Sunday, December 21, 2008

Judging a Car Dealer by their Automotive Website

You can tell a lot about how a car dealer treats people by what appears on their websites. It's important to always visit their website to get an idea of how they operate. Here are five things to look for when you visit.

1) Prices on the Vehicles: It has been popular in the past to list the "price" on the website as "Call".  This is often an indication that the price of the vehicle depends on many variables such as trade-ins and customer disposition.  Our take - if they don't publish their prices, they're not ready to be open and honest with you even if you go there.

2) Parts and Service: There are two types of franchise dealers - those who have a strong parts and service department that are thriving and making money, and those who don't.  As strange as it may sound, a dealer who is doing well on "fixed ops" are more likely to have better prices on their vehicles.  Those who are struggling in service and parts need to make more money in sales to survive.  It's that simple.  Check out their service and parts pages on the website.  If they are prominent, that's a good sign.

3) Credit Applications: In 2009, a possible reason that a dealership would not have a nice, secure, interactive credit application is that they do not have a strong finance department.  In today's world where credit is more difficult to get than ever even with good credit, it is important to have a strong finance department working towards getting your loan approved at the best rate possible.

4) Clean Appearance: One trend of late has been to offer a no-frills website to customers.  While appearances are often superficial, sometimes they also mean that the dealership is in trouble, cutting back costs and having a greater need to make more money on each sale.  If the website looks good and clean like Orange County Toyota Dealers, you have a better chance of getting a good deal than on a plain-jane website.

5) Testimonials: Website providers today give dealers the ability to post written or video testimonials on a website. This is a light indicator as many dealers just haven't been given the option yet, so not having testimonials is not necessarily a bad thing.  Having them, however, is a good sign.

Read more car buying tips on this blog.

41 comments:

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Katie said...

Informative article - I recently purchased a second hand Focus from Gates Ford - they have really helpful sales people and great used car deals

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Wow! thanks for your practical tips. I've been saving up for my dream car since 2009, I just hope I can bring it home this time. I'll soon have to visit variousused car dealerships. Orange county will be my first destination. I hope to have a happy year-ender treat to my self. I can't wait to go there and test my luck!

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Even with a catchy design it should also do good for the company to provide valuable service.

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You can judge dealer upon their website when you see and read all the reviews of their achievements and customer satisfactions. In that way, if the reviews are all positive, the website is reliable for searching cars and finds out sort of commendable informations.

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This is a good guide for car owners who are trying to look for a good vehicle online. I think transparency with your customer is really important so that they could feel that you are trustworthy and reliable.

Angelica Emmanuel said...

That actually makes sense. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, I'd say you can definitely judge a dealer by its website. Websites should be hassle-free and devoid of any unnecessary stuff that can confuse consumers. It's better to stick to the KISS principle: Keep It Short and Simple.

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Nicole Vickers said...

It may be easy to judge a car dealer through his website, but you still need to make a thorough check of his business. To determine whether a dealer is legitimate or not, you can go to the contact information section in their website and inquire through the phone or by walking into their office directly.

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car group buying said...

Thanks for these tips, very useful too.

Car warranty said...

Same advice as if you were looking for an extended car warranty. You want a professional appearance, as well as accreditation with any agencies (BBB, AAA, etc.) that will help you know the site is legitimate.

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This can be a way to see how reputable a dealer is

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A second opinion is most likely needed. Just have to be sure of what you like.

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