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

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Comments

  • car_man, how success is measured with many
    emerging companies has nothing to do with
    sales revenue. Take a look at the scores of
    dot com companies who haven't made a nickel
    in profit, yet are wildly successful.
    Would a better approach for carsdirect have been
    to sell cars at the same price, or higher, than
    what traditional dealers charge? I don't think so.
    Customers would not have embraced this new
    approach to buying, and carsdirect would have
    faded off.
    The single most important factor, and one that is
    common to all internet-based companies is volume.
    A company like carsdirect attracts arguably
    hundreds of thousands of consumers buying, or
    interested in buying, cars. That consumer base and
    the marketing potential of that information is
    worth far much more than the couple thousand they
    are technically losing on the sales. Besides, as
    they start pricing a bit more realistically, or
    find a better way to source the vehicles they
    sell, even sales figures might start to look good.
    But the primary success factor is not making money
    off cars sales, just as amazon.com was and is not
    in the business of making money selling books.

    John
  • To complete John's thought: Both amazon.com
    and carsdirect.com (they hope) would like to be
    in the business of selling shares to middle class
    Americans. This business has been very profitable the past
    few years. Shares ARE the perfect product--the
    cost to produce them is negligible.
    The cost of subsidizing car sales or book sales
    are really just marketing costs--not bad considering what the average IPO returns nowadays.

    Enjoy the IPO show while it lasts,
    Jon
  • Can anyone tell me what the chances are that I ss of might get a demo car instead of a new one? Some dealers consider demo cars to be "new" and try to sell them at new car prices. They usually come with a couple of hundred miles on them. A couple of years back my girlfriend was in the procebuying an Elantra until she found the fast food remains in the glove compartment. Once I took a look at the car and realized that the mileage was 350 miles, I knew it was a demo car. She didn't get it and ended up behind the wheel of a Honda with 13miles on it. How do I prevent this happening to me when I order off of one of those online places. Please help.
  • jcm4jcm4 Posts: 13
    The deal isn't done until you give them the check.

    When they drop off the car, if you don't like it, don't pay.

    When CarsDirect delivered my truck (it had about 20 miles on it) the driver spent about two hours going over the truck with me. If something is wrong (and 350 miles is a big thing to be wrong) don't take delivery.
  • How does payment and delivery work. Before the car is delivered are you notified of what to expect? Are there any additional fees not included in the original quote other than taxes and registration?
  • jlee7jlee7 Posts: 25
    have check in hand, vehicle goes to your choice: home or office. yes, i was notified of what to expect, and NO there aren't any fees other than taxes and registration. IT'S THAT EASY! actually, they'll have you e-fax them a copy of the check prior to delivery. and you'll also need copies of your license and proof of insurance. i highly recommend this process, especially if you're wanting the vehicle to YOUR EXACT SPECS, i.e. color, options, etc...well, within reason. but, i got mine like that, and i'm extremely satisfied.
  • Ordered my Honda CRV-Ex 2000 thru carsdirect and overall was extremeely pleased with the experience. The only hitch was that Scott, our rep, did not fedex the check to the dealer before we were due to take delivery and we opted to write another check that the local dealer said he'd not cash as Scott admitted his fault in not sending the check out. We could have waited to pick up the vehicle a day. I got exactly the color I wanted and paid $100 less than any local Cleveland dealer was willing to go for a 99. My CRV was sent to a reputable dealer who treated us as tho we had made the deal with them from the getgo. Yes, there were 185 miles on it but we had the option to decline the car. In terms of the time savings from trying to get the best deal locally and the overall ease of the transaction I'm ok with using carsdirect. I really liked being able to get a price quote immediately in comparison to some of the other online services I tried like autobytel where I'd have had to call a dealer or wait for one to call me. There was absolutely NO
    Pressure w/ carsdirect.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Today we had a carsdirect customer get really screwed by cars direct. They acted more like the slezy car salesperson of the 70's than any helpful buying service....

    The carsalesperson (yes they are hiring carsalespeople) from CArsdirect charged a $5000 unauthorized deposit on the customers credit card, requested the wrong color from us, lied to the customer about the options and then carsdirect cried to US that they sold the car to the customer for less than we would agree to sell the car for...of course I explained to carsdirect that is their problem not mine.

    This is typical of some of the problems we have expereinced with cars direct, this week.
    But I hope they keep calling, Customers are paying more than the customers who walk into the dealership!!

    Rich
  • jlee7jlee7 Posts: 25
    sounds kinda strange...i don't have any real complaints about my CD process. that whole thing about the $5000 credit card thing sounds just too screwy to begin with...when they asked for my $5000, they just wanted an e-fax of the check to verify funds in the account to cover the down payment. and about paying more than customers walking into a dealership...huh, that too sounds iffy, considering the price i recieved was lower than any of the 5 DEALERSHIP'S offers that i was gullible enough to wait for. so, for anyone considering the carsdirect.com method...here's my best advice: DO YOUR HOMEWORK- find the prices for your vehicle, either edmunds, kelly bluebook, etc. GO TO YOUR LOCAL DEALERS- see how much they ARE WILLING to sell the car for and COMPARE. again, i was pleased when i got my truck DELIVERED TO MY HOME, WAXED, FULLTANK OF GAS, AND NO BULLS**T! the whole process took about a month, from email to delivery. my next car will be done the same way! good luck.
  • jlee7jlee7 Posts: 25
    oops, yeah i forgot, you may pay a little more for the vehicle, BUT, YOU GET IT THE WAY YOU WANT IT. YOU GET 2 CHOICES FOR EXT. COLORS AND INT. COLORS, THEN SELECT YOUR OPTIONS. my truck was originally done with a drop in bedliner, but it was removed because I DIDN'T WANT IT. so, pay a little more, but no sacrifices at the dealers lots with having to take what they offer or what they "can get". enjoy
  • Very interesting, Audia8q. I have heard numerous stories about individuals who were not satisfied with their CarsDirect purchase, but this story is unbelievable. This really just supports my previous statement that these people don't really know what they are doing. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Cars Direct once they have to stop supporting purchases with their own money. I could see where they might continue to do a decent business if they had the same prices as regular dealerships, but were able to make the process of purchasing a new car easier. However, this really does not seem to be the case.

    Car_man
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Host
  • I was wondering if anyone (especially a CarsDirect customer) knows if dealers (especially in California) must honor the warranties of cars bought from CarsDirect.
  • Jryan087, new vehicles that are purchased through any on-line source, like CarsDirect, are covered by their full warranties. These vehicles still come from dealerships even though the on-line company is acting at an intermediary in the purchase transaction.

    Car_man
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Host
  • If you buy a car from Carsdirect, be sure to know about the 3 day return policy that you are not told about. If the car is delivered to you, you have 3 days to return the car for any reason and get all of your money back. I purchased an Infiniti I30t from them. No one could beat their price. There was some problems with communications though. My service advisor either quit or was fired during the buying process and no one picked up her orders right away. My car was delayed several days and arrived very dirty. I was told not to was the car for 1 week because the car was so new. After washing the car, I noticed the car had specks of yellow paint on it, probably from the trip up uncovered on the flatbed. Carsdirect would not pay for a detailing to remove the spots claiming the 3 day period, which I was not notified about, has passed. They told me to contact the dealer, of course the dealer said it wasn't their fault. I had to pay $200 myself to get the car detailed. Would I buy again from them? Probably, but would request the car be covered and inspect carefully and remember the 3 day return period.
  • llofgrenllofgren Posts: 129
    I ordered a CR-V from CarsDirect in September. I gave them a $250 deposit on my credit card. The deal subsequently (October) fell through. I then called my rep at CarsDirect, Charles H., who assured me the $250 deposit would be credited back to my VISA. Its now Janurary, 3 months later, and I still do not have the money credited back to my account. I think I have called them a dozen times (I'm on hold with them right now) and every time I talk to someone new. And every time they tell me there has been some glitch and that they are sure the money will now be returned (yeah, right!). I don't think they have any intention of ever giving me money back. I would be very careful of doing any business with such a poorly run, disorganized online "enterprise." I got taken to the cleaners by them.....but gosh, I have a great key chain, mug and CD holder.
    les
  • Carorder offers the same service as carsdirect but at an actual rebate! I can go to a dealership and get a better price than carsdirect. I bought a new mustang from carorder.com for a full $1,600 less than carsdirect! I'm very satisfied with carorder and their prices and service. Check it out.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    I priced a ML320 at Carsdirect. It was about $84 below MSRP. I priced the same vehicle at Carorder.com It was about $1400 below MSRP. All dealers are selling at around MSRP so Cardirect was no use for me at all.
  • mikej6mikej6 Posts: 2
    I just cancelled an order placed with CO 12/23. They took so long, never got back to me, and were generally unimpressive to deal with. The rep finally told me they are going through a "reorg" and that if I can't be patient, I should cancel.

    Now I'm going to try again with CD. I only have a week before my lease runs out so if they can turn around my order quickly, great, othewise, its back to the dealer.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    mikej6 - Where do you live?
  • mikej6mikej6 Posts: 2
    I'm in CT. After speaking with CarsDirect, I discovered their pricing was only nominally less than the dealer, so it looks like I'm going to buy through the dealer.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Try Greenlight.com. I wanted to try it but it isn't offered in my state. There's a Greenlight.com topic in the Smart Shopper's Conference.
  • big4x4big4x4 Posts: 1
    I ordered a car from CarsDirect.com.

    The bad news: They said they ordered my car from the factory, but they never did. Even gave me a ship date. The rep that was responsible left the company but they never turned off his voice mail. They didn't listen to it either. Messages just sat there. The delivery date came, and when I figured out what was going on, they did a big Oh Oh.

    The good news: They got right on it and found a close match near my home, delivered it at the right price and in about the same time as the one that was to be ordered. I got a better deal than I could have done at a dealer, even after lots of negotiating.

    My advice: If the price is good, fine, but make sure your rep sounds responsible, and bug the heck out of him/her.
  • srosssross Posts: 33
    Just took delivery of an Acura 2.3 CL. My experience was pretty good. My old car was getting dangerous to drive and I was very motivated. The CarsDirect agent found the car at a local dealer and the buying process at the CarsDirect price was utterly smooth. My credit union wouldn't cut a check to CarsDirect, so hopefully the dealership (who received the check directly) is reimbursing CarsDirect for their work. My agent, Eric Shaw, was fairly good about getting back to me by phone or fax when I left phone messages.

    I probably could have gotten a better deal if I bargained myself. If I weren't so pressed for a new car, and so busy, I'd probably have done that. But overall I think it worked out just great. I think the big problem for CarsDirect in the long run will be customers using the CarsDirect price to bargain with the dealer directly, cutting CarsDirect out of the loop.
  • I need some pricing advice. I am in the process
    of buying a 2000 Avalon XL with the following
    features:

    Leather Seats
    No Moon Roof

    This is the detailed quote I received back from a
    dealer:

    XL Trim Package $22,058 (invoice)
    Leather Seats $2,072 (invoice)
    Destination Charge $455
    Dealer Profit $500
    Dealer Prep $160
    TDA $371
    Taxes (5% in GA) $1,280
    Tags $39
    Acquisition fee $199
    Final Walkout Price $27,134

    It seems as though all the line items seem legit
    with the exception of the $160 dealer prep and the
    $199 acquisition fee. Does anyone have a
    perspective as to whether these are legit?

    Removing these two line items would result in a
    walkaway price of $26,774. Is this a good deal in
    light of what others have seen in the marketplace?
    Do you think I can go any lower?

    I appreciate anyone's help.


    FYI - the quote from cardirect.com was $27,300
  • Ordered a 2000 Integra LS at Carsdirect this monday. Rep called me back on Tuesday and
    said they found a car as a dealer trade.
    I faxed back the signed agreement and now
    waiting for the car. I have a question here,
    how do I pay the car? Do I pay after I am
    delivered the car or before I get my delivery?
    Do I pay to the CD or the local dealer? Any
    comments are welcome. I haven't found any
    descriptions of how the process goes on CD's
    website. Thanks
    Jay
  • srosssross Posts: 33
    langrenjay, if CarsDirect isn't doing the financing, they'll ask you to have a cashier's check made out to CarsDirect for the total listed on the buyer's order. You then fax a copy of the cashier's check to CarsDirect and then give the dealer the check when you take delivery. I think CarsDirect overnights a check to the dealer in the meantime. You may find some of this in the legalese on the agreement you signed.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    CarsDirect is only the broker, you are still buying the vehicle from the dealer and you make payment to them upon delivery in whatever tender they request - usually a cashier's check. Deduct any subsidy which CD paid directly to the dealership from the total.

    Pete
  • Took delivery of my 2000 Integra LS on 2/3. The
    process was smooth with CarsDirect.com. I put
    in the order on 1/24, Rep Christine called me
    back on 1/25. then later that day she told me
    they found a match as a dealer trade. I accepted
    the car. She faxed me the contract and I signed
    it and faxed it back to her. Nothing on 1/26.
    Late on 1/27 I called Rep to get the status and she called me back very quickly to say that the car should be there at the dealer and I needed
    to fax a copy of a cashier's check or certified
    check to them to arrange the delivery. I went
    to my bank on 1/28 and got a certified check made
    to CarsDirect.com. After she got the fax,
    she sent out their check to the dealer by overnight delivery. CD offered me free home delivery but I declined cause I didn't want to wait at home and wanted to see the car at the dealership before I took it. On 1/29 I went
    to the dealer but they didn't have the car there
    yet, though CD's overnight mail was there.
    The dealer had some problems with their swap
    trade or bad weather east coast or whatever reason. Finally I got my car on 2/3. I was asked to send the check directly to CD. I sent
    out the check after I got the car. Overall,
    the experience was good, and I got the car
    with about 600 below the invoice.

    jay
  • They promised me my car to be available in two weeks. I agreed to the order. Five weeks later I have no car, no information, no nothing. If you can call Lauren Da Costa, good luck. She never answers in person and never returns your calls. It was only when the dealership needed information from me did I find how where my Xterra was. They jumped in and called me several times a week letting me know the latest. After eight weeks I got my vehicle. I paid CD direct as directed by them. Now I have been waiting two months for a title. Dealer says CD won't pay them and can't release title. They have several outstanding situations with CD where they can't get their money. To date, still no title and still no word from Carsdirect. THEY'RE BAD NEWS!!!
  • Anybody looking for a new car should look at both
    Carsdirect.com and carorder.com. For the Corolla LE,there was a $1200 difference.
    Anyway I ordered a Corolla Le from Carsdirect.com.
    The following is the price breakdown:
    Corolla Le with the following options:
    1. Auto Transmission
    2. All weather guard package
    3. Carpet floor mats.

    MSRP - 16,478 per edmunds and Kelly bluebook
    Dealer Cost - 14,623
    CarsDirect.Com - 14,663
    Total cost was $40 above dealer cost.

    I placed an order with Carsdirect.com last Sunday
    for a Corolla LE with Auto shift, Cold Weather
    Package and carpet mats. I was quoted $40 over
    dealer cost. They had the car delivered to a dealer about 15 mins from where I live. I sent a cashiers check to Carsdirect for the purchase. They in turn sent a check to the dealer. I picked up the Car Saturday...one week from ordering. When I picked up the car there were no surprises. They washed the car, filled it up with gas and put on the License plates. The salesmanager told me that even though I purchased the car thru Carsdirect they considered me their customer, and I would get all the benefits they give to all their customers.
    In summary....I have never purchased a car so
    easily and at such a good price before. Thanks to
    the Edmunds Forum as they gave me enough confidence to purchase a car thru the WWW.
    Good Luck on your car purchases !
  • For cars purchased through CARDIRECT.COM (or any similar company), would the purchaser still be the "first" buyer. Meaning, as far as lemon law is concerned. I figure that CARDIRECT.COM provides only a service (a getgo between a dealer and a purchaser) so thus, the sale should be considered as a "first" sale. BUT, real life doesn't always work like that so ... has anyone encountered this dilemma?
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    CarsDirect.com is only a broker, your purchase is made directly from the dealer at the price that CD arranges.

    Pete
  • jaboudjaboud Posts: 3
    I've read several of the postings here, regarding CarsDirect.com and it seems to have really mixed reviews. I am about to purchase a Toyota Corolla. I recently went to my local dealership with the quotes, etc., obtained from Edmunds, but the dealer wasn't willing to come anywhere near my price, so I walked. I visited the CarsDirect site yesterday, and they have quoted me a price that is just under the "3% fair profit" over the dealer cost. Should I go ahead and purchase from CarsDirect, or am I better off taking that quote back to a dealer and asking them to match/beat it? Are problems with CarsDirect more the rule or the exception?
    Thanks!
  • jaboudjaboud Posts: 3
    The car I'm looking at is a Toyota Corolla LE w/ Manual Transmission, ABS, Side Airbags, Moon Roof, Floor Mats (4), Rear Spoiler, and Sunroof Wind Deflector. The dealer cost quoted is $15,457 and the price they quoted me was $15,853. Am I likely to be able to get a dealer to agree to this price, or is this probably the best I'll be able to do?
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Response to above, Hi Jeffery; when I bought my RX, CarsDirect subsidized the contract with cash money; under those circumstances no dealer could or would meet the price. I'm not sure if they're still doing that, but; the experience was generally positive. Check out my post #231 of 16 Aug 99 in archived Topic #354 in SUVs Conference "RX300 Deals Anyone?" for details if interested. Good luck!

    Pete
  • lbwnjlbwnj Posts: 1
    I used CarsDirect.com in late December '99 as I needed to replace quickly my '93 Ford Probe, which needed expensive body and mechanical work. I did price & other research on Edmunds.com (and other sites) on cars I considered. I had been shopping around in Northern NJ for a 2000 Cougar, V-6 and the 2 major option packages, but many dealers had ones in odd colors, not the mix of options I wanted or with overpriced dealer installed sunroof/interior packages or didn't want to deal. I placed my order with CD, got a call from a rep 2 days later to confirm my order. When they didn't reply a week later, I called back, asked them if they found one with specs I wanted, they said no, but then I asked them how close they came. They had found one in a different color (silver) & with Anti-lock brakes. I said that was ok and the deal was on after a few calls back & forth. The car was delivered for a price about 3.5% above invoice, a by a very good dealer in Long Island, NY. Because of the delay in finding and delivery of the car to the dealer (they had it on a stocking order) & my ability to pick it up at the dealership until Jan 17, I got a $500 Factory rebate that had gone into effect on the 15th. (had to get a new check). CD does requires a deposit on your credit card when you agree to purchase a car with them ($500 for me) I would suggest the use of the comments section of their order form to include other colors or options do or don't want. I would recommend CD for those who don't have the time or patience to deal with shady salespersons or dealers, not good at haggling price, or can't find the car they want equipped the way they want at their closest dealerships.
  • igirligirl Posts: 2
    I am a journalist writing a story about the pros and cons of cars direct. If any of you who have made posts here are willing to answer a list of emailed questions about their experiences, please email me at [email protected] Thank you very much. Answering the questions should take a max of 15 minutes. Hoping to hear from some of you. Thanks.
  • igirligirl Posts: 2
    Thank you to those of you who contacted me. I received several emails that will greatly benefit the article. Thanks again.
  • greg32greg32 Posts: 48
    Is the price on the CarsDirect internet page the same price you paid for the car? Are there any fees on top of it? I've got some email quotes from dealers and they are $500 and $900 higher than the CarsDirect price and was wondering if the price on the web page is a quote or actual price.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    What you see is a quote, but you need to wait until contacted by their representative and informed that your specific vehicle has been located. Your exact color and options may or may not be readily available and you might be asked to compromise. Once you are in agreement, you make a deposit to lock in the price. Tax and license fees are additional as with any auto purchase. Good luck!

    Pete
  • Tax and license fees are understandable, but how about 2% advertising charges, dealer service fees, etc?

    Seems like cardirect.com gets mixed reviews. I'm thinking of just paying a local car buyer ($300) to do it for me if he thinks the price he can get will compare favorably.

    Jay
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Hi Jay, might be worth a try, I think the key is if CD is subsidizing the deal or not. I don't think the buyer could compete with that, presuming they are still contributing cash to meet their quoted price. There are also a couple of other on-line brokers you could shop as well. Good Luck!

    Pete
  • I went ahead and bought my 2000 Honda Accord LX coupe today. Carsdirect.com quoted $589 over invoice, although I was a little leery of them because of the mixed reviews, as I mentioned above. So I paid a local car buyer $300 to get the car for me. He got me the exact car and color I wanted at dealer's invoice, with no advertising charges, dealer service charges, polyglycoat charges (although the car was treated), or any other phony charges. Excellent experience over all. Savings of $289 over Carsdirect.com, better service I'm sure, and didn't even have to go to the dealership.
  • eric88eric88 Posts: 2
    I've noticed that everyone here buys their
    cars from carsdirect.com and I would like to
    know of anyone's experiences when it comes
    to leasing through carsdirect.com please.
    Thanks,
    eric88
  • erthquakeerthquake Posts: 12
    Hi. You can't lease from CD. Leasing, in general isn't a good idea anyway. Costs you more in the long run.
  • eric88eric88 Posts: 2
    Why is it that carsdirect then provides a lease calculator when choosing a car?
  • markm9markm9 Posts: 1
    First, I've noticed that with CarsDirect, I get a better price quote on options when I log in at night than during the day. Seems pretty consistent. Anyone else have this experience?

    Second, I've been sending pricing requests over the internet to dealers in the Chicago area (pretty simple from most dealers web pages) and have found their quoted prices to be better than those on CarsDirect or CarOrder, although some certainly respond better than others (I'd suggest trying all dealers around, as I did). No guarantee that those are the prices that I'll end up paying I suppose, but something for people to think about when considering online car buying. It may be that the dealers are pretty hip to the online buying/info/research stuff.
  • ods123ods123 Posts: 6
    Thinking of using Carsdirect for a Honda Accord in Nassau County, NY.

    I would appreciate anyone's experience with CD here. Thanks.
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Posts: 152
    Here's the latest hot off the internet explaining the future:

    Art Spinella, an auto retail analyst with CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore., said while many consumers might prefer to buy a new car from someone besides a franchise dealer, automakers have to rely on dealers to provide repairs, take trade-ins and do all the work required to sell new cars. Brokers can just do a sale, and not worry about the rest.

    "Without having a dealership that's financially rooted to the community somehow, it's impossible to sell somebody a $25,000 car that has 35,000 parts, of which a few are going to fail," he said.

    Spinella also said the CarsDirect deal with Penske showed the future direction for a lot of Internet auto brokers - teaming with dealers to survive.

    "Penske is now saying CarsDirect is now our online advertising arm," he said. "Selling through the Internet is a great idea. The only people who will do it are the existing franchise dealers".


    Get 'em while you can! :)
  • howardnhowardn Posts: 13
    i'm in suffolk also considering Accord thru CD notice in ny/metro area they are quoting UNDER invoice and i find no evidence of incentives on the car...so i have been a bit reluctant to believe them...also Honda offering special financing on 4 cyls and dont know if its available thru CD..
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