I am a smaller dealer, 15 cars or so, trying to get package from auto trader and the offer I am getting  is double the price of cars.com.

I am curious what other dealers are are paying for auto trader and if you think it is worth having them?

Thanks in advance!

Stuart B

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Independent Auto dealers need to get together on this and negotiate a more resonable pricing schedule for Auto Trader.  ubfortunantly the only way this is going to happen is if we all drop their services.  I use to pay them $3000 per month and lowered it down to a lesser service at $1400 but it is still twice the price of cars.com, with near same results,as we all know when one is up the other is down and it alternated back and forth.  And the best part is it is going up more as of the first of the year.

Not only  does Autotrader needs an awakening but so does CARFAX


Thanks for the reply and the info.

I was just wondering what is the number of cars in the package you have from AutoTrader?


I think it depends on your area, and what most other dealers are using. We are in rural WI, and cars.com just doesn't have as much of a market as autotrader. Most of the dealers in the area aren't on cars.com, so customers all check out autotrader because that's got the most cars on it. It sucks. I hate autotrader's heavy-handed tactics!


I'm the Internet Sales Director for a fairly large dealer in a large market.  Conventional wisdom is that AutoTrader.com is a necessary evil to compete, but I have made the decision to not go with them.  I have argued for years that their business model is wrong--putting the most expensive cars first and granting privileged positioning to those who simply pay more.  I have repeatedly reviewed the ROI of their service and rarely found it made sense.  With a little effort making your used cars "sizzle" on your own website as well as those sites to which your inventory is pushed will benefit you far more than relying on AutoTrader.com and their Superbowl ad campaign.

Good luck!

Kevin Clay, Denver, CO

Thanks for the reply,

I agree that their business model is flawed. I have been arguing with their sales rep that their pricing structure is way out of line. I even mentioned what the cars.com offer was and that I was looking for something similar.

Her answer was "We don't compete with cars.com" ... I laughed and said "In this office you do!"

It is ridiculous and arrogant for them to think they dont compete with their largest competitor.


dealerships in my area with that many cars only pay around $400 and we  set it up for a 6 month contact that way if it don't work its not that big of a loss. And auto trader only works if you have pictures and good discriptions so if you have all that in place i'd say go for it it works for us

Hi there,

I dropped the Auto Trader Program because my ROI was so low.  Most of our business comes from craigslist. We are similar in size to you - we have 25-30 cars in inventory at the most.  I think that your money would be better spent on creating a consistent presence on craigslist and your website.  If you want to be sure, sign up with Auto Trader for Select Ads - which are pay as you go. Just try the basic ads at $15 per ad with 3 photos.  Then track your leads and see who produces the most leads and sales for you.  I bet you that Auto trader will not be the winner.  There monthly subscription rates are ridiculous especially for small dealers.  As for craigslist, do it yourself to start - don't have a posting service do it. Download a free program, "Kompozer" and use it to create professional ads.

Good Luck!

Susan Fahnestock

The Green Car Company


Thanks for the reply,

I appreciate the input and we are already doing what you suggest.. 

We do a lot of advertising on craigslist and are signed up for the select ads on autotrader. I have not seen very good ROI from the select ads and it seems as though it will not be any better with one of there programs.

Can you send a link to the kompozer for craigslist posting?  I looked on www.kompozer.com but it doesn't mention using as a posting tool unless I'm overlooking something.  Thanks!!


I went to www.Kompozer.net and it downloads in a forgeign launguage, please advise.  autosandmore@gmail.com




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