Autotrader's Trade-in Marketplace

Steve Devereaux
Autotrader just launched this new feature in our market. Is anyone using it? How does it work and how is it working for you? Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts. Any information regarding this product will be helpful.
Jim Bell
I will be flat out honest. We did not have much luck with it at all. We had signed up for the big daddy package as the 'buying center' for our market. What we found was the people that were doing it on our site were good leads. The program is set up to buy inventory, but we acquired 9 units over a 4 month time period. We are a Honda store and we were receiving 'leads' that were in the market for a MB, BMW, and odd ball vehicles that we would never carry. We had a real hard time of getting a hold of customers that submitted all of their info for a buy figure. We found that it offended people and they didn't want anything to do with our store as a result of the buy figure and our name being on the information of the dealer to contact. We did receive 2 letters from customers that they would never set foot in our dealership as a result of it and that was the straw that broke the camels back. We used termanology 'Mr. Customer, we are in need of a vehicle like that and would like to take a look at it and see if we can get you more money for it.' I do know that there are some stores that are successful with it, but in our market, we just did not have any luck with the product. We switched back to blackbook on our site since it is easier to justify a range to them than a firm figure. It is different in every market, so you may want to consider it for a 3 or 4 month time period. It's not a bad product, but it just didn't work for us.
Steve Devereaux
Thanks for sharing. That makes things a lot simpler. The entire concept seemed a little too complicated. I know there's people at Autotrader that are probably sitting in a room thinking this stuff up so they can charge dealers more and more money and increase their profits. I hope they don't forget too much about their customers.
Jim Bell
Like I said, it's not a bad product I know of some dealers that have success. It may have been some of our processes that we had in place with the product.
Steve Devereaux
Got ya. Do you have a regular package now, or did you just downgrade to the "Honda Center" or whatever package they are giving to one dealer in so many miles?
Jim Bell
We got rid of the package all together to save money and invested it in other ways.

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