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8/24/2009
12:53 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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GM eBay Site Spurs 960,000 Searches But Only 45 Sales

Innovative sales channels don't always pan out as planned: through the first nine days of the much-ballyhooed initiative to peddle GM cars on eBay, only 45 cars were sold. On the bright side, the GM eBay Web site wracked up 960,000 searches of GM vehicles-does it have a future as a lead-machine?

Innovative sales channels don't always pan out as planned: through the first nine days of the much-ballyhooed initiative to peddle GM cars on eBay, only 45 cars were sold. On the bright side, the GM eBay Web site wracked up 960,000 searches of GM vehicles-does it have a future as a lead-machine?As the 4-week program hits its halfway point, some dealers are saying the GM eBay site is generating a lot of leads for dealers even if sales results have been less than robust, AutoWeek says:

In the first nine days of the program, GM dealers listed 16,228 vehicles on eBay and completed 45 sales, according to data available on the Web site. But GM said the eBay exposure is prompting customers to visit dealerships to complete sales that aren't recorded on eBay. . . .

Mark Borjan, a Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealer, said he listed 70 vehicles on eBay and sold seven, but only one is recorded with eBay. "I've sold some vehicles to people that saw the vehicles on eBay, but they didn't buy them on eBay. They called, came in and bought them," said Borjan, owner of Golden Hills Auto Center in Paso Robles, Calif. He sells about 300 new vehicles annually.

GM spokesman John McDonald told AutoWeek that "eBay is generating leads. A big part of this is about generating awareness of GM products in the California market."

The GM-eBay site does not follow the standard auction format that has made eBay a global brand-rather, vehicles are listed at the manufacturer's suggested retail price, and buyers can purchase the car at that price or submit a lower offer (hey, I guess they can offer a higher offer if they want, but GM's not betting on that).

Those bids can then be accepted or rejected by GM dealers, 225 of whom are participating in the promotion, the article says.

One final wrinkle: of the nearly 1,000,000 searches buyers have logged so far, the most-popular vehicle has been the Pontiac G8-a car that's been discontinued.

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