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Online Services Experiences (Carsdirect.com, Carwoo.com, etc.)

Has anyone used the CarsDirect website to purchase a vehicle? The prices seem to be very reasonable and supposedly you don't have to haggle with the dealer. I am planning to purchase or lease a vehicle in February and am interested in using this service. Please post about your experiences.
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Comments

  • Does anyone have any experience in dealing with
    this company? I have just spoken to a customer
    service rep who claims their company works as
    follows: They will GUARANTEE invoice pricing on
    ANY and ALL cars sold in the USA. They work with
    dealers in a given customer's area to secure their
    customer's desired car. If they are not able to
    buy the car at invoice or better from the dealer,
    they will subsidize the difference to live up to
    their guarantee to the customer of invoice pricing.
    If necessary, they will work with dealers
    nation-wide to secure pricing and have the car
    drop-shipped, at NO CHARGE to the customer, to the
    closest dealership to the. The customer pays
    invoice + applicable state tax + licensing fees.
    They claim NO FEES are paid by the customer to
    CarsDirect. They also claim that, unlike Autobytel
    and some others, they don't charge the dealer a
    fee to become part of their network, so there is no
    risk involved on the dealers' part. I asked them
    how they make money and he claimed they had no
    intentions of turning a profit in their first few
    years of existence (they have been around for about
    6 months), but that they were trying to "build a
    brand" ala Yahoo, Excite, Amazon, etc... They are
    planning on going public 1st Quarter of next year.


    Call me a skeptic, but I just find this all to be
    too good to be true. I want to know where the
    "catch" is. So, my question is: Does anyone have
    any first-hand knowledge on how CarsDirect works
    and if they can be trusted? I am in the market for
    an Acura 3.2TL which is selling at MSRP all over
    the country. If they can come through on their
    guarantee to deliver invoice pricing, I will save
    about $3,000 and they will have a customer
    TOMORROW!

    Anything anyone might have to share would be
    greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    Hi again,

    I posted this in the Acura 3.2TL thread, where I first saw your post. For the benefit of others who might not read that thread, I thought I'd repost it here.
    --------------------------------------------------
    OK folks, I was gonna wait til this was a done
    deal for me, but, seeing it's started, I'll jump
    in. :-)

    I have had a deposit on a TL for about 2 weeks
    (full MSRP, ugh). I have spent the last several
    days on the phone w/ a rep from CarsDirect, as well
    as my local dealer - first trying to find the
    "angle" for CarsDirect, then convincing my dealer
    that it was worth going forward. ("Even if it's a
    scam, I'll still buy the car at MSRP")

    Here is where I stand:

    Today, my dealer faxed my purchase and sales
    agreement to CarsDirect, w/ a VIN on it (due on
    4/16). That is supposed to be enough for
    CarsDirect to OVERNIGHT a check for $2,758 to my
    dealer (the difference between MSRP and invoice, in
    my case). My dealer is still quite skeptical, (as
    am I!) and wants to have his legal counsel review
    whatever documentation they receive w/ this check.
    Assuming this is for real, I will then purchase
    the car next week for invoice price. Pretty sweet!
    :-)

    As for more about CarsDirect, I dug up that they
    are backed by idealab! (www.idealab.com), the same
    company behind eToys.com, CitySearch.com, goto.com
    and shopping.com, and many others. Evidently,
    these folks are no newbies to eCommerce, and are
    willing to spend a lot up front to gain enough of a
    following that, when they go public, they make the
    big bucks.

    Sounds like yet another startup looking to make it
    big off the stock market frenzy for anything
    Internet. Nonetheless, if I can help them achieve
    this goal, and benefit in the process, sounds good
    to me.

    I will update this forum as soon as "the check
    arrives".

    Regards,
    Sandman
  • I posted this on the Sedan section, but it is
    probably more appropriate to be posted here. So,
    here it is:



    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with
    this company? I have just spoken to a customer
    service rep who claims their company works as
    follows: They will GUARANTEE invoice pricing on
    ANY and ALL cars sold in the USA. They work with
    dealers in a given customer's area to secure their
    customer's desired car. If they are not able to
    buy the car at invoice or better from the dealer,
    they will subsidize the difference to live up to
    their guarantee to the customer of invoice pricing.
    If necessary, they will work with dealers
    nation-wide to secure pricing and have the car
    drop-shipped, at NO CHARGE to the customer, to the
    closest dealership. The customer pays invoice +
    applicable state tax + licensing fees. They claim
    NO FEES are paid by the customer to CarsDirect.
    They also claim that, unlike Autobytel
    and some others, they don't charge the dealer a
    fee to become part of their network, so there is
    no risk involved on the dealers' part. I asked
    them how they make money and he claimed they had no
    intentions of turning a profit in their first few
    years of existence (they have been around for
    about 6 months), but that they were trying to
    "build a brand" ala Yahoo, Excite, Amazon, etc...
    They are planning on going public 1st Quarter of
    next year.



    Call me a skeptic, but I just find this all to be
    too good to be true. I want to know where the
    "catch" is. So, my question is: Does anyone have
    any first-hand knowledge on how CarsDirect works
    and if they can be trusted? I am in the market
    for an Acura 3.2TL which is selling at MSRP all
    over the country. If they can come through on
    their guarantee to deliver invoice pricing, I will
    save about $3,000 and they will have a customer
    TOMORROW!

    Anything anyone might have to share would be
    greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • eddie16eddie16 Posts: 1
    I wait with great anticipation. There is another one of these places out there called carorder.com that also seems like a scam to me.
  • Wanted to post an update on my situation with CarsDirect. They gave me 6 references from dealerships in my area of the country. I got in touch with 4 of the 6. All 4 had nothing but positive things to say about the company. In each case, CarsDirect delivered on the promised check and the customers left extremely happy, as was the dealership. The references had NO IDEA how CarsDirect was "giving away money" (as one ref put it), but that they did send the check they promised.

    One more big issue I discussed with one of the references, who happened to be the owner of his dealership, was my risk as the customer. All CarsDirect is asking me to do is put down a $500 REFUNDABLE deposit with the DEALERSHIP and sign the necessary DEALERSHIP paperwork to authorize them to order the car. I asked what he (the dealership owner) would do in a situation where CarsDirect failed to send the check they promised. He said ANY reputable dealership would, indeed, refund my deposit and I would lose NOTHING.

    Bottom line is, I am going to take a leap of faith and see what happens. I have narrowed my choices down to 2 cars:

    1) Buying an Acura TL without Nav for a purchase price of out the door price of $26,227, which includes floor mats, mud guards and wheel locks.

    or

    2) They have quoted me a 36 month/15,000 mile lease payment of $456, paying tax, tag and processing fees up front, on a 328i Sedan with the premium package, Harmon Kardon stereo, and automatic tansmission. Cap Cost is $34,880, residual is 67%, money factor is .0032.


    If this is for real, I don't know why ANYONE wouldn't buy their car through CarsDirect. The only exception I can think of would be a situation where you could buy a car below invoice from the dealer. Otherwise, CarsDirect would be the ticket. The customer wins. The dealership wins. CarsDirect is the only one who loses. Or so it seems. Stay tuned.
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    Ok folks, it's update time! :-)

    Here's what transpired today:
    Carsdirect did NOT send the check yesterday.
    Evidently, they just moved into new office space
    last weekend, and things are moving a little
    slowly. However, they DID send the check today.
    They even faxed me a copy of the check, and also
    gave me a FedEx tracking number. The check should
    arrive at my dealer tomorrow. The only remaining
    question is if the check bounces? I can't imagine
    that the dealer will actually close the deal w/ me
    until that check clears. Being in Rhode Island,
    and the check being drawn on a Wells Fargo bank in
    California, I suppose it's going to be another 10
    days or so til we have the answer. :-(

    However, I had asked my Carsdirect rep to send
    references to my dealer, and I'm not sure if that
    has happened yet.

    So I guess I'll be waiting it out over the next 10
    days. I will post again when the check arrives
    tomorrow.

    Also, I would like to point out that Carsdirect
    does not plan on covering the difference between
    MSRP and invoice FOREVER. This is a very temporary
    "special". They won't commit to a termination
    date - my guess is it's not based on a date, but on
    the funds available? Anyway, if you're thinking
    of doing this, I'd get the ball rolling quickly.
    To date, I have not signed anything other than my
    original P&S agreement w/ my dealer. So it really
    does seem "risk-free" to me. HURRY! :-)

    More to come tomorrow,
    Sandman
  • I, like Universal1, would love to hear from people about their experience with carsdirect.com it seems too good to be true. If cardsdirect.com can get some of the more popular cars at invoice I'll use them in a heartbeat. Can anyone out there provide us with any info on there guys? Thanks.
  • bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Posts: 115
    we're waiting to hear the "More to come tomorrow..." We also, by the way, have a small topic in Smart_Shopper CarsDirect.com (Topic #1305) that we're watching.

    Bonnie Rick
    Town Hall Community Manager, edmunds.com
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    Sorry folks, nothing more to offer yet. My car's expected delivery date is tomorrow though. I've spoken w/ the dealer (Wednesday) and he is confident that the check will clear. With any luck, I'll pick up my car this Saturday.

    The dealer did say though that, "if this check bounces, I'm coming after YOU, not carsdirect." I don't know what recourse he has against ME, unless he plans on having me sign something specific about this? (Note: when I originally "sold" the dealer on talking w/ carsdirect, I promised him that he had nothing to lose - if it was a scam, I'd still take delivery at full MSRP.)

    Anyway, I really do hope to update you folks this weekend as the first person out here (to my knowledge?) to actually take advantage of this great offer! :-)

    Regards,
    Sandman
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    Sorry folks, nothing more to offer yet. My car's expected delivery date is tomorrow though. I've spoken w/ the dealer (Wednesday) and he is confident that the check will clear. With any luck, I'll pick up my car this Saturday.

    The dealer did say though that, "if this check bounces, I'm coming after YOU, not carsdirect." I don't know what recourse he has against ME, unless he plans on having me sign something specific about this? (Note: when I originally "sold" the dealer on talking w/ carsdirect, I promised him that he had nothing to lose - if it was a scam, I'd still take delivery at full MSRP.)

    Anyway, I really do hope to update you folks this weekend as the first person out here (to my knowledge?) to actually take advantage of this great offer! :-)

    Regards,
    Sandman
  • The dealer has absolutely NO RECOURSE where you are concerned. How can YOU be responsible for whether or not a CarsDirect check bounces??? If I remember correctly, wasn't the dealer going to have his legal council do a background check on CarsDirect? Don't let him intimidate you. Should you choose not to take delivery, he can sell the car to someone else tomorrow! He chose to take a risk just like you. It shouldn't be an issue, anyway. If the check is in hand, it will cash. Good luck and keep us posted!
  • The dealer has absolutely NO RECOURSE where you
    are concerned. How can YOU be responsible for
    whether or not a CarsDirect check bounces??? If I remember correctly, wasn't the dealer going to have his legal council do a background check on
    CarsDirect? Don't let him intimidate you. Should you choose not to take delivery, he can sell the
    car to someone else tomorrow! He chose to take a
    risk just like you. It shouldn't be an issue,
    anyway. If the check is in hand, it will cash.
    Good luck and keep us posted!
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    Yes, the dealer had mentioned having his attorneys at least review any documentation sent w/ the check. I don't think he's doing that though, from our recent discussions. It sounds like he's pretty confident.

    Either he plans to have ME sign something agreeing to cover the diff if it bounces, or he already knows that it didn't bounce, or he's a FOOL? I know I sure would've done a trace on that check to make SURE it cleared before letting the car go out the door $3k under market value! :-)
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    so, i fill out the request on-line that says ill be contacted in 24hrs.

    one week later no response, so i call the (toll free) number.im told i will be called back soon after leaving my info.A few minutes later the rep calls and "just so happen to e-mail me right before i called". gives me the numbers on the car i requested, that happen to be invoice exact according to edmunds pricing. says if im interested they will start a data base to look for my car, and will be contacted.

    i was told that this is a free special and dont expect it to last for more than another THREE days.
    so, two days later still no response on my vehicle, we shall see, but im sceptical....
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    I sure hope he meant "3 days more for newcomers" and not you! My guess is that they will honor your call though.

    Good luck.
  • I am shopping for a Porsche Boxster. Before I found them, I used my "method" (documented above in post #1079), to find a dealer who was willing to discount my 2000 Boxster by $3766. I contacted CarsDirect, and the rep said that they had had a hard time finding dealers who would discount them any, and the ~$7500 was a bit much to subsidize the way they are. I told him of my deal for $3766 below MSRP, he said they COULD do that, and he would check their normal channels to see if they could beat me price. That was about a week ago. I spoke to Todd last night, and he said that they had been unable to beat my deal, but would certainly take my deal, and subsidize the rest. I told him that I was expecting a "Buyer's Agreement" in the mail any day now, and that I would fax them a copy when it came in. He agreed to send a check for the difference when he got my fax, and we'd be off and running. (He said that their check would act as my deposit, so I didn't even need to send money to the dealer). If this works, it's about an $8K savings once you add the taxes and trash in. Did they ask you guys to be in their advertising? They did me, and I told him that for $8K savings on a car, I'd be the poster boy! (You guys might get to see what I really look like!....That's a scary thought!) he he..
  • msandamsanda Posts: 12
    Sounds wonderful Frank. And a Porsche even ("There IS no substitute", name that movie?!) :-)

    They didn't ask me about posing nude next to my Acura 3.2TL or anything, but for the $3k savings, I might think about it if they need me to! :0

    Regards,
    Sandman
  • The movie was Risky Business, and the infamous line was uttered by none other than Tom Cruise.

    As for posing nude, I don't know that I would get carried away. Hmm.. If they threw in another couple of K, I would probably do it! (Make it an even $10,000 discount).
  • A quick update -

    The dealership received the check from CarsDirect this past Saturday and plan to deposit the check tomorrow (Monday). As long as the check doesn't bounce, which I can't imagine it would, I am home free and the TL is mine with a savings of over $3000! Stay tuned.

    BTW, Frank - they did ask me to give them a testimonial, which I said I would be glad to do once the check had arrived at the dealership and had been successfully cashed.
  • Universal1, congrats! There was a guy on the BMW board (I think that is where I saw it), who said he had bought his car from them, and it worked as advertised. Sounds like you are well on your way, as I hope to be soon also! My only problem is that there is a chance that the price that I get quoted will change, due to the rumored 2000 price increase. I guess I'll cross that bridge when we get there.. Keep us informed! I'm psyched!
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