By on September 29, 2009

And gone before you know it....

GM’s grand experiment with Ebay will be over by the end of the month, reports Automotive News [sub]. GM had extended the program once, and was considering continuing it into October. So why didn’t they? Paging GM spokesfolks… we have a cleanup on aisle nine…

The need to roll eBay out nationally isn’t there as it was when we first rolled out the pilot. At the time we had no large, national marketing programs in the system, so that made sense at the time. What we’ve come up with since then are two large, national programs that are already in place.

In other words, failure was not an option… but only because there were no parameters for failure. Gosh that sounds exactly like what Mark LaNeve said when he was asked why the program was being extended despite generating what can only be described as weak sales. Come to think of it, how was the California-only Ebay experiment a substitute for a “large, national marketing program?” More importantly, did GM sell a single vehicle on Ebay?

GM’s spokesman calls the program “very successful,” but the company is still refusing to reveal how many sales it attributes to the online auction site. What they will say is that the 16,000 vehicles listed by GM’s California dealers generated more than 15,000 leads, a statistic that implies the Ebay pilot could have been worth developing further. Well, might have implied, if the term “leads” weren’t so damningly nebulous. Even less helpful is GM’s claim that 1.5 million visitors looked at GM’s section of the site, performing 1.9 million eBay searches. The only conclusion left to draw is that GM has plenty of statistics but it doesn’t want to share for reasons that are inexplicable now that the program has been canceled.

Anyone who bought a GM vehicle through the official GM-Ebay program is encouraged to contact me at [email protected] with evidence.

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30 Comments on “GM Abandons eBay...”

  • avatar

    Of course it was a success; anything coming from GM’s Newspeak Department is.

    GM’s August sales slid 20% below 2008’s level; Cash For Clunkers was a success for them!

    The 60-day return guarantee will be a success, too, right up until the customer figures out he is purchasing (for $500) the right to return the vehicle.

    Even the Volt will be a success, and GM will make up the losses on each car with extra sales volume.

    The bankruptcy was an exceptional success, because it permits new GM to put all that prior non-success behind it.

  • avatar

    What if they gave an auction and nobody came?

  • avatar

    This should have been a “whats wrong with this picture”… Our best cars and yet not a Cadillac in the bunch… No Camaro… Hmmm

    I should have read… Our best cars that we can’t sell anywhere else.

  • avatar

    Why does Mark LaNeve still have a job?

  • avatar

    Why does Mark LaNeve still have a job?

    My bet he has spring break pictures of Lutz…

  • avatar

    I tried, but paypal would not accept my clunker.


  • avatar

    I think it was a strategic match made in corporate/comittee/mutual-admiration-of-group-failure-society heaven.

    Out of touch with customer?
    Who else can they buy from?

    Shocking that it didn’t produce positive results.
    Simply shocking.

  • avatar

    GM is the company that has piled up success after success, right into bankruptcy. Which was also a success.

    Look for similar successes in the months to come.

  • avatar

    Forget eBay. They’ve defecated into their own customer pool enough to get a reputation only slightly better than car dealers.

    Why not just sell direct online? Or partner with Amazon?

    I’d buy a new car again if I could just order it online, like I buy damn near everything else.

    From the sound of it though it was a half-assed attempt form the beginning. Merely a sales lead generator to hand off to dealers. I’m sorry Detroit that is NOT how online shopping works.


  • avatar

    Considering that GM (aka “yourgmdealer”) earned feedback from 14 people and 7 of those came from 2 people, it looks like it was successful as Ryan Leaf.

    I know GM is run by utter buffoons, but how hard would it have been to just open up an auction with a low starting bid and got some excitement about the auction process?

    Jeez, these guys are dolts.

  • avatar

    This is from an auction that GM had for a Pontiac G8:

    Established in 1926, the Pontiac brand offers some of the best-looking, best-driving and best-engineered cars in the U.S. When we developed the Pontiac lineup, we went back to the basics. To what made driving great.

    Where to begin?

  • avatar

    once again no one at GM is held accountable. this company is approaching hopeless.

  • avatar

    GM was on eBay?

  • avatar

    If you are looking for crap products, eBay is the place to go, a perfect fit for GM.

  • avatar

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Oh well.

  • avatar

    Good on them. Try some new things, sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t… and they probably didn’t spend a lot on it, and cut their losses early.

  • avatar

    You don’t have to look at GM’s attempt with eBay to see where their attitude hasn’t changed. Earlier this year, I went looking for a certified GM used car. Went to a lot of their dealer websites in the process, trying to avoid going to a dealer until I absolutely had to.

    Most would respond to my email questions about a particular car with “C’mon in and we’ll see how we can meet your transportation needs.” No, I asked a particular question about a particular car and they couldn’t be bothered to provide a simple answer. When I did go and look at one of the cars, the salesman asked me if I’d seen the car on I told him I saw it on his dealer’s website. When I got back home, I went to out of curiousity to see what his ad looked like. It had a coupon for $500 off. Funny he didn’t offer it to me when I mentioned his dealer site. Adios.

    Previous commenters were right, the GM boys don’t have a clue on how to sell on line. I ended up with a used car found on eBay from a dealer in FL. Honest description, answered all my questions, and accepted a good faith offer.

  • avatar

    Mark LaNeve – Isn’t that the guy who looks like a walking corpse?

  • avatar

    The corpse is Lutz.

    La Neve is the one with the permanent eyeliner

  • avatar
    Gary Numan

    Government Motors = Overpromise, Underdeliver. All hype, no clear definition of success, no clear facts or data tied to the original definition of success.

    Isn’t GM essentially a perfect image of our US gov’t of which does not operate for profit or with clear success goals/metrics? Notice how both entities are able to operate further into the debt abyss and no one is held accountable yet they keep propping up jobs and benefits for which they haven’t truly earned?

    During our new era of “Hope” and “Change”, were we not all challenged to be “responsible” and have “transparency”?

    Thus….circling back to GM….where is the responsibility and transparency? Where is the success?

  • avatar

    This just gets so much more fun each day! I can hardly wait to see the September sales numbers. Just think, my taxpayer dollars are going to be used by the government to support a successful business!

  • avatar

    May the best car win.

  • avatar

    According to this Marketplace piece, they sold 20 cars on this eBay attempt.

    If you just look at the numbers, the program earned an “F.” GM’s California dealers posted tens of thousands of new cars on eBay. Judging by the company’s seller profile, they only sold about 20 through the site.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    With positive feedback of just 76.5% for those 20 transactions, I would say it’s time to close up shop and start selling again but under a different name.

  • avatar

    “During our new era of “Hope” and “Change”, were we not all challenged to be “responsible” and have “transparency”?

    Thus….circling back to GM….where is the responsibility and transparency? Where is the success?”

    They are following the lead of the Obama administration with regard to those attributes.

  • avatar

    Unbelievably poor execution. I’d laugh at this whole thing, but GM has so many missteps that I feel like I’m laughing at the slow kid in class when I pick on them anymore.

    The administration should have never given them our tax money. Yeah they make for funny stories, but it’s not so funny when it’s my money they’re burning through.

  • avatar

    CamaroKid :
    September 29th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Why does Mark LaNeve still have a job?

    My bet he has spring break pictures of Lutz…

    OK, except Lutz came back voluntarily after leaving the good ship Titanic.

    New theory: Henderson loves having his head of sales be useless; it makes him look competent by comparison. I hear Jim Press is available (shudder to think).

  • avatar

    This plan never made a lick of sense from the get go.

    GM is barred by law from selling directly to California customers. The California dealers would never allow it.

    So how exactly was GM planning on placating their Calif. dealers and the Sacramento politicians on the dealers’ payroll?

    They weren’t. This whole thing was nothing but a lead generator for the dealers.

  • avatar

    Is it just me, or are there tons of ads for GM on Ebay Motors right now, and when you select the “Make” dropdown menu, you only get GM brands!?

  • avatar

    These are not a bunch of adults discussing here. Just a bunch of GM bashers. GM never said the eBay program was going to replace the national marketing programs. It was just a trial run to get leads and marketing data in California.

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