Opinions & Advice

Do you trust your vendors?

This post refers to a fast moving thread in the forums, go there for more details and updates!

Warning:  What you read here might hurt your trust level in some of your website vendors’ solutions.

Attention Car Dealers & OEMs, technology vendors are moving at light speed and you may be getting fleeced.

We all know that Dealers spend thousands upon thousands of dollars, each month, driving traffic to their sites. Dealers, do you know some of your “trusted vendors” HARVEST your precious website traffic and sell it to advertising companies?

Yup, I’ll say it again, there are vendors out there, right now, that record and capture your shoppers’ online behavior and resell it to data aggregators.  These are shoppers on YOUR website.  Oh yeah, some also sell the lead data collected from your website.

Guess who finds your data most valuable?  YOUR COMPETITORS!  Your competitors pay dearly to reach “in-market car buyers.”  Wouldn’t you?

To add insult to injury, your competitors pay a fraction of what you paid, initially, to drive the shoppers to your site. You do all the work, pay all the expenses, take all the risk, and your data is sold to your competitors for pennies; a fraction of what it originally cost you to acquire.

When I first heard this I couldn’t believe it was real. I can only imagine you’re having the same thought.

It all started innocently while working with DealerX on some consulting projects.  Jeffrey Tognetti, their Product Development Lead, showed me vendors collecting & selling rich shopper data. The more I looked, the more shocked I was. For example, Jeffrey showed me a Boch website that had a SpinCar pixel installed (at the dealer’s request). This wasn’t exciting, but he showed me how it was collecting and then sending visitor data to Neilsen.  Nielsen, a well-known player in the data aggregation space has acquired data brokers like eXelate who are well known for selling in-market shopper data and targetable IDs across many verticals.  “In-market” shopper data is the value proposition they sell.

So what about SpinCar?

Boch’s VP wrote to SpinCar and they quickly took the pixel down.  But, what of the other 1,330 dealer websites the SpinCar pixel is on?

SpinCar dealers with pixel

Is it limited to SpinCar?  Hell no!  Jeffrey Tognetti says it’s an epidemic and comes in all shapes and sizes. Jeff Rivella of SMail Auto Group recently discovered KBB stealing FaceBook data and he wrote an article about it https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cox-automotive-kbb-stealing-your-facebook-marketplace-jeff-revilla/

This epidemic has the potential to become a pandemic if we do not get ahead of it.  You better believe we’re all going to continue sounding this alarm.

Do you know what’s inside your website?

Join the conversation over in the dealer forums.

It's starting to get a bit crazy out there....
J