In the end, shopping for a used car can be a hugely rewarding experience, although traditional car buying methods can make the process feel like a huge challenge. There is a lot to account for, and you can be left asking yourself questions like, ‘what is the best used car lot near me?’ or ‘how do I even know the used car I am about to buy is worthwhile?’ All of these questions can leave some used car buyers feeling frozen, and those that strike up the courage to visit a used dealership can feel so suddenly overwhelmed by either the wide selection or the staff who pressure the finalization of a deal.
Fortunately, there exists a great alternative to the traditional used dealership. Instead of driving down to the nearest or best rated used dealership in your area, you may want to consider shopping at an online dealership. Online dealerships are a great new alternative to the typical dealership experience, and they are increasingly growing in popularity.
What is an Online Dealership?
In the age of the internet, nearly everything is moving to the digital space. From how we pay our bills to how we shop, a computer and a direct connection to the web serve as reoccurring platform for our day to day; and now the dealership experience is moving to the digital world.
An online used dealership is often exactly what you imagine it to be: a dealership that focuses its efforts on selling used cars in a digital space. Online car dealerships showcase their entire collection on their website and often include comprehensive details about each car, details that you wouldn’t find at a traditional dealership without interacting with a member of their sales staff.
With an online dealership, you can take your time browsing through their digital showroom, all without a dealer breathing down your neck. That said, you shouldn’t expect to be left high and dry when purchasing a vehicle from an online dealership. Typically, these dealerships still employ skilled sales staff; however, you only have to interact with them when you choose to, giving you the option to craft your own unique dealership experience.
Online dealerships often allow their customers to negotiate for a sticker price as well. Your traditional dealership is likely to be hard and fast with their pricing, giving their customers little in the way of wiggle room. Online dealerships tend to have a far lesser overhead cost, and in some instances, don’t pay commission to their sales team. As a result, customers who shop at an online dealership will not only find flexible pricing but pricing that is often far lower than traditional competitors.
A common question surrounding online dealerships is how the online dealership will get the car to you. While each provider has their own tried and true method, typically, these dealerships can ship the vehicle directly to you. This digital method allows you to purchase and become the proud owner of a used car without ever having to leave your home.
While online dealerships are understandably convenient, simple, and easy, there are some things you should do in order to make the most out of your online dealership experience.
Making the Most Out of Your Online Dealership
Online dealerships may seem like the brand new superior alternative to the traditional used car buying method, but like all dealerships, there are some things you ought to do beforehand to make the most out of your experience. Preparing to buy a car from an online dealership is quite different from preparing to purchase a car from a traditional dealership. While online dealerships may suggest that they have on-site financing and warranty options, you may want to consider going out on your own to take care of this vital aspect of used auto buying.
In terms of financing, there is no guarantee that an online car dealership’s existing financing plans will be bad. In many instances, an online dealership can offer a better financing deal than any third-party financial institution. That said, before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to keep your eyes open and shop around. When you sign up for financing, chances are, you’ll be locked in for several years, so it is incredibly important to find the best deal possible.
As with financing, online car dealerships often host their own warranty programs. Also, like with financing, these warranty programs aren’t always terrible. Sometimes an online dealership can promise full bumper to bumper coverage for their vehicles at a low or reasonable price. On the other hand, some online dealerships pressure their customers to take less-than-superb warranty plans that cost far more than their worth. So, like with financing, it is important to shop around and do a healthy amount of research before you buy it.
Of course, some of the same rules apply for online and traditional dealerships. When shopping for a used car, it is highly recommended that you do a full review of your budget and do a healthy amount of research on the car you’re hoping to purchase. Proper budgeting can help you avoid signing off on a loan that is particularly burdensome on your bank account. Meanwhile, doing proper auto research can ensure that you become the owner of a vehicle that matches your lifestyle perfectly, and is something that you simply love to drive. The used car buying process should never be rushed, and ending up with the best deal possible often involves plenty of solo groundwork.
Why the Traditional Dealership is ‘Old Hat’
When you step foot onto a traditional dealership, you’ll likely be greeted by an over-enthused salesperson who has one thing in mind: to make a sale. In some instances, this enthusiasm can be genuine, and there are plenty of traditional dealerships out there that do a lot to help make their customers feel welcome and comfortable at their dealership; but this is not the standard.
At a traditional dealership, hopeful car owners can be slapped with higher costs and the discomfort of being pressured by a salesperson. This pressure, combined with the often expansive selection of vehicles at a traditional dealership, can leave used car buyers feeling completely overwhelmed.
Online dealerships are a modern alternative to this traditional method. Are you tired of high-pressure salespeople? Well, the online dealership allows you to remove direct contact from the process altogether. If you don’t want to settle with what they’re offering, all you have to do is close a window on your computer, or lock your phone.
Want to take your time browsing for a car? Reputable online car dealerships do an excellent job of updating their showroom site, giving you up-to-date information about everything that they have in stock.
Want to create your own dealership experience? With the option to spend as much time as you want in the car buying process, online dealerships allow you to create an experience that is unique to your individual preferences. While traditional dealerships may still be everywhere, its clear to see that the form factor is becoming outdated, and as more and more auto providers move to the digital space, these traditional dealerships will either have to play catch-up and update their services or be left in the dust.