Online Options Expand: Dealers Sell Local And National Through Web

January 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Rob Chesney - Also by this author

Since our inception, we have always looked to create new ways to help sellers and buyers succeed in an online marketplace. As we look toward continually improving the seller and buyer experience, we’re expanding options and offerings on the eBay Motors site.

As Internet sales services continue to grow and improve, many customers, that were previously unreachable, are quickly becoming available online. eBay Motors has begun market testing an economical way for auto dealers to tap into these markets to generate additional local leads to increase sales. Called “Local Market,” the subscription-based offering is designed to help dealers generate more local leads. The program is being tested initially in Chicago, Miami, Seattle and Washington.

Dealers enrolled in Local Market can list as many vehicles as they want on the eBay Motors site with the added advantage of targeting consumers within 100 miles of their dealerships. The cost per listing on Local Market will be a fraction of the standard $40 listing fee normally charged for vehicles, in addition to the monthly subscription fee.

Traditionally, the site has enabled buyers and sellers to transact business in a number of formats:

  • An auction, where the sale goes to the highest bidder often with a specified minimum “reserve” price
  • “Buy It Now,” where the vehicle can be purchased at a fixed price
  • Auction with “Buy It Now,” in which auction-style bids are placed with an option to pay a fixed price at any time throughout the duration of the listing
  • Best Offer, a feature that provides the opportunity for the negotiation between a buyer and seller, which the seller can accept, reject or counter the offer.

Vehicles listed in Local Market utilize the Best Offer format, allowing the dealer to negotiate directly with local customers. Sellers may also choose a Best Offer with Buy It Now or a fixed-price only Buy It Now listing in the Local Market.

For the dealer, a significant advantage of Local Market is that leads become directly targeted to the local area. Local Market provides leads in the form of phone calls, emails and best offers, something that no other online classifieds site offers.

Local Market utilizes software from preferred service providers to help dealers create bulk listings of their vehicles, then upload the listings directly to eBay Motors. The solution providers who are integrating with the Local Market test include:

  • aaXchange
  • Auction 123
  • AutoRevo
  • eBizAutos

Initial reports from test markets have been very encouraging. Many dealers have reported that with the heightened visibility among regional buyers, the Local Market feature has helped them find local buyers to rapidly sell the off-lease trade-ins and older commonly available vehicles that typically languish on their lots. As a result, dealers using Local Market have been able to build up their local inventories, knowing that they will generate local buyer interest.

Vol 3, Issue 11

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