This may seem like a strange headline for a blog, but after talking to multiple dealers over the last two weeks it appears that AutoTrader is pretty proud of their services. Just about every dealer that I talked to is having some type of rate increase as they go into 2013.
Some are citing that it is different package levels and that they are getting more premium listing and spotlight ads. Others are saying that their AutoTrader rep simply came in and told them that they had a new price and a new contract – if they wanted to stay with their service they’d have to pay up.
It’s also pretty interesting that some of the increases are coming from the “trade-in marketplace” tool. I have to admit I have seen some very mixed reviews on it since its beginning. Yes, this tool does make since, but I have had just as many dealers get off of the “trade-in marketplace” as I have seen get on it. I do not have a formal opinion on it, but be aware that you and your competitor are all now paying more in a lot of cases for the same services that you were getting before. You have to look at the ROI and figure out if AutoTrader deserves a piece of your 2013 budget.