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  1. Car Gurus

    Hi All, Never had any luck with the free Car Gurus but recently were upgraded for a month as a "free trial". Had a few leads including phone calls and one sale. Now the trial is over they're pushing for us to continue using this paid package which I would like to do however I'm not sure the price they are quoting is competitive. For those using paid Car Gurus packages, is it worth while / are you getting quality leads and deals? For those who don't mind sharing what are you paying per month, feel free to PM me? We stock roughly 20 cars so the quote they've given is based on this. Thanks, Kelly
  2. Advertising Platforms This topic has been discussed so many time but curios to see who uses what and any feedback on good bad indifferent. AA Cars Autotrader Carsnip Carcliq EBay Facebook Marketplace Find and fund my car Piston heads Motors RAC Cars Shpock Have I missed any? Thanks
  3. Facebook

    Having spent over £30,000 advertising on Facebook over the past few years, I wondered if other car dealers/brokers used FB to market their cars and what experience have you had with it. We had no problem getting the audiences, however contacting the applicants who came from FB has been a nightmare. Anybody else seen the same?
  4. Shpock

    shpock Click dealer have a deal to feed stock to Shpock+ motors , just curious who's been using shpock and how successful it's been? Is this the next big place to sell cars from? Thoughts?
  5. An Open Letter to Autotrader

    Dear AutoTrader, I’ll come straight to the point. I have fallen out of love with you. You are no longer the same caring & sharing partner that I married all those years ago when we did things together that benefitted us both. Over the years you have become very selfish and greedy, especially with money. Our relationship no longer feels like a partnership, it is all your way or no way. Now that you have your fancy crib in Manchester with all the latest gadgets and influential city friends it seems that you are spending less and less time with me, even though I have never needed you as much as I need your support now. I have sacrificed others to be with you, giving all my marketing spend and more and what do you do? You ask for more but you give less in return. Will you ever be happy with what you get from me? Life used to be so simple with you. Now it’s so confusing and you seem to have an answer for everything even though it’s not your place to say. You always give your opinion and guess what? I’m fed up with it! The final nail in the coffin for me (and I’m not the only one) is the fact that you are no longer happy trying to help me sell, oh no. You want to have a go at being a trader without the risk! Now, what’s this part exchange tool all about? Oh yes … it’s to benefit all the potential buyers on your website. Well, I have been giving part exchange prices for years when these customers reach my forecourt, so why do you need to give these details away now and risk them never visiting me? Oh, ok, so I decide to opt out of having this as I don’t agree with it and what do you do? … you punish me by not including my cars in the customer’s search. My car’s! The car's that I pay you grandly each month to advertise and you are hiding them away from potential customers. When did you become god? It’s already hard enough getting potential customers in through the door without you giving away information so they can decide to stay and shop online, so thanks too for potentially reducing my footfall....again! If you really wanted to benefit all those potential buyers on your website why not encourage more cars to be advertised? It would be really easy. Instead of having under 500k cars on the website, aim for a million! And here’s the easy way to do it … Half your prices! Easy isn’t it? You have conditioned me over the years to advertise cars a certain way, with certain terms and even certain ways of taking photos and at one point you even told me that I should be rounding the prices up or down so to appear in the search on your website! You quite easily have moved the searches to include these. You even asked me to pay extra to highlight these then and then when you have my money, you go to my neighbour and say you pay ‘X’ amount more and we can highlight your cars before your neighbours!!! Where’s the loyalty there? And while I’m at it, why are you jumping into bed with Zuto Loans? You know that I need the commission from the Finance Deal to try and make the deal pay, especially with reduced margin at the deal because you are advising them of part exchange figures and suggesting that I have priced a car too high! You won’t be doing that for nothing I fear, no. You will be pocketing that lovely wee finance referral without having to even register with the FCA. So now that you are also referring GAP products would you like to go the whole hog and get the ‘DiamondBrite' out? Not content with telling me how to sell cars, you are now suggesting that I don’t know how to buy cars unless I have the all encompassing ‘icontrol. I’ve done very well over the years without the need for such a tool, my decisions are based on years of experience of buying and selling cars in my area, so there’s a good chance that I would know better. And what’s this rubbish about when I’m buying I should be looking at retail price and calculate back instead of the traditional guide price and add the margin on? It’s not that I don’t understand what you mean - in fact I have been doing it for years too but listen here, buying and selling is quite simple. You buy at the cheapest and sell and the most you feel that a customer will pay - then add in the value for money, great customer care, vehicle prep, warranty, overheads and back-up. We have been doing this for years so don’t really need you trying to make out its something new! Oh, and by the way, have you ever thought about this … if you are telling every dealer in the country to buy that ‘white Audi A4 Quattro’ (as it will sell quickest and give you the best profit margin). Guess what ... the demand has just gone up along with the buying price yet the margin is now smaller because every dealer want’s it. Simple isn’t it? So I’m at my wit’s end. I’m paying you more a month than what I’m making in profit. There is something far, far wrong. You need to change your ways very quickly or I’m off and you won’t manage to get me back with some gesture of false loyalty like ‘half price stock’ for a limited period. A relationship is a two way thing. Both partners have to be loyal, caring, honest, trustworthy and unselfish for it to continue. Although I have written this letter I do feel that it will fall on deaf ears, but remember there are many other letters like this one written yet unsent sitting on many a car dealers desk all over the UK. I have years of experience at the coal face of the motor trade and don’t need some graduate who has never sold a car in their life patronising me and telling me how to run my business. All I want from you is for you to treat me with the respect I deserve and help me sell more cars. I’m not an overly demanding partner. Now here’s the twist though. I’m already your ex-lover. I am writing this letter on behalf of the great friends I have in this beloved industry who are feeling this way. They are currently still with you although I fear not for long. With so many offerings on the table it won’t be long before you will be writing a ‘please come back letter, I’m sorry' to my friends. I, along with thousands of car dealers in the UK, are looking forward to your public reply. Kind regards Jim Reid Car Dealer Magazines 'Dealer's Dealer of the Year' in support of and on behalf of the Car Dealers on TCD Forum
  6. As reported in Motor Trader today: RAC Cars is dropping its free to list advertising model for dealers for its online classified. It is joining the the Motors.co.uk network in May to joinParkers, Sunday Times Driving, Motoring.co.uk and Carsite on the motors.co.uk network. Dealers will be able to access both brands’ consumers via a single Motors.co.uk stock feed and pay a monthly tenancy fee. RAC launched its free advertising model with claims that it would become market leader by close of 2015 with 500,000 cars listed, overtaking Auto Trader. There are currently 327,500 cars listed on the website. RAC Motoring Services managing director Robert Diamond said the joining Motors would give RAC Cars a broader customer base. “We wanted to engage with the whole of the UK car buyers and not just RAC customers,” he told Motor Trader. Dealers will sign up to the Motors, co.uk website for the first 90 days free of charge and after that pay a monthly tenancy fee to appear on Motors and other sites. Diamond said the free RAC model had failed to raise enough money “It [The free model] worked in that lots of dealers signed up and out stock volumes increased significantly. What was trickier was it did not raise enough revenues to support pay per click advertising,” he said. Now, together, the two businesses’ combined advertised stock increases to over 400,000 cars from more than 8,000 dealers, with audiences of 4.2m across the Motors.co.uk Network. A new RAC Cars website will be launched in May, with enhanced functionality and an improved user journey. RAC Cars promoted itself as “the motorist’s champion” which had “waived the fees for both private sellers and dealers in response to demands for an alternative to existing used car websites that charge high advertising rates.” Phill Jones, managing director of Motors.co.uk, said: “In RAC Cars, we have a partner that shares our passion for becoming a trusted matchmaker for automotive buyers and sellers. “This is great news for both car dealers and prospective buyers. It will provide dealers with access to a larger audience of in-market car buyers through a single relationship, while consumers will benefit from a greater choice of vehicles and the reassurance of RAC’s compelling consumer products. It also underlines Cox Automotive’s ongoing investment in Motors.co.uk to be the trusted advertising partner to the automotive industry.” As has been mentioned elsewhere, this was pushed out to the Trade as Free. For Life. So what happened? Other than the usual, I suspect, bit of corporate greed, the truth lies within the article: >>Diamond said the free RAC model had failed to raise enough money; “It [The free model] worked in that lots of dealers signed up and our stock volumes increased significantly. What was trickier was it did not raise enough revenues to support pay per click advertising,”<< No sh*t, Sherlock. Give it away for free and then wonder why the cash isn't rolling in. Cracking business model, that. >>"It also underlines Cox Automotive’s ongoing investment in Motors.co.uk to be the trusted advertising partner to the automotive industry.”<< No it doesn't. RAC told us it was free, and soon it won't be. Nothing trustworthy there, is there?
  7. Marketing !

    So we’re in the final week of February, Talking to lots and lots of dealers it’s been a tough month for leads, sales, profit (According to the majority!) So who, what do we blame – the climate, the stock, the advertising platforms i.e. Autotrader, Motors, eBay, Piston heads, local press, Google, Gumtree ,sales staff (for those who have staff!) or ourselves or maybe the weather – whatever we all blame it doesn’t change the fact we’re all not happy with the results. Sometimes I guess we need to look at what we are offering to our customers , I’m no marketing guru but I try and put myself into the customers shoes , IF I was looking for a car searched the net from where ever and eventually landed at the dealer website what do I want to see. Well believe me it’s shocking, dealers trying to sell cars with poor images , quality and quantity , dirty floor mats in the foot well, dirty cars, stains on the seats, flat tyre ( Oh Yes!) and the list continues .. Would YOU even bother to call or visit that dealer? NO! Then why do these dealers expect the customer to even call never mind visit or buy the car. Back to basics! Preparation and presentation has to be 1st surely? Now I probably go overboard with the number of images between 25/60 ! and a Full HD Video walk around of every car..But It SELLS CARS ! Only last night a customer collected a Galaxy and he told me about his experience, his words “ You would not believe the state of some of the carsI'veseen , some dealers have 2/3 pictures and not even been valeted , when I saw the video ofyour car I knew you had nothing to hide , and that made me buy the car –I'venot seen anyone else do that , think it’s afantastic idea†I've sold quite a number of cars simply down to the video ( Now I should keep that secret to myself) In all honesty if it helps some of you guys sell more cars – fantastic ! Some of you may think waste of time and don’t have time to do them, that’s fine , some may be saying I sell loads without doing all these ..great continue with what works for you. Please feel free to check out my website and video’s AND Please shout if you think i could improve on anything – all feedback appreciated – positive or negative! Happy Selling guys and remember keep smiling and enjoying what you do , most of all have FUN ! www.autochange.co.uk
  8. Not sure if this topic has been covered , sorry if it has and I may have missed it ! But Is anyone using PPC Campaign and how effective is it / has been ? Thanks Umesh
  9. We've cracked Facebook!

    Whilst you have all been moaning and groaning about the latest Autotrader price increase we have been filling our boots with selling cars via Facebook. No I know what you are all going to say " we already DO Facebook" , but DOING Facebook is NOT enough, you have to learn how to master it and the persistently work with it until it starts paying off. Directly marketing customers, right down to age, gender, where they stay, what they like, even which TV programmes they watch.....I know it's crazy, but YOU can use this technology now! Yes you have to pay to get results, but trust me it's only a fraction of what you are paying advertising on Classified Adverts especially Autotrader. Now there are two ways to do this, either take the hard lonely path whichtakes about three years to master (this is what we did) OR take the easier more direct route which will normally take about 3 months to get results! Let me know if you want any help and I'll point you in the right direction. As Albert Einstein once said "Insanity isdoing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results " Jim
  10. Due to launch tomorrowthe Car Dealer Magazine Conference and Expo Event at Silverstone, Facebook for the Forecourt is an excellentseries of videos & tutorials produced by Neil & David of Neil Weightman Digital Media. Personally I’m really excited as I have been lucky enough to sneak a preview and feel that EVERYONE can benefit from this Product! I even feature in some of the videos as Neil and I discuss our very own success with Facebook. If you are going to Silverstone tomorrow make sure you grab two minutes with Neil & David at Stand 230 but in the meantime why not click on the link below to register your interest NOW! Keep an eye out for a very special PROMO Code just for our very own Twitter Car Dealers Forum, which will give you a discount over and above the special launch price! http://www.fbfortheforecourt.com/ Kind regards Jim
  11. Now I know there are LOADS of sceptics out there but let me tell you something for nothing, we AREselling cars via Facebook! It's not been an overnight thing, it's been a carefully constructed strategy, hard work and persistence, but let me tell you, it's now FUN, EASY to carry out and it's now paying OFF! Yesterday (Saturday) I sold a GTD Golf at £14999 from a post on our Facebook page after many Direct Messages with a follower (who had never dealt with us before ) and a Subaru WRX at £28499 which we posted on FB a few weeks back with aGoPro video Road Test by myself again to a brand new customer to us! Not bad for two £13 promoted posts! Certainly much cheaper than AutoTrader. But before you all start logging onto FB to post a few quick adverts, you really need get your strategy right! One of the problems you encounter is the fact that Facebook, like Google continue to move the goal posts so you need someone on your side who knows where to move the goals posts to and that is where we have been lucky BUT you can be too because I have convinced our "goal post shifter' and 'DigitalGuru'to share these secrets. It has taken us over 3 years forto get the results we are having now from FB but our man "Neil Weightman' of Neil Weightman Digital Solutions is about to packet and launch what he has taught us so YOU can get those results sooner. Neil is going to launch his 'Facebook for the Forecourt' Package at this years Car Dealer Conference, so if you ever needed a reason to go this is it!
  12. Marketing platforms

    Lets see what WE all want or don't want from the likes of Autotrader, Motors, Carcliq, AA, RAC , eBay, Pistonheads +++ 100's more We moan and groan about each and everyone , be it cost ( of course too expensive! ) attitude, lack of leads (sales) - IF you had the opportunity to change / adjust anything on any of the platforms:- what chances would yo like to see and how would that help your business? what would encourage you to advertise with that co if you're not already doing so? what would make you move away IF you were already advertising with them ? Is there a better way that they should charge us dealers i.e. instead of per car or between range i.e 1-15 16-20 50-150 etc etc Do you believe some dealers get a better deal than you ? and why? What return would you expect on your investment ? YOU Don't have to name the platform's IF that makes you uncomfortable mentioning them by name on here! I'm just very curious to know your thoughts , and if you think similar to me. Don't be shy!
  13. If any of you have tried to manually add a vehicle via the Portal, you will probably have found the whole process deeply frustrating, as the quality of the vehicle data (spec, derivatives etc) is shockingly poor. I'm losing the will to live with it all. A/T have signed up with Glass as supplier for their vehicle data. This is a 10-year deal. Previously, when they got the info from CAP, the vehicle data was pretty good, with just a few discrepancies that could easily be rectified. Additional options could be selected and the ads truly reflected the vehicles we were trying to sell. Now, the whole thing is a joke. Complete model ranges are missing or inaccurate, standard and optional spec is generic rather than specific - Apparently, 'exterior mirrors', 'speakers' and 'clock' are attractive standard options that we have to now de-select in order to not look complete numpties. Important extra options are not shown as being able to be selected, so they all have to be added manually or shown in the 'Attention Grabber' to give us a chance of appearing in a search (and don't get me started on just how crap that is now) This change was just imposed without any consultation and with no thought to the implications. The latest from A/T is that they hope to have the data accurate 'by Easter'. Seriously. 6 months to get the data back to where it was before some fool signed a deal with Glass to buy data that they haven't got. And can't provide, as they don't have the resources to supply it. But I expect they still got a fat bonus Nobody at A/T is listening. Their own forum (now online via the smashing new 'Explore' link) is full of very angry Motor Dealers, but this is just the tip of the iceberg as most Traders don't contribute. I'm gonna wind back my spend with them in the New Year - I know they won't really care but i'm not paying them to make things worse any more. I've signed up with Motors (thanks Andy & the team) and really hope it works and they gain momentum so we can all make the jump.
  14. Marketing ?

    I'm always interested to know what type's of marketing dealers [business] do ? Is everyone just focused on ' on line' website full stop! I've tried Radio but personally feel that it should work but never produces the desired results - maybe its good for 'branding' but difficult to monitor even with call to action ads. I do mail shots, direct mail, leaflet drops, email marketing, local press, not fully ventured in to sms/ text as yet. Any thoughts out there ? Anything you've tried and thought it was good? or tried something which you thought was great but it failed to deliver any results ?
  15. Radio Advertising

    Radio Advertising Just wondering what peoples thoughts are on Radio advertising! Normally I don’t listen to commercial radio (because of the ads !! ) but thinking about giving it another shot – locally, but this morning I listened to a couple of car dealer ads. Interesting one is a national group – advertising new Fords with pay half today – then nothing for two years –then pay the other half – no interest charges! 2nd Mercedes Benz UK offer on all used C & E Class models with £1000 contribution towards finance deals BUT the cars MUST be over 90 days in stock! Any thoughts ?
  16. Advertising - Marketing Now we’re glued to the TV from time to time , couldn’t help but see the latest ‘ seasonal’ adverts from the BIG boys of retailing ! We have #bearandhare [john Lewis ] #magicandsparkle [Marks & Spencer ] Morrisons / Debenhams – think they’ve missed a trick – No # hashtag ( I can’t see one anyway! ) ..And I’m sure many others will follow! I’m told John Lewis sales have rocketed since the advert was screened ! John Lewis / M&S /Debenhams adverts are quite long .....and ONLY at the end they mention the brands, is this to keep us on suspense so that we watch till the end? All very cleaver but I’d have thought a cleaver ‘branding’ sign passing in the back ground so forth would create awareness ? Any thoughts?