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Confessions Of An Employee - " Takes Dealers' Money & Then Slams Them Behind Their Back"

As a former employee, here are three of the Santa Monica sites (not sure if they have more now). NOTE: The Santa Monica sites used to power the NewLeadsPlus pay-per-lead program but I'm not sure if they feed the numbers into the numbers now when they report leads or VDPs. I was told by a employee at one point, that they included the numbers from these sites in their new car lead reporting numbers which brings me to the point I have always said:

Advertisers who say "we aren't about leads" are being condescending to Dealers. EVERY AD is designed for one thing if I am giving you money: To give me more customers to speak to so I can try to sell them. Whether you call those customers "customers" or "opportunities", at the end of the day these are leads. Advertisers stopped focusing on leads and started focusing on VDPs when their lead volumes went in the toilet.

Here are excerpts from the 3 Santa Monica Sites so that Dealers can see for themselves how they are portrayed to the consumer...a.k.a. the potential lead. (Wonder why consumers think ill of Dealers in spite of all the hard work Dealers have done to improve their reputations? Maybe it's because the people you are paying encourage that thought process so that the consumer will trust them before trusting you!) Don't believe it? Read on.


Excerpts from the landing page:

The old fashioned way (basically, this is their representation of the Dealer experience)

1. You can't leave. You're pressured to buy the car today, without the chance to comparison shop.

2. Endless negotiation. You're stuck for hours going head-to-head with a salesman.

3. You're overwhelmed by numbers. APRs, fees, payment schedules—you have to sign right away and there's no time to think.

Your inventory is powering this site from the place that supposedly treats you as important. Really? How can anyone do this in good conscience!

Site excerpts

1. "Did you know every New Car has a secret price?"

2. "It's the price you'll never see published in the paper."

3. "Discover the dealer's secret price."

It get's better in the description area when you scroll down:

"Most dealers work hard to offer the public competitive prices. These incentives can grab your attention, but they can also obscure the actual terms you're getting on your purchase."

"Your current car's value can be used to lower the price on your new car. However, most people underestimate their used car's value when going to a dealership. How can you maximize your value?"

They start with many sentences that sound dealer friendly and then WHACH...they remind the customer that even though many dealers are nice, they could get screwed over by some so better just submit a lead because you can't really know which dealers are trustworthy. Read it yourself gang, don't just take my word for it.

Does that sound like the type of actions taken by a site advocating or even supporting dealers? NO - and your inventory is used to power this site too!

This is the only site that actually bears the branding and doesn't appear to have anti-dealer language. Interesting that they only put their branding on the site that doesn't make the dealer look like a crook. I wonder why?

The real question is how many of these non-dealer friendly sites are they powering with YOUR INVENTORY? And of their 'partners' like, how many partners does Autotegrity share your inventory with...and how many do their partners share with...etc?


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  • This isn't that different than what Dominion does. AutoBase, CycleTrader, GetAuto, RV Trader and I think FreeBeeAuto all get fed by Dominion. I know there are more than those and some are pretty skanky.

  • Alpha Dawg is on the Point. Just read 10 pages of a blog on another website run by one of those in-your-pocket twerps trying to pull' s bacon out of the fire. In the alleged discussion there was the site owner and six vendors with four car-people discussing these issues. I was mentioned of course. The vendors were lamenting about how the dealers (and me) were unfairly picking on There were some insulting things about me from vendors commenting on the blog, considering where it was, I am justly proud. 

    The interesting thing, once again, is that very few... very few dealership people are buying into the smoke and mirrors. Calling me names and belittling what is happening here is pointing the finger back at those saying it and exposing the greater problem of vendors abusing dealers and defending their right to do that. 

    If you're going to run an alleged dealer-blog community with an aggressive overt bias to supporting vendor-sponsors then don't expect dealer-support. As soon as you log on and read the first words the loud sucking up sound is deafening. 

    Many vendors are good and decent people, BUT, what I am seeing is that the Data-Pirates and The Lead-Farmers and Inventory Bandits have all circled the wagons in fear they may be next on the "Hit List". (And they're right)

    Guess what? Don't want to be on the "Hit List"? THEN, change your ways, we're going to be relentless. Call me the 'Data-Jihadist' and make fun of what's happening here. Derogatory-Labeling has always been a tactic by the left to silence the others. 

    This isn't a Jim Ziegler movement, it's a dealer movement and that's what scaring them all. The truth is that thousands of dealership people and a thousand dealers already are looking at you and they are seeing through your deceptions and misdirections. If you are a rogue vendor doing these things to dealers, then you should BE AFRAID... BE VERY AFRAID, we're coming.

    The reason this continues is that NOT YET are all of the dealers educated to what these vendors are doing. We have many more dealers to inform. We're dealing with the facts and the evidence is documented. It's Not going away any time soon. 

    With, it is not totally an ROI issue, although they can't justify their prices to me; but rather,It is an issue about "Breach of Trust".


    Dealers to the Vendor World - "We Will No Longer Take Your Abuse, Condescension, Double-Dealing, Dealer-Bashing, Price-Fixing, Over-Priced, Treatment. If Your People Who Never Sold a Car in Their Lives Secretly Disrespect Us and Don't Like Us WE Can Sense That and We Will No Longer Take Your Smug Arrogance." The Dawg has Spoken

  • I am in!


    Me and some of my band of Merry Men (Merry Women) are hatching some new fun mischief. You're going to love this. 

    We are going to be posting what a lot of dealers are paying and believe me it's all over the place from high to low. Me and some of my Merry Men and Women are compiling spread sheets as we speak with the amounts that dealers are paying in different markets. 


    It won't be complete of course, but it will have enough examples to piss some people off. (piss them off more actually) We should call it "Vendor-Gurus" find out what other dealers paid. That's fair. We're going to rate the deal gave you...or didn't give you.

  • 5:30 AM and the Alpha Dawg is on the Point. Thanks to those on the call yesterday I think we are solid going forward. The video Tim Martell and I made yesterday should be out later today and we'll be sure that gets a lot of play with dealers and decision-makers. I still want to know where CarGurus gets their inventory? We know is feeding them your inventory, and probably AutoByTel and a couple of other names we've talked about. Regardless, YOU need to check and see if CarGurus has your inventory on their site, and; if you didn't put it there, and if you don't want it there, YOU need to track down how they got it and have it removed and whoever did it NEVER do it again. That is if you don't want CarGurus having your inventory.

  • We are aware they acquired these sites but they redesigned them since the acquisition even more dealer-bashing than original... go to WayBack Machine and you can see the way any website used to look at any time all of the way back to 2003 when it went online first.  You can see where made them even more dealer-bashing. 

  • Good move Seth, I never commented until we showed you the entire picture. JIM

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