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Hi All Im fairly new to this so not sure if this is the right place to post but we are considering launching a new platform for car dealers all over the UK. The question is what do you actually want and how much are you willing to pay for it? There has been a lot of negative feedback about the price of Auto Trader etc... but what is it you guys actual want/ need ? No point re-inventing the wheel or creating something now one is interested in so to cut through all the BS.. What do you want (in as much detail as you can) How much do you want to pay (A number please)
Dear Auto Trader What on earth have you done? Back in the rosy, halcyon days of last summer, we (YOUR paying customers) were able to advertise our stock on your website by adding some simple details via your Dealer Portal. Other than a few minor adjustments via tick boxes to optional extras, the specification that was displayed to the car buying public (OUR paying customers) was sufficiently accurate to ensure that the full details of each and every car was displayed properly. Whilst we have grumbled about the prices you charge, we understood that a premium product had a cost attached and, in the absence of a credible alternative with the market share you have, we reluctantly kept handing over the cash. Albeit safe in the knowledge that you would provide us (again, YOUR paying customers) with leads that, subject to our varying abilities and skills, would lead us to a profitable sale. Then you went and spoilt everything. You made two important changes that have seriously damaged your credibility and made our lives a whole lot more difficult. Firstly, you, without warning, switched your supplier of vehicle data. Secondly, you offered the car-buying public (remember: OUR paying customers) â€˜valuationsâ€™ on everything â€“ their cars, our cars, your mumâ€™s car, everything. Now, in order to advertise a car, what used to take a couple of minutes takes an eternity. The model/derivative descriptions and standard/optional specification you (via Glass) offer for huge numbers of vehicles is, quite frankly, rubbish. I wonâ€™t go into details about just how bad it is, because we already know â€“ and you should already know. Despite many complaints and demands for action, you have, as yet, done nothing to rectify it. We have been told that you hope to have it sorted by Easter. Six months after making the change. I know that this will not happen. I suspect that you know this will not happen. But still you persist. I do not believe that Glass have the necessary resources in place to provide you with what you thought you were getting. It is difficult to understand why you took this hugely erroneous step of changing your vehicle data supplier from CAP to Glass. Surely somebody must have checked that the accuracy and level of detail was adequate? I can only assume it was a cost-cutting exercise but, with the gift of hindsight (available for tuppence a bucket, donâ€™t you know), you must now realise what a dreadful decision it was. And youâ€™ve signed up for ten years!! Seriously? And the â€˜Valuationsâ€™â€¦ Words almost fail me. Almost. We are Motor Trade Professionals. It is our job to buy and sell vehicles. We do it quite a lot and have done for a very long time. We know how to value a vehicle. At no time did we specifically ask you to tell our customers how much we might have paid for the car that they are looking to buy. Especially, and this is the nub, when the information you provide is spectacularly wrong and based upon a misguided view of the marketplace, using flawed data. I am not interested in how you think you are helping our customers by providing â€˜transparencyâ€™. I didnâ€™t ask you to do this and it provides no benefit in reality to your customers (remember? US). It creates confusion, distrust and, ultimately, costs us business. Therefore, as I am YOUR customer, I am asking you to stop. I do not want you to do this for me. I am not paying you to do this. I can do it for myself if I wish to. So pack it in. You have received many, many complaints about both of the above changes; complaints which you have not addressed satisfactorily and/or ignored completely. Nobody in a senior position in your organisation has had the guts to go public and admit you might have got it wrong. You are just continuing at full speed down this dead-end street, disregarding the opinions and feelings of your customers. When will you understand how wrong and stupid that is? The final insult you have thrown at us is your decision to increase your charges (in many cases disguised within new â€˜packagesâ€™). Frankly, this really is a Right Royal P**stake. You have decided, in amongst all this, that you feel justified in charging us more for a substantially worse product. Your justification for this I would really love to hear. Or maybe I wouldnâ€™t, as I wouldnâ€™t believe a word of it anyway. I am not alone with these thoughts. There are others who are too busy or are unable or unwilling to raise their head and voice their complaints. There will also be many who consider progress has to happen, whatever the cost. And that I should stop whinging and flog some motors. However, you have abused your position of market dominance and are taking your customers for granted. This is foolish and must stop. I, and many others, are seeking alternative ways of marketing our products and we will not hesitate in pulling the plug on you as soon as possible if nothing changes. It strikes me that you wonâ€™t necessarily give a chuff about that, as you see yourselves as being able to afford a bit of a bleed from the subscriber base, as â€˜we need you more than you need usâ€™. Apparently. Donâ€™t cover your eyes for too long thoughâ€¦
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.