Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Tried to Post an Advertisement on AutoTrader and Couldn't

Today, I tried to post an ad on AutoTrader to sell my mother's Ford Escape. This shouldn't be rocket science, right? After all, this is sort of AutoTrader's primary way of, well, making money. Think again. Here is a verbatim copy of my e-mail to AutoTrader Customer Service.


I posted an ad on and was attempting to post a Deluxe ad on AutoTrader, but I gave up. I'd like to provide some feedback.

I started out using Google Chrome. My zipcode was incorrect and I couldn't change it. Disappointing but not a big deal. I switched to Firefox and was able to successfully input the correct zipcode.

I wrote my ad and uploaded my photos. This didn't take an inordinate amount of time, since I had already written an ad for the free post. Immediately afterward, of course, I was barraged with a number of different upgrade options. This feels an awful lot like standing at the counter of a U-Haul; it's even got the orange color all over the place. I do not mean this as a compliment.

Once I was finished there, I submitted my payment information. I filled out the small survey on the same page, when all of a sudden - “Session Expired!” - my work was gone. I had only spent 10 or 15 minutes on this, mind you.

By this point, I was quite frustrated, so I went to the “Contact Us!” page. I typed a short note. But I received an error message.

To be quite frank: Why on earth would I pay $55 to post an ad on such a buggy, frustrating website when offers a 30-day starter ad for the fabulous price of free?

Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not have a commission agreement or any advertising situation with

PS: Anyone interested in a mint condition, ex-corporate 06 Ford Escape for $8,850?