 bucks there.

My argument was how can you provide a valuation of something like that flat across the country? $1000 in NYC is not the same as $1000 in North Carolina.

I also love how it encourages the customer to go look up book value and plug it into the little box!

So the mediator's rebuttal to all our grumbles was…. but it also tells you if it should be higher then book value! I thought wonderful we’ll just tell the customers - no no it's ok that we charge you more .... see carfax said so .... I'm sure that would go over well!
Comment by Joel Davidson on April 28, 2010 at 5:19pm
Btw, we had a "Clean Carfax" this afternoon that showed an $870 deduction! Luckily, I was there to point it out to the salesperson before he showed it to the customer without noticing it.
Comment by Joel Davidson on April 28, 2010 at 5:16pm
Tim,

I talked to Jewel this morning as well and got about the same response. She said the number was based off of "millions of transactions." She got mad when I tried to explain to her that those millions of transactions were what determined the BOOK VALUE in the first place and that they were not KBB, NADA or Blackbook. Then I got the same blah blah blah about notes for management and having my rep call me. That was 9 AM and still no word some 10 hours later.
Comment by Heath Emerson on April 28, 2010 at 4:59pm
So after a few phone calls I did find out that the lack of Service history can adversely affect the "value" that CarFax is showing on the report. Seems like a backwards way of getting more dealerships and shops to report to CarFax....

Also, the lack of control on giving anyone the ability to review a vehicle is alarming. Pretty much anyone can just go and say they saw your car for sale (they don't specify that you see it in person) and give it a poor review and describe it in detail. So what's stopping the dealer/ex-employee/negotiating customer from bashing your vehicle to make themselves look better or attempt to get a larger discount?
Comment by Aj Maida on April 28, 2010 at 10:59am
5 hours no call back from my rep????
Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 28, 2010 at 10:39am
I guess the guy who designed the current GM SFE 24x7x365 Digital Rewards lead program now works at CarFax designing and rolling out "new" features. Who knew Forrest Gump was a job hopper??
Comment by Heath Emerson on April 28, 2010 at 10:28am
Yeah I called my rep and all he could come up with is that the value they show on the report is based on the cars history.... so does 20 miles = $xx??? No real answer to the question and no surprise there.
Comment by Tim Jennings on April 28, 2010 at 10:20am
Wow I talked to Jewel she didn't get it.

Question/Me: Whats the number you are using to “+or-” from?

Answer: What ever number you put in.

Statement/Me: I didn't put a number in but you still have a “+ or –“ number.

Answer:Yes based on blah, blah, blah....

Statement/Me: Ok, so, lets say I have a car with a book value of $10000 I'm asking $7000 you show the consumer I should STILL take another $340 off?????? You have a average deduction but you don't base it against a price! If I'm below the right price your “+ or –“ number should go away!

Answer: Her answer, Ill have your rep call, and note that you are VERY upset with the new system

The rep call While I had 2 test drives going and writing this post. ALL automotive blogs need to unite on this. Customers will not put the book value in. They will just put our price in. We cant win.

@Aj You are right, the problem is once again Carfax is creating a objection we shouldn't have to overcome.

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