The 2012 NIADA Convention and Expo was held in Las Vegas last week, and AutoRevo took a big team to man our booth and talk to dealers. While it definitely seemed like there were less dealers there this year, the buzz on the expo floor was really positive. We talked to a lot of different dealers and vendors, and it seems like everyone was extremely optimistic for the future of the used car industry. As the economy recovers from the Great Recession, many Americans are much more price and value conscious when they’re shopping for a vehicle, which leads them directly to the independent dealers all over the country.
One of the hot topics of discussion was sourcing inventory. Since the economy is turning around and more people are buying used cars, it’s harder for dealers to find the right inventory. (more…)
We’re having a great time here at NIADA 2012! We’re posting a recap next week, but we wanted to put up a quick post while we’re here.
We’ve got 3 secret operatives at the entrance to the expo floor. As dealers come in, our operatives hand them a flash drive with secret documents and instructions to go to the eBay Motors booth to receive their disguise. Once they get their disguise (an AutoRevo baseball cap), they’re sent to our booth, where Cesar is handrolling cigars as a reward for completing the mission.
Here’s a shot of Caesar and our lovely operatives:
And here’s a shot of Travis, Bill, and Christina having fun with the CARFAX Car Fox:
Check back next week for a full recap!
We’re heading to NIADA in Las Vegas next week, and if you’re going to be there, you’ll definitely want to come by and see us at booth 101. We’ll have some secret operatives in the crowd – if you find one, she’ll give you a secret mission. Sure, we’ll have guys at the booth you can talk to about AutoRevo, and all the normal stuff you see at trade shows… but the secret mission is going to add a new level of fun for everyone who talks to one of our operatives
MISSION: Information Capture
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to gather top secret information about AutoRevo at the 2012 NIADA Convention & Expo. If you contact one of our secret operatives, you’ll be given a disguise, a flash drive with secret documents, and a cigar roller named Cesar has something special planned for you.
We hope to see you next week in Vegas! Come by booth 101and chat if you’re going to be there.
Brace yourselves, car dealers – things are about to get interesting…
Local search has become increasingly vital to success in the auto industry, and today, Google made a huge change that will change the way that every auto dealer optimizes for local search. Say goodbye to Google Places… And say hello to Google+ Local.
Google Places has been the go-to destination for local search dominance, and now Google is replacing them entirely with Google+ Local pages. As of this morning, approximately 80 million Google Place pages were automatically converted to Google+ Local pages. Apparently, this isn’t a typical staggered rollout either – all of the Places pages will be converted to Google+ Local pages within a matter of days.
Currently, we’re not seeing the new Google+ Local pages in the SERPs, but apparently they’re coming soon. You CAN see them inside of Google+, with the new “Local” tab – so head over and take a look. (UPDATE – As of Thursday morning, the changes appear to have rolled out across all Google products.)
If you’re an auto dealer who’s been relying heavily on Google Places and Google Reviews, you’ll need to update your strategy ASAP. If you haven’t gotten into local optimization yet, there’s never been a better time to start.
Here are the most important changes that have been made:
- Google+ Local pages will replace Google Places pages.
- Google+ Local pages will be indexed by Google. That means that unlike the old Places pages, they’ll show up in search results.
- Google+ has a new “Local” tab
- The old 5-star review system has been replaced with the Zagat 30-point review system.
- Google+ Local pages will be integrated across Google properties (Google+, standard search, Google Maps, mobile)
- A Google+ circles filter has been added so you can find reviews from people you know
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” – It’s a common saying, and it’s true about the auto industry too. Your vehicle photos are your most important sales tool, yet so many dealers don’t put much effort into them. Statistics show that customers look online before they ever set foot on a car lot, so the pictures are basically a virtual test drive.
Are you putting your best foot forward with your pictures? Are you using good lighting? Are the pictures appealing? Do you have enough pictures posted? You can’t be lazy with your vehicle photos – your competitors are taking great pictures, so you should be too.
(this is an article I wrote for AutoSuccess magazine that originally ran on February 12, 2012)
Everybody knows a guy who knows a guy who sold 100 cars a month with eBay and Craigslist. But if you were hoping all you had to do was throw a bunch of inventory online and wait for urban legend greatness to immortalize you, I’ve got bad news… We know a guy who talked to that guy, and he said there are no silver bullets. Forget about “set it and forget it” – “Plug and play” is a loser’s game.
You need your own plan, starting with asking yourself the hard questions: Do you have a method that works on eBay? What is your Craigslist strategy? Have you tested your strategies recently to see if they could work better? Do you understand the latest rules/TOS (terms of service) for the sites you’re posting to? Bottom line: Have you done your homework? (more…)
Joe Strachila and his childhood friend, Kyle Miller, two individuals in Seattle, have done what every car dealer in the country has tried to do for years… Last week, they posted the greatest Craigslist car ad – EVER.
The ad is for a 1995 teal Pontiac Grand Am, marked down from $199,999 to just $700. The ad promises that driving the car will be “better than your last four romantic encounters… combined.” The ad goes on to explain how the owner tried to be manly enough to handle such a flawless car:
“I grew my beard to unreasonable lengths, trimmed my fingers with belt sander, ate nothing but lumber for six straight days and knocked a polar bear unconscious. The car chuckled at my failed attempt at manliness, and became so bloated with testosterone that it literally blew a head gasket.”
Learn some tips and tricks for moving aged inventory and generating repeat business with our exclusive Coupons and Specials Brief. We wrote this brief to help dealers learn the best way to utilize coupons and specials on their website to help sell more cars, and to sell them faster. We also talk about how to capitalize on market trends (like the rising price of gasoline) to create a marketing opportunity for your dealership.
You’ve probably seen those shows on cable where designers flip a trashed out house or they take a normal garage and turn it into a luxurious “man-cave.” With just a little bit of time, they take ordinary spaces and make them flashy and incredible… and you can do the same thing for your Google Places page. Most car dealers have a Google Places page now, so you’ve got to do everything you can to make your Places page outshine your competitors. With just a little effort, your Google Places page will be more visible, bring you more business, and completely blow away your competitors.
This is one of the most common questions we hear from dealers when they’re updating and optimizing their Google Places pages. We did some digging and some asking around, and we finally found an official list of update times from Vanessa, who works on the Google Places team.
This list shows the typical turnaround times, but keep in mind that these could change in the future if Google makes any big updates to the system. But let’s not delay any more… here’s the list: