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

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Comments

  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    True, but it is a very fast and easy way to get a starting point idea. I never use them, but do go to their site for a fast reference.
  • I requested a quote from Car Direct .com for Acura TL 2011. And they gave me a quote $2000 more than local Acura Dealership gave me. Honestly, I just don’t understand how it should help people.
  • Though I had been using CarsDirect and Edmunds to research car prices, it wasn't after I'd already been in to the dealer and had tried to negotiate a price did I ever realize CarsDirect was a broker site. I ended up logging in and using the site the night I got back from the dealer.

    I bought a new car thru CarsDirect last October. After having done all my research, I definitely saw that the CarsDirect price that came up for the make and features I wanted was at exactly the price my research had found was a "fair" price for the car. The dealer gave me the reasons they couldn't match the prices I had seen online, which I respected and understood.

    Though I was apprehensive about going thru CarsDirect, the process was as smooth and painless as I could ask for. The CarsDirect rep found my car 20 minutes after I talked to him! There were no fees requested whatsoever throughout the whole process. I did agree to use their financing -- they found a loan at exactly the same rate I had already been pre-approved for -- since I figured since they found the car for me, I would give them the business since I know that's one of their revenue streams as well. (I was a little taken aback when he also tried to sell me an extended warranty at the 11th hour, but it was easy to decline -- since it was all by email, no real pressure.) The dealer even drove the car nearly 70 miles to my house, at no fee, and I signed the paperwork in 15 minutes.

    I suspect one's experience depends on the popularity and availability of the car. I would suggest you definitely do your research and make sure that the CarsDirect price matches what you're willing to pay, rather than solely depend on CarsDirect. Even though I say I would use CarsDirect, I would still do the same amount of research and test drive. By the time I went to CarsDirect, I knew exactly the car and featuresI wanted, so it was very straightforward for me.

    My car cost about $20,000 before taxes, which was $4500 below MSRP and $3000 below what the dealer was willing to sell it for.
  • OK, one must consider that CarsDirect makes money from any car sale it processes. The question is "who pays that money?" The answer is, obviously, the customer. Therefore, the price of a vehicle purchased via CarsDirect must be inflated to compensate for CarsDirect's income from the sale.

    I suggest a potential buyer use CarsDirect as a source of information and then go to the dealer and negotiate the price of the vehicle at least several hundred dollars less than the price presented by CarsDirect. If one dealer won't deal just go to the next. Perserverence will be worth a few dollars. In the worst case, all one need do is locate the dealer who works with CarsDirect. Without question, that dealer will sell the car for less than the CarsDirect price.

    Really, the only reason a person should even consider using a service like CarsDirect is if one is uncomfortable dealing with a sales person. But really, why bother with CarsDirect as a person can almost always find a relative or friend who can act as a broker. It is always easier to negotiate when the negotiator is not the one paying.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 178
    The only thing I am certain about CarsDirect is anyone buying a car from CarsDirect will pay too much. Here is a current example, for a 2011 Outback with an MSRP of $29,220 CarsDirect is currently quoting a price of $28,055 in Maryland. Fitzmall, a one-price shop in Maryland, will sell you this same vehicle for about $27,000.
  • rmingrming Posts: 9
    I recently ran across a car buying service called Carwoo. According to the site, you input the specifics about a car that you are looking for (I am looking at purchasing a new car) and they solicit offers from various local dealers. According to the site, the dealer only sees your first name and last name initial and the car that you want to buy, no other contact information. In addition it appears that through the site you can correspond with each dealer to get a better price (ie tell the dealer you already have an offer at $xx,xxx, can they beat that?). If you like the offer, then you commit to the buy. I am not sure if this is by the site providing you the contact information for the dealer or if you commit to buy that the dealer gets your contact information. This part of the service supposedly is free. For an additional fee you can set up what they call a reverse auction with local dealers. I am not sure what that is or how it gets you a better price.

    My questions are these: has anyone used this service?, has anyone bought a car through this service? did you really remain anonymous during the procedure?, did you get the best price using this service?, did you use the reverse auction?, what is the reverse auction?, was the reverse auction worth the fee in the amount that you saved on the car?
  • karhill1karhill1 Posts: 98
    Here is all one need know about Cars Direct. Today, March 30, 2011 for a 2011 Nissan Rogue, AWD SV with an MSRP of $25,300 the Cars Direct Target Price in the DC area is $23,137. For the same vehicle, with the $25,300 MSRP, the True Car price is $21,267. Why would anyone use Cars Direct?
  • I'm not certain if CarsDirect pricing has improved much since the last poster. I'm looking to buy a new Hyundai Sonata and just started shopping for prices. However, I noticed that they have a buying outlook, which seem quite interesting. Thought I'd share this: http://www.carsdirect.com/hyundai/sonata/prices
  • rmingrming Posts: 9
    If you have access I highly recommend using the USAA car buying service. They show you the pricing right on the web site. Just be aware that they do not always show all of the incentives and rebates. So your price could be even lower. The car I bought had an extra $1000 rebate if you financed and the manufacturer also had loyalty rebates and an active duty military rebate if you qualified that USAA did not show. I tried the USAA dealer and he did not get back to me on the car I wanted. It was a 2011 that is in short supply.

    I tried the Costco buying service to see how they compared on price. They were $100 more than USAA and the Costco dealer found the car I wanted. So I bought it from them.
  • Carsdirect is not buying the cars at dealer invoice, they're buying them at the bank invoice price. Most dealerships do not own their cars, they are bank or company owned. That's how they were given such large checks towards down payments, that is part of the difference of the pricing. Dealer and employee invoicing sales are noting special ask for 500 above bank invoice and see what happens, odds are they will laugh at you.
  • After selecting several dealers, then slogging through the carwoo signup process, I did not receive a single response prior to purchasing late in the day.

    May have been due to my short time requirement (which was mentioned in my request).
  • I too have attempted to use Carwoo a couple of times. I really got nothing useful either time. One time I did get a couple of quotes which were not as good as quotes I got on my own.

    I suspect dealers have concluded folks who use Carwoo, or True Car, are reluctant to negotiate and are only looking for a discounted price. Dealers likely do not provide their lowest price to Carwoo inquiries.

    Really, when purchasing a vehicle, nothing replaces actual negotiations with the sales staff. And, IMHO, it is always best to initiate contact with a dealer through the dealer's internet staff.
  • Similar experience here. Tried using CarWoo three times. Twice, I received no response from any dealer. The other time, only one dealer responded and he didn't even have an offer, he just asked me to give him the chance to match any other offer I got.
  • bradkfbradkf Posts: 1
    Carwoo is anonymous and free. What does it hurt to try? Contrary to the other posts here I got a great offer on Carwoo. Almost too good to be true. What I wonder is if the dealer is obligated to honor the price?
  • ejakabejakab Posts: 20
    Please let us know whether the dealer did honor the Carwoo price.
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