You can set up with autoclick.com and they can set up a website, crm program, online credit apps for about a $100 per month. Their Craigslist templates are about another $150 I believe. I use a local web designer, Jeremy at www.advancedautodealers.com since I can meet with him about twice a month to share ideas to improve our site. He charged about $1000 to set up a site and around $59 per month which includes Craigslist templates. I used carsforsales.com and they had no up front fees, cost about 99$ per month and included Craigslist templates. The reason I quit using them is when the customer clicked on the link from Craigslist it sent the customer to your vehicle on their carsforsale.com site not back to your site.
My other site is with auto search technologies and the are great at getting your site in the searches. It cost about $2000 up front is a good site and $99 per month for their extras including Craigslist templates.
First thing to do no matter who does your site is go to www.godaddy.com and buy all the domains that fit your dealership, Its cheap and easy to set up a godaddy account and you control your domains.A dealer friend found out the hard way when he let his web designer buy his domain and he had a hard time getting it back.
Good for you David, and I must say thank you for all the participants giving you great information. Here is my 2 cents worth, since your a mechanic, be sure the cars are as good as they can be for the make model and year and should surpass your state inspection. If it aint running they aint paying. You change hats from a car sales organization to a collection agency. It does take a long time to build but can be profitable. Your cash flow or lack there of is one of the biggest issues, another is the capitolization cost of the vehicles today is much higher, so yesterdays 1000-2000 vehicle is now 3000 to 4000. The misguided cash for clunkers and current poor economy have changed the "good fit" for this program. This is a marrage for you and your niche of clientelle. I'll go out on a limb here and think in Texas you have many that will want a big SUV or pick up. We do a thumb nail of income & cash flow picture and fit the vehicle to thier ability to pay it back.
One thing that really disturbs me is the "hammering craigs list" attitude. having multiple accounts and other clandestine schemes just propergates the bad rap of a "used cars salesman" anything goes. Craigs list is free and they have rules and limitations. By circumventing this just shows what type of business model your setting up. Craigs is a great venue for advertising, and I'm sure you will want to be forth right with your clients and be honest with Craigs. I suppose we all have different moral values and business ethcis.
We use Northland RTO-LTO program and find them very accomidating, helpful and worth while.
I am in central Texas as well were are you at? I do not currently do BHPH and I am a cash only lot.