The Digital Dealer
Many of us are unfortunately familiar with
the daunting process of buying a new car, or worse, a used car. The crowded
lots, poor financing options, lousy Car Fax reports and one too many dealers
hungry for a sale, are just about enough to take. I recently had the poor luck
of being able to help a close friend of mine through this experience and were quickly introduced to the negotiation process.
The dealer placed a first offer on the table.
Peering down at the table, the car salesman skeptic in me
reacted. I immediately pulled out my iPhone and logged on to Kelly Blue Book.
Just as I thought, offer was well over market price.
Dealer placed offer number two on the table.
Better, but not quite there. As I scrolled through Craigslist I saw that three
other dealers in the area, as well as private owners, that had asking prices
well below the offer.
Dealer placed offer number three on the
table. We were getting there. However, the estimated APR seemed off. After a
quick text to my friend’s personal banker, we were able to get a more realistic
Perhaps it was the dealers increasing frustration, but it dawned on me that business for dealers in the automotive industry has not just changed due to the recession, but also due to the immense increase in digital technologies. They now are forced to be more transparent, more cognoscente of every dealer in the area at anytime and forced to offer added value above and beyond price.
Although my friend did not purchase the
vehicle at this particular dealer, we did leave him with a tip: get a smart
phone. And quick.
How have digital technologies changed your world?