It’s not a bad idea for a website: Consumers looking to trade in their vehicles upload the details and allow multiple dealerships to place bids. But what if only one dealership is involved?
The site BidMyTradeIn.com, states on its front page that customers will be notified of the three highest bids on their vehicle so they can choose which dealership will give them the best offer.
But when Portland’s KATU-TV tried the site out on three different vehicles, it noticed that the same dealership won each time.
Making matters more interesting, that dealership shares an address — and an owner — with BidMyTradeIn.
KATU decided to pop by the dealership to the man who owns both businesses, who maintained that multiple dealers are in fact bidding on the trade-ins — he just happens to own both of them.
“It’s plural,” he explained. “There is more than one right now that is currently bidding on it.”
The site’s owner says that he had offered 90-day free trials to 50 area dealerships. Unfortunately for him, most of them didn’t take him up on the offer and others gave up after the 90-day freebie period.
He contends that, even with the only bidding being done by two dealerships he owns, customers are still getting about 10-15% above Kelley Blue Book value. The KATU report states that they were able to find better trade-in prices elsewhere.
Since being contacted by KATU, the site now carries the disclaimer:
“While many dealers are members of BidMyTradeIn.com, no certain number of dealers may be actively bidding on your car. Some dealers with multiple, independently managed locations may present bids from more than one location.”
The site does have a list of dealers it claims are involved in the program, though at least one of those says that it only agreed because the site’s owner offered another free trial period. That dealership, though listed as “active” says it does not know yet whether it will actually take part in the bidding.
Thanks to Amy for the tip!