Since its inception, the internet has drastically changed the way we do many things, perhaps none more so than shop. After getting past the initial nervousness of submitting payment information over the web, the public has taken to online shopping in record numbers, even for big-ticket purchases like cars.
With sites like eBay Motors and Auto Trader, it’s easier than ever to search for the exact make, model and price that your looking for in a car. What sometimes gets lost in this availability of choice, however, is one of the most important aspects of shopping for a car online: the dealer’s invoice price. Yes, you can actually find out how much the dealer paid for a vehicle now, which has completely changed the game
To determine what a dealer paid for a vehicle, there a number of online resources like the Consumer Reports Car Pricing Service that have the invoice price. Armed with this information, you’ll be better prepared to make an informed decision about what type of car you want and whether or not the information you’re getting is accurate.
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The Benefits of Buying A Car Online
If making a large scale online purchase still scares you, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are plenty of benefits to buying online. Here are some of the main reasons customers like the online car buying process:
- Information Overload - There is an endless amount of information available online for auto buyers and it’s important that you have a good understanding of what’s available and how to use it to your benefit. Trying to negotiate a price without this data is a mistake and one that could cost you a lot of money and time.
- Comparison Shopping - This may be the biggest benefit to buying a car online. When you go to a dealership, you are limited to what they have available and the price they’re willing to give you. With comparison shopping, you can essentially make auto dealers negotiate against themselves while you wait for the best deal.
- No High Pressure Salesmen - Another good reason to look online for deals on new and used cars. You won’t have to haggle with a salesman over extras and deal with the pressure that often creates buyer’s remorse after the fact.
- Walking Away Is Easier - We’ve all heard the classic car buying advice: don’t be afraid to walk away. You’re in a much better position to make a rational decision if you’re not sitting across the desk from someone with a contract for your new car in hand.
Online Auto Buying Resources
Kelley Blue Book - Get an accurate value assessment for a vehicle, whether it’s new or used.
Edmunds - Car pricing and research as well as a sortable search function that lets you look for autos by make, model, year and type.
National Motor Vehicle Title Information System - A national system that allows consumers to get in-depth information about vehicle history and condition.
Car Buying Tips - A terrific guide for anyone buying a car, this site has some very useful information about avoiding fraud and seeing the warning signs for new and used car shoppers.