Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Don't bother wasting your time or money advertising on Autotrader. I spent over $100 and ran my ad for over 2 months while decreasing the price weekly. During that period I received absolutely no inquiries or even page hits. I also advertised on CarGurus and Cars.com which are free and received a ton of page hits and inquiries...
I submit my Automobile on Autotrader's, I received no real interest about the Auto or any authentic possible buyers at all! However, I did use the Kelley Blue Book feature and because I had the Auto, Detailed, New tires, state inspected and the car was beautiful. The dealer gave me exactly what Kelley Blue Book quoted and it was what I was selling it for. So, to that note it all worked out and was sold in 2 weeks!
We spent over $200 on ads at AutoTrader to sell our classic car. We started receiving a lot of strange requests with the same wording that didn't make a lot of sense. For example, they were all asking if the car had a high safety rating and good gas mileage. Well, it's a 40 year-old classic, so no! Anyway, we googled the emails and found out they were scam mails. When I contacted Autotrader to point out the scams, they send me a standard email on how to avoid scams. That's it. Also, they do not protect your real email address (like on Craigslist) so the scammers could contact me directly. Needless to say, I didn't sell my car but the guys at AutoTrader are a bit richer. :(
Whoever ruined the Obamacare website must be the same person who made AutoTrader.com. I purchased the premium $100 listing for the duration of 18+ months or however long it takes to sell the car. Within a few months I had well over 30 people communicate with me regarding my simultaneous Craigslist ad. On the other hand my AutoTrader ad had maybe 5-7 replies the entire year it was listed. Not to mention 3 or 4 of those replies regarded people telling me the AutoTrader ad wouldn't work properly, either not loading images or them being unable to open the listing.
Those vague analytics a purely to give you an idea where your money is best spent. Keep in mind, I was upgraded for free to the VIP listing for a month or two, since I had complained about their website so many times. I'll give customer service a B for effort, as I do appreciate free goods, but it doesn't mean much when they never made an effort to fix their useless website. Countless time I was told, "We are working on the website". Well the website changed in format, but it still has ALL of the same issues. I couldn't change my ad, I couldn't update or delete anything without asking customer service to do it for me... and wait for it... it still takes 24-48 hours to update to the website! That's provided the changes made actually reflect what you asked for, without typos. Otherwise, looks like I'm making another call to customer service and waiting 48 hours to see if I hit the lottery and they updated it properly.
During my 8 or so months with AutoTrader I eventually gave up on the ad I paid for. It was ludicrous to call in or send emails to customer support to make ANY changes to my listing. Not only that, but I would often find the images only loaded half-way and customer support wouldn't bother to tell me. Typically I would hear from a potential customer that the images don't load or the website doesn't work for them when clicking on my ad. AutoTrader never took ownership of the problem, they would blame my photos, which coincidentally uploaded perfectly fine when sending them the same exact pictures a 2nd time. Their website is very unstable and useless regardless which browser you use, granted I never tried Opera or Safari browsers. It did not work in IE 11, Chrome, or Firefox. All of them had issues uploading images or changing the text in my listing.
8 or so months of dealing with this I asked for some sort of refund today and they declined. Well I shall not decline on reminding people how upsetting it was to use their service, NEVER AGAIN. I will use cars.com or Craigslist next time. Don't get me wrong, I dislike Craigslist with a passion and it's unfathomably more useful and better laid out than AutoTrader.com.
I listed a car for sale on AutoTrader and Craigslist at the same time. Five Craigslist responses in the first week. Zero responses from AutoTrader. I did mention in my AutoTrader ad that second parties and dealers should not bother me... So far three calls from second hand 'wheeler dealers' on AutoTrader. No real buyers! The buyer for my vehicle came from Craigslist... I'll stick with a free Craigslist from now on!
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I paid for the VIP ad experience (almost $300) and was given a bit of help over the phone in placing my ad. There was incorrect information on the ad and when I tried to correct it, the website wouldn't allow me. After waiting through the weekend to call them, I was told it was a "known issue" and that I would have to call someone each time I wanted the ad changed or I could email the changes in to the VIP email address. That was 2 months ago and the issue is still not fixed. Luckily, I did sell the car last night so I can cancel their service... which isn't much service at all. They lack a sense of loyalty to their customers, accountability, and are seriously deprived of concern. Not impressed at all.
I am a twenty year customer of them and they just don't get it done anymore. Customer service is the ABSOLUTE WORST I have ever dealt with. I have reached out to them over 15 times in an effort to solve my website and billing issues to no avail. They keep passing the buck down the line. Connectivity issues with my website forced to me to drop my account with them. They tried to make up for their mistake by giving me two months free to come back and now they want to bill me for time after I canceled. Fifteen calls later still no answers. They just keep on passing you down the line with no results. After all my efforts and after they admitted to their mistakes and promised me credit now they have sent my account to their collection attorneys to chase me down for what they already promised to me. NO RESPECT, NO ACCOUNTABILITY!!! Twenty years of loyalty and they resorting to this. CLASSLESS.
There has been a 2015 Audi A8 in Vancouver listed for $14,000. This car is worth between 60 - 70K. I have reported it as a scam from my tablet, home PC, work PC & phone about 20X. No reply and the ad is still up after a month. They do not care if you get scammed, as long as they have some ads on their POS website. Avoid at all costs. Every other used vehicle site is miles better than Auto Trader.
Read reviews just before I signed up. Couldn't believe all the bad reviews - now I do. Address had not brought ANY Leads, and now it seems, the whole company is sharing my email sending emails offering help AKA trying to upsell... Wasted hard earned $100.00. Once reputable, the glory days of AutoTrader are over. As other said, Craigslist resulted in more leads. Oh yeah and the best part about it is - Autotrader advertises the car on MY facebook page - unsure if they want me to buy it or just to prove they are actually doing something for the money they pocketed...
I uploaded similar ads to sell my vehicle on Craigslist and Autotrader. While Craigslist is free and Autotrader cost $100, I got 4x the responses from Craigslist! I upgraded to the VIP Ad service for another ~$180, thinking the top-of-page placement would boost my odds. I proceeded to get 0 responses in 2 weeks - WORSE than the 'regular' ad performed in 1 week. Other ad statistics crumbled as well. Asking customer service about poor performance was an additional waste of time. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH AUTOTRADER! The ratio of spam to real inquires is insulting. They simply do not offer any tangible service for their cost charged.
I'm selling my 2010 BMW X5 with 98K miles. The car was meticulously maintained and looks exceptional. I'm priced 10% below my competition and my car has more options and ALL of the service records. Within a week of buying my advertisement, I received a call from their customer care department who immediately went into the benefits of converting my ad to VIP status. I'm now into this ad for $380 and I have not received one phone call or inquiry from an interested buyer. Compare this to Craigslist where I've received numerous calls and a couple of buyers for zero out of pocket expense. They took my money for a premium ad and I've not heard from them since, except from their 'car buying service', where they offer to buy my car at a fire sale. Their ad department says my private party price is under market, but their buying service offered to buy the car for 24-25% less than comparable cars listed on Autotrader.com.
I filled out a form offering to sell my car. Form is very detailed and included questions about the condition of the car, which I filled out accurately. Included were questions about whether the steering rack needed to be replaced (I answered yes), and whether battery needed to be replaced (again answered yes). Received an offer from AutoTrader, then heard from their authorized dealer (DCH Honda in Eatontown NJ). Discussed condition of car with them and explained that it could not be driven because of steering. Was making arrangements to have it flat bedded to the dealership when they advised that they wouldn't pay anything close to the offer amount because the steering rack needed to be replaced.
The Autotrader offer was BASED on the condition of the car including the fact that the steering rack needed to be replaced. This outfit is nothing more than a bait and switch. Once they find out you're not interested in trading in for another car, they refuse to honor their offer. I would not ever deal with Autotrader or DCH Honda of Eatontown again.
I paid for a premium ad for $100. My sports car is in the $40k-$50k range. I priced it within range of similar postings and added several detailed photos and very descriptive text for buyers. My car came up in search a few thousand times but I received only one legit e-mail from a dealer and then a couple spam text messages from others. It took a while to get a good offer but I had several genuine buyers reach out to me through my eBay posting and my Craigslist posting. eBay generated the most views and genuine traffic by far.
During this process, I reduced my selling price on Autotrader and did not receive any more interest. While some of this is out of Autotrader's control, I sincerely don't think the money spent was worth it. They do not offer guarantees anymore. At least with eBay, you only put a minimal amount of money up front. If Autotrader still believes they are the authority, they should back their stats. Autotrader also deploys their staff to push and try to convince you to spend another $250 for VIP service. They pitch it as if it is a sure thing and the only way to sell your car. Overall, disappointed and don't plan to use Autotrader again.
AutoTrader led me to believe that I could place an effective ad selling my car at a low price for the ad. Fraud! After placing the ad, I was contacted by AT. They wanted to "help" me by reviewing the ad. & make recommendations. They admitted that there was nothing wrong with my ad. Then they pointed out that I wasn't being contacted much at all explaining that their system was designed to place my inexpensive ad very far down the list of ads in the search results behind dealers & private parties paying much more than I. My ad was in the search results but was not being seen because of their ad "policies".
Essentially, I was wasting my money unless I paid nearly $300 more! What a scam! Obviously, they did not tell me this upfront giving me a chance to make an informed choice. Fraud! If I wasn't willing to pay the real price of a truly effective ad like the dealers, etc., I was informed that I was wasting my time. So furious! They are no better than the car salesmen I'm trying to avoid!
I tried this service and did not receive a quote. You WILL receive spam from every small, shady car dealer within 100 miles (in my case 63+ emails and counting) asking to "see" your car. I had one of my kids reapply 10 times using an online number... Guess what? You get the spam calls to go with the spam emails. AutoTrader has laid low the once reputable Kelly Blue Book. Struggling to survive in an online world they are willing to lie to get your personal information only to sell it to disreputable people. Run away from this service screaming. I can't see the companies out of business soon enough.
Useless. Whatever you do, don't pay for their services! I received bad advice on asking price and ad content, and even when I lowered the price $1000, those looking for this model had already seen and dismissed it. This was a 2012 high demand car with very low miles and in superior condition, so I know it wasn't the car.
This is the 3rd time I've posted on AutoTrader, you'd think after the first two times that I might have learned my lesson. I am a private party seller and have never had any true leads to sell my car. AutoTrader emails a letter of follow-up to inquire if I have sold my vehicle 2 weeks after listing it. This is only a plot to get you to spend more money for their "VIP" listing of $280. Mind you I've already spent $95 dollars so that I could get into the premium listing section.
While speaking to the representative of AutoTrader about how I can get my vehicle sold he told me I was doing it wrong. The cause of my not getting anyone to look at my ad was because my vehicle was priced too low. According to him, a vehicle that's priced low will not get looked at as much because their default setting prices vehicles High to Low. This is a whole bunch of bull!! I have been contacted one time by spam mail from AutoTrader since listing it. I highly recommend not advertising with AutoTrader! Save the money and post your ad on Craigslist and CarGurus. Never again will I make the mistake!
I placed an ad for my car, made sure it was at market value according to KBB. Since listing (one week now) I receive nothing but PayPal phishers and scam emailers, using what appears to be very genuine AutoTrader logos and email accounts. I called into customer service about these things and they acted very casual about it and then just tried to upsell me to a more expensive package. I didn't even choose the least expensive package... Regardless, this service has no merit and I believe at some level they rely on the frustration of the experience with spammers and con-artists to push you into a more comprehensive (nearly $300) ad package in which they will shield you from it.
I got a cash offer from KBB/Autotrader and took it to a preferred dealership on their offer. The dealership had no issue with the condition of the vehicle (2013 Buick Enclave that was fully loaded) but they did have an issue with the $27,200 offer that KBB/Autotrader made. They couldn't even get close in our market. Their offer was $25,800. It was a total waste of my time and their time. This program that KBB has developed has serious flaws that need to be fixed.
From email ** plus phone texting **. Attempted scam to buy my car. Thank you. Back to me, "Can you assure me that I will not be disappointed if I buy birthday gift for my Dad? Not cash in person because I'm software engineer in Hewlett Packard (HP) and a contract staff so I can't handle this in person. Payment is PayPal, I will be responsible for the PayPal trans.. Don't have a paypal account,.. Sign up. I hope we can make the purchase as fast as possible?" As the day is fast approaching... "Will come/payment clears. I look forward with the information below - price, zip code for pickup, cellphone #."
Listed my car same day on both Autotrader and Craigslist, first day got 7 offers from PayPal scammers - all same text just different situation. Emailed Autotrader and they informed me it was a scam. Really. Thanks captain obvious. And told me if I upgraded to VIP listing not only would I get better traffic but no scammers and warned me because I mentioned it was on Craigslist that I would be inundated with scammers from there. Well 4 weeks later had 0 additional offers from Autotrader. I did not upgrade thankfully, and had 7 offers from the completely insane half of NADA guide value to an offer that was only $300 less than I asked for.
Mind you I priced my car below the next closest same vehicle in 100 miles, $1000 less, but I was the original owner with all receipts. Anyhow sold thru Craigslist, no issues whatsoever, and a very nice couple got a nice car. Do yourself a favor. Do not use the VIP service if you are an individual and use every service you can especially the free ones. Autotrader was a waste of my time.
I paid for VIP just in case my ad didn't sell. I was suppose to get a money back guarantee. Not only did I have to take all my own pictures and tell the representative what to write. I listed my car 2k below Blue Book Value. In over 6 months I got one in person and a handful of people offering 2k lower than a Carmax instant sell offer. So, I finally decided to remove my ad and try to get my money back because, "Hey I paid 200+ extra for it," and they inform me that they no longer offer it. After arguing for ~30 minutes they said, "We will give you 100 back then to 189." So the bottom line is I paid 100 for someone to write what I told them and post pictures (something that I could have done in 5 minutes on Craigslist). Do yourself a favor and stay away from this company. Complete waste of time, money, and effort. I will never ever ever think about buying or selling a car affiliated with AutoTrader.com. I wish there was a 0 star rating because that is what I would have given.
They charge a lot and the response is terrible. Get ready for Scam Artists from Africa to offer you full price via PayPal. After lowering my price lower than I should have and still no real response, I took it into CarMax and they offered me more than what I had it listed on Auto Trader for. Done, sold it right then and there with no hassles. Morale of the story - Try CarMax or Craigslist.
What a waste of time and money AutoTrader has been. And their sales people oversold. My car has been with them 4 months and I ONLY gotten scam calls. And my car is listed at least -10% below KBB. Net, I got nothing. And the sales team oversold what they do cause when I checked with the customer service team they told me that wasn't true. Stay away. Nothing here.
I posted and paid for an ad for $95 then got a call few weeks down the line to upgrade to the VIP which I spent over $200+ more... In the total of 7 months I had it on AutoTrader as VIP, I got one call from a lunatic who low balled me $5k below asking price and one email who low balled me $3k less... Complete waste of time and money. I filed in for the money back guarantee and they emailed me this: "Thank you for contacting AutoTrader.com. We received your request for a Money-Back Guarantee request for a refund regarding Ad ID ** | 2014 | HYUND | SONATA. Per our Terms and Conditions, we are unable to issue you a credit because Effective April 2, 2015 AutoTrader.com ceased offering the Money-Back Guarantee program." How can you NOT tell me this isn't garbage? This company is trash, don't deal with them!!! You're better off posting on craigslist for free. eBay doesn't cost so much either.
I put my car on AutoTrader and in five days it sold but not because of the ad. It was in my front yard and a person from down the road bought it. I did have a number of lookers on AutoTrader, but not one call. I did get two emails from scammers in OK and CA. My biggest problem is I paid an extra $25 dollars to run the ad until the car sold as opposed to the two week ad. When I asked if maybe I could get that portion refunded I was told, "We are an advertising company. We don't give refunds." Never again for me. I will look up cars on their website but I will not use any of their services.
I listed my car on AutoTrader, cars.com & Craigslist the same day. 3 Craigslist calls. These people all wanted to low ball my car and asked if I'd take payments. (Definitely the lower income). Zero calls from cars.com AND I sold my car through AutoTrader in 3 days! Also, their mobile app helped me to find my new truck with all the options I was looking for!! Thanks AutoTrader.com.
I listed my BMW X5 with autotrader.com and it cost me $100 to do their premium ad. It has the lowest miles of all of the X5 BMW listed and in the Medium price range - super condition. I DID NOT get one single inquiry not one single email or call on my car and it has been listed for 60 days - this is a scam and a joke. What I did get was a call from AutoTrader wanting me to UPGRADE my ad and may another $240! NO WAY! AVOID and use eBay or craigslist, you will be much happier! This was a waste of $$.
I submitted my information for their online sale process on my 2007 Jaguar including its VIN number rating the car in average condition. It generated a number that was substantially higher than CarMax by about 25+%. They gave me 3 car dealers in the greater Chicagoland area and I went to one. First of all, that dealer was not prepared to buy the car. They brought in an independent buyer who evaluated the car because this dealer did not buy/sell specialty cars. Second, it was really not a cash offer despite the fact that nothing on what I printed indicated otherwise. It was subject to the information I submitted being validated.
This car had 27, 500 miles, only one small blemish on the outside, and I had rated the car in average condition (2nd lowest rating). I had also disclosed it had been involved in a small accident in 2009. They offered my about 10% less than CarMax. This is nothing more than a lead generation. They told me I did not have the original wheels, which was laughable. If you still decide to do this, ask them to review the information that was submitted via AutoTrader. Ask them what % of cars submitted to them that they buy and at what discount. If they can't answer these questions, save yourself time and energy.
Please people do not waste your time with Autotrader's instant cash offer process (or AIC as I will call it). Total scam to get you into a dealership. I have a 2010 Chevy, 90k miles with minor dings and a star on the window. I am realistic with the condition of my vehicle and submitted as much detail as possible. I'm not opposed to the dealer finding a discrepancy and offering a lower price than the offer. But it is not a no haggle process and should not be sold to you as such. The KBB value of my vehicle in fair condition is 8-9k, the average going rate in my area for the same vehicle/same miles is 10-15k in my area. So the AIC over of 8900 for my vehicle seemed on target.
I'm not unreasonable and understand the dealer is entitled to a profit and will have to invest some money to make my vehicle ready for sale. What is not reasonable or on target though is the offers I received from 2 of their VIP buying centers (what is the purpose of having VIP buying centers?). The first one a Chrysler Dealer sent me a email that they wanted me to come in and were "highly interested" in my vehicle (yes the FCA dealer said they wanted a GM product) and the AIC that I received was the minimum I could expect from the dealership, ok this thing may work after all so I drove it in.
The dealer rep goes out, drives it around back, says there is "no way" they can meet that offer and offered me $1900 less citing the windshield and the big fact they would have to take the vehicle to auction. This is just pure lies, they don't take other trade in vehicles to auction. What about the email? A replacement windshield cost less than $400, which in Michigan good luck having a car window that doesn't at least get one ding. I walked away from that insult.
The Next VIP dealer a GM dealer offered me $2200 less citing "engine bolts", engine bolts? really? there is nothing in the AIC form that I filled out that says I need to claim engine bolts! I googled engine bolts. I can't find anything about issues with engine bolts. They didn't even mention the window, so what the heck is going on? One dealer offers less because of auction/window issues, the other claims there are issues with the engine bolts. This means there is no true offer and its all dealer garbage, they are not interested in buying your car unless they can get fatter selling you another one.
Do not waste your time with Autotrader and this process. I didn't read these reviews and now have added more miles to my car and wasted my time with two dealerships who I will never ever do business with again. If you decide I'm crazy, knock at least two grand off any quote that Autotrader gives you because the dealer sure will.
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