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It's 9:00 AM - Do You Know Where Your Inventory Is?


5:00 AM and the Alpha Dawg is on the Point. Actually been awake since 4:00 AM. Did you ever have so much on your mind you couldn't sleep because you were thinking so hard? Well, a lot of side issues that came out of this battle that are bothering me and I intend to pursue them.

First of all many people reported on the blogs and on Facebook and in Private Chats and Messages. That your inventory was showing up on TrueCar and CarGurus. 

Well, that is troubling. One participant in the blogs emailed a statement that ALL of our vendors, or at least most them, are brokering off our inventory to other websites you didn't subscribe to. OR, perhaps buying and selling your inventory to brokers and listing services where other websites pick up your cars and put them on their own sites. The example they used in the email to me was a listing site the sender claimed to me was brokering your inventory back and forth between these lead generator vendors buying and selling inventory to each other... your inventory, for $6.00 to $12.00 each. I have not investigated fully but I believe there's got to be some truth to that in essence. 

I think their model revisions are as in line with dealers' best interests as any of the others.

BUT, I have a severe problem with CarGurus. I believe they are anti-dealer and NOT good for us or the consumer... my opinion based on what I have seen. 

CarGurus is an alleged lead generation service that Tells The Consumer whether or Not Your Unit Pricing is a Good Deal or a Bad Deal (in their opinion?) During the course of all of this, one of my dealers discovered his Chevrolet Tahoes listed on CarGurus and labeled as a Bad Deal. The rub is He never gave any inventory listing to CarGurus. According to him, the only vendor he was aware of with his inventory was Have you checked, CarGurus to see if your cars are listed there when you don't do business with them???? 

I am not sure if, AutoByTel, AutoTrader, or any of your vendors have the right contractually to do this. I am also researching that. They may be acting strictly within the rights you have signed away somewhere in the deep paragraphs buried in the text of your agreement with them. We will find out.

Here is the questionable language in the contract you probably signed that allows them the right to ship out and export your inventory to God knows where to websites with questionable reputations?

4. Content. Customer grants a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, transferable, license to access, edit, store, enhance, modify, adapt, translate, copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, publish, perform and display publicly, prepare derivative works of, and otherwise use Content, and to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers. reserves the right to modify the Sites and Products, and to edit or reject any Content or portion thereof from use on the Sites or Products in its sole discretion and without notice."

You and your dealer need to get this renegotiated OUT of the contract completely for your protection.

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Tags: Alpha, BDC, Dawg, Generation, Internet, James, Jim, Sales, Supersystems, Ziegler, More…adwords, automotive, autotrader, bootcamp, brian, buy,, cars,, certified, dealer, dealership, dealix, digital, google, lead, marketing, negotiate, new, nurturing, pasch, strategy, truecar, used


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Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 2, 2013 at 12:53pm


Comment by Kirk Sanders on May 2, 2013 at 11:10am

In my case looking at the their VDP it is coming from one of our 3rd party lead providers Dealix -  They are also not consistent labeling something $85 over market value a poor deal and others $358 over market on the same car but a year older a fair deal.  Huh?  In addition I doubt they are looking at the frame damage or other items on vehicle history that would add or remove value from the car that we have had issues with these types of inventory sites. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 2, 2013 at 11:08am

Yep, or else someone like me, could create a WordPress site using a theme such as: or an RSS / XML Feed widget to display that same inventory on a 3rd party site. Incredibly simple process and very cheap to do in fact. 

Comment by Steve Duff on May 2, 2013 at 10:52am

I've already brought this up to my rep at and also asked Autotrader rep who visits us weekly to look into what they are doing.

Looks like someone is doing something similar to what I had proposed elsewhere with this ---

If we had just one clearinghouse for our inventory feed through which we could grant or deny permissions to any other site to receive the feed, well that could put an end to this topic, but only if a ton of dealers demand that the Content section be pulled from their contract before any renewals take place.

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 2, 2013 at 10:30am

Ha! An extension of the outrage. Good article. Unfortunately, with the way XML works, it makes it far to easy for a load of applications to absorb inventory and display away. I tend to agree, TrueCar seems as if they have their act together. Have always like them, to be honest with you.

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