Since the launch of the eBay Motors Local Market dealer site last year, more than 1,200 dealers have flocked to it.
Dealers can now reach customers within a 100-mile radius of their stores via the site.
The new subscription-based service lets dealers upload and list their entire used-car inventory. A $1,000 monthly cost covers listing fees for an unlimited amount of vehicles.
“Dealers are interested in qualified buyers and want a tool with maximum reach that gets them as many buyers as possible,” Rob Chesney, vice president of eBay Motors-marketplaces, says. “Early traction for Local Market proves that dealers understand consumers are migrating online to find their next vehicle.
“As part of this migration, consumers are demanding more control and flexibility in their shopping experience, requesting deep local inventory, the ability to negotiate price and the option of an in-person test drive.”
The local site is aimed at used-car dealers. The lucrative used-car industry represents more than 43 million sales each year; and about 30 million go through dealers and 13 million are consumer to consumer, according to Chesney.
Hundreds of dealers were involved to test the system before last year's launch.
In addition, eBay Motors offers a no-cost program to instruct dealers how to sell vehicles online. The training sessions are held in 12 major markets annually.
Earlier this year, General Motors Corp.'s Certified Used Vehicles group announced it is collaborating with eBay in marketing efforts designed to expand dealer services and drive traffic to dealerships.
Initially, GM's used vehicle group will list their entire national inventory on eBay at no cost to more than 3,900 U.S. used-car GM dealers.
“The eBay Motors agreement means that GM certified dealers will have millions more eyeballs looking at their inventory, and more traffic drives sales,” says Mark Mathews, director-GM used vehicle activities.
The eBay Motors consumer site already attracts 1 million individual visitors a month and is rated the No. 1 auto site. It controls 34% of all automotive minutes spent on the Web, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
This January, eBay Motors also redesigned its consumer site to attract even more qualified buyers.
“We wanted to make it as rich and intuitive as possible (for consumers) to make informed decisions and transactions,” Chesney says. “Our goal is to provide sellers and buyers with the best possible online experience. In that way, we're able to bring qualified buyers to dealers.”
A new home page design makes it easier to find vehicles or parts, and developers have added more flexibility to most functions.
The redesigned site aims to make shopping for a vehicle online simpler with fewer clicks. New tabs were added to all car and truck listings pages to give consumers quick access to popular car buying services, pricing, reviews and comparisons.
A few examples: Tabs across the page, vehicle history reports and a step-by-step checklist help buyers to easily and quickly find vehicles, parts and accessories.
As part of the update, eBay also partnered with Kelley Blue Book in an effort that allows users to research used car values relative to the marketplace. The “What It's Worth” box at the top of search results gives latest data.