Frequently Asked Questions

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Why don't we see any search results online?

Think of the website not so much as somewhere to spend time browsing, more of a gateway to the database, where you login, make any additions or changes and logout. Rather than using the hit-and-miss method of displaying screen upon screen of vaguely matching vehicles, we prefer to use the definite, permanent record of car, buyer and seller details produced by our email-driven processes.

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Can I use my workplace as the centre of my searches, or only my home?

You may search for vehicles using ANY postcode as the centre of your search region, and each vehicle may use a different postcode from any other whose details you have added. For example, a commuter may add two otherwise identical search profiles, with one using a postcode mid-point of their daily journey to work, enabling them to take a slight detour to checkout any likely vehicle.

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Can I choose a different postcode for each vehicle I'm trying to find?

Yes. It is easy to fine-tune your searches as follows:

Imagine you are after a BMW 320 Touring - well, you may well be happy to travel to anywhere within 100 miles of a point halfway along your daily journey to the office for an automatic with less than 12,000 on the clock, if it also has satellite navigation and leather trim. On the other hand, maybe you'd be unwilling to go more than 50 miles for a manual with no satnav having covered 40,000 miles. You'd also want to set a lower maximum price for a car with this specification. Easy - simply add the first - clicking on the 'add/similar' button - then just change the values as necessary. You now have two separate search profiles, each with its own requirements independent of the other.

All whilst simultaneously searching for your (less choosy?) partner's Golf diesel runabout within a 15 mile radius of home. Working in this way you can easily filter out exactly the results of interest to you. Incidentally, should a single car match more than one of your profiles, we'll only send you details of it once in any message.

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How many times can we adjust our options for any particular vehicle?

Whether buying or selling, there is neither any limit to the number, nor type of adjustment you can make. Choose a completely different make and model if you wish. Bear in mind though that all references to the previous vehicle's profile will immediately be scrubbed from the database.

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Why are certain common choices not available in the option list?

Our aim is to provide only leads that represent vehicles or buyers matching your criteria. For this reason, we prefer to deal in 'yes/no' answers. After all a car either has parking sensors, or it doesn't. It either has keyless entry, or it doesn't.

On the other hand, one man's green might be another man's blue, or what one person may call a hatchback, another may call a sports estate.

We have also attempted to include only options about which buyers may feel more strongly, in other words those with the potential to swing the buying decision one way or the other.

We suggest buyers use the free text field to expand upon any less-easily defined requirements, for example: 'I am only interested in the zinnobar red 3-series, not the henna red' , or 'factory-fitted electric sunroof only please, not tilt-only glass retro-fits.'

Please note that whilst the free text contents will be included in all notification emails sent to the sellers - thereby hopefully minimising contacts from sellers with unsuitable cars - the database will ignore this information when comparing for compatibilty, and you will still be sent the initial details of all cars matching the criteria determined by the entries you have made in the rest of the search fields.

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5 searches is not enough - can I increase this facility?

Whilst any single membership is restricted to a maximum of 5 simultaneous searches, you are welcome to take out an additional membership (or memberships), each of which will increase your search capacity by another 5 search profiles. You may use an identical email address for the additional membership, so managing multiples is no more difficult than remembering an extra clubname and password combination.

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Can I buy and sell at the same time?

Certainly. Selling and searching functions act independently of each other, so that once your selling subscription expires, your search profiles remain active.

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How often can we expect emails?

Effectively, you receive a notification immediately either a new matching vehicle is entered into the database, or any adjustments are made to an existing database entry to bring it within your criteria. Before dismissing any car simply because 'I've seen that one before', therefore, you should always glance at the updated spec sheet, to see what alteration has caused it to be displayed to you again. This could be a huge drop in price, additional optional extras fitted to the car ... who knows?

Once you have been sent details of a particular vehicle or buyer, generally you will not see them again, unless you or the other member makes some adjustment changing the profile in some way. If a vehicle is still in the database after a certain time, however, it may be re-activated, at which point it will appear in the next nightly message. After all, there's always the chance that you overlooked it the first time around.

Every match we send you should be a 'live' vehicle or buyer, as deleted cars or searches are removed from the database in real time, just like any pending emails.

If you or the other member makes any global, non-vehicle-specific change - perhaps a new email address or by adding website details - this will also be passed onto you via the nightly messages.

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I should like to avoid a particular vehicle, buyer or seller - is this possible?

Yes, as long as you have received at least one email notification including their details. Simply click the 'block this buyer' or 'block this seller' link in the message and after login you are within a single click of adding them to your blacklist. Blocking a member as a buyer is independent of blocking them as a seller, so it is possible to block somebody from selling to you, whilst still allowing them to see any vehicles you are selling. Your current blacklist can be viewed from any Blocks link. There's one at the top of most pages, in the navigation bar.

Please note that it not possible to block an individual vehicle, you are blocking the member, not the car.

To remove the block, simply click the red delete button from the page and they will immediately be included in all future database matching searches. You can create a maximum of ten blocks.

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We transport cars to the buyer's nearest dealership - can Mad4Cars cater for this?

Yes, we have specifically addressed this facility, with our ‘Friendly Dealer Discount Scheme’.

Let's say that a dealer group - 'MultiBranch' - has a number of outlets spread along the South Coast - a car held in Brighton, say, would typically be too far away to be a valid match for somebody in Portsmouth setting a maximum travelling distance of thirty miles. Under our Friendly Dealer Scheme, however, this buyer is matched to one of MultiBranch's other outlets in Portsmouth, so he receives an email providing all the car details as usual, but the seller's information all relates to his local outlet, including a displayed travelling distance of just four miles. The dealer concerned also receives an email, clearly identifying the vehicle as being a 'group' car.

One single car, but with as many points of presence as MultiBranch wants, limited only by the number of dealers.

The Mad4Cars Favourites rules still apply though, so if a particular buyer has added a MultiBranch dealer located ten miles away as a favourite, he would receive their details instead of any other MultiBranch dealers closer to him.

MultiBranch can choose to include all outlets in a single group, or create multiple logical geographical groups, based upon how far they are prepared to transport vehicles between sites. Groups do not have to be geographically determined - sort by franchise, perhaps, or in whichever way suits the particluar working practices of the dealer group concerned. They can also place dealers in multiple groups so that they are included in the stock list for more than one area. The only limitation is that every outlet must be capable of presenting any car advertised within their group(s) for physical inspection by a buyer. There is no decision-making involved as far as the dealer is concerned, MultiBranch took care of that simply by adding the dealer to a group.

From the individual dealer's point of view, being part of MultiBranch does not compromise them in any way. If desired, they can take out their own subscription, with no need to register a separate membership. Any cars they add will be treated just as though they were a standalone operation, with no connection whatsoever to the rest of the MultiBranch group. Not even somebody logging in with the MultiBranch 'master' account will be able to see any details of any cars added by the dealer. Similarly, no MultiBranch dealer is able to add, edit or delete any group cars, unless MultiBranch decide to pass their logon credentials to a dealer. The dealers will be able to view details of all cars within their group, but not edit them in any way.

This group facility is open to anybody with multiple dealers, whether they have two or two hundred or more. Due to the variable, tailored nature of the scheme, it does not easily lend itself to display in our online pricelists, so we ask that interested parties contact us via the contact form, using the Topic 'Friendly Dealer Enquiry'.

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Can we sell the same vehicle from multiple locations, and at different prices?

Yes, you may sell any car from as many locations at which you are able to make it physically available for inspection, with each location offering it for a different price, if required. You may also include differing individual special offers on a per-location basis, if you wish.

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Can I sell from a postcode other than my own?

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. One is to maintain separate memberships per outlet. These can share a common email address if required, so notifications of interested buyers are unaffected. The other is to use our Friendly Dealer Scheme see this FAQ, specifically designed for such a situation. If you transport vehicles between sites for buyer inspections, then this allows you to exploit the potential of every car you sell.

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Can we take out multiple subscriptions if it suits us?

Yes - mix and match to your heart's content, to obtain the selling capacity you require. Please note, however, that your search limit will remain at 5 vehicles, irrespective of how many subscription plans you accumulate (see this search limit FAQ for a possible solution). Any combination of private/trade/monthly/annual plans is acceptable. This building-block approach can be of real benefit to 'annual traders', those having taken out a 12-month agreement with Mad4Cars.

During heavy sales periods a 30-day top-up can offer just the flexibility required to fully exploit such a boom time.

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Are we able to upgrade or downgrade?

Certainly, and with complete flexibility. At any point you can add additional plans, which will immediately increase the number of vehicles you can sell accordingly. You also have the option of taking out a single higher- or lower-capacity plan, then transferring/selling the balance of the no-longer-required plan as described in this balance transfer FAQ. If taking the latter action, we would suggest that you add the newer plan before transferring the previous one, to avoid having to re-submit details of the vehicles you are selling. Are you a seller with 100 or more vehicles on our database? That would be a lot of easily-avoidable keystrokes! A useful option is for annual traders - ie those dealers who have taken out 365-day Mad4Cars contracts - to 'top-up' their sales capacity with an additional 30-day plan to exploit any particularly busy periods.

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I have sold my car - can I pass the balance of my subscription onto somebody else?

Yes, if you are the original purchaser of the subscription. Just follow any Account History link - there's one on the navigation menu on most pages. The simple procedure only takes a couple of clicks, and removes details of all vehicles which are reliant upon the existence of that particular plan from the database (To clarify, a seller with two plans, each entitling them to sell 5 cars, has a total sales limit of 10 vehicles. Transferring one plan reduces this limit to 5, so if they had, say, 8 vehicles for sale at the time of the transfer, details of 3 of the vehicles would immediately be cleared from the database. On the other hand, if they were only selling 3 vehicles at the time, none of the details would be removed. The only practical difference would be that they could now only add another 2 vehicles for sale, as opposed to 7 prior to the transfer)

If you're thinking of selling the subscription balance via eBay or any other time-sensitive method, please note that your subscription will continue to run, so buy-it-now options are a good idea, drawing attention to how quickly you sold your vehicle using the Mad4Cars method. After all, there's not much hope of selling the remaining 28 days, if you place a 30-day auction without a Buy-It-Now option, is there?

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I dabble in car sales from home - am I entitled to register as a trader?

Yes - in fact, you are required to, both by the law and by Limited. You will receive the same benefits as any other trade member. Similarly, you'll also be subject to the same slightly stricter guidelines as other trade members: you'll have to provide additional contact details (Postcode, address (Mad4Cars use only - your address will not be displayed), at least one contact telephone number) and insert the registration number of all cars you offer for sale. The registration number is not visible to any buyers - unless you consider it a selling point and choose to draw attention to it - its purpose is simply to maintain database integrity and protect buyers and legitimate traders from unscrupulous sellers using non-existent vehicles to attract buyers.

If you take out one of the 12-month contracts, not only will you benefit from a reduced per-vehicle advertising rate, you'll also enjoy the increased status associated with the annual commitment you've made, and will be visible to those buyers who filter out their searches to show only vehicles being offered by 'annual' traders. Buyers are increasingly seeking that re-assurance offered by traders who, on the face of it at least, still expect to be in business in a year's time!

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Can I suspend, or pause my Mad4Cars subscription for use at a later date?

No - you can either let it lapse, or transfer any remaining period as described in this alternative FAQ .

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I am discontinuing my car sales business - can I sell the remainder of my subscription?

Yes, you can. See this related FAQ for the couple of steps to take at the actual time of transfer.

Photos - what guidelines do we need to follow?

(please note: the images appearing on your control panel summary are simply thumbnails - those displayed in emails to buyers are more than twice as large)

Generally, any *.jpg, *.png or *.gif is acceptable. All current image programs can handle these formats, and 99% will default to using *.jpg.

If you are using one of the more modern browsers, we shall resize the image for you before upload, so it is unlikely that any photo will be too large. If you have javascript disabled (if so, we will have brought this to your attention when you logged on) pre-upload resizing is not possible, in which case all images are subject to a 10MB limit.

If you see a warning that your picture is too large for our purposes, try looking in the 'File' menu of your photo program for any reference to 'Export' , or failing that, explore the options under 'Save as ...'. You will often find that there will be a facility to save the picture in a format suitable for uploading to the web. You may even see a simple 'Select target filesize' or similar option.

Your photos will be displayed in 4:3 width:height ratio, so to maximize the displayed image size, you should save it in a similar format, say 2048px wide x 1536px high or 640x480 . This will ensure that your photo will fill the display window precisely. Try to avoid portrait shots, as they will likely result in very narrow images. You can swap the uploaded image as many times as you like using your control panel's edit button. Simply add the replacement photo and the previous image will be removed from the database.

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Car-specific webpage facility (available to Annual trade subscriptions only) - instructions

If you have added your website address to the Mad4Cars database (if not, you may do so by following any Profile update link) a direct link will be added to the notification messages sent to your buyers.
Additionally, all annual trade members have the option to exploit this further by offering single-click access to the specific webpage relating to the car in question, if it has one. This can greatly increase conversion from speculative enquiries to sales. This is a per-vehicle option, so you do not need to maintain individual webpages for every car you sell. In the event that you have not added any specific page the link will point to the general website address you have supplied. If you do not provide any web address at all, then the notification messages will still provide the buyers with all the other email and telephone contact details you have entered.

No technical knowledge is required to take advantage of this option: imagine that your website is at, and that the specific page for the vehicle involved is Initially - and you may have already completed this step when registering - you insert into the website field on your Profile update page. All emails immediately include that link as a simple 'visit seller's website' link.

When inputting details of any car which also has its own page - as in our example the blue Mondeo does - you simply insert the full address of its specific webpage - in other words, - into the car-specific webpage field immediately below the registration number. That's all there is to it. Note that any entry in this field will override the basic website link, so if you do not want to give a car-specific link, ensure that this field is completely blank. TIP: A quick method - which also avoids any typing errors - is simply to load the car's page in your browser, click once in the address bar at the top to highlight the full address, then right-click and copy. Returning to the site, you then just right-click and paste in the car-specific webpage field. All email notifications will use this and change the link description to 'view car-specific webpage', and your buyer, automatically sought out by our database, has single-click access to the specific webpage for the vehicle concerned - a car which you both already know fulfils their specification requirements, falls within their price range and is inside their acceptable travelling distance.

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What is the Favourites Code field all about?

If you are a dealer, it's a means of politely jumping the queue, as any cars you are selling will be displayed at the top of emails sent to buyers who have added you to their Favourites list (see below), clearly identified as being offered by one of their chosen dealers. You will also be alerted to the fact that the potential buyer has singled you out as one of their favourites, so these hotter leads stand out from the rest. Create your code now via any Profile update link. We shall immediately generate and email you the artwork you can use to create anything from mirror hangers to swingboard posters. (occasionally the format of the chosen favourites code results in an imperfect layout - if this happens, you can either edit it in any graphics program, or create a different code in your profile update page and we shall generate the new artwork immediately) Don't forget to add it to your website, adverts, windscreen stickers, directory entries - everywhere your name appears.

And think about this - if we spot it displayed prominently, you could win an entire year's free, unlimited advertising. Isn't that reason alone to display it everywhere?

As a buyer, you may designate up to ten sellers as a chosen dealer using any Favourites link. There's one at the top of most pages, in the navigation bar. Any vehicles offered by such a dealer will automatically be given priority in notification emails, appearing at the top of the list, clearly marked as being offered by one of your favourites. The seller will also be made aware that you have added them to your list of chosen dealers, so they are more likely to strike while the iron's hot and call you first. Their contact details will also be readily available from your Favourites page, to save you trawling through your email history.

Dealers may display their Favourite code on a swingboard outside their premises, in adverts, on their website or anywhere else they have a presence.

Unfortunately, some sellers create their code, but then fail to display it anywhere! For this reason, we suggest that if you like the look of a dealer, you pop in or ring them and ask for their Favourites code. It's in both your interests.

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How can I change my password?

Simply click on any profile update link and type in your new password in both the password and password verification boxes, then click the Update button. Be aware of the position of your CAPS LOCK and NUM LOCK keys whilst doing so. To confirm that the change has been processed completely, we suggest that you log out and back in again, using your new password.

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