Car dealers are being promised the highest level of transparency and quality of business in a new trading portal launched by former members of the Autotrademail team.
The new trade-to-trade business, Motortrade.me, will go live in a few weeks based on a cornerstone of vetted dealers, with a strong emphasis on peer review and best practise.
Vehicles will be free to advertise. There is a single fee of £50 per month (ex VAT) for dealers wanting to purchase stock.
Fred Freemantle, Motortrade.me business development director, told AM: “The business is aimed directly at the professional dealer in the UK."
Once established he predicts about 4,000 franchised and independent dealers will use the site trading in "10s of thousands of vehicles".
“Typically, the quality of businesses signing up for services like ours have been allowed to drop, leading to, at best dissatisfaction with the quality of business done and at worst risks of falling victim to fraud.
“We are addressing these concerns head-on. Motortrade.me will have a strong vetting process in place that will mitigate and resolve the problems that previous platforms have created in the market.
“We are also offering a trading platform that is by far more advanced than anything previous players in this market have offered. Again this is to assist with common network/social issues that are common to existing and upcoming platforms which over time can erode the quality of the network.”
The vetting process will include VAT registration, consumer credit licensing, company registration number and information such as how long the business has been operating.
“This business has been 12 months in development and, having taken our time with development and getting to understand the UK dealership market the way that we have, we have analysed problems that dealers report and we feel that we are way ahead of any existing or future offerings that will hit the market in the near future.”
The site will also feature a rating system similar, Freemantle said, to ones used by Amazon and Ebay. Positive dealer feedback will be posted live, complaints will not, but will be calls to action to the Motortrade.me to liaise with the two parties to resolve the issue on completed deals.
This approach will also be used to ensure vehicle listings are to a required standard – a failure to meet it will soon be flagged up through the complaint system. Live chat will also feature on the site allowing dealers contact with their account manager.
Dealers also have the power to shape development of the site: they will be able to make improvement suggestions and vote for the most important.
Deals can be made and accepted online – or via email or the telephone.
The company’s leadership team are Jason Van Wyk and Rachael Morrison (both formerly from Autotrademail), and Freemantle who collectively have more than 35 years of vehicle remarketing and new technology experience and expertise.
Van Wyk said: “Other classified ads sites have lost touch with their community of members and have a long history of not developing features that align with their customers’ needs.
“It’s something we feel quite strongly about and we aim to give our members a voice so they can request enhancements that are important to their business and know that they will be heard. We will be working with our members every step of the way as we add new features and services to truly offer a trade-to-trade platform that makes this kind of trading a pleasure once again.”
> Dealers can register their interest in applying for an account at launch at www.motortrade.me.