Dealers, Diversify Your Inventory Marketing Strategy

The more we work with car dealers, the more we realize that there are certain fundamentals that are pretty universal. Everyone has a website. Just about everyone is posting to some third-party sites. Nearly all have their inventory on OEM sites. Is there more?

From a consumer perspective, there are limitless options available through which to see dealership inventory. The most popular ones – AutoTrader and Cars.com – offer a nice selection of vehicles to consumers but don’t account for all or even most of the car shoppers today. From a dealership’s perspective, this means that there are tons of local buyers who are not seeing your inventory in the venues they check the most.

Two of the most popular that we’ve seen from a consumer perspective that are oddly light from a dealership perspective are eBay Motors and Craigslist. With millions of shoppers using these sites regularly and considering them to be valid options for finding vehicles, it’s surprising that so many dealers choose to avoid them. We explored the issue to find out why and came up with interesting conclusions.

Unlike AutoTrader and Cars.com, these sites work on a per-listing basis. This is the only logical reason that we can find that explains why many car dealers do not post there the way they do on the other popular classified sites. It can be challenging to do it manually. There must be a tool, right?

We found a few. The one we liked the most is LotVantage. They’re affordable and make it very easy for dealers to post to these two popular sites as well as several others while maintaining proper cost controls.

The people are shopping there. The cost is low. It makes sense to be on Craigslist, eBay Motors, and other mid- to high-volume classified listing sites.

It would seem that the strategy for most is to cover the bases. Having a website and a couple of classified locations can account for a good percentage of shoppers, but the right strategy for aggressive dealers would seem to be having their inventory on as many popular websites as possible.

If the only real roadblock is convenience and ease, then using a tool should mean that there are no roadblocks at all.

Car Dealer Inventory

Written by Scott Boyd

Sports fan. Coffee lover. Entrepreneur. California dreamin'. The only thing I enjoy more than writing about cars is driving them around town... especially old hot rods. Find me on Facebook and Twitter.