Online Car Shopping Etiquette.
With today’s ever increasing work load and busy lives, many people use Internet as their shopping tool of choice. Shopping online is not new, before the days of Internet and global communication network. Customers use fax or phone to shop around for the best deal rather than stepping into a dealership in person. The reason this kind of shopping behavior is attractive is quite simple, you can remain anonymous and there is virtually no commitment from you as a customer. From the seller’s perspective this kind of inquiries presents another opportunity for a potential sale, however to benefit from online shopping there are certain etiquette you should follow as a buyer. When sending email inquiries to multiple dealers, you should never make that fact public knowledge. Meaning you shouldn’t let the selling dealer know he will be competing with 5 or 6 dealers, frankly the dealer may not answer your request at all since it seems like too much work for very little in return. If you live in a smaller town outside the city and you want to get a competitive quote to keep your local dealers honest. The best thing you should do is not to mention about your location, because the selling dealer encounters many requests like that throughout the day, and 99% of the time these types of leads turn out to be a waste of time for both parties.
The main purpose to contact a selling dealer is to establish a contact, so in essence you are looking for a person you can trust and negotiate with who will represent you as a buyer in front of the sales managers. If the price quote you received is too high, ignore that fact and continue with your regular communications for the other party to gain your trust. After all no dealer will instantly discount a vehicle over email without any kind of commitment from you the potential customer. Find the vehicle that is right for you, and ask the dealer if the vehicle you are looking for is in stock and ready for delivery. The final step of price negotiation should be done in person. In person negotiation is necessary because you need to sign the final copy of the bill of sale to complete the transaction as well as you need to present the offer to the sales manager and leave a partial payment on your credit card.
If you and the selling dealer have good chemistry and rapport, you may trust the other party enough to pass on your credit information but ideally the final negotiation should be done in person to ensure you are getting what you are paying for. Try to stay away from multiple faxes; this approach is not only outdated but also ineffective. In today’s dealership offices, fax machine is often shared amount the entire building or department. Your fax can easily be lost among the pile of paperwork, or simply thrown in the garbage. In a nut shell don’t negotiate the price over email or fax, since you didn’t show any commitment other than your words, the dealer will not take your offer seriously. Establish a contact person, gain their trust and build rapport, and finalize the paperwork in person.
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