“How many people here are taking their own photos today?”

Are you one of those dinosaurs not taking your own photos?? Read More below

The subject of taking of taking photos for your on-line inventory has came up a few times in the last week.  What is the ROI of outsourcing your data/image capture by a 3rd party provider?? “I don’t know, all I know is my guys won’t do it, we’re too busy” – That is the answer I hear 9 times out of 10 when I’m picking my dealers brains.

Those California dealers have it easy, and same to you Florida!! When it comes to taking your own inventory pictures!!! Have you tried moving cars in January at a car dealership in Winnipeg or Edmonton??? You can’t even see the damn screen on your camera because it’s covered in frost, let alone be out there snapping photos.  So is the excuse the weather?? Hmmm, can’t be.

Vinsolutions CSO Sean Stapleton says outsourcing your data capture is “an absolute dinosaur that is phasing out”.  I love when we refer to dealers as dinosaurs.  Does any other industry use “dinosaur” as loosely as we do??  He’s a dinosaur, she’s a dinosaur, that Chev dealer down the road is a bunch of dinosaurs.  Anyway sorry for my dinosaur rant, I’m sure there are a few Taradactil’s reading this post ( I had to look up that word).  The picture above is a Taradactil for those who don’t know.


I have to say I think Sean hit the nail on the head, and we really should start figuring out a better way to market our inventory.   You have Advertising company #1 coming in every Thursday,  Advertising Company #2 every Monday, and some other dude who shows up once a month and you aren’t even paying that company.  I really don’t think this seems efficient.

If you want to dive into this crazy data capture game I have found two companies right here in Canada that are offering solutions to dealers.

C-Demo has been really blowing up in the U.S.A. the last few months.  The funny part is that these cowboys are sitting in Calgary, Alberta working like mad scientists perfecting their killer Iphone Applications.  Not only can you use your Iphone for data capture, you can then sync it to your website, Kijiji, Trader, and I’m sure a bunch others.  Here is an interview I found on their blog which was quite interesting:  Don’t fall behind the online shift .

E-Dealer has just finished up their Mobile Application which is being branded as Power Up Mobile.  This is going to be game changer especially for smaller stores that don’t have the budget for a huge website bill.  You can go with one of their entry level sites, download their application, and Bob is your uncle.  TAKE THAT DINOSAURS!

If you are still relying on outsourcing your data capture I 100% understand.  It can be a huge logistics issue and sometimes it’s just too easy to use and abuse our 3rd party advertising companies, “Here’s the keys big guy, go shovel this Denali out and let make sure to put the keys back on my desk”.

So why the hell is every dealer not taking their own photos?? The simple truth is it takes a lot of planning and execution.  Technology used to be an excuse but we have that covered now.  I know of a few 100 + car dealers right here in the GTA who do their own data capture (not telling who!), and it’s not as bad as you may think…

Use the comment box to let me know what the right answer is.

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Ryan Thompson



General Manager at Ernie Dean Chevrolet Buick GMC in Alliston, ON. Sharing with you everything I can about the car business.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.