Buying a car has always been a particularly stressful experience, but it could be argued that things used to be much more frustrating and mysterious than they are now! Even if you were lucky enough to drive off with the car you wanted, you could come away from those dealerships feeling pretty hard-done-by.
These days, with the prevalence of the Internet, the auto trade has changed completely. In mere seconds, you can type the model you want into Google and have several bids from various online dealerships. Here, we’ll look at all the ways in which the Internet has changed the auto trade.
Since the auto trade emerged into the online arena in the 90s, the whole market has become much fairer to the consumers. People suddenly had access to invoice prices for cars on demand. This robbed traditional dealerships of one of their biggest weapons: being able to exploit a lack of knowledge when it came to pricing.
Dealerships could no longer wear you down by haggling in the showroom. Many began to make use of “Internet sales departments”. Through this, you could specify the car you wanted online, and then wait to be called by the dealership, who would give you a quote. Every dealership knew you were getting different offers from different places, so they’d be more inclined to give you a good price. Over time, this has made haggling less and less of a given with buying cars.
Choice (and the risk thereof)
The Internet has made the process of buying a car slightly simpler, true. It’s also presented several new threats and pitfalls. One of the big things that differentiates online shopping from traditional shopping is the level of anonymity. When you go looking to purchase a car online, it’s almost impossible to know everything about the seller. However, these can be harder to identify than you might think.
You need to ensure you do your research; don’t just assume a trusted brand name like Tekonsha is being sold by a trusted brand; research the store you’re looking at first! Keep an eye out for ads that are too good to be true. Dealerships that demand advance payments before you’ve even seen pictures of your new car are the biggest red flag to look for.
The Human Side
It’s possible to do all your own research about the car you’re looking for. However, when you’re there in the dealership, you’ll have an experienced expert in all of the cars available. Having a human source of information can achieve many things the Internet simply can’t. While you ask about the different models and features, you’ll be making small-talk about various things.
You may stumble across a subject which will prompt the salesperson to make a special recommendation. Instead of scouring web pages for little nuggets of information, the car salesman will be able to answer your questions directly. This can up the chances of you leaving with a car which is much more tailored to your specific needs. This isn’t always a given, though!
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