eBay Classifieds Top 5 Best Practices

Top 5 Best Practices on eBay Classifieds

With any new product and marketplace there’s a learning curve and we’ve recently gained more knowledge about what it takes to manage the “art” of posting to eBay classifieds. We want to share the Top 5 Best Practices we’ve learned over the last few weeks with you:

1.)  New eBay accounts require some “Seasoning” similar to the historical craigslist landscape.
a.)  It’s best to start posting with 5 ads a day and work up to 25 or you may risk burning
your account.

2.)  Dealers with similar inventory need to ensure there is a sufficient vehicle description with enough unique content to differentiate each ad from anther. We’ve found some issues with dealers who have very similar inventory and unfortunately, our system can’t always trick eBay into thinking the ads are unique so they may get flagged.

3.)  Make sure you are not posting any duplicate ads. eBay specifically states you cannot post the same vehicle twice. If you do not want to wait until the 6 day listing period is up, you can delete old ads and re-post. Alternatively, if you want to post to separate cities/markets, then create another eBay Classifieds account.

Separate city, separate market = separate eBay classifieds account

4.)  Using multiple URL’s will contribute to flagging. Dealers should not include a link to their website in the vehicle description feed. eBay does not want to be utilized as a traffic converter, so we advise pulling this domain from the description if you want to have your account maintain in good standing.

5.)  Categorization: eBay has organized categories to guide consumers when looking for specific inventory. It’s important when posting ads to double check that you’re correctly listing inventory under the preferred category, or your ads will be subject to flagging. For example, do not list a motorcycle under the Car category. You can review this before you hit submit on your queue. Also note: Cars is a separate category than Trucks, Vans & SUVs. Listing a 2002 Jeep Cherokee in the Car category will likely not be an issue, but if you want to be specific about where the consumer is looking for your inventory, it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

Finding the eBay Classified Categories
If you have other best practices you would like to share, post them in the comments section below.



Craigslist Marketing Continues to Grow Up

Craigslist Marketing Continues to Grow Up

Since the onset of the $5 charge on Craigslist, dealerships have taken on a multitude of approaches on how they not only understand this marketplace, but more importantly utilize this marketplace to attract customers to visit their dealerships.

The most important thing that we have learned is that dealerships not posting inventory are losing opportunities to gain qualified prospects and sell more vehicles.  Here are the results from dealerships posting in our software:

Ads Posted to Craigslist vs. Leads per Ad

*March estimated through month end

Leads per ad continue to grow on a month over month basis, proving the importance of dealerships to leverage Craigslist as a market to advertise their pre-owned inventory.  If you have not budgeted for Craigslist ads and a software provider to post through, do so immediately!

Things to Consider

Other important factors to look at are your Craigslist ads.  Today, 50% of traffic on Craigslist is found on a mobile phone.  Are your ads and Vehicle Display Pages mobile ready?  Titles and content are searchable.  Ensuring your ads have a strong title, price, pictures and content is critical. Are you taking advantage of all 24 photos with photo overlay calls-to-action? How many ways are you connecting to your customers?  Having multiple calls-to-action, including phone number, email, and copy and paste links to VDPs only increase your chances of selling the vehicle.

We may all believe we know what sells on Craigslist and have our own theories, but only a select few can take years of past data and tell you which vehicles will generate the most leads and are priced closest to the market price.  Utilizing a partner that offers this level of sophistication will only help you achieve a higher percentage of leads per ad, increasing your ROI, and ultimately selling more cars.

Now for a Little Math.

Let’s assume you want to start with a $1000 monthly budget including $300 for a software provider.  This will allow for $700 in Craigslist posts.  This will get you 140 posts on Craigslist.  Considering an ad is good for 30 days, this should give you the ability to post most dealers inventory at least once per month.  Using the stats above, this will generate 154 leads for the month!  That is an average cost of $6.49 per lead.  If you can close 5% of your leads (a little below average), this equates to almost 8 vehicles sold.  Averaging $1200 on the front end, a $1000 budget will generate $8400 in profit!

Is Craigslist the only marketing site a dealership should use?  Absolutely not!  I feel that it’s a strong compliment and a necessity for all dealerships with any size budget to market their inventory.

If you are interested in learning more, send us a message.

Video Credit Apps help convert leads

Video Credit App Spokesmodel

Want to get more credit applications and leads from your web site? Submitting personal information over the Internet can be intimidating for many people. Our Video Spokesperson sets prospects at ease, walks them through the process and increases credit application submissions with our Video Credit App.

Engage More Shoppers and Capture More Credit Applications

Over the last few weeks, we have introduced three new spokesmodels, 2 female and 1 male (Spanish), each with 3 different backgrounds allowing you more customization. Video spokesmodels bring the captivating presence of video personalities and adds them directly to your website. Our exclusive line of virtual spokesmodels video products gives our customers the tools to increase the effectiveness of their online presence.

Consumers who engage with your dealership online credit application are the most motivated, down-funnel prospects on your website. Want more of them? Contact us to get started!

Get More Credit App Submissions With Our Video Credit Application! Call (866) 881-3229 or Submit Your Info Here

Maximizing your Advertising Budget on Craigslist

Maximizing your Advertising Budget on Craigslist

With the advent of $5 ads on Craigslist, what are you doing to ensure you are maximizing your Craigslist advertising budget for your dealership? There are multiple software providers and ways for dealerships to post ads, but not all services are equal.  Now, that you are paying for each ad it is not just about the ad, but more importantly on capturing the lead.

We feel there are three key elements to Maximizing your Advertising Budget on Craigslist.

  1. Turning an Ad into a Lead
  2. Posting the Right Car at the Right times
  3. Mobile Strategy

Capturing Leads

Utilizing a software provider that creates visually rich Craigslist ads is just the first step.  How many different calls-to-action does the ad provide?  Is the ad providing the consumer with enough information, yet leaving them wanting more so they will call or go to your Vehicle Specific Landing Page (VSLP)?  Once the consumer lands on the VSLP, it is important not to overwhelm them, but provide the information they are looking for as well as offer several opportunities to inquire so that you can capture their information tactfully.

Here are just a few ways you can engage them:

  • Apply for Finance with an easy to use Video Credit App
  • Schedule a Test Drive Inquiry
  • Value their Trade Inquiry
  • Contact the dealership

The more consumer information that gets captured, the higher the probability of closing the lead. How does your Craigslist advertising provider share this information with you?  A quality Craigslist partner not only captures all consumer traffic information from the advertisement, they also record every phone call and export all the information to your CRM to ensure proper follow up.

Knowing What and When to Post is Key

Another key Craigslist marketing factor is understanding which vehicles in your inventory will be top performers and the best time to post those vehicles on Craigslist in your local marketplace.  To accomplish this, you will need to partner with a provider large enough to utilize their years of data and experience to help eliminate the guesswork from the process.  Automating this process hands-free and connecting it to your monthly budget can give you and your team the opportunity to continue to sell cars and not worry about posting vehicles to Craigslist.

Going Mobile

Did you know that internet usage on a mobile device exceeded desktop usage in 2013?  What are you doing to ensure your dealership is capturing this critical portion of the market?  Mobile responsive landing pages help ensure consumers have the ability to easily respond with their inquiry, trade in form, credit application, as well as easily view your entire inventory.   Have you ever tried to fill out a credit application from a smart phone on a site that was not designed to handle the mobile device?  It can be an extremely frustrating process.  If you are not equipped for the mobile traffic on Craigslist your lead conversion rates are suffering.

How Can We Help?

We welcome your feedback regarding your tips and experience converting Craigslist traffic. In addition, what reporting you feel is necessary to succeed on Craigslist?  Feel free to contact us anytime to learn more about the programs we use to help dealerships generate and convert leads.

LotVantage announces eBay Classifieds as its newest posting portal!

Watch our quick video below to see how easy it really is.

LotVantage is proud to announce eBay Classifieds as its newest classified posting portal in the all-encompassing inventory marketing suite. eBay has created a FREE local online marketplace for dealers to market their vehicles. eBay Classifieds is an easy to use, clean and safe experience backed by eBay! eBay Motors has always been a great portal to let millions of buyers around the country see your listing, and now you can choose eBay Classifieds and focus your selling locally.

Why eBay Classifieds?

There are over 90,000 cars and vehicles listed on eBay Classifieds which means close to thirty cars for every county in the U.S. It attracts millions of unique visitors every month with hundreds of thousands of live listings to choose from. In addition, it has generated more than 1 billion page views since launching, which equates to over three for every person living in the U.S. Lastly, eBay Classifieds users post over 150,000 ads every month.

Did we mention it’s FREE?

LotVantage’s eBay Classifieds module comes with the following features:

Functionality features:

  • Quickly post 25 Free ads per day
  • Ads stay live for 60 days
  • Saved eBay Classifieds username and password
  • Manage your ads under our “Manage Ads” tab

Ad features:

  • Clean, easy to read vehicle information
  • Each ad links directly to your entire inventory
  • Ability for consumers to share vehicles via email, text, Facebook and Twitter
  • Easy 1 button click ability for consumer to print your ad! (great for those walk in customers)
  • Embedded calls-to-action to designed to generate and convert leads
    o Vehicle specific landing page URL (mobile and desktop)
    o Address with Map
    o Call tracking
    o Reply by email

A user-friendly website like eBay Classifieds makes consumers searching for inventory, simple.  Are you ready to start listing your inventory with this new service? Click Here

LotVantage Announces Hands-Free Craigslist and Backpage Posting Solution!

Hands-free Craigslist posting solutionIt’s here! LotVantage is proud to announce the first fully compliant, Hands-Free, Craigslist and Backpage posting solution! Dealers everywhere have been looking for a Classified Ad posting software solution that allows them the freedom and flexibility to set it and forget it when it comes to posting their vehicle inventory online.  The time has come where that request has turned into a reality.

What we do

LotVantage helps dealers generate 8 times more leads per ad. Dealerships utilizing our software generate qualified leads at 50% less than the competition.

How it Works

Our web-based posting software guides users through a few initial settings and then you’re on your way to being hands-free. LotVantage is very excited about this new product and know you will be too!

Below are all the features offered for only $200 per month and $1 per post:

  • Fully compliant Craigslist Posting App
  • Professional Templates
  • Backpage Posting App
  • Vehicle specific landing pages(VSLP) with every ad posted
  • Embedded Call Tracking number on every ad
  • Up to 24 photos
  • Easy Payment Processor
  • Budget Manager
  • Each ad links to YOUR other Craigslist ads
  • Craigslist listing fee reconciliation report
  • Detailed reporting analytics
  • Auto Export of Leads to your CRM
  • Auto Responders for all inquiries
  • Automatic SMS text lead notification
  • Hands-Free posting

* Only available for “Cars and Trucks” in the U.S. only
* $5 Craigslist fee still applies

What’s Next?

Competitors are leaving the market; the time is now to capitalize on this amazing opportunity to go hands-free.  Are you ready to get started? Click the button below now!Click to email us now

LotVantage generates dealership leads for less than $10

If you could generate a steady stream of qualified buyers to your dealership for less than $10 a lead knowing you are averaging over $1000 front end gross, would you jump on this opportunity?

Recent LinkedIn SurveyLess than $10 a lead
In a recent LinkedIn survey, we asked the question, “How much are dealers currently paying for leads”? We were interested in learning how much dealers currently pay for leads so we could cross examine that with the cost of using our software to gain the same type of lead. We understand the term “lead” is kind of a loaded question since there are different types of leads a dealer may get. We were mainly interested in qualified buyers ready to buy in  the next 30 days. The answers varied depending on the market and the lead source primarily from 3rd party sites.

Survey Results
One respondent shared they have seen $3500 per month for third party sites’ getting 50-75 leads a month. That roughly equates to an average lead cost of $55. In the Canadian market it went as high as $150. A majority of the responses given were in the $25 – $30 ballpark for an “interested in purchasing a car” type lead. These types of entry level leads can be worked effectively utilizing immediate initial response, speed and a commitment to long-term follow-up (30-90 days).

The Benefit
Now that we are armed with the foundation of the industry average lead cost, we can now break down how much our software + Craigslist $5 fee will be in comparison. Craigslist changed the game two months ago and the leads generated have increased per ad posted by nearly 800%!

Assuming you post around a 100 cars a month, a highly qualified lead costs less than $10 inclusive of the new $5 Craigslist fee and our software costs. As an added bonus, our software also has the ability to generate credit application leads which dealers pay around $50 or more for.

Get Started
The time is now to begin or come back, by utilizing Craigslist as a source to sell more vehicles. Contact us today to learn more or sign up for our software solution.

Contact LotVantage

7 Marketing Strategies to Sell More Inventory in 2014!

Everyone wants to increase sales, so what is NEW in your marketing plan to help you reach your 2014 sales goals?

Do you have any of the following 7 strategies in your marketing mix? If so, which two of these areas would you say are most important for your 2014 marketing plan? We have been helping companies for nearly a decade with our online vehicle marketing software .

Craigslist Marketing

Backpage Marketing

Video Inventory Marketing

Ebay Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Mobile Ready Marketing (2013 Personal Mobile Usage surpassed Desktop usage)

Wholesale Marketing

Does the software your dealership utilizes the most, currently have applications within it, that assist your marketing efforts in these areas? If not, tell your provider to speak with LotVantage so they can plug in the applications you want for future use.

Dealers Demanding LotVantage Software

LotVantage has a plan for dealers looking for growth opportunities in 2014

As we welcome in 2014, we can reflect on 2013. Our company learned a lot from some of the challenges that we faced and also held a wealth of opportunities. Our concentrated effort around improving dealer marketing was very successful and has proven we will only continue to strengthen our relationships as a result. LotVantage was able to meet and exceed the demands of many new and longtime customers. Our focus as a company along with hard work and our highly skilled team, allowed us to continue our world class service introducing new features that help manage your inventory online. Most importantly, our dealers that remained active and are still posting to Craigslist have seen impressive results.

 The Numbers Don’t Lie

Since December, Craigslist has seen over a 90% decrease in the total number of ads posted. We did some serious number crunching with our 2000 plus customer base and saw our dealers are generating 8 times more leads from their ads because of it! This is opening up huge growth opportunities for those ready to take on the challenge.

What Does That Mean?

Now more than ever, dealers need to be strategic when posting ads. They will achieve this by utilizing our detailed reporting analytics. It’s key to know the correct vehicles to post, so you can maximize your marketing efforts. With the new budget manager in place, this will help identify critical areas to focus on like:

  • Top selling vehicles
  • Peak traffic times
  • Conversion rates

You asked and we listened

Our dealers are telling us the value they are receiving by the consistent education and marketing material being provided to them by working with us. Resellers and dealers are now able to get their arms around the business critical data they have collected and understand more and more, how to apply the information on a daily basis, helping them drive more profits into their businesses.

Start it off right

These businesses are setting themselves up for a very fast start in 2014. LotVantage is using the powerful and robust reporting available to them to establish predictability and efficiency in their business. Using these tools and working with our sales and support staff will help translate your data and drive significant results every day. Education and training will continue to be a major part of our 2014 message.

Our Commitment

We will continue to make large investments into our client base, ensuring they have the right tools and are supported by the best possible people, systems and partners. 2013 also saw LotVantage making significant investments in our company talent, bringing in some of the top people in both this industry and the technology world. It is all about growth this year gang and LotVantage is looking forward to contributing to the present and future success of your businesses.

Press Release: LotVantage Welcomes Jim Jabaay as the New Vice President of Sales and Marketing!


LotVantage® Welcomes Jim Jabaay as the New Vice President of Sales and Marketing!

January 14, 2014, Tampa, FL – LotVantage is proud to announce that Jim Jabaay has joined the company as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  In this role, Jabaay will be responsible for leading LotVantage’s efforts to increase sales revenues to resellers and dealers.

“As a company, we look for and recruit thought leaders that will help drive us forward with innovative ideas and set us apart from the rest of the pack.” Matthew Brown – President/CEO

Jabaay has grown up in the automotive industry through his family’s dealership in the Chicago suburbs and later joined Manheim.  While at Manheim, Jabaay lead the sales team’s efforts across multiple locations.  Prior to joining LotVantage, Jabaay was Manager of Trade Operations at Dealertrack.

“I am excited to join the LotVantage team and look forward to leading sales and marketing.  We have made significant improvements to our apps and continue to develop new and exciting products that can help dealers succeed in retailing more vehicles. It’s exciting to work with a team that is passionate about their customers and delivers results,” says Jabaay.

About LotVantage

LotVantage is a SaaS Software company that provides a complete set of online inventory marketing applications for Auto, Powersports, Marine and RV dealers. From our simplified way to manage Craigslist ads, to our advanced lead tracking, and our auto-generated videos, we have it all. Our mission has always been to provide dealers of all types an easy to use, best-in-class product, which allows them to create, maintain and grow their brand, generate leads, and remain compliant with strict marketplace policies so that ads continue to stay active once they go live. Visit us at www.LotVantage.com.

For More information, please contact Jason Turner 813-549-6845, email jturner@thatsus.com or visit the LotVantage website at www.LotVantage.com.