Let’s face it: buying a new car can be as pleasant as a trip to the dentist for a root canal. At least your dentist gives you Novocaine (and if you’re really lucky, nitrous oxide), while the sales personnel give you nothing but a fake smile and an overly limp handshake. What if there were a better way to buy cars? What if you could publish exactly what you wanted, then had up to five local dealers compete for your business? That would certainly expedite the process of buying a new car, and would take most of the unnecessary drama out of the equation as well (although you’ll probably still have to do the “I’m not paying for window etching” dance with the finance manager).
CarWoo, a recently launched service for new car buyers, offers to do just that. Car shoppers pay a $40 fee to have two dealers compete for the sale, or an $80 fee for up to five dealers to bid on the business. All communication is handled through CarWoo, so the buyer remains anonymous unless he voluntarily gives up his information to a dealer. In the event of dealer antics (such as a bait and switch sale), CarWoo steps in to defend the buyer and get their money back. It’s like having a big, crazy uncle who thinks thumping down on car dealers is good sport.
That said, CarWoo isn’t perfect. As the New York Times found out, the service still requires the buyer to haggle with the dealership, but this is done anonymously and online. You may still be able to get a better deal through other buying services, so it pays to investigate any and all that you qualify for. CarWoo isn’t for buyers who want to build a custom, one-off model, and it works best if you’re willing to be flexible on option packages. Dealers are always going to give you the best price on cars they have in stock today, versus one they’d have to order or trade another dealership for.
I’m one of those bizarre individuals who actually enjoys the hand-to-hand combat of negotiating a new car purchase. I’ve done it enough to have my routine down, and if a dealer isn’t willing to meet my price I move on. If that’s not you, and you’d rather have outpatient surgery than negotiate a new car purchase with a dealership, you may want to give CarWoo a look.
Source: NY Times Wheels