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The Real Cost of 3rd Party Leads

The Real Cost of 3rd Party Leads
The Real Cost of 3rd Party Leads

Find out why third-party leads are never worth the hefty price tag! Third-Party portal leads aren’t worth it, here are five reasons why you should stop paying for them today.

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Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

In the constant quest for more leads, some stores have resorted to buying them from third party vendors. Unfortunately, they are rarely worth the cost. Today we’re going to go over several reasons why you should avoid spending big on third party portals to generate leads.

First and foremost, they have poor R.O.I.

Buying leads from third party sites like and AutoTrader is expensive. Not only are you paying for leads on your own vehicles, but price conscious shoppers are submitting leads on vehicles on your competitor’s listings as well. This means you are going to be spending a lot of valuable time following up with leads that may go nowhere.

They don’t know you.

Purchased leads have no idea who you are. They don’t know your store, they don’t know your reputation. Turning someone like that into a customer takes an enormous amount of work, especially when compared to an organic lead generated from your website. A purchased lead is essentially a stranger.

You don’t know them.

If you do manage to thread the needle and convert a purchased lead into a sale, that customer is probably one-and-done. They were there for a specific deal and are unlikely to return. On the other hand, a customer that started contact as a lead from your site is primed to become a loyal fixture in your store.

No refunds.

Purchased leads generally have no form of quality control. You might get lucky with a batch, but far more likely you will find dead ends and bargain hunters. If you’re unsatisfied with the transaction, a refund is probably not in the cards.

You’re sending customers to the competition.

Sending your inventory to third-party listing sites means you’re not only paying to feed that portal’s content, but also that you are potentially sending customers to your competition. These portal sites are convenient for customers, because they allow customers to shop at thousands of dealerships at once, but the reality is that without YOUR inventory they have no product.  Not only that, but you’re paying a premium just to get lost in the shuffle with your competitors. You’re better off investing in services like SEO, or digital advertising to drive traffic to your own website, so that those precious leads are yours and yours alone.

DealerOn websites are optimized to generate high volume traffic and leads for our dealer partners. Stop investing in other people’s giant businesses and start investing in your own. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get more business, all while accumulating a loyal and active customer base.

That’s all the time we have for today’s workshop. As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

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Author DealerOn Admin

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  •' Chris Pierce says:

    you didnt mention Cargurus – would you lump them in with and autotrader as well?

    • Sean Kerndt says:

      Great question! If dealerships are buying leads through CarGurus then yes, in our view they would be better served focusing their resources on driving traffic directly to their site through Google search, search advertising, social, and other organic lead generation methods.

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