Special Coverage

NADA Convention & Exposition

LAS VEGAS – eBay Motors announces the launching of Local Market, a subscription-based service allowing franchise dealers to list their used-car lot on the auction-based website.

The service allows dealers to post an unlimited number of units, which will be displayed to eBay buyers within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of the dealership. Dealers pay a monthly subscription fee of $1,000 and will be charged a $50 sales fee for vehicles sold online.

Rob Chesney, eBay Motors senior director, says the addition of Local Market is just another advancement in eBay Motors’ successful 7-year history.

“I’ve been around five-and-a-half years and most of the interviews I did in the first year-and-a-half or two years were focused on trying to convince people that they can actually use the Internet to find and buy new vehicles,” Chesney says, “Our success has proven that, but it’s amazing how far it’s come.”

eBay Motors reached a milestone last summer when the 2 millionth vehicle was sold off its website.

Local Market testing began in four regional test markets last spring. Buyers logging into eBay Motors from Chicago, Miami, Seattle and Washington may have noticed a new section at the end of their search results entitled “Additional vehicles near (your ZIP code).”

Upon entering their information, buyers were directed to listings from participating eBay Motors’ dealers. Satisfactory results convinced the company to launch Local Market nationwide at the National Automotive Dealers Assn.

Chesney says Local Market was created with buyers’ needs in mind.

“We take that to heart,” he says. “We spend a lot of time trying to see what buyers want. The two things we’re looking to deliver is a robust selection for consumers and the best buying experience.”

Local Market gives buyers the opportunity to negotiate price through the new ‘Best Offer’ feature, an option recently added to all eBay listings. Dealers can accept, reject or counter-offer the final price. Buyers also can negotiate and close the transaction in person at the dealership.

Those who purchase vehicles online will be provided with up to $20,000 against fraud or material misrepresentation through eBay Motors’ Vehicle Purchase Protection.

eBay says test results show Local Market benefits dealerships selling newer, used-vehicle inventories that appeal to a variety of consumers.

“What we focus on is where consumer behavior on the Internet is going,” Chesney says. “You can look anywhere on the Web (and you’ll see that) users want more control over the process. They want flexibility and options.

That’s what we try to offer with our products. We offer that to both buyers and sellers, and that’s why we think they have a unique advantage.”

egenoff@wardsauto.com