Rory RSC

Autotrader Dealer United

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Had this sent to me via a finance rep yesterday. No idea where it originated, thought I would share. Its long winded so make a brew.

 

AUTOTRADER DEALERS UNITED!

 

Guys. We all need to wise up, quickly. This affects every Autotrader advertiser at every price of car, and we Dealers need to take action, together, against them.

Did you know:

 

1. Autotrader have just changed their ‘packages’. Yours has changed.

2. If you want what you had last month, your annual bill is increasing by 50% to 60%!

3. Your adverts do not appear as they did last month, anymore. (How are your customer enquiries right now?)

 

Can you afford to give Autotrader what you pay them right now per year, to NOT show your adverts…?

Can you afford to give them tons more money (50% plus) than you do already, to go back to how you were, so for a zero benefit?

 

What’s going on? 

Consider this example:

 

Say your ‘new package' is now the most common, called ‘Standard’. Your bill (now monthly from April 2017 instead of 4 or 5-weekly) has gone up by approx 7% at that point. (multiply your old weekly cost by 52, multiple the new monthly cost incl At-mail, website etc. by 12, and for 1 year, you’ll see a 7% increase, possibly more?).

 

Ok, sounds typical Autotrader. So are things the same though? I’ve got the same things, right? Do my adverts appear the same as they did?

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! You need to pay them over 50% more for that!

 

For a quick example: you have a 2014, 63 plate 3 series diesel with 57,000 miles, on for £11990.

A buyer with around £11000 to £13000 to spend opens Autotrader on his desktop or Mac at home or office and, searches:

BMW

3 series

from 2014

Diesel

up to 60,000 miles, clicks ‘search’.

 

A few weeks ago, at £11990 you would be rightly, on page 2. Cars presented to the buyer in price order. Logical. He’d filter further from there, say for distance maybe. Maybe not.

 

SO WHY ARE YOU NOW…., ON PAGE 27 !!!!???? (and it’s getting worse each day)

 

So are they not shown in price order anymore, then??!! (You ask). 

Yes. Well,… yes. Well, sort of. Well…NO.

Well, yes or no? 

Well….sort of. Your prospective customer thinks they are. They start around £11k-ish and appear to gradually increase. But he won’t see yours.

What are you on about? 

Well, they’re shown in the all new: ’Sponsored adverts first’ order. But in price order, so he thinks he’s seeing all the results, in logical price order. 

Oh, ‘sponsored ads’ .Yeh, right. On the mobile platforms. They’ve done that for a couple years now. I did/ did not sign up to that out and out Con Trick at the time.

No. I mean desktop platform, as of now.

What? !

Well, all the ‘sponsored’ are shown first, then you and the others begin in a another new price order, beginning on page 27!

You’re making it up, right?

No, I couldn’t make it up.

Ok, how do I get back to being on page 2? How do I get back to how it was a few weeks ago, in March / April 2017? So I join the sponsored ads. Go on, how much…£? Not another few percent on top of the 7% they've already put it up anyway?! Surely not?

Er, another 50% extra on top of that please…?

Another 5% !?

No, I said FIFTY PERCENT. Add another, further 50% to your annual bill. So, 50 to 57% more money from you please, if you want to appear as you did a few weeks ago.

 

Random (real life, today) example number 2:

You have a 2008 Mark 6 Fiesta with 70,000 miles, advertised at £2600

Customer has up to £3000, searches Autotrader:

Ford

Fiesta

from 2008

up to 80,000 miles, clicks search

 

In the OLD, price order method, you’re on page 14, with prices starting on page one at £1450 for a Cat C, etc.. So, customer would have filtered further; distance, or price. Say, from £2k to eliminate rubbish, and say, a 10 mile radius. Then, you’re the second car on page one! You’ve probably got a sale!

In the NEW, ‘Sponsored ad’s first default, you’re not on page 14 anymore, you are on page….50…., FIFTY!

But the customer will filter again, you say.

NO, he surely won’t. Because, the first car shown to him is £3250, then £3400, £3499, £3500 Etc.. The Autotrader are telling him (seemingly) that the cheapest in the country, at all, on the Autotrader, is £3250. Why should he filter anymore? Why would he see the point? He’s already priced out at the cheapest available. So he looks on Motors / Ebay / Gumtree, etc., where he’ll find loads of results as it happens, within his budget. You’ve lost out, the customer’s lost out, and Autotrader’s lost out, long term! And by now you’ll be agreeing; this is an ill-conceived Con-Trick.

 

If you think this is some anomaly example or nothing to do with you, just check the above examples yourself, then check how it applies to all of your stock. (If it doesn’t seem to affect your own stock too badly, look at this example again and then see how it WILL begin to impact on you soon when numbers of smaller independents like you have decided to join in because ‘they have to’.) Then wake up to this fact:-

 

that you have to have the new ‘Premium’ package to appear in the ‘sponsored adverts’ in price order. No alternative. And it is, give or take a smidgeon, 50 % extra. (A lot morein fact, if you are now on a package below the ‘Standard’ in this example)

 

So, assuming you can find another 50% or more to spend on your Autotrader bill, you’ll surely have to do it? Look specifically at the first example above. Surely loads and loads of people have done it if you’ve been pushed down 25 pages in our example…?

 

NO. No, no, no, no! They haven’t.

 

What? (You ask) 

No. At the time of writing, (with the exception of a handful of individual ads by 4 smaller independents who have already decided they have to take the plunge) just THREE companies pushed you down 25 pages!

Have you been sniffing glue?

No. Car Giant, Big Motoring World, Imperial.

?????????

 

Well, consider Car Giant. 4039 cars on Autotrader. So, Autotrader sing to their tune. Car Giant undoubtedly get this for free!?

What? Why?

They and their likes, if given it for free, will force you and me to have to do it. And many thousands of other, smaller independents. A very very lucrative ‘snowball effect’ for Autotrader if it is allowed to happen. Right now, in the above BMW example, take a look. It looks more like the ‘Auto-CarGiant-trader’ website!?

 

So in a nutshell that’s it:

Right now with the new changes, you pay them £XX,000 per year to NOT show your adverts. If you want them to show your adverts , you have to give them that same

£XX,000 , plus around 60% more on top.

 

So will it work, or will it destroy Autotrader? First consider this. 6000 or so combined ads are on Autotrader by the present culprits in our example: CarGiant, Big Motoring World, and Imperial. Impressive. Why should Autotrader care about you? Well, because: 6000 is just 1.3% of the 436,000 Trade Ads on Autotrader today. So you and me are part of the 98.7% massive majority! Of their income…. So we matter far far far more than they do. 

But if you don’t happen to realise that, then Autotrader give it to them for free, (so they are delighting big individual customers right now), and ‘we’ the 99%, pay the bill of increasing Autotrader’s turnover by near 60%, by being quietly forced to join the ‘sponsored adverts’ party. So do we give in and let it work for them, OR fight and bring them down to where they work for us, the people keeping them in business….? Well, I for one simply cannot afford to give them a shed load of money to NOT show my adverts, and even less can I afford to give them 60% more than that shed load just to put me back to where I was a month ago!

 

There is a lot more mind blowing stuff in the new packages too. Including having to give 30 days notice to reduce your stock level, but none to increase it, and an hilarious 420% rise in the cost of adding one more car to your current contracted amount of cars!

 

Do you know Motors, Ebay, and Pistonheads cost on average around FIVE PERCENT of what Autotrader now want to charge for your ads to appear, and they do it in a non-con trick, logically ordered way? Autotrader are a superb site, but they are despicable, and this evil minded latest stitch-up is a bridge way too far! They need to be reminded that they work for us. 

 

Guys, copy and past this post to EVERYONE you can think of. I thought of 10 dealers in a five mile radius of me who kind of know who I am, without even thinking hard about it. Those 10 dealers email 10 dealers, thats 100 dealers. They email 10 each, and so do they, and that’s 10,000 dealers. If you can’t get 10, just email this anonymously if you have to, to 10 dealers, to whoever dealer, wherever. But email at least 10 dealers! It’s time for Dealers to UNITE. 

 

HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO, LIKE A DELUGE, TOGETHER, WITHIN DAYS: 

 

  1. Every single one of us without exception needs to email their Autotrader account manager asap to say you are not paying a penny more than the 7% or more hidden increase already on your new bill, and that you will not be migrating to the new ‘Premium’ package, and unless Autotrader (1) scrap the ‘sponsored adverts’ change, and (2) scrap the 400% + hike in adding ONE car more, and (3) scrap the 30 day notice to reduce stock, we are all leaving within the next 3 months, as we intend to migrate to their competitors in that time. Everyone! Do it now. Takes a couple of minutes. Mention you are part of the AUTOTRADER DEALERS UNITED movement.
  2. Effective immediately: we now change all our adverts’ first lines in Dealer Portal ‘Key Information’ to start with the following words in our advert, (thus having it show on every ad on every landing and search page): We also advertise on Motors Uk, Ebay, Pistonheads..” (Whichever companies are appropriate, but make sure to mention at least two!?) Advertising Autotrader’s competitors right now surely is a very valuable long-game gain for us, the traders? Do it now! Copy and paste. Takes no time.
  3. Effective immediately, also within ‘Key Information’, we then follow on with this statement:‘Autotrader now defaults your search results to ‘’sort by: sponsored adverts first’’, meaning you will not see all results. Be sure to always change the drop down menu to ‘price, lowest’ or another of your choice!’

 

4) ( and this is probably the best long term investment of our time we could make) Call Motors. Call Pistonheads. Call Ebay, call Gumtree, or whoever you mentioned in your ‘We now advertise on…’. ( We all have different ‘kinds’ of stock, and some sites are more or less appropriate than others for us?).Tell them why you are calling, because the silent majority are looking to take control, and tell them you know a lotmore traders are now going to be calling them (from AUTOTRADER DEALERS UNITED) because of this campaign, and that they will all be asking the same thing. First, they will need to prepare themselves for a lot more new business! While you’re on, tell them what you don’t like about the way their website runs at the moment. (Sadly, there is usually plenty to criticise, but hey, we can help them! ) Leave your number, tell them to call you back when they know the scale of this new wave of business waiting to come their way, and when they feel their systems can handle it, tell them you are ready then to receive a free 2 month trial while they get it running smoothly. (Motors UK are giving me 2 months free right now) Remind them how many years you have been with Autotrader and assure them that you will be with them forever as a paying advertiser if they work in the way their advertisers want, at a reasonable cost.

 

 

Autotrader has become a highly despicable company. They exist because of us! It’s time for a revolution. It’s time to stop being milked like cows in a field. You’re on your computer or mobile right now, so please do steps 1 to 3 above, right now?

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Bloody hell Rory, that's some read. Could this be the straw that brakes the camel's back?

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No idea who kicked that one off guys as I say finance rep sent it to me, a dealer somewhere started it but the names were blanked.

I tried posting on AT forum but it has gone to moderation.

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3 minutes ago, Rory RSC said:

No idea who kicked that one off guys as I say finance rep sent it to me, a dealer somewhere started it but the names were blanked.

I tried posting on AT forum but it has gone to moderation.

Surely not? :)

I'm sure it would look good on car sales memes.

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Its extortion,we calculated that 50 cars a month costs £3500! I think dealers make up 80% of AT income.Rory circulate this stuff to as many traders you know.

What we have to do- Complain or send Rory's post to the following people.

Andrew.ross2@barclays.com

Chris.Collett@db.com

Joseph.Barnett-Lamb@credit-suisse.com

These are AT anylists which investors follow on the stock market.If they can be persuaded that new AT rates are  causing a revolt and exodus of trade advertisers and will effect AT income.The stock could be marked as a SELL which will result in a drop in the share price.If that happens,AT will take notice.

 

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Lots of people have dumped Autotrash and have never looked back.

The 6000 cars for CarGiant, Big Motoring World, and Imperial is missleading.

Arnold Clark, Evans Halshaw, Pendragon etc are huge contributors.

 

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Surely at least 10 of us on here could email this on to 10 dealers local to ourselves along with what trade vet suggested. Acorns and Oak trees and all that.

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1 hour ago, sparky said:

Surely at least 10 of us on here could email this on to 10 dealers local to ourselves along with what trade vet suggested. Acorns and Oak trees and all that.

Yes, very important to spread the word. I've done it and I'm not even on Autotrader

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Amazes me how the trade allows them to get away with it, if I tried to con a customer or move the goal posts after I had agreed a deal my customer would probably sue me and most certainly would never deal with me again but Autotrader have been conning the trade this way for years and most dealers just accept it, and if you keep paying they will keep doing it, I am fortunate that I have set my stall out in a way that I don't need them and at the moment this latest AT move is helping me as customers are stopping searching on AT stating that cars are too expensive and looking on Car Gurus, e-bay, motors etc etc the sooner more dealers jump ship the better.

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I made the decision a few weeks ago to end my AT contract, will be handing in my notice on July 1st, the cost is getting out of hand, the £25k a year i'm paying AT will go a long way on other advertising platforms, ebay, cargurus, gumtree, piston heads, google adwords, seo, etc. With a lot left over to reinvest into other areas of my business.

I think its almost at breaking point for AT, they've pushed and pushed the limits but the last few months i've noticed nearly every dealer complaining about pricing, contracts, pricing indicators, etc. This could be the straw that broke the camels back (hopefully).

 

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I AM CURRENTLY SITTING ADMIRING A POSTER ON OUR WALL OF A BLOOMIN' GREAT OAK TREE, IT'S CAPTION...

EVERY GREAT OAK TREE STARTED OUT AS A COUPLE OF NUTS WHO STOOD THEIR GROUND... 

We changed our AT package to be on the standard one as we just couldn't justify another increase this year, shockingly this means that we are only showing on desktop, our trade has dropped off ridiculously, although i understand most people are suffering the same plight, and reading the above only underlines what we already thought. AT are now clutching at straws to keeps the money rolling in, they are not simply an advertising platform for the trade, but a digital marketing mogul aimed at providing a return year on year to to it's shareholders, produced by sponsored advertising and listings it's business model is surely failing due to the unpopularity of it's product, joe bloggs can't sell a car on their site, traders can't fund the extortionate fees so the only way they have left is to bully anyone desperate enough to stay on board for fear their business will dry up altogether, which ultimately is now most of us, what i don't understand is why more of us don't just walk away, if all that is left on AT is the 'giants' Mr Bloggs will look elsewhere, he may go back and buy from them but at least he will look and hopefully see our stock in a vast quantity on other sites.  Personally, we will be making that call, how can we justify spending any money with them and not having an equal opportunity with the big boys, monopolisation at it's worst and no modifying entity to put a stop to it, surely this is now down to us guys to take the plunge and ride out the interim rough period, because once AT has been kicked up the rear, surely it can only bring back a fairer playing field for all.

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My sales and enquiries have dropped off a cliff, its like I'm not advertising anything. Now, imo the thing with sponsored ads is that its the default search criteria, as soon as billy learns to change to his required search criteria then surely the sponsored ad problem will disappear.... I'm reluctant to up my package when Brexit and the election could be 90% of the problem..... Its a very hard to call

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Hi 

Over the last eleven months business has been ok, but come the 1st April customer enquiries from A/T have sunk to a new low!

When I phone A/T and explain to them the effects they are causing in the motor trade, you would think I was the only one upset.. Obviously I am not the only one. If anyone here is thinking of paying for something we already had only a month ago then you need to look at your future with A/T. If they think you can afford to pay these increases then it will keep on happening year after year. Image five years from now what they will be asking for your advertising. What we need is a website owned by the motor traders so we can decide how much money is needed to generate customer leads. Its already been done in the housing market with "On The Market" when "Right Move" became too expensive. My biggest hope is that this will bring the car dealers together in order to safe guard our future in the car industry.

 

M.J the crazy thing is A/T are the ones that have pushed you away. We have started to invest in other areas so we can leave too. I have tried my hardest to work with A/T but they have made the decision for me. To put it simply... if A/T were a customer wanting to buy a car from me I would decline. Who would want to do business with someone like that! 

I wish you lots of luck and business..

Trade Vet have you sent a link to the email addresses you posted. If not please do!!

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Agreed Prestige Diesels

We need our own website built by dealerships for dealerships "Strength in Unity" if all reputable dealerships come together and work as a collective we can make a difference and be in charge of our own future. Why have we let it go this far? Auto Trader need exposing to the public for what they really are. Once the public understand that Auto Trader's greed actually makes cars more expensive, along with their miss leading approach, things will change very quickly.

Please can the instigator of Auto Trader Dealers United call me on 07748 903961 I am really looking forward to a chat, we are exceptionally like minded and can help each other.

Chris

Auto Trade Associates

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1 hour ago, PrestigeDiesels said:

Hi 

Over the last eleven months business has been ok, but come the 1st April customer enquiries from A/T have sunk to a new low!

When I phone A/T and explain to them the effects they are causing in the motor trade, you would think I was the only one upset.. Obviously I am not the only one. If anyone here is thinking of paying for something we already had only a month ago then you need to look at your future with A/T. If they think you can afford to pay these increases then it will keep on happening year after year. Image five years from now what they will be asking for your advertising. What we need is a website owned by the motor traders so we can decide how much money is needed to generate customer leads. Its already been done in the housing market with "On The Market" when "Right Move" became too expensive. My biggest hope is that this will bring the car dealers together in order to safe guard our future in the car industry.

 

M.J the crazy thing is A/T are the ones that have pushed you away. We have started to invest in other areas so we can leave too. I have tried my hardest to work with A/T but they have made the decision for me. To put it simply... if A/T were a customer wanting to buy a car from me I would decline. Who would want to do business with someone like that! 

I wish you lots of luck and business..

Trade Vet have you sent a link to the email addresses you posted. If not please do!!

Yes ,I have had it done for me ( I am not very IT literate),I have also sent it to  AT investors dept and alerted them that there may be a revolt happening.

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I was just thinking; does anyone here have a motor trader database? Ideally we need a marketing company who specialises in our industry with a big list of email addresses who will fire this off to 1,000s of dealers at a time. The impact would be much greater and we could add a footnote to centralise the discussion here, which allows us to organise. 

... or the type of database that a huge industry leading magazine has that would do a mailshot to all of the dealers on it? A magazine I used to work at wouldn't sell the data but would target whoever you wanted. I'd certainly be willing to contribute towards the cost :)

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22 minutes ago, Mojo121 said:

I was just thinking; does anyone here have a motor trader database? Ideally we need a marketing company who specialises in our industry with a big list of email addresses who will fire this off to 1,000s of dealers at a time. The impact would be much greater and we could add a footnote to centralise the discussion here, which allows us to organise. 

... or the type of database that a huge industry leading magazine has that would do a mailshot to all of the dealers on it? A magazine I used to work at wouldn't sell the data but would target whoever you wanted. I'd certainly be willing to contribute towards the cost :)

Some teenage geek can probably get into the database you want for the price of a "Star Wars" tee shirt,anybody know one !

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i go right back to when a/trader was a magazine, boy theyve had some money off me other the years, can remember one dealer in the magazine offering a free satelite dish with every car sold :D and sparky thinks balloons sell cars ;) no i packed a/trader 2 year ago, when they decided to be clever and put a marker on every cat c or d car, this was the start of there downfall, a lot of traders left in that 3 month, it was hard to leave them, but ive never looked back and very pleased i did ....:)

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I've not used AT properly for about 3 years. Once every blue moon I grease my ass up and stick a few on. I dont get any better results than I would off eBay and wonder once again why I bothered.

Really hope this is the beginning of a mass exodus. 

 

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We gave it up around 5 years ago, the monthly bill just went up & up & up!

I don't run a business purely for the benefit of AT and not myself!

I am surprised still at the amount of people advertising with them and complaining!

There IS life after AT and unless you take that step and change how you do things, you will just continue to get shafted and be a busy fool, working to pay their extortionate bills!!

Unfortunately I do lack sympathy now as there has been so much on here to encourage dealers to leave, move on and try other

avenues.

When will everyone wake and smell the coffee!!!

Gary.

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OK guys,keep going spread the word,something happening in the markets this morning.1 broker anylist has marked AT as a SELL and shares are down 4% now.I think it could go lower

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20 minutes ago, trade vet said:

OK guys,keep going spread the word,something happening in the markets this morning.1 broker anylist has marked AT as a SELL and shares are down 4% now.I think it could go lower

Share the info pal 

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all interesting topics, but whats stopping you all from cancelling if you feel so strongly?

I dislike AT, its a big greedy beast, its arrogant, its a monopoly and abuses its market position with annual prices rises. But it works!, Ive checked my advert performance and its been unaffected, Im now putting videos on there (inspired by Cheshire Cars) and noticed response and calls on these cars go up. last month I sold 31 cars. I know 23 of those sales came directly from AT, and sold as far afield as Portsmouth and Newcastle. I would never have got these sales elsewhere. Ive tried everywhere else and nothing works and until my AT response dries up, until it stops giving me a decent ROI, then unfortunately I'm staying put. My rep has been brilliant and has been for about 10 years. Im really puzzled by the likes of people that whinge about the supplier and stay put paying the massive bills year after year if it doesn't work!!!, if it doesn't sell cars - they've not handcuffed you to them, Cancel. if it works, you sell cars, yo make a profit then whats the problem?

and no doubt I'll get slated for this

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