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Autotrader running the show - we are all pawns

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Autotrader is getting too big for its boots - It consistently rapes the dealers that pay for it's existence but at the same time are forcing the prices down with their "car guru's" type price indicator.

Clean cars are getting harder harder and progressively more expensive and the expenses to run a retail business are huge. Why is autotrader hell bent on meddling with perceived car values to help the customer get a cheaper deal but at the same time always trying to increase the cost to the dealers that pay for it?

You have to pay extra to get your car advert to the top (sponsored) and to be optimized for tablets - these should be free if they are trying to look after their customers.

They now have a 49% share of Cox Automotive's Dealer Auction as of the beginning of this month and guess what..... we used to pay £60 per year to join the buying group which was great with a fixed price for buyers fee typically £60 + vat........ Now AT is in the frame it's £99 per month and who knows what the buyers fee is going to be now ??? 

 

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new price indicators will see the death of numerous forecourts in the coming months

Just now, beckly car sales said:

new price indicators will see the death of numerous forecourts in the coming months

they are dropping like flies here on the wirral

 

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24 minutes ago, beckly car sales said:

new price indicators will see the death of numerous forecourts in the coming months

they are dropping like flies here on the wirral

 

Really? Thats quite extreme? We’re they on the brink anyway?

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i really dont know, but 3 major dealers have gone and it looks like another is on its way as i was looking at his stock which has all been dramaticaly reduced all to low price indicator.So must be in trouble as we all know its impossible to buy 50 desirable cars and price them at AT low price and make a profit.Its scandalous what autotrader are doing and im not even sure it is legal to put an opinion on a individual second hand item without seeing it,surely against trading standards principles.The whole of the trade need to join together to launch their own platform and rid the scurge of autotrader and its ruining tactics which are strangling us to the death.

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I often wonder, take CD5 for example who do an excellent job, why someone doesn't just replicate what they do. I am no IT boff but how hard can it be? 

Go to my website and you have similar search filters to AT albeit on a much smaller scale. Spend some money pushing that to the public and you're away. What is it they do (other than the brand) that no-one else seems able to replicate.

I know I am probably being niave but surely it is just a much larger version of any one of our websites. Drive enough traffic to it and cars will sell. Could you imagine how much you could earn if for example you charged £10 per slot per month on a minimum 20 car package and how happy dealers would be to send you their £££'s.

I still cannot believe how they get away with it but with people supporting them (myself included), we only have pourselves to blame.

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1 minute ago, Mark101 said:

I often wonder, take CD5 for example who do an excellent job, why someone doesn't just replicate what they do. I am no IT boff but how hard can it be? 

Go to my website and you have similar search filters to AT albeit on a much smaller scale. Spend some money pushing that to the public and you're away. What is it they do (other than the brand) that no-one else seems able to replicate.

I know I am probably being niave but surely it is just a much larger version of any one of our websites. Drive enough traffic to it and cars will sell. Could you imagine how much you could earn if for example you charged £10 per slot per month on a minimum 20 car package and how happy dealers would be to send you their £££'s.

I still cannot believe how they get away with it but with people supporting them (myself included), we only have pourselves to blame.

I often wonder the same thing myself, loads of people have tried over the years with big wallets and still didnt make a dent, put it down to a question bigger than my pay grade to fathom. 

 

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Free market economy?  Capitalism? Although to be fair when someone has popped up on this forum with an idea for an alternative to AT they are usually ‘sacked off’

there’s always Exchange & Mart?

Edited by metcars

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I think its possibly something which needs to be raised with the Office of Fair Trading.

I suspect nobody has actually reported them (AT) to the OFT

I do think that in all probability some of their practices are dubious to say the least. 

They can speculate whether a car is priced high/med/low in relation to the market but as it is a used item who's value is subject to condition, this could be construed as misleading unless made very clear that the price indicator assumes a particular standard.

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I am sure people these days look across multiple sites, had a chap the other day phone on a car I had on eBay, he asked me why it was n’t on autotrader to which I replied because I don’t have to.

i think autotrader should be concerned about the likes of Facebook, if they ever got their act together with a decent, simple interface and being able to target certain demographics I think they could really be into something plus they have pots of money to promote it.

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4 hours ago, XFS said:

I think its possibly something which needs to be raised with the Office of Fair Trading.

I suspect nobody has actually reported them (AT) to the OFT

I do think that in all probability some of their practices are dubious to say the least. 

They can speculate whether a car is priced high/med/low in relation to the market but as it is a used item who's value is subject to condition, this could be construed as misleading unless made very clear that the price indicator assumes a particular standard.

 
“The Price Indicator system is a simple way for your customers to determine whether the car they are looking at is a good deal or not”
 
Thats lifted directly off their site. You have a point. It’s misleading.
 
I also think BCA are on dodgy ground with Essential Checks.

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"the more important points when valuing cars are - condition, originality, correct service history, and pedigree" - advise autotrader said to buyers absolutely nowhere ever.

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5 hours ago, Mojo121 said:
 
“The Price Indicator system is a simple way for your customers to determine whether the car they are looking at is a good deal or not”
 
Thats lifted directly off their site. You have a point. It’s misleading.
 
I also think BCA are on dodgy ground with Essential Checks.

+1

an essential check for me and many could be 3 things!

is the engine noisy

is the gearbox noisy

is the clutch slipping.

thats worth more than the F-ing £10er or whatever the (non)essential check costs 

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11 hours ago, justina3 said:

I often wonder the same thing myself, loads of people have tried over the years with big wallets and still didnt make a dent, put it down to a question bigger than my pay grade to fathom. 

 

The Autotrader brand is a monster and is the clear market leader.  

To understand how much money it takes to have a recognised alternative, Carwow has allegedly had £50m of funding and I doubt if you asked many retail consumers many would never heard of them.  

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If every car dealer who advertises on AT boycotts the price indicators, think AT will get the message that price indicators are not wanted.  Or at least get rid of the high price which I have done so. Go into stock management and take out the year of registration, we have sold cars with no price indicators on them.

It is December, thought it was going to be dire this month but I am very pleased that we have sold 7 this month so far. (Don't want to knock it)

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I think AT are scared of losing buyers to FB, CarGurus etc so are busy trying to increase the “value” of their product to the searchers in terms of more information. However they are biting the hand that feeds as pushing down margins and making the site less trade friendly will just more traders away and onto FB, EBay, etc. thus actually helping their competitors gain market share. 

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8 hours ago, Contracts said:

The Autotrader brand is a monster and is the clear market leader.  

To understand how much money it takes to have a recognised alternative, Carwow has allegedly had £50m of funding and I doubt if you asked many retail consumers many would never heard of them.  

How much revenue and audience would autotrafer have if evryone jumped ship in one foul swoop.If we had like a one week no ads with autotrader evry now and then maybe we could hold them to ransom and would listen,i really dont think everyone has yet understood how price indicator bs will affect them.

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The problem is, unless everyone or a large proportion do, nothing will work. Plus, most are on contracts whereby we have to serve 1 months clear notice.

I also think even if everyone on this forum left, it would be a drop in their ocean. 70% margin, they could live with just the main dealers and supermarkets.

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7 minutes ago, Mark101 said:

The problem is, unless everyone or a large proportion do, nothing will work. Plus, most are on contracts whereby we have to serve 1 months clear notice.

I also think even if everyone on this forum left, it would be a drop in their ocean. 70% margin, they could live with just the main dealers and supermarkets.

Indeed.  Plus they don't give a fcuk of course.

I would think the best angle of attack is for everyone to hound their reps and daily call the office numbers to complain.  That and a high profile survey.  I think IMDA have done one @umesh what's the stance on this?  Any plans to present to them or any feedback so far? 

I've used this analogy before and it remains true however, that organising independent car dealers is like herding cats.

Of course, leaving the robbers and voting with your feet is the best angle of attack- if only for a short period.  I think I'm right in saying that although the notice period is a month, that there's nothing to stop you joining right back up again?

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1 minute ago, NOACROSS said:

I think I'm right in saying that although the notice period is a month, that there's nothing to stop you joining right back up again?

Correct but unless everyone cancelled on a set day (herding cats), it would be staggered and the effect would be softened.

 

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Just out of interest? Is anyone that constantly gets good AT price indicators noticing a huge increase in business?

Havent punters always been able to compare prices with a little thought? AT would probably argue they are just pointing out the obvious?

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