Goodbye Tootle? Where Did It All Go Wrong!

What’s Happened To Tootle?

The short story is that they went bankrupt.

So if you have a car to sell and you liked the idea of getting competing offers for your car then enter your registration below.

Well show you how our personal service achieves a better price with far less hassle



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If you’re just here out of curiosity about what happened to Tootle then read on and well explain.

The long story is a bit more complicated and to understand why they failed we’ll have to bore you by explaining a bit about how used cars get to dealer forecourts.

And where all the different car buying sites and auctions fit into that mix.

But first, what was Tootle?

What was Tootle

Tootle was a website that claimed to put your car in front of 2,000 car dealers across the UK.

These dealers it was hoped, would bid against each other, to buy your car, giving you the best possible price, just like a Car Auction.

Best of all, selling your car on Tootle was completely free, or so they led you to believe, more on that later.

The whole process they claimed took only takes a few minutes, and you could start receiving offers for your car in hours.

Part of their claim was that a massive 82% of sellers receive an offer within 48 hours.

So why were they forced to close down the site? After all, it had had over £4.3 million invested in it.

As a free service, with a hugely expensive national TV advertising campaign, how were they going to make not just a profit but also repay their investors?

A quick division of £4 million, by what we knew to be the average buyer’s fee per car, gave us a figure of over 20,000 vehicles.

To us, it seemed ambitious.

Auction Format.

Tootle’s auction format promised competing bids from dealers vying to buy your car.

But unlike a car Auction, Tootle’s registered buyers weren’t legally obliged to carry that offer through to purchase, nor were you bound to sell.

So you might get a few dealers bidding you your asking price, only to be never seen or heard from again without any repercussions from you or Tootle.

This could mean that you may get an initial high offer from an unvetted dealer that put other bidders off making an offer.

These unreliable dealers fell under the radar with Tootle and other buyers because of course you’d only be invited to review Tootle once you successfully sold your car.

And there wasn’t a way to review the individual dealers as they remained anonymous to each other and other car sellers on the site.

So there was no way of knowing if the dealer making you the offer had an excellent reputation for following through on their purchases or not.

If the offer evaporated and they didn’t buy your car, you’d have to relist your car for sale again at a lower price, maybe up to a week later.

Your car, now famous amongst the registered buyers, would be back for another go and as such wouldn’t attract anything like the same interest as it might have the first time around.

Dealers quickly get nervous when cars are publicly offered their asking price, only to appear for sale once again, a few days later.

They’ll now be thinking “Why did the sale fall through?” and suspicions start to circulate that there might be an issue with your car so they back away.

Free Service

No catches, No fees. It’s completely free to use.

Ever heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”?

Tootles service was completely free to use, and they didn’t charge sellers anything to list or sell their cars.

But, they did charge buyers, and as the site began to fail, the buyers’ fees got higher and higher.

On some of the higher-priced cars, the costs to buyers could be as much as £2000.

How The Used Car Supply Chain Works.

To understand the dynamics involved in how dealers source cars, you have to know how a car dealership works.

It’s relatively simple, to fill the gaps on their used car forecourts they have to source enough of the right types of cars.

So they might employ a full-time buyer to deal with this.

He won’t be able to buy enough cars if he has to deal with sellers one at a time, so he tends to buy his vehicles from either the auction which is where “We Buy Any Car” vehicles finish up, or from companies such as ourselves who do have the resources to buy cars, one at a time.

They could, of course, employ a few buyers per site, but what happens when there’s a downturn in the market, and all those buyers need paying whether they are required to buy cars or not?.

Where did Tootle fit in?

Rather than sit between the seller and the dealer as they imaged, they actually sat between the seller and the other car buying companies most of the time.

So rather than add value to car dealers method of sourcing cars, all they were doing were adding in yet more costs.

Companies like ours who specialise in supplying many dealers around the country work for relatively small commissions paid by dealers.

They pay us to go and do the due diligence, inspect the cars, pay for them, clear the finance and sometimes do some of the preparation work, before delivering them to where they are needed.

And the cars auctions offer thousands of cars which car supermarkets need to buy in bulk.

Tootle didn’t do any of that!

Tootle Failings

Tootle didn’t do anything wrong in as much as they had an excellent site, and decent people ran it.

But they thought they could get some of the car supply action by placing themselves between buyers and sellers.

It was a bold move which ultimately didn’t pay off.

Will Tootle return?

We doubt it, for the reasons we’ve given above.

We certainly have no aspirations to emulate their site and others we feel will have learnt from Tootles failing and realise there’s just not the room for another platform that only adds costs to the supply chain.

Because we’re not just another middle man, we get our profit by saving the retailers time and money.

By carefully collecting all the information about each car and then running around the country to buy your vehicles using our own resources and delivering them to exactly where they are most needed, we add value for the retailers, not extra costs.

It’s far from easy, its time consuming and not easily scalable.

So we’re destined to remain small and beautiful, and thankfully we like it that way, and so do our customers.

Philip Corker

Head Buyer

If you’d like a no-obligation valuation of your car current car then enter your registration below

When you sell your car online with us you get a personalised service that’s a real alternative to We Buy Any Car and other automated car valuation websites.

So If you like the idea of selling your car online but worry an automated valuation won’t give you a fair or accurate valuation, then we can help.

We know that which features and options make your car worth significantly more in the market place.

So if your particular vehicle has some nice options, we’re confident we could pay you more than We Buy Any Car and other automated online car-buying sites.

And unlike some our online valuation won’t change when we come to buy your car.

Give us A Try, Were Free.

Start Your Valuation
The maximum age of vehicles we buy 2013 the maximum mileage 60,000 miles. If you have a true classic please email the details.
No Obligation Personalized Quote Online. The maximum age of 2013, maximum mileage 60,000 miles. Classics have no limit.