CAT | ebay motors
With so many auto, motorcycle and powersport inventory marketing systems out there it can get a little difficult to figure out the right fit for your dealership. At LotVantage, we cater to dealerships of all sizes and ensure the best possible customer support out there. That’s just one of the reasons our customers rave about our online marketing solutions.
Superior customer support is integral to our success and the success of the dealerships that rely on us. With other companies, you might get the run around and never even receive a call back. You can think of LotVantage’s Support team as a technology partner with your dealership – anything you need, just ask and we’ll provide the solution.
Need an example? Many online inventory marketing softwares provide websites with email for auto dealers. What they don’t provide is adequate support behind it. How will your site get updated if you need the phone number changed? What can be done to better represent your dealership’s image online? What happens if you can’t access your email? LotVantage provides multiple avenues for you to obtain these answers: chat on live support with a customer service representative, send us an email, browse the LotVantage Help Desk, submit a support ticket, or hey – just give us a call at 813-470-7094!
Review our eBay Motors & Craigslist Getting Started Guide, browse the Frequently Asked Questions and see the latest updates at the LotVantage HelpDesk.
LotVantage recently added an intelligent AutoResponder to the software’s ever-expanding lead management tool for auto and powersports dealers.The AutoResponder is fully customizable and allows dealerships to provide potential buyers with specific information about the vehicle they’re interested in along with a sales contact immediately after an inquiry is made.
LotVantage uses keywords that automatically insert details in to the email so there’s no extra work on the dealer’s end! The AutoResponder provides potential buyers with specific information such as the vehicle’s year, make and model along with the salesperson’s name, email and phone number. The new addition to the lead management system helps dealerships make contact even when they’re not available, so there’s never a missed sale.
To find out more about the LotVantage AutoResponder, click here. Already a LotVantage user? Click here to get help configuring the AutoResponder.
The power of Lot Vantage is no longer restricted to just auto dealers – the system now handles motorcycles as well! Our inventory marketing software allows motorcycle dealers to manage their inventory on craigslist, eBay Motors, Backpage.com, and even provides an inventory display for motorcycle dealer websites.The platform starts with a VIN decode and then lets you add all the options that make every bike unique. Our streamlined listing process lets you add those critical details for aftermarket options quickly and painlessly.
Motorcycle dealers can now load and promote all of their bikes on leading web sites like Craigslist, eBay Motors, and Backpage.com in just three clicks per cycle. Plus, there is a VIN decoder that does all of the dirty work such as filling out all of the motorcycle’s standard information based on make, model and year. Users can even track all of their leads and monitor listings as well as active eBay Motors auctions from one easy-to-read interface.
On top of that Lot Vantage enables users to post unlimited photos of each bike, select from 20 professional templates for each posting, and provide customers with a secure online credit application. We can even build you a web site that will always display your current inventory!
The world of online motorcycle sales just got a whole lot more interesting.
Although auto dealerships across the country slashed their marketing budgets by 27% through the first three quarters of this year compared to 2008, they did increase their ad spending in one area that continues to see growth, the internet. Online ad spending soared 45% higher above last year’s figures as car dealerships realized the effectiveness of online marketing dollars.
A study performed by Northwood University for AutoTrader.com shows that the internet is the leading media driver of walk-in traffic for auto dealerships. Of the 25,000-plus participants in the survey, 54% said that the Web was the primary media source leading them to the dealership. With the internet accounting for such a large percentage of walk-ins its no wonder that new and used car dealerships spent about $3 Billion in 2009 in online advertising. That number is expected to increase even further in 2010 (by about 8.6%). Paid search results, web displays, social media, and auto-listing software are some of the places that dealerships are spending their dollars. Just like nearly every other industry, the auto industry has found a way to use the internet to its advantage and generate interest and leads much more efficiently by diverting their ad spending to the source that has the best ROI.
There has been a clear shift in the past 10 years to a much more internet-oriented decision making process when it comes to looking for and purchasing cars. For many looking to buy a car the plan of action consists of the following:
- Research which cars fit your needs on blogs, forums, and automaker web sites
- Search the internet to find cars in your price range, using sites like eBay Motors and Craigslist
- Contact the dealership or seller through the internet to set up a test drive
Consumers are using these steps more and more often in today’s internet driven society and dealerships have caught on, realizing the need to have a strong internet presence. While the number of actual sales that take place through the internet is relatively low, it provides incredible sales leads and makes it easier for customers to find the car they want.
Creating and maintaining a strong internet presence is no walk in the park, however. Many dealerships have hired full-time Internet Sales Managers just to handle their internet needs. Some of the most popular tools used by dealerships are eBay Motors and Craigslist. Both of those web sites allow auto dealerships to create a virtual marketplace that complements the physical car lot.
Many times repitition and volume is key to finding prospective buyers. Car shoppers may find just one of a dealers’ tens or hundreds of cars listed online and, after a little online communication with the dealer, they can end up buying a completely different car from the dealer, possibly one that isn’t even listed online.
In order to create a strong internet presence car dealerships, and even individual salespeople, across the country are using internet solutions to list their inventory over a wide spectrum of car sales sites. Automatic car listing tools like Lot Vantage give dealers the ability to mass-list their cars by simply entering the vehicle’s VIN number. After that all that is left is to wait for the leads to roll in.
Whether you’re a private dealer or you work for a big-time dealership you probably know by now how powerful of a tool the internet can be for selling cars. People like to be able to see photos of the cars and read descriptions before they make a trip to the dealership. If you’re not using the internet to promote your lot then you’re wasting a valuable resource. Over 10 million people visit Craigslist each month and 40% of all online automotive minutes are spent on eBay Motors.
LotVantage delivers a “real time” showroom across multiple marketplaces from a single easy to use web interface. It allows you to list you inventory on Craigslist, eBay Motors and Backpage and creates your own customized web display. These marketplaces have created the conduit for the way vehicles are sold today. Craigslist and Backpage have re-defined classified listings at a zero cost, while eBay Motors extends a reach far beyond a local market continuing to deliver quality leads at a marginal cost. Lot Vantage simplifies the creation of compelling listings within the chosen marketplace(s) all from one interface and delivers lead information and listing automations to ensure sales success.
LotVantage is a monthly service with no setup fees and no contract, so if you decide that it isn’t right for you then you wont be stuck in a long-term deal. To start listing your inventory online with ease you can contact LotVantage at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling directly at 866.881.3229 ext 2.
Earlier last year, eBay Motors announced a drastic change in their pricing structure. Effective September 3rd, 2008, every eBay user is permitted to list the first 4 vehicles each calendar year with no insertion fees. EBay Motors also lowered their insertion fees 50% across the board in effect allowing dealers to list more new and pre owned vehicles with the same eBay Motors budget.
The result 60 days later is impressive to say the least. On September 3rd eBay Motors had a total of 44,209 passenger vehicles listed on the site. 60 days later, on November 3rd eBay Motors has 57,256 listings. The net change of 12,957 eBay Motors listings represents an increase of 29% in total advertised units over a 60 day period indicating that more and more dealers are finding success on eBay Motors.
In the current economic environment, it’s no secret that dealerships across the board are suffering significant decreases in sales, with some dealerships reporting up to double digit declines forcing dealers to reevaluate their spending habits and advertising budgets. Consumer marketing campaigns through, radio, television, and newspapers traditionally account for the bulk of a dealership’s advertising cost per unit, however in recent years we have seen a consistent shift toward online portals such as eBay Motors, dealership websites, and SEM as viable advertising sources for both new and pre-owned units.
As of late however, the online shift has hit seismic proportions in the auto industry. According to Autobytel, a staggering 91 percent of dealers plan to either increase or maintain their level of online marketing while other advertising mediums continue to feel the tightening of dealership wallets. Rich Greenfield of the Pali Institute reports that local television advertising by dealerships is down 50% from last year, and that the potential merger between GM and Chrysler could further exacerbate local television advertising woes. On another front the Orlando Business Journal reported earlier this month that Autotrader announced the closing of its Orlando call center early next year as part of a larger restructuring by the automotive giant. Last month News Media Group, publishers of the New Your Times, reported a decrease of 14.1% in print advertising revenues while realizing an increase of 16.4% in Internet advertising revenue.
The appeal of eBay as a marketing arm to auto dealers is no surprise given the reach of the automotive portal. Consider the following:
- A vehicle is sold on eBay Motors every minute
- eBay Motors receives 12 Million unique visitors each month
- eBay Motors sold one million vehicles online between August 06 & April 08
This kind of reach into a global marketplace and the recent pricing restructure by eBay Motors will surely continue to deliver a powerful alternative to local advertising portals for dealerships seeking a broader audience and more cost effective advertising medium.
The other day while speaking to a dealership it occurred to me that in recent months I’d spoken to several individuals that used Craigslist to sell their car locally, and then used eBay Motors to buy another car often times several states away immediately bypassing the local newspapers’ car ads and local dealership websites.
Marketwatch.com’s Internet Daily recently reported that a new book published by Edmunds.com has predicted that 30 percent of new cars soon will be purchased through dealerships’ Internet or e-Commerce departments. In this age of online video, online consumer reviews, and access to a litany of information the only reason most people need to actually visit a car dealership is for the test drive and paperwork.
One of the largest contributing factors to car buying via the Internet is the consumer’s ability to research prices, specification, and availability at local dealerships from the comfort of their own home on their timetable. Consumers also feel that by arming themselves with information prior to visiting the dealership they are more likely to shorten the amount of time spent at the dealership and negotiate a better price on the car they want.
I speak from experience, because it happened to me. I bought my new (used) car from a dealer selling on eBay and negotiated my price prior to the end of the auction. When I checked with several other local dealers for the identical model and year with roughly the same mileage, the advertised prices typically were $2,000 to $5,000 more than the vehicle I found on eBay Motors.
Simply put: Newspapers, auto classifieds, direct mail campaigns, and television are facing what could be one of the most significant shifts in advertising dollars in generations. EBay Motors, Craigslist, and other online portals provide instant access to information for consumers and deliver a more cost effective advertising medium to dealers.
As of September 2nd, 2008 at Midnight Pacific Time, eBay Motors implemented a new pricing schedule. eBay Motors is eliminating all Insertion Fees for the first four vehicles listed in a 12 month period. Starting with the fifth vehicle listed, the Insertion Fee is $20 per vehicle listed. After 12 months, the counter resets and you get another four vehicles with no Insertion Fees. However, if the vehicle results in a sale on eBay (meaning it meets reserve price or auction is won by Buy It Now) there will be a final value fee of $150 compared to the previous $50 fee.
This will result in a $40 savings on each of the first four vehicles listed and a $20 savings on every vehicle listed thereafter. But don’t re-adjust your budget for this change, why not re-adjust your listing volume from the aspect of you can now list 2 vehicles for the same price it used to cost for 1. Click here to see the news on eBay Motors.
The automotive industry is changing. Dealerships nationwide are shifting their advertising dollars away from print, radio, and newspapers. They’re expanding their reach and maximizing their advertising dollars by leveraging the power of the Internet. Recent Neilsen data tells us that newspaper subscriptions are down, the effectiveness of direct mail has plummeted, and even television commercials have suffered thanks to DVRs. But Internet usage continues to skyrocket.
Today the automotive industry is faced with a more educated consumer. 90% of all car buyers begin their search on the Internet, and almost all of them think the transaction should take less than 2 hours at the dealership.
But despite all this some dealerships still try to use the same old methods to get consumers on the lot that they did over a decade ago.
- Newspaper Inserts and classified ads
- Tent Sales
- Radio Blasts and on-locations promos
A dealership’s website is the best source of Internet leads closely followed by Search Engines and 3rd party sites such as eBay Motors. History tells us that dealerships should be converting an average of 12% of their website leads to sales, and that Internet leads should account for about 40% of overall vehicle sales.
Most dealerships already have advertising dollars set aside for online automotive portals such as AutoTrader and Cars.com, but these sites overlap other local marketing efforts.Â Vehicle searches on Autotrader and Cars.com have a default search radius of 25-30 miles and neither are transactional sites. eBay Motors however is a transactional site, and searches worldwide. eBay Motors is one of the top sources for quality Internet leads but is often overlooked by dealerships.
A visitor to eBay Motors can actually complete the purchase of a vehicle without ever setting foot on a dealership’s lot, and it happens everyday. Earlier this year eBay completed their 3 millionth online transaction. EBay Motors is the largest online marketplace in the world and sells more vehicles by 9am than most dealerships will in an entire year. In fact, a vehicle sells on eBay Motors every 56 seconds.
If you’re ready to refocus your time and energy to sell more vehicles, we are waiting for you. You don’t need to spend any more money than you are today, only to review and reallocate your existing budget to reach a broader audience with a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy that incorporates eBay and reaches a global audience. The world is waiting. Show them your cars.