Online Shopping

Tips on Buying a Motor Vehicle Online

For a long time I haven’t cared much about what type of car I drive. But for some reason things changed and I decided to pay attention and find one I really wanted. So, what kind of car did I really want since I hadn’t paid attention to them for so many years? And was I smart enough and wily enough to get a good deal?

The Decision to Go Shopping

Why can’t shopping for cars be more like shopping for an outfit at a men’s shop where everything is already marked down? If you like a pair of shoes, and if you like the price, you take them home. No bargaining and no feeling of obligation to the salesman who spent two hours trying to get you into something nice. Because of this feeling I decided to shop for my car on the Internet.

Comparison Shopping

My first stop was cars.com, where I used a price calculator to figure out how much my car payments would be based on the sticker price; and if I only wanted to pay a certain amount each month, how much car could I afford?

I wanted a hybrid vehicle that wasn’t a truck. I’d had enough of big vans and fuel bills to match and gasoline was getting expensive. I was able to read articles about hybrids and investigate other buying options on other Web sites. Finally, I returned to auto123.com, put in my criteria- including the model and options, requested a quote and hit a button.

Test Driving

A day later, I had messages from three dealers. I went for a test drive at a nearby dealership to make sure I really wanted a hybrid and I found I did. Meanwhile, one Internet dealer was particularly eager for my business.

The Negotiations

In the end, I was pitting the test-drive guy against the Internet guy. I became good at dickering, all because I knew what I wanted, I knew what it cost and, best of all I knew that the Internet guy didn’t know me. I could be hard-nosed without feeling guilty.

The Decision to Buy

When I’d had enough of negotiating, I sent this message: “My money is ready to be spent. I am going to buy a car today. I have a noon appointment with a dealer close to me. Text me if you have something you think I’d be interested in.

He called. I was interested. That evening, I drove to the dealership to sign the papers, saving several thousand dollars off the sticker price.

Delivery of the Product

A month later, I was driving my new red vehicle with the radio blaring. A police officer stopped me on an empty stretch of highway going 20 miles over the speed limit. But, even with the price of a ticket, I still got a good deal on my car.

After it was all over I felt good about myself. The steps of the buying process were painless and in the course of the negotiations I developed some useful comparison organizers (see images) as guides should I happen to do it all over again.