by Noah Berman
What do car buying and sex have in common? Well, according to the latest survey by Edmunds.com, one in five people said that they would give up sex for a month to avoid haggling over the price of a new car. The survey, which consisted of 1,000 car owners, found that only two out of ten surveyed enjoyed the car-buying experience. Moreover, 90% would be more comfortable with the experience as a whole if there were set prices they felt good about and did not need to haggle over price.
I thought about these conclusions and tried to remember my last car-buying experience (2009 Mini Cooper). Before I bought the car, I made sure to look up what they were selling for with the specs I wanted. I ended up getting around $500 off, or around 2.5% off retail price. I could have haggled the price down more, but as the Edmunds article brought to light I, like many other Americans, was not willing to put myself through the torture of fighting tooth and nail with a dealer over the price of my new car.
Now if we look at the goal of the Edmunds survey, it was not just to point out the obvious fact that most people hate car shopping. It was a playful way for them to introduce Car Week, which will be hosted early this month by Edmunds, and has the goal to give people living in the New York- and Los Angeles- metro areas pre-set and presumably fair prices, through deals Edmunds has made with local dealers. These pre-made deals would soothe the mind of many customers by offering a no-haggle buying process.
Although this seems to be the best service since automated car washes, I question the “great deals” that Edmunds offers through their dealers. What if there were a better deal out there, maybe even in the next town over? What if the pre-set price is more fair for the dealer than for the buyer? The problem is that by using the new Edmunds system you would never even know about the better deal because that dealer in the next town over was not in the Edmunds database, or simply because you accepted the set price.
As you look to buy your dream car, remember the ease and simplicity of some of the auto-buying websites of today comes at a price—literally. Sometimes all it takes is an extra five minutes to find the best deal, and sometimes it may just take something new altogether?