Car Buying and The Beauty Of The Internet
March 6, 2006
Ok, so what can a tradition American do while going through the car buying process? It is a pain isn't it, but perhaps it doesn't have to be any more.
You know, with the internet, the world truly is our oyster. We are no longer locked in to being forced to wander in to deal with old Gus, Fred and Jake (no offense to anyone with that name), but our options are now limitless.
What has this done to the marketplace, well 2 things.
1. The dealers that have truly seen the "writing on the wall" have totally changed their ways, and have created an entirely new image for themselves. One of assistance and client centered sales. One where the relationship comes first and all the nonsense stays where it belongs, with the unethical dealers. 2. The unethical guys, see the opportunities to "gouge" their potential customers as fewer and farther between, so they have become craftier, and even more unethical as ever. You really need to be careful.
The first thing you absolutely need to do is be able to identify the difference. It shouldn't be hard, but it may be a little more "unobvious" than you might imagine.
You see, personally I still want to go to the dealership to do my car buying. It is right down the street, and the chances of them having exactly what I want sitting right there is highly probable. This way I can develop an actual relationship with the service manager and parts manager, so if I ever have a need, I have someone to call.
However, if I "chose incorrectly", my car buying experience can turn into a nightmare.
This is where the internet comes in. First, you need to know what the heck kind of vehicle you are willing to park your south-side in for the next few years. Next, you need to figure out what this new beauty is going to cost you. This may seem like the task of a lifetime, but I can assure you that it is not only simple, but with a few clicks here and a few more there (assuming you don't have carpal tunnel) and you are in business.
You've got a price that is reasonable and one you can live with.
Next, it comes time to decide whether you are going to go through the dealership or through a broker. See, call me old fashioned (HA), but as I said before, I prefer to do my car buying through the dealership, so I will opt out of the "broker" bit. Not to mention that they are going to tack on an additional $300-$500 to do what I already know how to do (assuming you follow the proper steps).
So I will make arrangements with either the fleet manager or internet manager of the dealership that participate in my "bid". This streamlines the process immensely, and makes my job so easy.
Now I need to get my act together quickly with regard to financing, as I know that the "kiss of death" in the car buying process is getting the financing from the dealership, big mistake, huge!
So, now I have my financing, I've got the vehicle of my dreams (well at least for the next few years) on its way to a local dealership (perhaps it is already there) and I am set.
Well, almost. We need to identify if there are any extras that we will need for this purchase, i.e. warranty, gap-insurance, etc. (I strongly recommend warranty's; however, never to be purchased through the dealership).
Ok, so, now we have our financing, we have our vehicle picked out, we are set, all through the help of the internet. Car buying isn't so bad!
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