GM Launches Non-Functional California EBay Website

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

At some point, maybe even soon, will be up and running. For some reason, the GM – eBay program—highly touted by CEO Fritz Henderson on the day of GM’s re-emergence from bankruptcy—only runs from August 11 (tomorrow) through September 8. So we should expect to see the main site go live at what, midnight? Thankfully, at least in some sense of that word, (and the Buick, GMC and Pontiac-related url) is go. Ish. “Our Best Cars. Your Best Offer” doesn’t sound right to me. Shouldn’t that be OUR best offer? And what’s with Pontiac inclusion in the boondoggle? Anyway, what will we see when the curtain goes up?

Consumers will be able to browse hundreds of California dealer online showrooms, ask questions, negotiate prices, and arrange financing and payment to purchase a new 2008, 2009 or select 2010 car, crossover or truck online. With more than 225 GM dealers in California participating, shoppers can at any given time expect to see a wide selection of up to 20,000 new GM vehicles at very competitive prices. Vehicles will be offered through eBay Motors’ traditional formats such as “Buy It Now” (where shoppers agree to pay the advertised price) and eBay’s innovative “Best Offer” option (where buyers indicate the price they are willing to pay and can negotiate online with the dealer for the vehicle).

Yes, well, what about honest-to-God comparison shopping? Can surfers check apples-to-apples vehicle prices across GM dealers?

The site also incorporates features that will allow consumers to compare pricing across models or participating dealerships, get tips and advice with a Buyer Checklist, and determine the value of their trade-in or whether their current vehicle may also qualify for government funded ‘Cash For Clunkers’ incentives.

So, it’s an easy button, then. We shall see. Meanwhile, questions, questions, questions: Why just California? Will this move improve transparency for customers? Who gets the customer data: GM, eBay, the dealers or all three musketeers? TTAC is investigating.

Robert Farago
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  • Kevin8721 Kevin8721 on Aug 13, 2009

    Followings are excerpts from other forums posted by others: Let us have a close look to the lowest priced vehicle listed on GMeBay and other terms and conditions . 2009 Chevrolet Aveo LS US $10,325.00 (Walk-In Lowest Quote for the same so far was US $9625.00) Plus government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. These will lead buyers total Cost Of Ownership to $25,500+ approximately. = />If buyers can negotiate a way better face-to-face than eBay, what is the use of submitting best offer and getting unwanted calls from all possible marketing channels? Warranty Details 100,000 Mile/5 Year* Transferable Powertrain Limited Warranty plus Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation Programs. = />5 Year forecast about GM and GM's Dealer is full of thunder storms and strong wind waves, which may blew many dealers off the business. Shipping Details Delivery options for your vehicle can be arranged between you and the GM dealer you purchase the car from. Where are these vehicles located? A: The vehicles that you can select from are located at participating California GM dealerships. By entering your zip code to begin your search, eBay Motors will be able to provide results that show actual vehicles at dealerships in your locale. = /> By entering your zip code, the buyers are revealing their identities. The buyer may be targeted many on-line marketing channels. How can I pick up my new vehicle? A: You can pick up your new vehicle at the GM dealership you've purchased it from. If the selling dealership is not in your geographical location, you can arrange shipping options with the dealer. As with all eBay transactions, shipping costs are generally the buyer's responsibility. = /> The buyers may end up to pick up new vehicle from remote and distant located GM Dealers, which adds up higher cost of delivery. Payment Instructions If you click on "Buy It Now" or "Make an Offer" you are making an offer to purchase the vehicle at a specified price. Although the selling dealer may confirm that the price is acceptable online, there is no binding agreement to sell you the vehicle until you and the dealer reach final agreement on satisfactory payment arrangements for the vehicle and for delivery. Each dealer may have its own payment terms applicable to the sale of the vehicle. The dealer should contact you if your price is accepted to make these, and potentially other, arrangements. If the dealer does not contact you, GM will follow up with you and facilitate that contact, but you should feel free to contact the dealer yourself to make these arrangements. = /> Under both options, "Buy It Now" and "Make an Offer" do not guaranty buyer that he or she will get the vehicle. These terms looks like a buyer's trap in GM Dealers Network plus other marketing channels. Sharing Information with GM Dealers and GM When you ask a question, submit an offer, or click on Buy It Now for a vehicle listed as part of the GM/eBay new vehicle website, your personal information will be shared with GM and participating Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick or GMC dealers, who may use your information to communicate with you about your expression of interest and to evaluate the effectiveness of the promotion. It may also be used by our suppliers to provide services. If you have questions please contact GM at 1-866-465-1005 or the selling dealer at the toll free number provided with the vehicle listing. = /> The processes "Buy It Now" and "Make an Offer" look like identity theft, as it does not meet normal standard of online privacy protection. There is no guaranty has been provided so far, either by eBay and PayPal, that your personal and other financial information will not be shared to other marketing channels. The whole game looks like a catch, buyer's trap, in which buyers may be a victim of many marketing channels.

  • Zammy Zammy on Aug 13, 2009

    Whoever wrote that really doesn't have a clue about how eBay motors works. There is no listing fee to post a car on eBay Motors. There is no Final Value Fee for cars sold on eBay Motors. Your average car dealer pays a fee of about $100 for every car successfully sold on eBay motors. I'm sure that GM has negotiated a better price than that for their volumes. And all that rubbish about PayPal doesn't apply at all. None of the GM car postings accept PayPal.

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