The online used cars marketplace in Australia is dominated by major corporations including CarSales.com Limited, News Limited, Telstra and eBay. Today we look at the inventory that each of these sites offer and compare what the services they offer the marketplace. Whilst performing this analysis the most interesting point to noteis that the eBay owned Gumtree.com.au website has a larger private car listings database than CarSales.com. Read on to learn more. |
CarSales.com Limited – www.carsales.com.au
The undisputed leader in selling used cars online boasting more than 200,000 cars for sale is carsales.com Limited, but when you look at it closely their website reveals that more than 65% (145,000) of their car listings are provided by commercial car dealerships throughout Australia. This is great for people that don’t want to do the typical visit to car yards to look at cars in person, but ultimately means that if you want to find a car for sale by a private individual you’ll need to look beyond the flood of dealer listings.
How up to date these listings are is also questionable with a quick ring around revealing that several dealership cars were no longer available. We were, however, assured that similar stock would be coming in shortly.
News Limited – www.carsguide.com.au
Marketing efforts by the News Limited giant is attempting to place CarsGuide in the mind of Australians that they are the number two in online car sales, however from an inventory perspective this is not the case and their proportion of private to dealer cars is worse than that of CarSales.com Limited. CarsGuide.com.au lists more than 125,000 cars on their website, however only 12,000 of these are listings by private individuals which equates to more than 90% of their online stock coming from car dealerships. The same stock that is listed on CarSales.
Recent marketing efforts by CarsGuide declares themselves as being the “smart place” to sell your car online, with a strong emphasis towards the private seller market. Whether they will succeed in improving their ratio of dealer cars versus private cars is yet to be seen. Instilling in people that they are “stupid” if they don’t advertise on my site is not the marketing angle I would have chosen, but time will tell.
Given the similar numbers of cars from dealerships between CarsGuide and CarSales we can assume that they have very similar dealer inventory. Therefore if you were looking for a new or used car from a dealership than it wouldn’t matter if you choose one site or the other as they essentially contain the same database of cars from dealerships throughout Australia.
Telstra – www.tradingpost.com.au
Despite clear SEO techniques and traditional marketing adopted by Telstra, their market penetration in the private seller space continues to struggle despite the Trading Post’s long history of being the place to buy and sell from private individuals dating back several decades – well before the internet was mainstream.
A search for “all cars” on their website reveals in excess of 110,000 results, however, when you look closely more than 83,500 of these listings are from car dealerships making up 85% of their online inventory. Unfortunately for TradingPost their online inventory makes it clear that they are a long way behind CarSales and CarsGuide, despite what they’re marketing attempts to portray.
eBay Motors – cars.ebay.com.au
eBay is an intriguing competitor because they have taken a similar approach to Telstra by denying users the ability to remove dealer cars from search results until after the initial results are given– where advanced refining options are then revealed. A quick analysis is all that’s required here because eBay Motors Australia only has a little over 17,000 cars listed for sale, 11,000 of which are from dealers, and just 6,000 from private sellers. Whilst their ratio between dealer and private listings is similar to CarSales at 65%, the lacking number of listings does not demonstrate eBay as a one stop shop when it comes to buying cars online in Australia.
eBay – Gumtree.com.au
The reason eBay is intriguing in this market is because they purchased a well known free private listings website known as “Gumtree.com.au” quite some time ago, which is exceptionally popular in regional areas throughout Australia. What makes Gumtree unique compared to the aforementioned websites is that it does not list car dealership vehicles and is 100% private seller cars only and contains an inventory of over 60,000 private cars for sale. This puts it ahead of everyone else for private car listings including being marginally ahead of the believed market leader CarSales.com.au.
However, the biggest question that remains is why did eBay purchase Gumtree.com.au when it is a completely free website with no charge for listings; a stark contrast to eBay’s traditional pricing model on the well known auction website eBay.com.au. Perhaps eBay considered Gumtree‘s market dominance a threat to eBay’s ongoing success in Australia and purchased it to protect their interests? If that is the case one would conclude that Gumtree will not remain a free website for the foreseeable future.
Hayley Woodgate is degree qualified in Media, Marketing and Public Relations and has more than ten years experience in number of sectors, her main area of expertise is the automotive industry with a recent focus on the online car sales marketplace; gained while working with Boost Classifieds - Used Cars and other well known automotive companies.
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