Autotrader has introduced their 2006 Market Adjustment pricing and I personally think they are getting ahead of themselves. On average they have hiked their rates anywhere from $800 to $1500 over the 2005 pricing depending on what market you’re located in or what package you sign up for. With the new inflated pricing, they are trying to convince us that their “enhanced products” are worth the extra money. But I don’t think so!
They’re pushing their new “Find Your Dealer”,a dealer search tool found on the homepage providing easy access for consumers to find your “enhanced dealer information” pages. Basically allowing consumers to search by dealer rather then my make and model. These dealer pages will allow you to add Specials, a photo of your dealership, services provided (Spanish speaking, incentives, rebates, etc.) and a few other small additions. About the only enhancement that I find of any value is the ability to list 27 photos. But then again… 9 photos is a decent number to generate a lead, plus it’s always an easy excuse for me to get the customers email address so I can send them a link to more photos and drive them to my website.
Here is my thinking…consumers go to AutoTrader to shop for vehicles, NOT to find a dealer. If they want to find a dealer they will google it or go directly to the dealers website. I’m sorry but I do not see the benefit in the new product enhancements especially for the additional money they are charging. Are you really going to sell anymore cars with a Dealer Search feature? Maybe having the ability to add some new and used car specials to a “Specials Page” can have a small benefit, but let’s face it…how many dealers update their specials page on their own dealer website?
They’re also offering 360 degree video tour? Come one…most of these programs suck up bandwith and are slow to load. Why do you need a 360 degree virtual tour when you get 27 photos anyways? I’m thinking this is nothing more then a way for allowing DealerSpecialites to charge for an additional 360 video shoot service.
Don’t get me wrong, I like AutoTrader and am very effective with it, usually selling 15-20% of our used car inventory a month with it. Though if I jumped up to the 2006 pricing, I truly do not think I would sell anymore cars. The only thing that is going to be affected is my cost per sale…and in a bad way.
None of this even takes into account that they want to charge the same amount for their New Car inventory search (being enhanced)! So go ahead and double that price for listing your New inventory on AutoTrader as well.
Sorry Chip Perry but this had to be said!
Any way…I could be totally wrong about this..it’s just my opinion what’s yours?