SANTA MONICA, Calif. — February 13, 2015 — The emergence of online and mobile resources has made it easier than ever to shop for a car, but there are still many shoppers who are prone to making some of the same old mistakes. Edmunds.com, the premier destination for car shopping, shares a few ways these missteps can easily be avoided in the new era of shopping for a car.
"The millennial generation is already comfortable with identifying and using all the tools at their disposal, but those same tools can be intimidating to those who have a more traditional approach to car shopping," says Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Carroll Lachnit. "By exposing themselves to new car shopping methods and technology, old-school car shoppers will discover a more confident approach to the process."
Edmunds.com identifies five outdated car shopping concepts, and modern solutions that have made the process easier to navigate:
Old Concept #1: Relying only on the dealership to build the deal and crunch the numbers.
New Solution: Having a calculator at your fingertips and crunching the numbers along with the salesperson can help you better understand the deal and feel more confident. Does the monthly payment for the car fall within your budget? There's a calculator for that. Not sure if you're better off taking a low APR or cash incentive? There's a calculator for that. Want to know how much money you will or will not save by trading in your gas-guzzler for a hybrid? There's a calculator for that, too.
Old Concept #2: Working only with the first salesperson that greets you or picks up the phone.
New Solution: There are several consumer review sites where shoppers leave feedback about their positive and negative experiences (Edmunds.com has one of the most thorough sets of dealer reviews at http://www.edmunds.com/dealer-reviews/) Before heading to the dealership, you can read through these reviews and identify a salesperson who delivers a consistently great experience, and then make an appointment with him or her.
Old Concept #3: Not asking questions because you're worried about looking weak or uninformed.
New Solution: Dealers recognize the value of making you feel good about a deal, so a thoughtful salesperson will answer any question, no matter how ridiculous you might think it is. But if you're still wondering, it's easy to quickly research your question through a third-party resource on your mobile device. Edmunds even offers a free Live Help service that lets you call, text or e-mail a live car shopping expert from anywhere to give you a quick, unbiased response.
Old Concept #4: Making a deal only when you're at the dealership.
New Solution: Dealerships typically have an online process that lets you negotiate a price and make a deal remotely. That's a huge stress reliever for those of us who hate negotiating face to face. For the ultimate in stress-free car shopping, check out Edmunds Price Promise®, which offers shoppers an up-front, no-haggle price.
Old Concept #5: Relying on your gut to arrive at your car's trade-in value.
New Solution: If you're planning to trade in your old car, be sure to look up its value on your own. You can get an estimate of your car's trade-in value from Edmunds.com. Be sure to print out the details and bring them with you to the dealership. Keep an objective eye; you may think your car is in "good" condition when "fair" might be a more accurate label.
Learn more about car shoppers' biggest mistakes — and how to avoid them — at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/the-11-biggest-mistakes-car-shoppers-make.html.
Edmunds.com's Consumer Advice Editor Carroll Lachnit will provide modern car buying dos and don'ts during an appearance next week on ChicagonistaLive! The live streaming show on hot topics in news and technology will air live at 2pm CT from the Chicago Auto Show on the event's "Women's Day," Tuesday, February 17. Members of the public can join the live audience of ChicagonistaLive! and related events in the McCormick Place atrium at no charge. Auto show tickets cost $12 and can be purchased at www.chicagoautoshow.com.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Car-shopping website Edmunds.com serves nearly 18 million visitors each month. With Edmunds.com Price Promise®, shoppers can get an instant, upfront price for cars and trucks currently for sale at 10,000 dealer franchises across the U.S. Car shoppers can browse not only inventory listings at Edmunds.com and on its acclaimed apps, but also comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories. Named by Maritz Research as one of the most trusted online consumer review sites — and the only automotive site listed in the top ten — Edmunds.com welcomes all car-shopping questions on its free Live Help Line at 1-855-782-4711 and email@example.com, via text at ED411 and on Twitter and Facebook. Based in Santa Monica with a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Edmunds.com can also be found on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ and Flipboard.