21+ Resources for First Time Auto Dealers

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As a first time dealer you may not know where to start. Getting your license, finding property, funding, financing, hiring, marketing, building a website and MUCH MUCH more are all on your todo list. I’ve put together an ongoing, updated resource list for everything you may need when starting your dealership. Take a look and let me know if there are any great resources that you think should be added!

Automotive Marketplaces

AutoTrader – the leader in automotive marketplaces with listings for new and used cars. Started in the 90s by the Cox Enterprises.
Cars.com – 1 of the big 2. Started by leaders in the newspapers industry in the 90s.
Craigslist – massive visitors per month, dead-simple design and now paid make this an appealing marketplace for dealers.
eBay – the #1 automotive seller by volume online.
CarGurus – upstart automotive marketplace that is costumer focused giving them an inside look if the car is a good deal or not.
Oodle – free classified marketplace selling more than just cars.
Kijiji – Craigslist for Canada.

Lead Generation Sites

Vast – one of the largest vehicle listings through partnerships and website scraping.
TrueCar – well funded lead generation site that spends a lot of money on promotion. Data heavy with a focus on new cars.
MakeMyDeal – new lead generation site by AutoTrader. In beta, but one to watch.
AutoByTel – one of the oldest automotive sales sites, has gone through many different business models.

Regional Automotive Merchandisers

Redline Automotive Merchandising – out of NJ. Offers inventory management, marketing tools and Craigslist posting services.
CarTHINK – located in Florida. Offers websites, Craigslist posting and inventory management.

Unique Automotive Dealership Models

Carvana – started by DriveTime, they offer a complete online purchase with great exterior and interior walk around photos and financing online. All delivered to your door with a 7 day return policy.
CarMax – the largest used car retailer in the United States with 128+ locations. Started by now defunct Circuit City.
Texas Auto Direct – eBay king. World’s largest independent dealership with over 2000 vehicles in stock.
Tesla – direct to consumer manufacturer with strong financials and an even stronger brand.
GoMoto – shop, compare and test drive popular models in a mallĀ setting.


Inevitably I’ve left off some good resources, but these are the main resources that are well known in the industry. What else? Do you have any categories or additions to this resource list? Please leave them in the comments.

June 19, 2014 - Written by

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