Busted! Manufacturer conquest lead reselling caught in the act!

Dan Sayer
Interested to hear if anyone else has first-hand experience of this practice: While at our INT2 20Group last week in Vegas, Chad Sebatka our Digital Marketing Director, was making a point during a discussion regarding 3rd party lead vendors. The discussion was heading into how they derive their leads by paying for the click but ultimately then profiting by selling to multiple dealers. Not saying there is anything wrong with that...or is there? Consider what happened next. In front of the room, Chad searched for "new honda prices" and chose the second option down in the paid tier, "honda.carpricesecrets.com/". He then selected Honda Fit and put in our zip. Finally, he filled out the contact information, selected three local dealers (all Honda mind you) and submitted. Five minutes later our Mazda store (no we don't have a Honda store) called us asking if we were secret shopping them. To our surprise, the Honda Fit lead had come into our CRM as a Mazda lead on a 2014 Mazda2 Sport!? Imported comments with the lead said "Customer has also expressed interested in 2015 Honda Fit...". So, either this is Mazda's way of conquesting OR the reseller sold it to Mazda as a "Mazda" lead. Thoughts? We're still in disbelief that a manufacturer would sell us a lead, and apparently has been selling us leads that set us up to look like complete idiots when we get the shoppers on the phone: Salesperson, "Hello, shopper, I'm calling you about your interest in a Mazda2." Shopper, "I didn't submit a request on a Mazda2." Enter awkwardness and confusion. Thoughts? Other instances?
Dan Sayer
As a side-note, we did contact Mazda and the regional rep had to inquire with corporate. They then said we had the option to turn those leads off completely within the dealer portal (which I did immediately). I also called Ford to confirm that we would in no way be sold leads that were derived in a similar manner. The FordDirect rep confirmed that they don't buy leads this way. I'm currently waiting for a call back from one of the local Honda stores about the lead source that showed up on their end.
Lauren Moses
We are a GM store with only Buick and GMC, and as of yet have not had an issue with this, those I do know of another dealership that was receiving leads two to three days after they were really submitted and by then the customer had already purchased. I would be in complete shock as well so I can see your frustrations. Best I can see is to stay on Mazda or whoever is doing the selling of leads until you get the answers you need. Taking to social sites and sometimes have a big effect too.
Dan Sayer
I did speak with one of the Honda stores and they did receive the lead, and were charged, from Honda. It would be interesting to find out if carpricesecrets.com actually packaged it as a Mazda lead or if Mazda bought it knowing it was singularly a Fit lead. At this point, carpricesecrets.com sold it to three Honda dealers and one Mazda dealer for sure. I looked up the domain registry and CarPriceSecrets.com LLC is the owner.
Linda Loepker
I'm the dealership that Lauren is referring to. Not happy about what happened with that - and I'm sure you're frustrated also! That's pretty crappy in my opinion!
Bill Simmons
Yes, I have heard of this before. And it is not just the manufacturers that are reselling these reprocessed leads. This method is how many of the 3rd party lead re-sellers get their leads in the first place. They get your inventory to list by scraping your website and also from some of the people that you are giving your inventory feeds to from your DMS. Take a vehicle that has been in your inventory for at least 30 days, and copy and paste the VIN into a Google search. You'll more than likely be surprised at how many sites, that you do not do business with, that the vehicle is listed on.

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