For a long time now Autotrader.co.uk has been on top when it comes to online car advertising in this country. But, now that Ebay has stepped forward with its new version of trade2trade, are Autotrader still going to have the title? We all know there are other traders – Yahoo, Fish4cars and CarsDirect to mention a few – who are trying really hard to stay around while Ebay and Autotrader stand out for being the best!
The recent development of eBay Motors Pro and acquisition of trade2trade has started to help eBay in adding to its plans for taking over. Nowadays the cost differences for advertising for most dealers, both independent and franchised would certainly be more in eBay’s favour over Autotrader. However, Autotrader does still have over 10 million unique visitors as opposed to eBay Motors only having 3.5million!
They both have a lot in common, however like cutting edge technology to help better enhance the saleability of the cars. Even though Autotrader has worked constantly over the years to keep its position as the best! (and we know they will fight to keep it) however, eBay is now growing bigger in the car sales sector and with its huge amount of resources it’s getting there, it’s going to be an interesting battle. One thing for certain is they both already know that there is a lot at stake, especially in terms of growth and profitability and they are both fighting for this huge slice of a massive industry.
One big advantage that eBay has, which could help tip the scales in their favour, is how they market cars for their customers with their well known “buy it now” button plus their very popular open, real time, online auction format, which could eventually knock Autotrader out of the game. What attracts more and more people these days, both sellers and buyers, trade and private, is that they genuinely believe that they have an opportunity to place a bid and purchase the car they want for the perfect price, which then gives them the joy of watching the action unfold in front of them in the comfort of their own homes. With eBay allowing you to leave feedback buyers have that satisfaction of being able to grade the car, which gives you the chance to tell the seller what you really think. It also removes the problem of all those wasted journeys, trying to find the car that suits. Because of the information they can have in front of them, for example, the number of bidders or watchers on any car they have on sale, names of sellers, names of dealers, can help any future sales on the strength of activity and trends.
Autotrader could also provide similar stats on request but will this be as powerful or as accurate as knowing for yourself how many people are currently watching a car and may well place a bid at any time in front of your eyes. A dealer I know who uses eBay regally told us that one time he bought an older Mazda MX5 as a Part-exchange, he normally placed this sort of car to auction, but instead he decides to give eBay a try. He was overwhelmed with the amount of people that looked at it and in the end he made thousands in profit. One downside to selling on eBay, however is once people learn the rules they can take advantage of the system and start setting up accounts as fake dealers. Let’s face it how many people are there that aren’t tempted to play the system? You can also get sellers setting up fake accounts and placing a bid themselves with the amount they want for their car. eBay say this isn’t possible because they have programmes in place to stop this, but you know many dealers will still try to play the system!
For sure customers who in the past have had bad experience’s with car dealers find that they can bid on a car online without the hassle of being annoyed by an annoying car salesman, as of course we all know people in this country who are uncomfortable with haggling.
One of the biggest changes these days is the car advert through a magazine and online, this really has now taken its course. Being honest, many dealers nowadays say that they split their advertising budget, between Autotrader and eBay, plus their own websites, but all of us are starting to get the impression that the way eBay is doing things is the way forward. So will eBay come out on top?