SmartMoney has an article out today noting more and more auto shoppers are skipping test drives and lots to buy their car online.The trend speaks to the profusion of easy-to-use sites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com, which offer tons of relevant info–“comprehensive vehicle reports, customer and expert reviews, even the average prices paid for certain models by zip code,” notes SmartMoney–and their affinity for sealing the deal on their “home turf.”
But what SmartMoney glossed over and we found more interesting to note is that consumers are sick of car dealerships, particularly fee-hungry salesmen.
We sleuthed around the Web and tapped our friends to find out why:
Rudeness. According to one study by CarGurus.com, some of these guys don’t even bother to return a call or email. And trying to level about your finances won’t help, said my friend Riz: “They get an attitude when you’re honest with them.”
Pressure to buy. Also unnerving, added another friend, is the pressure to buy a bunch of add-ons you don’t really need. As MainStreet, a personal finance site points out, pricy extras like VIN etching, credit insurance, and extended warranties are just another way to “boost the dealer’s income.”
Pulling the bait and switch. Consumers hated this move, said CarGurus, citing “instances in which the car they viewed at the dealer’s site did not match the advertisement,” or worse, was sold by the time they got to the lot.
Lack of disclosure. The hazard of buying a car is winding up with a lemon. But doing so in person isn’t easy when the dealer lies about a car that was recalled, is unreliable, has fire or flood damage and/or was bought from an insurance company, needs repairs, etc.
The creep factor. “Remove the gaggle of salesmen standing around your dealership entrance, smoking, spitting, drinking, and generally giving your business the look and feel of a boy’s camp on visitor’s day,” Sarah Lee Marks writes at MyCarLady. And stop acting like women are clueless about cars–they aren’t.
Bringing in the middleman. Nothing confuses things–or insults a buyer–more than bringing in another person during negotiations. “I have to ask my manager that” says the dealer isn’t invested in your interests, just his commission.
Badmouthing the other guy. “Talk up your company and let me find a way back to you without the pressure,” says Marks before adding she probably won’t.
Sound off on what annoys you the most about car salesmen below.
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