May 23, 2002
Car-buyers unaware that dealerships fund and control internet car-buying services says consumer advocate
Seattle, Washington – Consumers are unaware that dealerships substantially fund and control car-buying services like CarsDirect.com, AutoVantage.com, AutoByTel.com, Cars.com, AAA, Costco, Stoneage.com, Priceline.com, Edmunds and CarPoint, says the founder of a U.S. automobile buyer’s service, AutoAdvisor.com
“Internet broker services like these feed their unsuspecting buyers to the most profitable dealerships per head like cattle,” said Jean Swenson, co-founder of AutoAdvisor.com. “Most Internet brokers and buying services have pre-signed contracts with less than 5,000 new car dealers. Substantial holes in services are common.” Swenson says AutoAdvisor.com does not take money or compensation from dealers.
However, Swenson says buyers who do their homework on the internet tend to save the most money on vehicle purchases. “Internet-savvy alpha males over 25 years old who subscribe to at least one car magazine tend to save the most money on a vehicle purchase,” she says. “These ultra-savers spend over 22 hours on the Internet studying and another 19 hours shopping. These alpha males enjoy the challenge,” Swenson reported.
Unfortunately says Swenson, all the research in the world does not prepare people for the profit-biased methodology and antiquated negotiation tactics still employed by most dealerships says Swenson. “Even savvy negotiators don’t enjoy spending precious weekends shopping,” says Swenson.