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

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Comments

  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    Carsdirect.com told me on Friday that they've received my check and that it would be delivered to the car dealer on Saturday. They informed the dealer and myself. The plan was for me to get my car delivered by the dealer to my apartment by around noon today (Monday). So I took off of work
    so that I could get my car at noon and hopefully go to work for the remainder of the day. This is what happened:

    Today:
    10:00am Monday rolls around..and I decide to call the dealer just in case. They said that they still haven't received a check! Of course they didn't bother to call me. So I called Carsdirect and they told me that they didn't reveive the check either!?$ WHAT??? Vern, from CD told me that they did get the check on Friday. Vern told said he'd find out what happened..he called back in a few minutes saying that they have mistaken my name for some one elses and that they haven't received the check yet.

    This cost me 1 day of work which already offset the price of the car by a considerable amount.
    Why couldn't Carsdirect call me on Saturday to let me know that they didn't have the check and that they have made a mistake?? This has really upset me, especially because I was so upbeat all weekend to get the car today. I'm very dissapointed.

    Vern said that they'd electronically transmit the funds to my dealer once the check is received. Even if they get the mail today..which would be no earlier than 5:00pm here in Vermont..It would be impossible for me to get my car today. In other words..I've wasted a complete day at home thanks to their false information and failure to let me know after they've discovered the error..if they actually did discover the error.

    Very agitated customer so far..perhaps I'll feel better if I get my car tomorrow. I hope nothing else goes wrong but I'm very worried.

    CARSDIRECT <------I hope your watching this.

    Joseph
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I just got done reading the last 50 or so posts at this site, and there is a real pattern here if anyone has the patience to go back and look at it as I did.

    First, there is one unbendable rule in the car business: ALL PRICING (like the old saying about politics) IS LOCAL. That doesn't have to mean local as in 10 miles from your house, but certainly regional as in a 500 mile radius. All of the online ordering outfits have dealers they do business with, and depending on the car and model you are looking for, AND THE AREA OF THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE, there may or may not be a good deal to be had using the various web services. The best advice seems to have been repeated multiple times above: use every source at your disposal (web, newspapers, friends, rumors) to get a fence built around the question of availability and price in your region, and then try to get yourself to some dealers in your area and go eye-to-eye. You may come back to your computer and go with one of the web services, or you may find you can do just as well (with fewer complications) working at the dealer level.

    As you can see in the posts, even a single service like CarsDirect is all over the map in terms of prices quoted and the hassle factor in getting a car. If you belong to any organization that works with fleet managers at new car dealerships (AAA, AARP, Credit Unions, etc.), start with that person ALWAYS when working at the dealer level. They know what the dealership will sell the car for and are unlikely to jerk you around with the good cop/bad cop routine.

    At the moment, we are seemingly at one of those points in history when the promise of what the technology can do is well short of what it is capable of, and what you will see just a few months and years down the pike. Everyone in the car business knows that you ignore the web's power at your peril, but no one seems to have found the right formula yet. The biggest obstacle is the maze of franchise laws in this country that keep the actual car makers from dealing with you (and the selling services) directly...there are various plans in the works to try to improve that. In the meantime, you are still going to be stuck with lots of phone calls, computer time, and leg work if you really want the "best deal".

    Sorry for rambling on, but a final plea to all who post here: Please tell us WHERE in the nation you reside. It will make the discussion more useful, I think, for the reasons noted above. Thanks.

    John In Northern Calif
  • I never could get the Mitsubishi salesman to quit
    playing games ("Internet invoice figures are wrong"; "I have to check with my manager") with me so last night at about 9:30 p.m. I ordered the 2WD Montero Sport XLS w/ premium package through carsdirect.com for $28,240, which is about $800 less than the salesman's last offer.

    The automatically generated e-mail stated that a
    carsdirect representative would call me within 2
    business days to confirm the order. I got called
    much sooner: 9:30 a.m. the next day. The advisor
    (Jon Jennings)seemed friendly and competent. I missed his first call and he returned my voice mail message within 15 minutes, and then gave me his e-mail address too.

    I am supposed to hear back from him no later than tomorrow regarding the delivery date of the vehicle.

    As long as the vehicle is delivered in a timely
    manner, this will be a great buying experience.
  • DAYNA,

    WHAT DID YOU PAY - IF YOU DON'T MIGHT ME ASKING...

    THANKS
  • Well, those of you who have been here for a LONG time (since early April or so), would know that I have been waiting for my 2000 Boxster since then. I got in on the "Guaranteed Invoice Price" deal way back then, and I just got the call from my dealer to confirm that the check for $4,046 just arrived. That amount, when added to the $3,600 discount I got from my dealer equals $7,646. The difference between invoice, and MSRP. They came through! After all this time!

    I started out with Todd, had a short but intense conversation with a guy named Robert, then went to Denise, and finally to Phillip. Phillip Reed is a great guy to deal with, he has generally given me anything that I have asked for, and usually in a timely manner. So, through all those people, and all this time, they never tried to renig on the deal, change the terms, or anything shady. It's been a bit trying at times, (especially during the conversation with Robert), but all in all, it was a good thing!

    I leave to get the car in about 4 hours!
  • Well, those of you who have been here for a LONG time (since early April or so), would know that I have been waiting for my 2000 Boxster since then. I got in on the "Guaranteed Invoice Price" deal way back then, and I just got the call from my dealer to confirm that the check for $4,046 just arrived. That amount, when added to the $3,600 discount I got from my dealer equals $7,646. The difference between invoice, and MSRP. They came through! After all this time!

    I started out with Todd, had a short but intense conversation with a guy named Robert, then went to Denise, and finally to Phillip. Phillip Reed is a great guy to deal with, he has generally given me anything that I have asked for, and usually in a timely manner. So, through all those people, and all this time, they never tried to renig on the deal, change the terms, or anything shady. It's been a bit trying at times, (especially during the conversation with Robert), but all in all, it was a good thing!

    I leave to get the car in about 4 hours!
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    CONGRADS!!! Wow, a boxter. Don't have too much fun on your way back. Wrecking your car on the first trip is definitly not a good thing. ;) Have fun.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    Well, for all of you that have watched my posts these past weeks, my day seems to be comming. I mailed out a check to CarsDirect on October 12 from Vermont certified mail via US Postal Service.
    Here's what happened. First, I sent the mail to the office location on the contract CD sent me to sign. Turns out..that address is incorrect because CD has recently moved to a different address. Vern, the CD representative I've been working with said he wrote down the correct address on the fax cover page that came with the contract. It turns out he was right. I didn't think that the address on the contract was different at the time. Well, it's October 22 now and CD still didn't get my mail?? CD did make mistaken a letter for mine. They told me and the dealer that they received my check and that they'ed fax the letter to the dealer overnight. I took a day off the next day expecting to get my car but I never did. Turned out the mail was from someone else. Boy was that a let down. Anyway..CD apollogized which is very important to me and I suppose everyone makes mistakes.

    I put a stop on the check two days ago, and today my bank electronically wired CD $25,692<-my car price + $149<-doc fees to dealer.
    Vern left a message at home telling me that they received the money and that they'd mail the check overnight morning mail to Maine where the car dealer is. Vern from CD told me that he worked it out with the dealer and that I would receive my car delivered via flat bed to my apartment on SATURDAY..thats tomorrow people. I sure hope he's right because I've waited too long for this car.
    I've actually contemplated cancelling the deal and getting a 2000 HONDA EX from a local dealer because it seems to be impossible to get a Camry quickly. None in the local area.

    Well, we will see tomorrow. I will be very dissapointed if I'm not driving a 2000 Camry XLE V6 tomorrow. VERY dissapointed. So far, CD seems to have been polite and courteous. Lets see if they can deliver. I sure hope so.

    CARSDIRECT<-----I HOPE YOU"RE WATCHING THIS.

    Joseph

    PS.
    I hope my car gets propperly prepped, washed, waxed, and a tank of gas. This was promised to me. I wish I could get some proof that the dealer prepped the car. Do dealers provide documentation for this? Anyway..the car better be MINT or else I will not sign the papers.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I'm rooting for a good outcome for JUZEF, above, but I must say that for a whole host of reasons, many also detailed above, I cannot imagine buying a car this way. I would never write a check for a new car I had not actually driven...there are too many potential problems that even competent dealers can struggle to fix, and the best way to prevent that kind of disappointment is to know the car well that is about to be yours. I admire all of the persistence that is evident in the many posts on this topic, and I suppose there are parts of the country where this may be the only valid way to avoid getting taken on a deal, but I know there are 10 Toyota dealers within 100 miles of me who will sell me an XLE Camry V6 with an MSRP of $27k for well under $25k. And Honda Accord EX V6s (that's EX, not LX) routinely change hands for $22.6 - $23k. I sure hope all of this is worth it...
  • jlee7jlee7 Posts: 25
    well, for me so far...CD has been GREAT. i've been looking for a '00 nissan crew cab for 2 1/2 weeks and all the dealers (4 of them) couldn't locate one for me. apparently none in northern ca. i emailed CD at 12:30AM PST,10/22 and rec'd a call by 11AM, 10/22! unbelieveable! i take delivery of my new truck on 10/27!! CD couldn't tell me where the truck was found, but who cares, it's mine in 5 days. only concession, i had to go with my 2nd choice color (sand dune, vs. silver ice, 1st choice). everything else, as ordered. the dealer had also installed a drop in bed liner, but i was able to have it removed prior to me accepting the sale! i'm liking this new process. final price is $21198, and while this may not be the 3-4% over invoice that many dream of...it sure does beat the dealer run-around and price fighting/haggling process. plus, i just couldn't wait any longer. i would definitely recommend this for anyone looking into a new vehicle.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    Well, heres how it went today folks.

    I had trouble sleeping last night out of nervousness, hopping that everything would turn out right the next morning(today). Yesterday, I was told by CD that they've received my wire of $25,840(including doc fees to dealer) for a 2000 Camry XLE V6 with HZ package, TC, MG, and Wheel locks. Vern from CD assured me that they would FEDEX a payment to the dealer priority mail to Emerson Toyota in Maine, the Dealer that would trade a car with a Dealer in Mich to get my Camry and deliver it to me via flat bed to my Apartment in Vermont. Vern told me that he spoke to the people in Emerson and they've agreed that if the check was delivered on Saturday morning, they would get me the car ON SATURDAY. I spoke to Mike from Emerson, a very nice and polite sales gentleman on Friday to make sure everything would go well the next day. He agreed that he's talked to Vern from CD and it was all set up to role if they received the check. I was so happy and excited, unfortunately this only increased my dissapointment.

    Here's what happened today. I woke up early Saturday in expectations of a call from Emerson
    to set up the time of delivery. Never received a call. I called Emerson at 9:40am. Spoke to Mike, he said that he still hadn't received the check, and that FED EX usually gets there by 10:00am. It wasn't quite 10:00am so I waited till 10:30 when I started getting worried. I called the 1-800 FedEx number and inquired as to what time a delivery would arrive at Maine from California..they said around 12:00 if it was priority mail. So..I waited till 12:00. 11:30..still no call. I called CD to find out the tracking number of the mail..spoke to Hugo. I told him the deal and he said to call back at twelve if the mail still didn't get delivered. Of course 12:00 noon comes around on this gloomy Saturday morning and I still hadn't received a call.. I didn't know if Emerson received the mail..hesitated to call them since they seemed agitated at my calls..and they did say that they would call me if they got the check. I decided to call CD. I spoke to Bob the manager at CD. He said he'd call me back in a minute. He did and said that a check was sent priority mail for Saturday delivery. It should have gotten there by 12:00..if it wasn't priority..it would
    get there by 1:00pm. Bob said that he spoke to Emerson and they said they'd see if they could deliver the car to me anyway if CD provided a fax proving that the check was sent priority mail. Bob said he would do this and keep me posted on the progress of the transactions. Bob indicated that the only problem now was whether or not Emerson could find the resources to get my car at this late hour since they were expecting the mail in the morning. I must admit that Bob impressed me with his politness and courteous efforts. I truely believe he was doing his best. Well, I figured Emerson would call me any time now since it seemed like they agreed to deliver anyway without the check. I wated till 12:45pm. No call. I called Emerson to find out what happened.
    I spoke to Mike, but he said he hadn't heard from CarsDirect. It turned out it was Larry at CD that spoke to CD about 40 minutes ago. He said that it would be up to his boss and he'd have to clear it with the Dealer at Michigan as well as make sure the deliverer guy was still there on hold for my delivery. Bob said he had 2 customer and would have to speak to the boss at Emerson and the dealer at Michigan before he could let me know if I would get my car on Saturday. BUT, I thought I was a customer??? Fine,..I waited..what other choice did I have. And I waited..till 2:00 pm. on a Saturday..Haven't done nothing all day..not even taken a shower yet. I called Emerson and asked for Larry. He said he was still working with some customers but has passed the issue to his boss and hadn't the time yet to speak to him. I asked to speak to the boss himself. When I did..the boss seemed very polite..at first. He explained the situation to me..that it would be against edicate to call the dealer from where the trade was to be done on a Saturday because there were too many customers. Wasn't I a customer, I asked but then he proceeded to instructed me to call CarsDirect directly instead. He instructed me that I would have saved my self hassel if I delt with him directly..but here he was speaking to me in a rude tone. I told him to calm down and keep polite, and he did thankfully. It was very clear that I am not going to get the car today..and will probably have to wait till Monday. Fine..but being treated respectfully is of UPMOST importance! I told him I understood his situation and sympathized with it. I'd wait till Monday.

    So it seems that the BIG day is once again pushed back another TWO days till Monday. How many out there think this deal is gonna pull through. At this time I've generated huge doubts. If I don't get this car on MONDAY..I WILL cancel the deal..and go strait to the local Honda dealer and purchace a 2000 Honda EX V6 period from the dealer directly.

    I don't blame Carsdirect totally. They have been extremely polite. Very curteous. I believe they did their jobs very well..and encourage them to grow more efficient. BUT..the bottom line is..doing interstate business across the nation has it's drawbacks to the consummer. On one hand..Carsdirect eliminates my contact with the dealer..a BIG plus since most dealers are very disrespectful and Carsdirect has proven to put the consumer first in this respect. My hat goes out to Vern, and Bob, and Hugo..these people at CD were really nice..never getting out of line. But on the other hand..elimination of contact with the dealer creates uncertainty since it's the dealer who has the car..or must deliver the car. Furthermore..when someone on the East Coast deals with CD on the West Coast..the 3 hour delay proves very frustrating. I have to wait till 11:30 to speak with my representative about details of my purchace..and any actions there takes an additional 3 hour delay over hear..thats 6 hours waisted which increases the possibility of a full day's worth or more of delay for a complete 360 communication, or transaction. I have not mentioned the anxiety factor of dealing through the internet for a purchace of tens of thousands of dollars. I believe that these types of transactions are the ways of the future..and encourage them though.

    Anyway, I've waited this long and I'm willing to wait till Monday. I hope everything goes well, and I thank all of you that wish me well. I especially thank EDMUND to allow these types of consumer communications. It is a great service for us to learn from each other's experiences.

    Joseph
    in Vermont
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    I spoke to Lary from Emerson in Maine..not CD at 12:45. And Bob didn't tell me he had two customers..it was Lary...sorry
  • You're using the terms "FedEx" and "Priority Mail" interchangably. FedEx is a company which offers express freight services. Priority Mail is a product of the US Postal Service. The difference might be inducing some confusion into your conversations with the various parties.

    FedEx offers Saturday delivery but at an increased cost. If it was sent FedEx you'll need to verify that the Saturday Delivery box was checked and the additional charge was paid. Get the airbill number from the shipper and you can track the shippment via the FedEx web site.

    Most Priority Mail is two or three day delivery with no specific delivery guarentee. They also have an option that is next day. I'm not sure if Saturday delivery is a separate option or not. You'll need to ensure that the package was shipping "next day" and check to see if the Saturday delivery is separate. You might check the USPS's web site for that. The USPS has also just added a tracking feature to Priority Mail so your package may be trackable with them as well. Check with the shipper for a tracking number.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    lboyers: You're absolutely correct. What happened was, I sent my check to CD certified mail via US Postal Service on October 12. According to CD, they have yet to receive that. So, I cancelled that check, had to wait a 48 hour grace period before my bank would transmit the money to CD directly. This was done on Friday. They then sent a priority FedEx Saturday delivery to the Emerson dealer in Maine. According to the Emerson dealer, it did not get there today as of 2:00pm Saturday. I don't know whether it got there later. I don't have the tracking number for the FedEx since CD sent it out..Bob, from CD said he requested a Track from FedEx Saturday afternoon ruoghly, and they told him that it was in transit somewhere. Thats all I know, which isn't much.

    Thanks for your observation.

    Joseph

    P.S.
    I do know that I will very likely cancel this deal if I don't receive my car on Monday.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    Some guys get all the breaks.

    Hey guys..see my experience in the other Carsdirect forum for a different twist on what can happen when dealing in interstate commerce across the nation.
    Joseph
    in Vermont
  • Well, at the moment it sounds like the problem is with FedEx, not CarsDirect. If the check was sent FedEx for Saturday delivery I don't see how you can fault CarsDirect for FedEx's failure to deliver.

    Ask CD to fax you their copy of the outgoing airbill. It'll have the tracking number on it and you can see for yourself, via the FDX web site, if they did indeed ship your check out on Friday.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    We understand that CarsDirect does not produce cars. They provide a service. Specifically, they provide an on-line means of aquiring an automobile
    with up front pricing. CarsDirect will find you a car at a Dealer near you with free delivery to your home if the Dealer isn't nearby.

    The entire process of executing this service is a liability of CarsDirect once a deal is made with a customer. How well CarsDirect or any company executes it's promise of sale is directly a reflection of that company. FedEx is merely a means or tool that CarsDirect uses in order to provide it's services. Failure of a tool does not excuse any company from the bottom line delivery of services or goods for that matter, just as toyota is not obsolved if a car breaks down due to
    faulty parts built in a different company.

    That doesn't mean I can't take things into perspective. But I also take the whole process into perspective. I ask myself...was this whole process worth it? I have to ask myself..had I known it would be this difficult to get a car for money which has been at hand, preapproved at my bank, for weeks, would I have chosen this means of buying a car? This is the painful question I must weigh and take into account. Whether or not CarsDirect is at fault is irrelavent from this fundemental perspective. The hard and cold bottom line. That's what counts. I've been patient in this process, but I'm not sure I can wait longer than Monday. I need a car. It's getting cold up here in Vermont, and the bus is a 3/4 miles away from my house.

    Joseph
    in Vermont
  • Though I just reached an agreement with a local dealer, I wanted to thank you for detailing your experience, Juzef. I had seriously considered the carsdirect.com route for getting my new Contour, but in part because of experiences like yours, decided to use the Carsdirect price as a tool in dealing with my local dealer. (My situation is a little different than yours, since I can wait the 6 to 8 weeks for delivery on my 2000 Contour.) From what I've read it seems best to either find a good dealer to work with (if you have the connection) or else use the phone, dial up 6 dealers, and let them bid vs. each other.

    Good luck on Monday Juzef, you definitely deserve a medal for all you put up with!
    Dan

    P.S. If you do cancel and run over to Honda, make sure you put the Honda guys through the mill and get the best deal there :)
  • For the record my Contour will cost me $200 over invoice (less a $1500 rebate). I'm not sure if this is any better than carsdirect, but if I paid $200 more, it sounds worth it to avoid the hassle Juzef had.
    Dan
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I'm still anxious to know how it turned out. I believe we are all holding our breath for you.

    Good luck, man. :)
  • I purchased a vehicle using cars direct service
    took delivery 2 weeks ago. but up until today, neither the dealer or I have received the check
    the dealer made me write a check for the difference btw CD quoted price and dealers selling price. I'll let everyone posted
  • I bought through Carsdirect about a month ago.
    They are not a sham at all. They are trying to
    set up a new business model for selling cars.
    Through August when I placed my order, Carsdirect were willing to subsidize the price of a car in return for making the deal. They don't seem to
    bargain as hard as I might have, but the $1200 they added meant that to me I couldn't have found
    my car cheaper.

    Their basic idea is that if they can sell many units with their new business model it will be the basis of a new .com IPO on the NASD, which will bring back a lot of investment capital--more than enough to offset the loss they are currently running. Given the state of the stock market its a fine idea. Will this marketing model have long term prospects? For the moment it doesn't really matter--they just need to move cars now to run the
    IPO in the next few months. So if carsdirect gives you a good price then just take the gift and
    say thanks!
    Jusuf, its too bad that things haven't worked out
    for you (or have they by now?). Basically you picked model that was too popular. You have my sympathy, because when I dealt with them it was clear that if anything had needed the slightest bit of special attention they would have messed it
    up.

    Good luck everyone!
  • I bought through Carsdirect about a month ago.
    They are not a sham at all. They are trying to
    set up a new business model for selling cars.
    Through August when I placed my order, Carsdirect
    were willing to subsidize the price of a car in
    return for making the deal. They don't seem to
    bargain as hard as I might have, but the $1200
    they added meant that to me I couldn't have found
    my car cheaper.

    Their basic idea is that if they can sell many
    units with their new business model it will be the
    basis of a new .com IPO on the NASD, which will
    bring back a lot of investment capital--more than
    enough to offset the loss they are currently
    running. Given the state of the stock market its a
    fine idea. Will this marketing model have long
    term prospects? For the moment it doesn't really
    matter--they just need to move cars now to run the
    IPO in the next few months. So if carsdirect
    gives you a good price then just take the gift and
    say thanks!
    Jusuf, its too bad that things haven't worked out
    for you (or have they by now?). Basically you
    picked model that was too popular. You have my
    sympathy, because when I dealt with them it was
    clear that if anything had needed the slightest bit
    of special attention they would have messed it
    up.

    Good luck everyone!
  • Gimme a break, this company has only been in the Wall Street Journal a couple of times, recently on front on the Money Market section last week as well as in many other reputable magazines, newspapers, etc. They are also backed by Michael Dell of Dell Computers and many other major players. PLEASE DO THE RESEARCH! JBeck is absolutely right in his statement. They want to IPO so accept all the gifts and subsidizing they are doing and stop complaining for all the minor mistakes. Please don't generalize companies for their few mistakes, but rather take it as a whole. All I see on this forum is penny pinching, nickel and diming consumers who just wants to save a few bucks and work the system. I don't blame you but if you just want to take advantage of the company, please don't blasphemy it. I've had numerous friends and family who've had great experiences. I plan to give it a try myself. Don't take experiences like Juzef as the company itself. This guy just focus on the negative aspects, I'm pretty sure they are been cordial and compensating for his inconvenience. But I don't see that documented anywhere. But I do hope you get your car. Well that's my two cents.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    Hello Friends,

    Put it on the record, I did receive my car on Monday, 10/24/99 at 9:00pm, after placing an order with CarsDirect signing a contract with them on October 8th. It was washed, not at the dealer but by the delivery man by hand?? That was a bit odd to me..but Vinny and Mike at Emerson said he was a professional touch up technician. Well, the car was clean..had some small stickers on it here and there. The floor mats were still in the trunk along with another package. It was a heavy long and sqaure cardboard box. Wonder what it is. Can any of you guess before I open it tomorrow? I was too tired to find out. There was also some plastic still on some parts of the car but I don't mind. What did disturb me is the fact that the sticker tag with the invoice, msrp and a detailed options list was not on the car. WHY NOT? I did check the car semi-thoroughly and it seemed to be the car I ordered. Sunroof, Leather, 16" Alloy Wheels with locks, Mudguards, Traction Control, 6CD Changer, JBL.. So I was confident that this was indeed the car I ordered to the T.
    I also wonder why it took so long to get to me? The delivery guy and woman told me that they left Maine at 11:30ish, but Vinny at Emerson in Maine told me that they left around 8ish(am)..but he wasn't sure. It only takes about 2..say 3 hours to get from Maine to Mass. Say it takes 4 hours to get from Mass to Burlington VT. If you add an hour say 2 hours for that carwash it's about 9 hours. I suppose 9:00pm does sound right..wow.

    This process of buying this car took a bit longer than expected, and it was a trying wait on my nerves and bloodpressure..but I did get the car. It's funny, I don't feel that great right now. Not excited or even very happy. Mostly I'm tired. Perhaps it's because it was a long weekend. Maybe it's because I've been through too many ups and downs in this experience. Or maybe it's just because I got the car at 9:00pm, couldn't see the car very well. I had to drive it to a gas-station while the delivery man and a lady, his wife I suppose, some very nice people from what I could tell, waited till I got back with my answer of whether I wanted it or not. (I took the car for a test drive.)

    Well..I guess I got the car. I don't feel bad or anything..it's just funny how I don't feel happy.
    Maybe it's because I'm too tired. Saturday wore me out waiting for it to be delivered as promised only to find out that I wasn't getting it. Gary and a couple of other jerks from work will owe me a soda for the bet they made that I wouldn't get the car today as I claimed. Some predicted I'd get it several years from now! I don't blame them since I've been wrong about the delivery date more times than I'd like to admit thanks to CD. But I look foward to that free soda.

    This morning Vern at CD told me today, that if it made me feel any better to know, my experience is not the typical way this process goes. I believe him, but I didn't feel any better. The main thing is I got my car. Would I do it again??

    Probably.

    I would have wired the check from the start instead of relying on any physical mailing system though. Besides the painful ups and downs that are to be expected I suppose, CD offered me a quick and easy method of purching a car without, or I should say, with the reduced hassel of a dealer. No one as of now has this automobile in the near vicinity(100mi or so) so CD did find the car for me and get it to me. I would be impressed if I weren't so tired and exhuasted from the process. I guess I'm a bit less than adequately satisfied. No more no less. Things may go better for others dealing with CD.

    As for the risks? Life is a risk. Some times you have to go with your decissions and take the good with the bad.

    Thank you wenyue for your continual support and advice. Thanks everyone for rooting for me. I hope this documented experience will help others in one way or another. I'm gonna get some sleep now so I'll have a brand new and fresh look at the car in the morning. It will be nice driving to work.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph
    in Vermont
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    Put it on the record for Monday October 25, 1999.
    (not 24)

    :)
  • I'm really glad you got your car. This is the type of report a forum like this should have - honest and fair.
  • Congrats on your new car, Juzef, and thanks again for sharing your experience. Don't get a ticket your first day
    Dan
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    CONGRADS man! We were all holding our breath for you. :))))

    And what just TOTALLY WOW'ed me is that sales tax you paid!!!!! -- $2.00!!!!! Where do you live?! In Michigan (where I live), I would have paid $1,615.5 in tax alone. I should buy my next car where you live. :) Is it because your state has a ultra low sales tax or is it because interstate commerce is non-taxable?

    My guess to what's in that long box? Hmmmm... maybe the car's invoice sticker. Along with something for the alloy wheels, and maybe few plastic clips that you put on the bottom of the car to tow a trailer. Just a wild guess, let us know. :) I can't wait.

    Congrads again. Have fun driving your brand new car to work tomorrow, and drinking all that free soda. ;)
  • jlee7jlee7 Posts: 25
    well, as it turns out...no delivery on 10/27 for my crew cab. although i'm still pleased with CD, the dealer where they found the truck won't remove the bedliner as previously agreed. oh well, my loss for being so picky. but CD will start over again for my vehicle and heck, maybe this time around i'll get my first choice color. keeping my fingers crossed!
  • I am sure that all of you would like to know first hand how has CarsDirect been from the "dealer" point of view. Well I am the Fleet Manager for a very large Lexus dealership in Southern California. All I can say is CDC is real, they are here to stay, and ALL of you should take advantage of any business willing to subsidize cold hard cash just to earn a loyal customer!!! This company is a SERVICE company that is using the Nordstrom approach to E-Commerce and in my opinion doing an excellent job. TIME is MONEY people and if you value your time like I value my time you better uses CDC to do the shopping and aquisition for you!!! It costs you nothing and in a simple "click" of the button you can eliminate any and all unpleasantries associated with buying a new vehicle. I once read that car salespeople are rated even below lawyers. Well I just recently went through a divorce and I know how [non-permissible content removed]/scum of the earth lawyers can be. So my point is avoid any and all unpleasantries with buying a new car and let someone else not only get the car for you but actually pay money out of their own pocket to make you happy!!! It is a no brainer!!!
  • tauberjtauberj Posts: 61
    I'm considering ordering a 2000 Olds Silohuette Premier through CD. The price they quoted is about $500-$600 cheaper than the price I negotiated with my local dealer. That difference is basically the $200 I agreed to pay over the invoice price and the 1% ($318) advertising that they always seem to sock us with. Is it true that CD will subsidize the price difference if a dealer isn't willing to sell the car at their price. Also, what other fees can I expect besides tax, title and tags?
  • I know what carorder's business model is and understand how they work with dealers. Does carsdirect do the same? How are they different?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    It WOULD be a no-brainer if you really always got the lowest local market price from these guys, but my experience is that it is rarely that clear cut. Of course, to find that out, I did indeed have to invest some time to call fleet managers just like Glenster to find out what that price was. So, to the extent the point of the exercise is to avoid having to step inside a car dealership or pick up the phone and speak to a real human, then the various Web services, including this one, are the way to go. Just don't count on getting a market-price this way every time. For that, you have to actually research the market...I don't mind doing that, but I know lots of people do.

    John In Northern Calif
  • Here is the point. As of the end of August,
    the prices were guaranteed prices and included cash gifts of over $1000 (I have seen as much as $3000 mentioned on this board). Today while they are still seeding the market, and before the carsdirect IPO, they are still making it worthwhile to be a carsdirect.com customer. Not quite as good as before September 1st, but still excellent.

    The advantage is both on price and no hassle. At some point, the price advantage for the agressive
    buyer (like me) will have to diminish because
    giving money away is not a business plan. But for
    my sweet mom carsdirect.com is a dream. When she buys her next car, she will be happy to use them. She will get a price that hard bargaining could maybe lower by $500 and she won't have to deal with the salesmen at the dealership. It will be just as easy as walking into the dealership, smiling at the salesmen and asking "How much?"
    and $1500 less.

    I am a very satisfied carsdirect.com customer
    and I wish them well.
  • As of the end of August, the prices were guaranteed prices and included cash gifts of over $1000 (I have seen as much as $3000 mentioned on this board, but these subsidies were based on the price of the car). Today while they are still seeding the market, and before the carsdirect IPO, they are still making it worthwhile to be a carsdirect.com customer. Not quite as good as before September 1st, but still excellent.

    The advantage is both on price and no hassle. At some point, the price advantage for the agressive buyer (like me) will have to diminish because giving money away is not a business plan. But for my sweet mom carsdirect.com is a dream. When she buys her next car, she will be happy to use them. She will get a price that hard bargaining could maybe lower by $500 and she won't have to deal with the salesmen at the dealership. It will be just as easy as walking into the dealership, smiling at the salesmen and asking "How much?" And it will cost her $1500 less.

    I am a very satisfied carsdirect.com customer and I wish them well.
  • The carsdirect.com startup business model is so simple, good, and in my opinion funny that pays to state it clearly.

    Over the long term they will do the car
    buyer a tremendous service, but aside from the
    general good they are doing by making car salesmen
    suffer lets examine their short term plans.

    1) Sell 50,000 cars (a hypothetical number) and
    offer an average subsidy of $1000.

    2) Go to investors on Wall Street and show them
    how good carsdirect.com is at selling cars over the internet. Sell stock--say 10 million shares
    at $10 a piece--collect $100 million. Watch
    share price shoot through the moon and everyone
    gets rich! Yahoo!

    Obviously, there is some risk involved and the
    initial outlay is expensive, but these guys have
    very deep pockets.
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    That $2.00 was some local tax to Maine according to Vern from CD.
    The price I've listed above does not include the 6% sales tax I have to pay as well as registration and Inspection..because it was an out of state sale.

    Thank you all for your congratulations to me.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph
    in Vermont

    P.S.
    It should be noted to people out there considering these new means
    of commerce that there is not yet any substitute for a visit to the dealer to actually see and test drive a car. I would not have known
    the real differences, that is what matters to me, between the Honda
    Accord and the Toyota Camry for example, had I not actually spent
    the time to drive both of them. So..I would urge people to utillize all
    means available. These new ways of buying are enhancing
    the consumer's power in a revolutionary way. I wouldn't want them to replace existing infrastructure; to do that would eliminate or reduce our options to what we have now. The key is diversity and multiplicity of tools. It's exciting times.

    Good Luck all you prospective buyers.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Hey, don't leave up hangin. What was in that big square heavy box? :)
  • Has anyone compared the above services. It seems after checking both places, carorder.com is always less money.
    Also, how is service at the local dealer? I'm looking to buy an I30t,a ES300. If I buy locally, the dealerships promise a free loaner when I bring the car in for service appointments. I'm wondering if they would do that for a car they didn't sell, or would you go to the bottom of the list? Any thoughts?

    Ro
  • juzefjuzef Posts: 37
    wenyue,

    I actually wrote all that stuff up in a post that ended
    errased because I accidentally pressed BACK on
    the browser. It's probably a good thing since it was a
    pretty long post as I usually go on and on.
    The box in the trunk was.....
    The trunk rug. I should have knows because
    the floor mats were in the trunk too for inside the car
    and they were small compared to the trunk space.
    So..it was just a big rug with a silver TOYOTA label
    on it. It actually looks very nice. No big surprise.

    By the way..I've received many compliments by even
    Camry pessimists, about the looks of this Camry. They
    say it looks a bit on the elegant side compared to the Honda.
    I think it's a sweet car. It drives like a dream. I'm happy. It's
    definately not a flashy fancy car. It's refined and some have
    said a bit sporty with the alloy wheels. I've received compliments
    on the inside as well. One was surprised how much he liked the fake
    the fake wood trim. He said it actually looked very nice.

    I'm happy now. I give all the credit to Toyota..great job!
    Joseph
    in Vermont.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Great. :) Thanks for relieving my curiousity. It was killing me. :)

    Glad you are getting praises for you car. It's an Camry XLE, with the emphasis on "XLE". That's pretty much as luxury and as refined as main stream family car comes. Have fun in the break-in period. :)

    Say, did you ever get that free soda at work?
  • jmurman42jmurman42 Posts: 675
    I am the Internet Mgr for a fairly large group (8 locations) and as you can well imagine, every .com has called, courted, and tried to get us...and a lot of others to "sign on" with them. I havent made a decision about Cars.com yet. I guess from a business standpoint they have to show profitability, not just a 'cool' IPO...although I wish that I had 2,000 shares to flip...LOL

    Buy your cars from them if you get the deal that you are looking for...just keep in mind that we are in a very changing envronment..
  • I been reading the posts on carsdirect with interest. This saturday I will take delivery of my new car. The savings and subsidy from cars direct is $1600.

    The car is being flat bedded to my home from 150 miles away. I am not to worried because I have my certified check and did not have to send it in to Cars Direct. I will being paying the dealer in full when the car is delivered this saturday.

    I will keep you posted but so far it has been a good experience.
  • I wasn't as much interested in their pricing structure as to carsdiret logistical/operational strategy. Do they own any dealers or are they just working with whomever they partner with? Do they have a parent company that's backing them up?

    I also agree with jmurman42 that IPOs are not as easy as they sound. For someone who's doing a lot of security analysis and valuing models, I know that it's not easy as just coming up with a $10 price per share and boom you get $10 million.
  • As far as I know they are backed by "idealab"
    which has very deep pockets--one of its principal
    investors is Michael Dell. They don't own dealerships. To the best of my knowledge they don't charge dealerships for referrals either.
    They seem to keep tabs on dealer inventory and
    when they find a match they negotiate with the
    dealer on behalf their customer. They also
    cover the difference between what the dealer will
    take and what they have promised the customer.

    Two points:
    There is certainly a good market for this kind of service. Many people don't like car salesmen. (!)

    If the stock market bubble holds until the
    carsdirect.com IPO the return will also be enormous. Clearly if the IPO had been 5 months
    ago the company could have a market valuation
    of several billion dollars based on an initial
    investment of $100 million. Again, these numbers
    are completely hypothetical and I have no idea
    what the balance sheet looks like, but this seems
    to be the spirit of things.
  • Thanks for the info. It seems like they operate the same way as carorder.com and it seems that some people clearly prefer one to the other. Perhaps it's just like Coke and Pepsi.
  • See posts 277 and 278. They aren't making any
    money right now. Eventually they will settle on
    a low profit--say $300 for themselves and $300 for
    a dealer they work with consistently. Both they and the dealer will make money on volume.

    In the meantime they don't need to make money.
    Amazon.com will never make a penny in profit--
    and their first employee stock boys are worth $3 million on paper. I actually believe cardirect.com can make a profit in the long run. Like you wrote earlier everything is in play in the car business and it can work out a number of different ways.
  • CarsDirect is now offering the best service contracts (extended warranties) on the market today, best prices and even double and triple the mileage warranties of the manufacturer. Also with every purchase through them they give the customer a complimentary 6-year Roadside Assistance. Carsdirect kicks butt!!!
  • I bought through carsdirect and no one mentioned
    either of these benefits--are they only for new
    customers or is your company extending them to
    earlier buyers also.
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