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Jon

Autotrader is it worth it

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Evening all, after finally getting to speak to the new business team at AT they have offered me a "deal" of £440+ vat for a 6 car package + 3 free car adverts per month.

With an additional £119 + vat for a AT powered website.

Although it is a significant cost is it value for money? As we have tried Facebook ,ebay, gumtree, motors etc with only limited success. We always have well written adverts with good pictures and reasonabley priced stock. 

I know there is a strong anti AT feeling on here but is it the only platform that constantly delivers leads?

Many thanks.

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Its just such a rip off, £440 just for 6 cars?! I sell cars with no AT what so ever. 

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Crazy! But if you need to then so be it. :D

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Autotrader doing 'deals'... they must be worried about all the dealers leaving them. The only thing I would say is don't fool yourself into thinking it'll transform your business.

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I know it's very expensive Tom but we are struggling to generate leads , how do you manage without using AT ?

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Every dealer is different. What works for one does not necessarily work for another.

Only you can decide if the cost is worthwhile after trying it out for several months. After say 6 months you should definitely know if its producing a good enough result or not and can then say for sure. You can always cancel it.

If the cost they have quoted you seems affordable then give it a go...

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It is more than I was hoping for to be honest , but the way they put it is "we know it works so that's why we can charge that amount and don't need to offer incentives unlike others" .

£670 per month is a lot for a start up business to swallow but as you know we wont be in business long unless we sell cars consistently.

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I'm not moaning at all , I was just wondering how others have found AT and what percentage of sales/leads came through AT that's all.

I also deal with amazon now their fees are worth moaning about !!! 

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Do you have a link to one of your adverts?  We have around 20-25 cars in stock but just have the 7 car package and rotate the cars. I would be more likely to upgrade our package than leave Auto Trader.

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As already said - Its different for all of us ! Dealers who say they can't survive without AT and spend thousands because it works for them , and I know personally a numbers of dealers who don't spend a penny with AT and have a very successful business. 

You have to work out what is viable to YOU ? You won't get instant sales over night I don't believe just by being on AT - Just read the forum and you'see for yourself the mixed sentiments. 

Not sure of your stock or the margins you are working on , do you need to sell one car a month to pay the AT package to break even ? you know your own margins / sales required - do the sums and if you feel you want to try it give it a try for 3/6 months - One thing is if it isn't working pull the plug the move on - don't sit on the fence thinking too long , find an alternative ! 

Hope it helps :) 

Umesh 

 

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12 hours ago, Jon said:

As we have tried Facebook ,ebay, gumtree, motors etc with only limited success. We always have well written adverts with good pictures and reasonabley priced stock. 

Hi, as you've mentioned 4 websites on your original posting that are failing you, assuming your sales expectations are realistic in today's financial pressured times, then I'd perhaps question whether my adverts really are written as well as I think, are the photos really that good & are my prices really reasonable?

What's your stock profile??

I've never took the plunge with AT as being a small operation at the lower end of the market I couldn't justify the fees & as for a website, well, unless someone knew my website address they're not going to find me on the 5th (or 25th) page of Google - they'll simply find you via the main platform.

I think a lot of your advertising focus may depend on your stock profile & aiming it at the correct audience. I'm sure for "specialised" or newer cars then AT is the way to go. A couple of the main dealers I've bought trade-ins from recently have said Motors is doing ok for them, oddly enough they say it's an older crowd buying from there. 

Personally I think Gumtree's ok for selling a filthy £30 cooker or a set of scuffed alloys with half-bald tyres but that's about the financial limit on that website. I'm sure others will disagree but I reckon it's a waste of time - I wouldn't even spend time uploading a car even if it was free to use. The same with Facebook as most on there seem to be the part-time brigade or those masquerading as "private" but in reality "full-time selling pure shite" but again, I'm sure others will disagree.

Edited by BHM
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7 minutes ago, BHM said:

Personally I think Gumtree's ok for selling a filthy £30 cooker or a set of scuffed alloys with half-bald tyres but that's about the financial limit on that website. I'm sure others will disagree but I reckon it's a waste of time - I wouldn't even spend time uploading a car even if it was free to use. The same with Facebook as most on there seem to be the part-time brigade or those masquerading as "private" but in reality "full-time selling pure shite" but again, I'm sure others will disagree.

mint :lol:

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Sell the vast majority of our cars off AT. 

They have the most consumer eyes on the site.

I have started to view our advertising spend with AT as the entire sum ie £4k for a month divided by the number of sales per month from the platform. 

Lets say you spend £670 with them but end up selling 10 cars in a month off AT - not such a bad spend then is it?

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jon said:

It is more than I was hoping for to be honest , but the way they put it is "we know it works so that's why we can charge that amount and don't need to offer incentives unlike others" .

£670 per month is a lot for a start up business to swallow but as you know we wont be in business long unless we sell cars consistently.

It is a lot but for a new business who will be desperate for leads from day one, but this should have been factored into your business plan from day one IMO. AT may be many things, but it will produce the most leads so take the hit and go with it. Bin everything else, apart from Facebook because that is the very definition of acorns and oak trees.

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1 hour ago, Rory RSC said:

Sell the vast majority of our cars off AT. 

They have the most consumer eyes on the site.

I have started to view our advertising spend with AT as the entire sum ie £4k for a month divided by the number of sales per month from the platform. 

Lets say you spend £670 with them but end up selling 10 cars in a month off AT - not such a bad spend then is it?

 

 

you sound like berni madoff  :lol:

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Autotrader is the devil everyone loves to hate but for many its a necessary evil.

It is impossible to answer the OPs question as every dealer is different with different stock profiles and regional variations etc.

What I do know is that if you use Autotrader you must turnover volume otherwise Autotrader will start eating away at your business.

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there are so many cheaper options out there Jon, take PromoteAuto for example - trouble is none of them have the brand name or the numbers like the autotrader, why is everyone cheaper? - because they don't work, they don't generate the leads and conversions and ultimately they end up costing more because of it. its not the expense you need to measure but your return. I bet we all know how much our invoice is but how many know what our return is?. for me you pay for what you get. Tried everything else. its different from dealer to dealer and area to area. For me I couldn't be without it. I listened to some poor advice last year and removed all my 40 stock for about 6 weeks. we normally sell 30-35 per month, nothing too fancy or heavy prestige stuff. the two months we were off I did 11 then 9 and I was on Facebook, Motors, Gumtree and ebay in that period, working twice as hard to try and make up. It is expensive but compared to Motors et al its the only one that works FOR ME. my advise would be measure and monitor, whatever you use. My rep and I worked hard to find out my return and profit on sales.

What I will say is that leads from the autotrader are 95% nailed on, the sale is there to be lost. ebay and gumtree we got lots of leads but timewasters and people making stupid offers, bidding £7500 "best price" on a £10k car. if you buy the right cars, price them right, take good photo's, do videos then you should be ok.

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13 minutes ago, RH Trading said:

there are so many cheaper options out there Jon, take PromoteAuto for example - trouble is none of them have the brand name or the numbers like the autotrader, why is everyone cheaper? - because they don't work, they don't generate the leads and conversions and ultimately they end up costing more because of it. its not the expense you need to measure but your return. I bet we all know how much our invoice is but how many know what our return is?. for me you pay for what you get. Tried everything else. its different from dealer to dealer and area to area. For me I couldn't be without it. I listened to some poor advice last year and removed all my 40 stock for about 6 weeks. we normally sell 30-35 per month, nothing too fancy or heavy prestige stuff. the two months we were off I did 11 then 9 and I was on Facebook, Motors, Gumtree and ebay in that period, working twice as hard to try and make up. It is expensive but compared to Motors et al its the only one that works FOR ME. my advise would be measure and monitor, whatever you use. My rep and I worked hard to find out my return and profit on sales.

What I will say is that leads from the autotrader are 95% nailed on, the sale is there to be lost. ebay and gumtree we got lots of leads but timewasters and people making stupid offers, bidding £7500 "best price" on a £10k car. if you buy the right cars, price them right, take good photo's, do videos then you should be ok.

I agree largely with everything you say. Can I ask approx how many cars you have in stock? What I would add is that Autotrader is expensive because they have the monopoly. No other company has been able to challenge Autotraders monopoly.

 

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3 hours ago, PromoteAuto said:

@Jon - We can provide  your website and online solution for your new business, you dont have to pay for 6 months. if you are happy about it please let me know so we can discuss. We have few other dealers who are with us for these initial 6 months, we would like to build a platform that fulfill most of the dealers need, its win-win situation thats why we get continuous feedback from dealers and they get free product for 6 months. Even if/when we charge for our product, it will be much much less than AT or any other providers. Hope to hear from you soon. you can email "promoteauto@gmail.com" - sorry for the gmail account, once we go live with our website we will have our own domain email address and we are in the process of setting up an office with customer service agents dedicated to deal with dealers queries.

Be careful - a lot of new dealers don't last six months :lol:

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Thanks for all the advice , our stock is predominately between 3-7 years old ranging in price from £2500-£12000.

I understand that what works for one person doesn't always work for another but what percentage of leads come from AT compared to other sources? 

As some have said it's all about ROI rather than the actual monthly costs.

 

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5 hours ago, PromoteAuto said:

@RH Trading @Jon - We are not competing against AT or replacement for all AT products to display your cars, we provide website and online solutions which includes website, email address, invoicing, CRM, Inventory, Reporting on performance, chat service during out of office hours. For example AT charging 119 + VAT for website, this is not necessary if you use our service, also we are building partnership with other marketplace to list your vehicles for free, and this happens automatically. Hope this clarifies.

AT is the first port of call for genuine buyers who want to buy from a reputable source. Customers go their first because they trust AT.  Ebay and FB have their markets, Gumtree has pond life and Motors has Retailers who are too cheap to use AT. Autovulva is a foreign gimmick, a waste of space as are the rest. AT sell cars quickly and cost effectively, end of. 

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