Industry News & Trends

AutoTrader.com’s Vehicle Purchase Program

AutoTrader.com’s Vehicle Purchase / Trade-in Program (VPP)

autotrader_tradein_homepage

AutoTrader.com is currently testing an on-line trade in service in hopes to streamline the process of trading in or selling a used car with participating dealers (90 day pilot in Kansas).

The service allows consumers/sellers to get an actual offer for their vehicle rather than an estimate or range of potential values that many of the other trade-appraisal services provide.

In “3 easy steps”, AutoTrader makes it easy to get cash value on your vehicle.

  1. Tell AutoTrader.com about your car and get your online offer.
  2. Go to a participating trade-in or buying center to verify your cars condition.
  3. Trade-in your car or redeem you offer for cash.

AutoTrader.com has teamed up with North Americas largest independent automobile buyer/wholesaler. If I’m not mistaken I believe this would be
R. Hollensdead
. You can see on their homepage they have a direct link to tradein.autotrader.com (enter their website at your own risk). 🙂

At the end of this 90-day test in Kansas City, sellers who used this service and the dealers who participated in the service will be surveyed  in order to determine if a national roll-out plan will go into place.  Read the full press release AutoTrader.com Testing Car Trade in Program in Kansas City.

What does this mean for the participating car dealer?

It could mean better qualified leads with a way to help quantify walk-in traffic; something AutoTrader.com continuously goes out of their way to substantiate every opportunity they can.

Where do you see this going and do you think this would be something your dealer would want to participate in?

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    Cars are past
  • October 24, 2009
HUH! U went trough wizard of 6 of 7 steps and it is tons of clicking and selecting options... also ajax do not work very smooth... whole process was quite boring but if I would really sell my car maybe it would not be hard to finish that survey that has something like 500 options.
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    Rob
  • October 26, 2009
If AT can get this program working, they will steal a ton of thunder from Cars.com .... lately AT has been slacking in the traffic department ( at least from a dealer standpoint ), being blow away by Cars.com for less money.

If customers can get an actual cash offer for their vehicle online, that can only be good for dealers. On one hand, customers are more likely to visit AT, since only they offer it. And of course, customers are more likely to be reasonable in how much they want for their trade, since they have a cash offer in hand. If the dealer can't offer that much, a buyer is ready and waiting.

Killer feature, no doubt about it.
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    Richard
  • October 27, 2009
Went through the process. Not impressed. Seems like a glorified Black Book On-Line tool.
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    Patrick
  • October 27, 2009
I talked to a dealer friend out of Lawrence, KS. Apparently the trade-in offers are not instant and are being handled much like any other internet lead. The above commenter is correct, it's akin to a sight-unseen black book quote. The offers they are throwing out seem low enough that it may actually deter customers from coming in. Not a surprise considering it's generally a bad idea to commit to trade-in value to customer who's never been on the lot.
M
Mark from AutoTrader.com here. Thanks for the positive comments and more news to come on the Trade-In Marketplace product (which it's now called) in December, so keep an eye out. Just wanted to note one thing per above related to our site traffic and the foot traffic that ATC generates related to our competition. According to both our internal and industry-standard measures, AutoTrader.com’s site traffic has continued to grow during 2009, routinely hitting north of 15 million unique monthly visitors for most of 2009 and routinely beating monthly totals when comparing a month in 2009 to the same month in 2008. This comes at a time when many of our competitors have seen monthly traffic declines. Additionally, a study conducted by Northwood University with AutoTrader.com showed that AutoTrader.com was responsible for more dealer walk-in traffic than any other third party site. Thanks!
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    Bruce Hartz
  • October 28, 2009
I'll be suprised if this trial works out for either party. In all my years of selling I have rarely ever had a customer tell me, Hey thats a really fair trade value you just gave me! We have to sell the trade value, the cost of our vehicle and payments.The Black Book spread is good for us and the customers expectations. Next will be the issue of the customers perception of their trade condition it won't always be accurate. Did not see any mention of a history report weighing on the final value. I'm also guessing it will be overpriced and will we have to decide on different tiers of service!!
C
  • C
  • November 3, 2009
I just went through the whole process, and although I am in Buffalo NY - it gave me a quote. Using a very nice 2007 Altima 3.5SE with everything but NAV I have here on the lot, according to my GM - the number was almost spot on as far as accuracy is concerned. So I guess it could work - and pop a bit of reality and sensibility into buyers.
V
i do not have much trust in auto trader. they have repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises. but will have to wait to see this one in action.
M
Just to clarify "vancouver autotrader," AutoTrader.com, the U.S. company, does not operate in Canada, so I believe you are referring to AutoTrader.ca, the Canadian on-line auto site that is not connected to AutoTrader.com. If you are an AutoTrader.com customer and you are having some problems with us, please contact your sales rep to have them resolved.
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    B
  • November 24, 2009
...think this is similar to Autotrader auction-style listings...
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    Ray
  • November 24, 2009
Does Autotrader guarantee the acv?
M
Ray, can you spell out acv? Not sure what that means and I'll need to know that to direct the question to the right person.
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    Scott
  • November 24, 2009
ACV is Actual cash value. Yes it is guaranteed! The condition ,must be what the customer represented.
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    Gerald
  • November 28, 2009
Sounds like a great idea from AT standpoint to help show how much traffic they help bring in. 2 observations- many customers are "coached" to wait until the last second to "spring" their trade on a deal to ensure the best possible deal. So until you get to negotiations, you may not be entirely aware of their source if the customer chooses to hide the source as well (assuming it is a walk-in). Secondly, we all know from past experience just how objective customers are about their vehicles. I have met a couple of people in my years who are somewhat honest about the condition of the vehicle. I think this may potentially put the dealer in a position of trying to "discredit" Autotraders' ACV of the vehicle. The appraisal of the vehicle is topical at best. Perhaps that is by design. It will be interesting to see what happens. Not sure if it will help/hurt a dealer. My money is on the latter
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    Jeff Green
  • May 6, 2010
Good morning, I was wondering if you have an affiliate program in place to drive local traffic to your new trade-in marketplace. I generate quite a bit of local automotive traffic in the Austin/ Dallas areas.
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    Jason Ezell
  • May 19, 2010
I agree with the dealers here. Having sold cars before, if you give a shopper an ACV for their trade without being in front of them to block their exit from your dealership, most people will walk on an ACV figure. Like the dealer mentions above, I have NEVER given a trade value, much less an ACV, expecially over the phone, where the client said "that's very fair, I think my trade IS worth 4K less than what KBB says"

I'd love to track the data on that tool to see what the bail out rate is, and what the appointment setting percentage is once you give out an ACV!
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    Lucy
  • July 28, 2010
They're doing this in New York too. Check it out.


<a href="http://www.bigbucksauto.com/autotrader-ny.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.bigbucksauto.com/autotrader-ny.html</a>
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    Bob Cobb
  • September 29, 2010
I am interested in buying an R.V. listed in Craigslist and the seller wants to use Auto Trader Veh. Purchase program.I&#039;m a little leary ---How does it work and how can I find out what I (the buyer) have to do to make it work to buy this RV???

Thank you---Bob
M
  • M
  • September 30, 2010
To Bob Cobb, any &quot;seller&quot; listing a vehicle for sale on Craiglist and then claiming to be using an AutoTrader.com buying program is most likely a fraud. AutoTrader.com at no point facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers -- even with our Trade-in Marketplace product (noted in this thread). Please visit <a href="http://www.autotrader.com/fraudtips" rel="nofollow">www.autotrader.com/fraudtips</a> for information and red flags on common online shopping scams. These tips can help protect you and your family when shopping online for cars, computers or anything else as the scams are similar across all product lines.
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