Archive for May, 2008

What can you get for .96¢ (or even FREE!) in today’s market?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I left the house in a rush the other morning and had to stop at a 7-11 convenience store to get a cup of coffee. I do not understand why they make the large coffee cups in some places as big as a bucket so I grabbed the medium size. I got to the counter and the lady said, “$1.09, please.” I almost fell out. That got me to thinking, what exactly will a dollar get you, today?

About three years ago, VIADA and JTZ Enterprise teamed up to create one of the most economical Member Benefits with www.VAUsedCarDealers.com. Many of you already know this website is a way for VIADA members only to advertise their cars (entire listings and photos) online. In May of 2008, this website had tens of thousands of visitors who viewed over 4.2 million listings, all of them belonging to a VIADA member. How much does it cost to tap into this exclusive website? For as little as $35 dollars a month you are able to list your entire inventory with photos, descriptions, prices, and wholesale prices, There is no long term commitment but if you elect to pay for five or ten months you will get one or two months free.

What else would this .96¢ a day get you? For starters, it would list your cars in a website branded with VIADA. Immediately, the car buyer begins to learn more about the association itself and begins to equate each of the dealers as possibly being a “step above the rest” when it comes to honesty and integrity. Also, as a participating member you gain access to wholesale listings from other participating members. Not only is this a way to possibly locate inventory, it is also a good way to support other VIADA members while at the same time knowing you are dealing with another dealer who adheres to the same level Integrity you do.

If you are advertising with Cars.com, Auto Trader, and any number of over ninety other similar online advertisers, that .96¢ goes even farther! Once a VUCD dealer gets their inventory and photos on this website, it automatically gets sent to any and all other online advertisers you may be hooked up with. This does a few things, first and foremost, it cuts down on your work load. Instead of having to add your listings to this website and that website and even your website, we make it so you only have to do that work at one website and it will feed that information to all your other advertisers for you. The other benefit is that if you change the price or description of a vehicle you only have to make that change in one location and the price for your listings remains consistent across all your various advertisers. It is possible for your client to see one of your listings on two different advertisers and if they see different prices or descriptions for the same listing but on different websites, it is your credibility that comes into question, unfortunately. With VUCD you are able to avoid all that.

We also feed all VUCD inventory listings to several other FREE online advertisers. These include but are not limited to Google, Oodle.com, ShopAutosOnline.com and others. We are always willing to feed to any new online advertisers as they come along, free or otherwise. If you are approached by an online advertiser, just know that VUCD can take all the work out of it for you.

Another benefit recently added to the site is the Craigslist/Ebay listing tool. Neither of these websites are meant for the Internet Faint at heart, but if you are able to copy and paste you are probably ready to tap into one or both of these sites. Craigslist.org is a website anyone can list just about anything for sale and it has proven to be quite successful for car dealers. I had one dealer who said this free website was making her phone ring more than of her paid online advertising was! That says a lot when it costs almost a thousand dollars a month or more to advertise with any one of those nationwide advertisers. To look at this website you would ask why does anyone come to Craigslist? I will let the website explain its success, however, when we can confirm the success it was bringing some of our clients through their website counters, we went into action!

In mid April, the listing tool became available and it essentially takes all the information you entered about each vehicle and creates code for a template page. You simply copy and paste that code into the description box of either Craigslist or Ebay, fill in the rest of the required information and go. It makes for a much more professional display in a fraction of the time it would take you to type a rudimentary description!

There are so many other new tools available at VUCD and if you haven’t already, you should check them out for yourself. From the beginning, JTZ Enterprise has been responsible for handling the administrative part of VUCD and would reimburse VIADA a percentage of the overall revenue. In our most recent Board meeting, however, we were instructed to spend that money in marketing the website through various Pay Per Click campaigns. It is not important to know what a PPC is, what is important is that for the first time your association is reaching out to the public in an effort to not only further raise awareness for the association and attract car buyers to your dealership!

For a free demo of the website, please call 540-286-0801 and ask for Tiffany or Kathy.