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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 join Parkers, 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?
So weâ€™re in the final week of February, Talking to lots and lots of dealers itâ€™s been a tough month for leads, sales, profit (According to the majority!) So who, what do we blame â€“ 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 â€“ whatever we all blame it doesnâ€™t change the fact weâ€™re all not happy with the results. Sometimes I guess we need to look at what we are offering to our customers , Iâ€™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 itâ€™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 â€œ You would not believe the state of some of the cars I've seen , some dealers have 2/3 pictures and not even been valeted , when I saw the video of your car I knew you had nothing to hide , and that made me buy the car â€“ I've not seen anyone else do that , think itâ€™s a fantastic ideaâ€ 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 â€“ fantastic ! Some of you may think waste of time and donâ€™t have time to do them, thatâ€™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 videoâ€™s AND Please shout if you think i could improve on anything â€“ all feedback appreciated â€“ positive or negative ! Happy Selling guys and remember keep smiling and enjoying what you do , most of all have FUN ! www.autochange.co.uk
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!