Jim Ziegler wants to know: " It's 9:00 AM - Do You Know Where Your Inventory Is?"


5:00 AM and the Alpha Dawg is on the Point. Actually been awake since 4:00 AM. Did you ever have so much on your mind you couldn't sleep because you were thinking so hard? Well, a lot of side issues that came out of this Cars.com battle that are bothering me and I intend to pursue them.

First of all many people reported on the blogs and on Facebook and in Private Chats and Messages. That your inventory was showing up on TrueCar and CarGurus. 

Well, that is troubling. One participant in the blogs emailed a statement that ALL of our vendors, or at least most them, are brokering off our inventory to other websites you didn't subscribe to. OR, perhaps buying and selling your inventory to brokers and listing services where other websites pick up your cars and put them on their own sites. The example they used in the email to me was a listing site the sender claimed to me was brokering your inventory back and forth between these lead generator vendors buying and selling inventory to each other... your inventory, for $6.00 to $12.00 each. I have not investigated fully but I believe there's got to be some truth to that in essence. 

I think their model revisions are as in line with dealers' best interests as any of the others.

BUT, I have a severe problem with CarGurus. I believe they are anti-dealer and NOT good for us or the consumer... my opinion based on what I have seen. 

CarGurus is an alleged lead generation service that Tells The Consumer whether or Not Your Unit Pricing is a Good Deal or a Bad Deal (in their opinion?) During the course of all of this, one of my dealers discovered his Chevrolet Tahoes listed on CarGurus and labeled as a Bad Deal. The rub is He never gave any inventory listing to CarGurus. According to him, the only vendor he was aware of with his inventory was Cars.com. Have you checked, CarGurus to see if your cars are listed there when you don't do business with them???? 

I am not sure if Cars.com, AutoByTel, AutoTrader, or any of your vendors have the right contractually to do this. I am also researching that. They may be acting strictly within the rights you have signed away somewhere in the deep paragraphs buried in the text of your agreement with them. We will find out.

Here is the questionable language in the Cars.com contract you probably signed that allows them the right to ship out and export your inventory to God knows where to websites with questionable reputations?

4. Content. Customer grants Cars.com a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, transferable, license to access, edit, store, enhance, modify, adapt, translate, copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, publish, perform and display publicly, prepare derivative works of, and otherwise use Content, and to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers. Cars.com reserves the right to modify the Sites and Products, and to edit or reject any Content or portion thereof from use on the Sites or Products in its sole discretion and without notice."

You and your dealer need to get this renegotiated OUT of the contract completely for your protection.

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Tags: Alpha, BDC, Dawg, Generation, Internet, James, Jim, Sales, Supersystems, Ziegler, More…adwords, automotive, autotrader, bootcamp, brian, buy, cargurus.com, cars, cars.com, certified, dealer, dealership, dealix, digital, google, lead, marketing, negotiate, new, nurturing, pasch, strategy, truecar, used


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Comment by milt hodgins on October 29, 2015 at 5:55pm

looks like car gurus are coming to Canada and I am interested in knowing what experiences others have had with them..thanks,


Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 13, 2013 at 10:25am

3RD Party Websites Caught Red-Handed Stealing Your Deals LOOK 

Check out my Facebook Page, there are literally dozens of dealers reporting terrible abuses by third party websites associated with this thread. It's beyond what you can believe. I have too many friends to 'Friend Me" but you can subscribe and follow me and post on my page... LOOK it's incredible!  If you didn't believe your vendors were doing it to you, you can't deny this proof from many dealers, not just one example.  http://www.Facebook.com/jamesaziegler

Comment by Steve Duff on May 11, 2013 at 1:52pm

Well as I see it, since the lead came in as a Cars.com lead, marked as such in the raw data of the lead, it seems to be a site that is owned by Cars.com.And although from a cursory glance it doesn't seem to be a dealer bashing site, it does directly compete with us for finance. In the cancellation email I did mention that we no longer want to be their "partner".

But to answer your question, that is correct, all we wanted was to do good honest business with Cars.com.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 11, 2013 at 1:43pm

So, once again you're inventory is used as bait on a 3rd party website you did not authorize and then the consumer is diverted elsewhere... when all you did was do business with Cars.com. Is that right Steve Duff?

Comment by Steve Duff on May 11, 2013 at 1:43pm

Update: I informed my reps at cars that since they are our competitor for financing options, telling consumers that they have a better financing option than we do, that it was time to part company. I gave notice of cancellation of all services.

We're done with them.

They can ride out the storm, without us.

Comment by Steve Duff on May 11, 2013 at 1:24pm

Update: I found our inventory on http://www.web2carz.com and submitted a lead. It came into our CRM as a Cars.com lead. In the lead details/raw data screen it says "<id source="cars.com" sequence="1">318124035</id>". Clearly marked by Cars.com.

Now I had informed my reps that we wanted to opt out of all feeds. They said no problem, but it would be about 3 days... this lead was submitted within that time frame so no problem there. I'll check in another couple of days to see if they have been turned off.

But the issue I'm looking at is... if that site I mention above is putting leads into my crm that are part of the Cars.com lead count, and assuming that there are many other sites out there that are also part of their affiliate/partner or company owned site network, I can see the value of the monthly spend with Cars.com quickly dwindling as I remove the feed from those other sites. So it might just be better for us to cancel Cars altogether, and we are prepared to do just that. Honestly, in the one and a half years we have been with them, I cannot say that our sales has increased one iota due to cars. So there you have it.

Oh yeah, and this is found on the FAQ page for web2carz.com


Why is Web2Carz.com financing better than other options?

Web2Carz.com has a network of dozens of lenders representing some of the industry's most experienced and biggest organizations competing for your business. By using our online form, you are able to leverage our technology and in seconds have your car loan request presented to our entire network.

Our lenders know that you are a Web2Carz.com customer and you are not obligated to use their services. If you are not 100% satisfied, you will take your business somewhere else!

How does the process work exactly?

Upon submitting the loan request form, your information is immediately sent to our lender network. We will also send you a confirmation email that your information was received ok.

Step 1 in our process (the Ping) finds a group of lenders willing to give you an auto loan based on a subset of the information provided, and allows us to narrow down the list to several "best fit" organizations. Step 2 of our process (the Post) submits your complete loan request to the lender that best fits your profile and location.

Once the process is complete, we will notify you via email whether your request was accepted by our network.


I've already had the talk with AT and Cars reps about how we depend on F&I to keep our doors open and profits up, so why are they (or their Roadloans partners) competing with us? Also on Cars when you click on the finance link, they (Roadloans) quote a potential rate and payment. How nice of them.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 9, 2013 at 6:30am

oops there goes another CarGurus feed... and another...oops again...and again... oops there goes another one... there went one... watch out, somebody cancelled another one... oops...oops ...oops

Comment by Chris Erickson on May 7, 2013 at 2:49pm

When we certify a used GM vehicle in the GM Dealer system GM will have the vehicle posted on different sites... on our behalf of course.

Comment by Timothy Martell on May 7, 2013 at 12:51pm

Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 6, 2013 at 9:22am

First time I've heard Ford Direct mentioned in alliance with CarGurus! Like I have said repeatedly, I personally dislike Cargurus immensely. Now here you are, not doing business with this company and still your vendor partner chooses to post your inventory there where they could trash you and your cars if they choose to. Not Right!

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