Modern shopping is completely different than it was ten years ago. Buying things online is way easier than leaving the house, and with delivery drones on the horizon, even waiting for packages will be a thing of the past. There are a few things, though, that should never be purchased through the internet— things like houses, drugs, exotic snakes, and cars. I know what you’re going to say, and no, custom ordering something doesn’t count. Even if I went online and had a Silverado built to my specifications, I would still end up waiting until the car came in and going to the Chevy dealer near me to see it before ever signing any actual papers.
These days it seems like we’re doing everything we can to avoid talking to other people. Businesses everywhere are turning to automation, and touchscreens and online ordering are replacing even fast food cashiers. Despite all our advancements, in this age of social media, we’re more anti-social than ever. People too often forget the value of real face to face interaction, and so they do what they can to avoid it. While car shopping isn’t the same as socializing, it can still be a great reminder of how much more helpful talking to a person can be as opposed to repeatedly shouting commands at a robot named after a woman. I’m sure plenty of people are fine with getting their information from YouTube videos or vlogs, but the benefits of actually being able to have a conversation with your source of information is invaluable in any situation.
Let’s be honest here, even if you personally know a ton about cars, we can probably all agree that just isn’t the case for most people. Whether it’s their first time searching for a car or they’ve just never cared about the details, there are always going to be people who don’t know exactly what to look for. Dealerships are completely aware of this, and it’s literally their job to help the people with these exact problems. Many sales positions don’t require a significant knowledge of the product, but working at a car dealership is not one of them. As long as you’re at a reputable dealer, everyone there should be fully equipped to answer any questions you might have. In my experience, the best car salesmen are the guys and girls who are passionate about cars beyond just the job, and often times you can tell when this is the case.
Test Driving & Assessment
We’ve all been there before, you go to buy something on the internet but what shows up instead is practically a parody of what you expected. I’ve seen someone buy a motorized scooter online only to receive a framed picture of one in the mail, and I personally have ordered a sweater that somehow turned out to be a phone case (for a type of phone I definitely did not recognize). I won’t try to understand or explain the logistics of an Amazon warehouse, but it’s things like this that keep people from spending too much money on a product that they haven’t seen in person. When it’s just $20 lost on things like buying a shirt that isn’t really a shirt, it’s easier to take that kind of risk, but when you’re looking to spend thousands of dollars on something that needs to function properly in order to keep you and your loved ones safe, things become less flippant. You need the chance to give a vehicle a good look-over before you can feel comfortable making a purchase, and that’s something that the internet will never be able to offer the way a dealership can.
Test drives are another important part of finding a vehicle that’s right for you. Even if you’re not leaving the lot, just sitting in a car can sometimes be enough to know whether or not you like it. Every vehicle is unique in the way it handles, and no amount of 360-degree pictures of a car’s interior will give you the same feeling that sitting in it will. The closest you could get to a test drive while shopping for cars online would probably be something similar to a Grand Theft Auto game but with more rules (and that’s pretty lame). So you can give my apologies to Al Gore but it seems to me that the internet loses this round fair and square.
I might be wrong on this one, but I’m pretty sure you can’t repair your car online. If we were living in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the 24th century as depicted in the world of Star Trek we would have the ability to convert matter to energy and back, so online car repair could possibly be more viable (though I would consult r/startrek for a more definitive answer on that). For the next few hundred years, though, we’ll have to resort to more traditional means of repair, but hey, at least your local dealership can help you with that.
So, there will still be a Honda, Ford, or Chevy Dealer Near Me?
Listen, we all love the internet; it’s an amazing resource and utility that we use in nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Though despite all it can do to make our lives more convenient, the negative impacts the internet has had have affected more industries than one, and the Blockbuster rewards card that still lives in my wallet is a grim reminder of that. However, while plenty of malls and shopping plazas these days are plagued with permanent empty spaces or a rotating door of failing businesses, car dealerships have a longevity that can only be compared to a twinkie after an apocalypse. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to stumble onto a fully operational car dealership while roaming around the inevitable dragon apocalypse that Christian Bale tried to warn us about with his 2002 hit film, “Reign of Fire.” Thankfully, the dragons have yet to surface, so that’s just speculation for now, but one thing I can say definitively is that your local dealership is here to stay.