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How Would You Improve the Car-Buying Experience?



  • tommister2tommister2 Mechanicsville, VAPosts: 131
    Right, I understand that they can use it any way they like. Some dealers will not sell below invoice and some will. It is their choice. I wonder if the ones that sell below invoice without too much of a fight know they are getting a bonus, or maybe they figure they will get it from the next buyer? Or they hope to get something from the buyer in F&I...
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    From personal experience of working in the car sales business for about 10 years, the ones that sell the cars way below invoice, or cheaper than other regional dealers, tend to also sell fewer cars, and tend to either close down or change ownership often because they lose money on a regular basis.

    When I worked at Chrysler, each month we had sales figures of all local Chrysler stores, and their average profit per car. The dealers that made the least also sold the least (they lacked sales process and HAD to give their cars away in order to try and stay afloat). They ended up closing down, being bought out by bigger franchises and turned profitable, or changed brands completely.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • ken117ken117 Posts: 189
    Your welcome, my observation was for readers who might not have gleaned the obvious. Most lenders do not require a credit score of much more than 720 for the best rates. A score of 720 is very good but not stellar.

    Rather than pay cash, it is often better to let the dealer finance the sale. Allowing the dealer to think it made a bit of profit on the financing might result in that dealer selling the vehicle for a lower price. Since there are no pre-payment penalties for most auto loans, especially for someone with a stellar credit score, the loan can always be paid off immediately.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    edited April 2013
    Takes too long and everyone thinks they're getting ripped off.

    Is Your Auto Dealership’s Sales Process Customer-Approved? (NCMi)

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    edited September 2013
    "All vehicles in the Scarff inventory have a large "Bottom Line Price" tag hanging from the rearview mirror. This offer applies not only to new cars, but to pre-owned and certified pre-owned vehicles, as well.

    The store nearly doubled its market share after implementing the sales strategy. In addition to the uptick in sales, the level of stress was reduced for both the buyer and the dealership's employees. With less stress on the employees, staff turnover was reduced. Scarff has been able to retain a long-term, experienced sales team. Scarff says this is one of the reasons his dealership was rated the number one dealer in customer satisfaction in his area by Subaru of America, five years running."

    Washington Subaru Dealer Takes Haggling Out of Car Buying With Bottom Line Pricing

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509 grandpa and uncle (I think) bought a few cars from that group over the years.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    I wonder if Fitzmall gets the same award back East; they're no haggle.

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    "GM also is aiming to win over shoppers like Debbie Mahaffy, of Gladwin, Mich., who said she didn't want to take time off work to go to a dealership to buy a car.

    She knew exactly what she wanted—a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro—so she completed the entire process online and over email, ultimately buying the car from a dealership about 125 miles away and having it delivered to her workplace.

    It certainly isn't how most new car sales are sold. "Other auto makers have looked into this, but GM is the first to bring it to prime time," said John Giamalvo, director of dealer strategy for car-shopping website "There has been a slow creep to this model for the last five years now."

    GM says the program isn't intended to replace dealers or their showrooms, but rather to give its dealers a way to reach a growing group of customers, many of them young and tech-savvy, who prefer to complete transactions online and skip the showroom ritual."

    GM Prods Dealers to Sell Cars Online (Wall St. Journal - registration link)

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    edited October 2013
    the hell out of the transaction is the key, but it'll take until well after I'm dead for it to happen.

    There is no reason on god's green earth why a potential car buyer couldn't select the car they want to buy online and have it built in a couple of weeks, much like Dell does for computers, other than:

    1. What to do with the trade-in
    2. How to arrange "difficult" (that'd be upside-down, better know as typical) financing
    3. Test drives

    The manufacturers could work their way around this, but the dealer cabals have built state laws to prevent such heresy.

    The present system makes no sense to a financially responsible buyer who is willing to dispose of his/her present car on the open market and knows exactly which vehicle he/she wants to buy and what packages or options he/she wants it to contain.

    All 117 of such people in North America can gather in the meeting room of their choice to work this out.

    The dealers suck and most buyers (or, worse yet, leasors) are ignorant and/or financially irresponsible.

    Ain't life grand?

    My solution is to buy cars as rarely as possible and to hold my nose through the whole thing.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Dealing with dealers can be a pain in the butt, but those three obstacles you mention will be hard to overcome. Trade-ins, financing, and test drives are really the reason dealers exist. Can't get around them. And of course, dealers help to get people to spend more than they initially planned. But, nobody has a gun pointed at their head when they sign on the dotted line, so if they buy what they don't need...not my problem.

    Most people don't want to sell privately, it's a lot of work, and in the growing socio-economic chasm, might become dangerous. Some people require a lot of work to finance, and a test drive setup not based on sales will not last long.

    Negotiation will also be a problem. Many buyers find it a game, and some brands are notorious for negotiation, especially premium brands.

    And fiscal responsibility can be subjective. Some want to enjoy life as these are the good old days, some want to live like Scrooge, pretend to be poor, and then leave everything to ungrateful devilspawn who will waste it after pretending they earned it themselves. Priorities, I guess ;) The way I see it, if someone spends less than they make (and puts at least something aside for the future), they can spend how they want. My solution is to just deal with it, a couple hours of dealer annoyance for hopefully years of pleasure with a car.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    edited October 2013
    a facility that deals in used cars and also has a few new cars for a given manufacturer that can be test-driven. Hmmm . . . we could be much of the way there. The only missing piece is how to finance deadbeats and/or people who want to drive more than they can afford.

    Either way, there are ways to get this done, but the dealer cabal will be dragged kicking and screaming into this model, which could save thousands on every transaction.

    How do you think the palaces are paid for in which cars are sold today?

    It's not the tooth fairy.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    It's a cool idea. That facility however...sounds like...a dealership ;) Maybe the small town type where you look at a car and place an order. I bet it worked that way in some areas way back when.

    I don't see it changing, it's this way everywhere. The cabal has too much lobbying power, and an efficient solution might not exist.

    I've seen dealerships in Europe that blow away any I have seen here. Some dealerships in the olden days were pretty fancy too.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 3,187
    Some dealers get this. Back in 1986, my wife was in the market for a family car, but with two small kids and a job, it was hard for her to get to a dealership to look at / test drive anything.

    The local Ford store brought a Tempo to her house (this was before I knew her) to test drive, then came back after she decided to purchase and the entire transaction took place at her kitchen table.

    I suppose this is why she was a Ford girl for many years, even after I met her. She had the Tempo when we met (10 years and 96K miles), then an Escort, Expedition, Explorer and Focus.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    I'd like to think some dealers offer setups like that, but maybe they really want to get people on the lot to apply pressure and upsell. The buyer has control in their own home, not so much at a dealership. Neat kind of old fashioned scheme though, I imagine it being that way maybe before the 50s.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    "It doesn’t mean we are going to try and bypass our dealers, but why not in this tech-savvy culture we have, this economy we have, (allow) the millennial to come in and ... sign and go,’ ” Akerson told analysts, referring to those generally younger than 30.

    In many cases, buyers know what model and options they want, if it’s available on the lot in the color they want and have a price on the car before entering a dealership."

    Akerson wants GM to sell vehicles online (Detroit News)

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  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    We see folks come into the showroom and list an exact car, options and color, tell us they have researched everything online for 3 month.

    A couple hours later they drive out of the dealership in a totally different vehicle with less options and different color. The internet provides tremendous information but until you sit in the seat, feel the drive, touch the options and see the color that looked totally different on the internet all the research in the world doesn't mean that much.

    This isn't a rare occurance like spotting a UFO it happens every single day and its more the norm that not.

    We had a guy trade in a 2013 Optima with 500 miles this week becuase he purchased it basically entirely online and didn't want to spend time looking at cars in person. After having it a few days he realized the Optima wasn't the car for him. He didn't mildly dislike the car he hated it. He ended up driving 4 cars, multiple times before selecting the new car. He won't make that multi thousand dollar mistake again.
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