buying off the internet - broker4cars
As a company director of a car sales site do people want to buy off the net or do they use it for research when negotiating a deal.
Would people out there pay for a quotation say a fee of £15.00 in order that they know what the very bottom line is?
Re: buying off the internet - Dan J
Personally no I wouldn't wish to pay the 15 quid. There are plenty of car import/sales websites out there which list prices of the cars they sell/import/broker for. Subsequently I'd be hard pushed to cough up 15 quid just to learn another figure which chances are won't be SIGNIFICANTLY different from what I already have.

I think the danger is that when you supply people with a quote for a car, they will go straight to their local dealer with it who are then more likely to offer that approximate level of discount than they would have been without it. I imagine you probably suffer from that a lot!

In answer to your first question, I personally would be happy to buy from the net if a) I was going to get a good p-ex deal should I require it and b) I did not have to travel excessively to collect the car. "Cost to Change" is the most important factor for me - If I was offered half what my car was worth (as places such as Fords of Winsford do) than I would be at a franchise dealer that could closeremove the gap on the savings. Also if I had to travel 150 miles to collect the car (I would not be prepared to have it delivered as I would want to inspect it thoroughly beforehand prior to accepting it) then if the saving to be made is only a few hundred quid (a difference of a few pence a month when you have to take finance out for the car) then I would be hard pushed to find a reason to buy over the net.

I am sure many people out there will have differing opinions but I hope what I have to say is of help/interest.

Dan J
Re: buying off the internet - broker4cars
Thanks for your comments Dan, I feel there are franchised dealers still out there who are not willing to meet prices that can be obtained off the net. Alot of brokers actually use the smaller franchised dealerships who are finding it hard to keep up with the likes of Dixons, Reg Vardys to name a couple. So they have to revert in actually selling cars at a loss and hope to hit targets in order that the individual dealership can obtain the target reward from the Manufacturer. I have had on a number of occaision customers actually travelling from North Scotland down to our dealerships to buy their next new car they have suggested to me that they had saved in the region of £1000 by doing this. I know some of you out there may use the old proverb as tight as scotsman but I have had customers from Devon, London, Cornwall, Bournemouth to name a few. The longer we are in business the more confidence we will give to customers visiting our site and our prices are very keen against the likes of Jamjar etc.
Re: buying off the internet - Martin Wall
I don't think people would be willing to pay £15 to find out the price (!) but I think that people will get a quote and see if their local dealer can match it or come close. If he can then they'll go for that. Main problem is most people have a trade in and they want a hassle-free transaction rather than getting the best price for their new car but then having to try to sell their old car.

One other thing that puts people off is how reputable a site is - if you can see the registered details of the company and pictures of cars, premises, staff, etc. it helps to alleviate concerns that an organisation isn't as 'solid' as a regular dealer.
Re: buying off the internet - AndyS
Having just completed a purchase on the Internet (Oneswoop - sorry broker4cars), I would definitely not have paid £15 for a quotation. The beauty of the Internet is the ability to compare prices from your armchair, so I would not have thought of paying several £15s to find the best price- I looked at every site I knew of before deciding -and of course people are going to use the on-line quotation to then put the arm on High St dealers. The converse is that I used the High St dealers to compare and test drive the vehicles I was interested in before making my Internet purchase. Let's face it, the Internet is the best thing that's ever happened to the consumer. We are literally able to compare prices worldwide before deciding if a price asked is worth paying.
Re: buying off the internet - FfwlCymraeg
You mean you test drove and managed to escape without buying?

What's the secret?
Re: buying off the internet - broker4cars
Pretend you are a mystery shopper with a mobile phone poking out of your shirt pocket they soon leave you alone.
Re: buying off the internet - broker4cars
Our business is purley to act as an introducer of business to our contracted UK franchised dealers, we do not ask for any money from you, your contract is only ever with that UK dealer. Due to the volumes of cars we sell this way franchies dealers give us superb discounts in order that they meet their sales target and they then get rewarded from the Manufacturer so everyone wins.
I appreciate your views about premises, we will ensure a picture of our premises is placed on site.
Re: buying off the internet - Andrew Hamilton
At least broker4cars got a free plug for his service!
Re: buying off the internet - broker4cars
Not about free plugs, its getting a feel from people who use the Net like your goodself, we get enough free plugs in Whatcar magazine!
Thanks for your reply.
Re: buying off the internet - Mark (Brazil)
> Would people out there pay for a quotation say a fee of £15.00 in order that they know what the very bottom line is?

If you could show that you had access to information that I did not, and in someone guaranteed your quotation - possibly.

The second point, I would assume, is impossible from your perspective.

Also, how would you make sure that your price was never negotiated down ? Because if it ever was, it would no longer be representative of the bottom line.

In the US, it is possible to officially discover the invoice price of a car - essentially the price that the dealer must pay the manufacturer for that specific vehicle, or illustrative for that model. Aside from quota or bulk discounts, or finance considerations (hold-back or commision), then this tells you to within a dollar what the dealer paid for this car.

Then it is only neccessary to negotiate what profit he will get from you.

This, however, is freely available ( and free ) information.

Also, I would be surprised if you would ever have a customer who was "exclusively internet". At the very least, someone will want to look at the car and perhaps test it in a dealer. - given that, they will have asked tht dealer for a price. Inevitably therefore, your main selling point is a cheaper price.

Re: buying off the internet - Rodney

I suppose the only way you may persuade customers to pay £15 for a quote is if you guarantee to beat any like for like price by at least the same amount.

Re: buying off the internet - Stuart B
To broker4cars,

A number of issues here.

Would I pay £15 to get a quote? Absolutely not, but do I detect some frustration in giving out lots of quotes which may or may not be from serious enquiries? If that is the case I have real sympathy as I know what its like to be used as a reference point and have a distinct strategy with abusers of that service.

After a number of news items from HJ I took a look at your site and it was not what I wanted at that point, which was the research stage. The need to fill in a enquiry form put me off not knowing exactly the spec I wanted. But once it gets to the serious enquiry stage with an order to place that type of transaction is completely OK. Should we decide to buy new, you will get an enquiry off me, that is a promise, and you have HJ and this site to thank for that. Still would not pay £15 though, sorry.

If you are having a problem from quotes not leading anywhere then maybe more info is needed on general prices to help with the research side. That is what I use the net for, to narrow down the options, save shoe leather, and then look in the whites of the eyes to do the deal, but then I'm old fashioned.

Is distance a problem? Not for me. But there is the significant downside of inspection of the car and what to do if you've travelled a long way, or you have a delivery driver wanting to make his escape pronto.

Do I need a part ex, no but thats just the way I swap cars.

Would a comparison be made with high street, franchisees and supermarkets, of course, I cannot imagine anyone today deliberately ignoring significant possibilities or resources.

Would I buy a car on the net? Possibly it depends. For example I was going to buy a piece of household kit (~£500) over the net, found what seemed like a good site, (not the cheapest) seemed reputable, vat no, company reg no, address, very clear terms & conditions of sale, Which? good trader scheme etc etc. Almost by chance I was in the area of the listed address and called by to take a look, what did I find? A council flat. errrmm? no thanks.

To be honest, and this may not be the answer you want, but e-business is fine for bringing people together, buyers finding sellers who have the product they want, and sellers finding buyers, but for that first deal its still good face to face. E-business is fine once the relationship is built.

Hope this is helpful, and at least you know there's one more customer out here still making his mind up.....or should I say making SWMBO's mind up.

Good luck with your business.
Re: buying off the internet - broker4cars
Thanks for your comments, I appreciate your views with relation to buying off the net and thanks for visiting the site.
I think you may be right as regards a picture of my Companies premises yes I think I will ensure this gets done.
Frustration about web tyre kickers thats another issue although I would say we have an excellent percentage of sales against the number of enquiries we receive. You get time waisters in any walks of life.
Face to face, we are in development of opening our offices to the General public I believe this will give people further reassurance when dealing this way.
I think the general opinion out there is people shop prices around and this a free service and not a chargeable one. I have had wranglings with legal departments of certain manufacturers complaining about my pricing.
A certain manufacturer stated that we should compare our prices to their own internet site yes all well and good but the manhours to obtain this info would be immense. Our earlier sites gave our price against RRP manufacturers had the nerve and legitamate claim against us, so I thought it best to remove all prices and just give people a feel of our prices in certain areas of the site and obviously use this excellent service HJ provides.
Re: buying off the internet - me
when oneswoop site was originally being written they were planning to charge for a quote, and drivingdeals (now virgin) thought they had a big advantage by not charging for a quote

anyway oneswoop failed to make the punters pay, so hey ho, i doubt anyone else will be able to pull it off

i'd be quite happy to buy off the net, but for the car i wanted the local main dealer for reasons better know to himself made an outstanding financial offer that no-one else was close to (trust me i tried)

i think they after sales reputation counts for more than you would realise, and the word of mouth bad or good experiences get around, lots of web retailers have terrible after sales care of any kind...
Re: buying off the internet - me
also i think in the long run the portal site that people can use to research alsorts of other stuff as well as the price will win... sites like autobytel are quite good in this regard, although the one is still a long way behind the .com one our cousins in the usa get... but it will come

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