Enters Used Car Buying Website Battle

GateHouse Media Website Seeks To Compete with Cars.Com, AutoTrader

Homepage of, a new and used car buying website from GateHouse Media. (c) GateHouse Media is a new website of GateHouse Media that is seeking to take on and AutoTrader as an automotive platform for new and used car buyers.

According to information supplied by the company, GateHouse media, which is based in Freeport, N.Y., is one of the largest publishers of locally-based newspapers in the country as measured by its 78 daily newspapers and 400 websites. It currently serves a population of more than 55 million unique visitors and 10 million households per month.

The company, in its press materials, says there is a need for a single, trusted source for car-buying information. The site claims there are reviews available but they weren't readily available.

One nice feature is a potential used car buyer can browse. For example, one could plug in a zip code, mileage, and convertible with rear-wheel drive for example and some varied results will pop up.

However, and this strikes me as odd, a consumer could not search for a used diesel sedan on by searching under engine. It has to be done by searching under fuel. Seems like it should be included as an engine choice to make it simpler.

The information that pops up for each listing is well detailed. There are nice photos for each vehicle (dependent on the dealership taking good photos). The site, overall, is pleasant to look at and has a nice overall presentation.

One problem that pops up is in the initial used car search.

A used car buyer can do a simple search based on new, used, or certified pre-owned, make and model of the used car, and distance to be searched from a specific zip code. Typing in Audi A4, for example, produced 289 results after hitting the "Find It" button.

Most used car buyers aren't going to want to have that many results pop up.

So, it makes sense to want to refine the search but the page reloads after narrowing down the selection. Want to check only certified pre-owned? Click off the used car choice and the page reloads. OK, want to narrow it by price? Page reloads. It would be a much better page if all the refinements could be accomplished before the page reloads.

The best bet is going to be heading straight for the advanced search option straight from the beginning. That's going to help a used car buyer further narrow the search right from the beginning.

But, and there's always a but, the search radius only goes down to 25 miles. Buyers in heavily populated areas may find that onerous. A sample search for the Audi A4 kicked back 51 in 25 miles and gave me the most-distant used cars first. Closest would seem to be most logical. That would seem especially disturbing to have to work backwards on a search that was expanded out to 150 miles for example, which could be common on a more specific used car.

A good feature of the site is clicking on a listing does not send you directly to a dealer's website. That makes it easier to toggle back and forth between listings. The site also allows you to compare listings at one time, too.

Of course, just like the myriad other sites out there, the website will put you directly in contact with the dealership. Websites like these make their money off referrals to dealerships. The site also gives you the option of calling the dealer directly but don't do that. Always start with the Internet. It's going to reduce the number of phone calls you receive from salespeople.

Set up a limited-use email account when you are used car shopping. Once you purchase the used car you can delete the email account and never be bothered again by dealership special offers.

One feature that isn't very enticing is being able to find used cars by state. Heck, even in the small state of Connecticut there were more than 278,000 listings the time I checked. Sure, you can whittle it down but I'd suggest skipping this step entirely.

(Oddly, California had only 14,715, which seems to suggest isn't very strong out west.)

Trade-in and financing information is available through, too. As this site has advised in the past, don't rely solely on one site to determine the value of your used car. uses It's also a good idea to at least consult, too, when setting an initial value for your used car.

Is a perfect site? No, but in an increasingly crowded field, it does a good job serving used car buyers. Consider it if you are in the market for a used car.

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Your Citation
Griffin, Keith. " Enters Used Car Buying Website Battle." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2013, Griffin, Keith. (2013, August 29). Enters Used Car Buying Website Battle. Retrieved from Griffin, Keith. " Enters Used Car Buying Website Battle." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 18, 2017).