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Old 06-14-2013, 07:39 PM   #1
niko042
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Survye/Opinions : What are sites like Autotrader, Ebay, Craigslist missing?

Many of us have been to Autotrader.com, Craigslist, Ebay, Cars.com etc.... what's your take on these sites?

Are they worth listing your car or finding your next car? What do you like about these sites, and what are they missing?

I'm just curious because I feel like they either cater to dealerships or in the case of craigslist it's whatever goes up there and not easy to search and find what you may be looking for.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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I like Craigslist for finding cars, because of the selection and the lowest prices.
For selling I like Autotrader, the "runs until it sells" option is really good.
However, you might need to advertise on several sites to find a buyer.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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The sites are all good for a foundation. I like Craig's List the least just because the sellers are pretty much idiots. They say, "call do not email," and they don't give the phone number and CL automatically gives an ananymous link to email them. They post stuff without pictures, and they post some stuff that belongs in the dumpster behind the supermarket.

No matter which site you use, go in with your eyes wide open. Get the true Private Party value range from places like kbb.com, then subtract to the value you think is good based on the car involved. Some will say, "Showroom condition," and the car looks like it's fresh from a wreck. Others will say a virtual cream puff is in "good, or fair, condition." Some cars are worth several hundred less than they are asking, some are worth much more. Hope you find the specimens worth more, prepare yourself that they are worth less.

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Old 06-15-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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@jdstrickland - do you think that if they posted better pics, high quality HD pics, that they would give the person searching a better visual of what they're checking out? I've noticed that with all these sites the pics showing the cars are pretty small, if they have a pic, and it's hard to do a decent examination of the condition of the cars.

When you say they're good for a foundation it sounds like your saying that they have potential for being better or providing a better service. If that's the case what could they do to be better?

@Iszlszx - thanks for the input!
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by niko042 View Post
@jdstrickland - do you think that if they posted better pics, high quality HD pics, that they would give the person searching a better visual of what they're checking out? I've noticed that with all these sites the pics showing the cars are pretty small, if they have a pic, and it's hard to do a decent examination of the condition of the cars.

When you say they're good for a foundation it sounds like your saying that they have potential for being better or providing a better service. If that's the case what could they do to be better?

@Iszlszx - thanks for the input!
Yes, better pics would go a long way to make the posts better.

Craig's List is okay for what it does, but it just isn't my favorite place to look for stuff. Having said that, I buy things there from time to time.

I once bought a ladder rack for my truck that did not fit the unique application I intended -- it fit the truck fine, just not the way I needed it to, clearly not the fault of the seller or of Craig's List -- so I listed it back on Craig's List a month or so later and sold it for $50 more than I paid, and the lady that bought it paid me to deliver it less than half the distance I drove to pick it up. All in all, it worked out well.

What I would do is use autotrader and cars.com to get values in my area, then use Craig's List as an additional source. My limited experience is that the better cars are on the Pay Sites, and the cars on Craig's List are more likely to be distress sales -- the seller doesn't have the 60-ish bucks to pay for the ad, and they probably won't have the car detailed.

I once saw a car on Craig's List (in person) that was not even washed. Another was offered with miles, but the sticker under the hood said that some manner of major service would not happen for another 80,000 miles or so -- the odometer reading was lower than a sticker that reported a major repair had been done. These kinds of things are not unique to Craig's List, but I wonder if a person that actually pays for his For Sale Listing would do that and not wash the car first.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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I missed talking about the foundation.

Sellers tend to ask a little more than the car is worth because you and I come along and chisel them for a few hundred/thousand and then meet somewhere in the middle. I like to look on KBB.com to see the Private Party Value for Fair to Good condition -- the cars I shop for are seldom young enough to still be in Excellent condition -- and then see where the sellers on autotrader and cars.com come in. If a seller is asking a price that is in the Excellent condition price range, then I'd tend to make my offer at the Good condition range unless the car really was excellent.

Selling a car is all about asking for more, buying a car is all about paying less. The deal gets made in the middle.

Keep in mind that the seller typically is looking to buy (or has bought) another car, and the dealer he bought from stiffed him on the trade-in value. Private Party sales are higher than the trade-in and lower than the price the dealer will charge (retail) for the car on his lot. If you are looking at a , the dealer will give $5,000 on the trade, and sell it for $10,000. Private Party might sell the car for $7,500. The seller wants more than the dealer offered, but clearly cannot get what the dealer charges, you buy private party and pay somewhere in the middle. The dealer offers a somewhat worthless warranty that runs 30 days or 1,000 miles -- which you burn through in a week or two. Private party saves you money on the purchase but you have to be able to fix stuff on your own. Roll the dice...

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by niko042 View Post
@jdstrickland - do you think that if they posted better pics, high quality HD pics, that they would give the person searching a better visual of what they're checking out? I've noticed that with all these sites the pics showing the cars are pretty small, if they have a pic, and it's hard to do a decent examination of the condition of the cars. !
Many pictures and ads are so bad on craigslist that it's even possible to make money reselling vehicles by simply cleaning them up and posting better pictures.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:41 PM   #8
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Survye/Opinions : What are sites like Autotrader, Ebay, Craigslist missing?

I found my car with autotrader, and I have a pretty rare car so I really like the site.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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@ lszlszx hahaha yea. I tend to not like that when I search on CL for a specific car I get random listings. I do get some of the cars I'm looking for but their search isn't all that accurate. And I hate not seeing any pics. But you're right you can prob flip these cars for more just by cleaning them lol.

@Marshmallow is the car the 325xIT that you're talking about or another?
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Yep, talking about my touring. I own 1 of about 3,000 manual e46 tourings in the US and it's all thanks to Autotrader. I checked every day for about 6 months and even narrowed down my car list by searching. I've always wanted my car, but still considered over 30 other vehicles. In the end, I bought what I always wanted!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
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Craigslist needs a "search by distance" function. I hate having to manually click every city within 500 miles when searching for a car. Then I forget where Ive already looked and end up checking the same city 3 or 4 times.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
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@Marshmallow congrats on your find! That's awesome you got exactly what you wanted.

@tmr931- I agree with you on that too!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:23 AM   #13
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I would never buy a car off eBay I've heard way too many horror stories regarding ..
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #14
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@effay - just curious could you share a story? What sites do you trust and why, if any?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:35 AM   #15
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what are your reasons behind this survey? are you trying to create a product to sell to these companies? or a whole new website?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:49 AM   #16
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@tmr - yes I want to make something that caters to enthusiasts, that kind of competes with them but I don't want to think of it as competing but more of just catering to enthusiasts. It seems like every time I go on these sites they tend to not provide the best user experience on both sides from the buyer searching to the seller listing. But I'm trying to see if other enthusiasts feel the same way I do.

So I'm trying to validate my thoughts that there could be something better. Obviously these guys have huge budgets which may make it hard to compete, but I think listening to enthusiasts is a good place to start in building something better.

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Old 06-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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Survye/Opinions : What are sites like Autotrader, Ebay, Craigslist missing?

Enthusiasts aren't the majority of people who buy cars. If you're only selling top end luxury/sports cars then you'll have more intense car people. But as long as 90% of the cars sold on said site are camrys and accords, you are going to have soccer moms who give no shits about pictures or service records. They care about mileage, color, and price.
Yes, you can make a "better" site. But only a minority desire something better because only a minority give a crap about cars in the first place.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:15 PM   #18
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Good points Peyton. I guess that's why I don't really see my self as trying to "compete" with these big sites. I just want to focus on the minority since I am in that minority and have a lot of friends that are in it as well, and although the big sites do a decent job I think there are areas for improvement that they don't care to focus on.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:29 PM   #19
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Craigslist is King. In person cash sales. FREE is also nice. I would NEVER use ebay to buy or sell a car. Unless it's right down the street and I can kick the tires. I probably still wouldn't want to use it. Autotrader doesn't do it for me either. CL is just too good. I have found endless awesome deals on CL. Knowledge of what you're buying/selling easily sets you apart from the rest.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:30 PM   #20
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Survye/Opinions : What are sites like Autotrader, Ebay, Craigslist missing?

Quote:
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Good points Peyton. I guess that's why I don't really see my self as trying to "compete" with these big sites. I just want to focus on the minority since I am in that minority and have a lot of friends that are in it as well, and although the big sites do a decent job I think there are areas for improvement that they don't care to focus on.
Do you and your friends have money? Basically it comes down to, yeah every kid and their brother wants 100 full res pics with records and all details. A video tour and instant contact to the seller. BUT all of these things that add up to a better experience are going to take more time and money from the seller. And people with $3000 cars are NOT going to take the time or money to make a site like this. You're only going to get people with rare and/or expensive cars to partake in something like this. Basically, you will not find a 240sx,miata, Camry, or any ford on there.
And you want to set it up where people want to buy there more than other sites. People are not going to put in more effort to sell if people are not more willing to visit that site.

You need to, very specifically, create it to cater to a target buyer and a target seller. And they need to match.
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