Would You Buy A Car Online?

Illustration for article titled Would You Buy A Car Online?

We remember car dealerships of the past as high-income family or local businesses that supported community schools and clubs. Now we think of dealerships as a new level of hell. What if you could sidestep the whole system?

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It's hard to say if car dealerships are, on the whole, vortices of consumer woe. Stories of dealerships possibly trashing customer cars or screwing people out of a good deal are a lot more memorable and popular than the simple, straightforward transactions that put money in the pockets of local businesses.

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Now, though, Tesla is catching some flak from the NADA for its factory stores. This provoked a lot of discussion with two main arguments. One side said that big corporations have little incentive to provide proper service, something that is better supplied by independent dealers.

JamesBob-TX, who owns a medium-sized car lot, came out in favor of the current system.

Corporate dealerships are a problem, they have been for quite a while, corporations are insulated and as such have less incentive to give a shit.

Locally or family owned dealerships are in many cases just like any other business, trying to sell you a product at a reasonable price in a way that assures you come back. This constant bullshit of attacking all dealerships as being run and staffed by super-villains is pretty pathetic, for every horribly run dealership there are 5 that just want to exist as an honest business.

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The other side said that dealers do nothing but screw buyers and get away with it, so they should compete with factory outlets.

Dal20402 based his opinion on experience.

I bought my current car from a family-owned dealership. The experience was significantly better than some of my other dealer experiences because there was less outright deception. That said, it was still a miserable process that required four hours of haggling to get a reasonable price and then required me to sit through half an hour of saying "no" to bullshit offers, and resulted in my getting the wrong color car in the end because I didn't want to pay $6000 more to make a custom order.

Frankly, I've had much, much better experiences with megacorporations in other lines of business.

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So what do you think of the current system where car companies sell their cars to dealers and not directly to customers? Do you think that other companies should be able to sell cars directly to you in factory outlets? Beyond all of that, would you even buy a new car online?

Photo Credit: Alden Jewell

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DISCUSSION

Gamecat235
Gamecat235

Hell yes I would order a car online. If it meant avoiding dealerships... GLADLY.

I order beer online. Why not a car?

So... I was out to dinner this weekend and I found a place here (AZ) that had bottles of Magic Hat's #9 Pale Ale... Which is interesting, since as far as I know, there are no distribution agreements with them for AZ. So I tried it.

I was severely underwhelmed. It's kind of a beer. Not much of a pale ale... just... a beer. Not bad. but it did nothing for me. Is it normally like that? Can you east coast people tell me if it should have been more... ANYTHING? Because my impression of it is really just... this is slightly more pale ale than lager and a lot more lager than pale ale...

In any case, if you like that sort of thing, have at and congrats. If you don't find a different brew you do like, and congrats to the two of you on your COTD!