Tag Archives: newcars

1 out of 3 ain’t bad, apparently

To find a used car to buy before the Internet world we live in now, you would read the Trading Post or newspaper Classifieds and/or visit a good strip of multiple dealers close by so you didn’t have to run around too far.

Today it is so much easier to see all the cars for sale online in the one place but that in itself can make it somewhat harder as you second guess yourself and try to do everything to ensure you are getting a fair price.

I’ve just been through the car buying process again and can confirm that buying a car can still be hard work and stressful, even with all the information available today.

This was the process I recently went through.

The first step was to narrow down a few makes and models. I did that by searching through carsales, saving the cars in the member area, reviewing, culling and finally coming up with a model choice.

This part is definitely easier with lots of photos, information and great tools to help the search for the right car.

The second step was to visit a dealer to test drive the model I selected. As soon as got to the dealership another model jumped out as “car of interest” so I test drove both models. The new choice of model got the nod.

The third step was to get back onto carsales to find the right deal. I narrowed it down to three cars so I submitted enquiries on two of them as the third one was at the dealer I visited the previous weekend. Both dealers were prompt in contacting me which was great and I indicated to both that I would be visiting their dealership the coming Saturday.

The third step was to visit the dealer to check the cars out. I went out to the first dealer and headed into the new car sales as the car I had enquired on was listed on carsales as a new car demonstrator vehicle with a few thousand kms.

When I asked for the sales person I spoke to on the phone I was directed to the used car section. This was strange. Even stranger was the actual kms on the car – 27. Not 2,700, not 27,000, just 27. This was a new car. Being sold in the used car section. WTBH (What The Bloody Hell).

I asked the sales person the obvious question – Why? “The new car department is too busy so we are helping them out”, was the reply. It didn’t gel. I checked over the exterior of the car closely and found an obscure little divot that looked very much like a hail divot. This has to be why it is in the used car yard.

I asked the sales person if this car was a hail damaged car. “No, we don’t have hail damaged cars” was the response. I showed him the divot. He looked surprised, reiterated his answer, I questioned again so he said he’d check and waddled off to the office.

He came back five minutes later and said “Yeah, well it is a hail damage car. That’s why the price is so great. There’s only the one divot, it’s a new car in every aspect with the 5 year new car warranty, capped price services and all that”. Yes there’s only one divot, that we can see now. How many were fixed?

Ok, so 3 questions and 1 straight answer. Further to that, the car was advertised online as a new car demonstrator vehicle with a few thousand kms on the clock with no mention of it being a new car with hail damage. This is clearly misleading.

I ask the question now – which approach is better? To mislead and lie per my experience just described or to have advertised the car as “A great deal to be had, brand new car with minor hail damage, 5 year new car warranty, capped servicing, don’t miss out!”.

I don’t quite get it out but then again as I have had pointed out to me many times before, I’ve never actually sold a car (my previous cars sold themselves)

Maybe the Internet is just a Fad


A little while ago I was looking to purchase a car for my wife and a first car for my son. 

My wife knew what model she wanted so I go straight to the carsales website to check on new car pricing and availability with a view to test driving and purchasing. She had made up her mind and wanted it now.
I was looking to purchase new so I search for the model in New Cars in Stock (actual car in stock at a dealer) and New Cars Available (not tied to a dealer and not necessarily in stock). This is where it got hard. There were no New Cars in Stock (in the make/model I was after) for me to consider as some Car Manufacturers and dealers put a ban on listing new cars in stock at their dealership on all 3rd party websites.

I then included in my expanded search “Demo” and “Near New Cars” and luckily there were some dealers that are getting around the OEM edict and listing their new cars in this category. At least then I could get a better idea of a real price and maybe, just maybe find a dealer in Melbourne that has one of the colour(s) I’m seeking in stock (as I don’t want to wait on order). No such luck so I reluctantly visit the local dealer on a weekend and ask what they have in stock to get their best price. Of course they had none in stock. Maybe it is 1995 I thought. Imagine an invention where dealers could list all the new cars they have with transparent pricing (including margin for them) so dealers didn’t have to have the “race to the bottom” and consumers felt like they were getting a fair deal!
I was stuck though, what do I do now because I don’t want to visit  or call more dealers in hope. I know, I’ll put this task in the too hard basket and park it. There’s nothing wrong with what she had anyway.

My son’s car was a little different. We had to do a little research and come up with a consideration set that we could then look to “touch and feel”, realign the consideration set, test drive and select vehicle. We looked through carsales, refining the search parameters as we go about saving/modifying/deleting cars in the Saved Items section of our Members account, visited a few dealers, read reviews, re-defined the list of cars and finally were ready to test drive with a view to making a selection of a vehicle. We headed down the road to a few dealers to test drive.

After one of our test drives we decided to check out the dealer next door because we had some time. We straight away liked a model we had never heard of from the showroom floor. After a few questions we were out in a test drive and yep, my son loved it. I said to the sales guy that this model wasn’t even on our radar since we hadn’t seen it on carsales at all. In fact, I’d never heard of it. The response astounded me, “Oh no, our OEM doesn’t want new cars advertised on carsales”. What? Say that again!
Carsales has 4 million people a month to it’s network doing just like I was doing, trying to work out what to buy, how much to pay and where to get it AND the OEM won’t allow new cars to be part of the consideration process!! I was astounded. If I didn’t have 1/2 hour to spare to visit the dealer next door I would never had walked into THAT brand of dealership BUT if I could have included the model in my consideration set online, well, I would have had to.

Consumers will continue to come online and to carsales to figure out they what, how much and where. Every new car needs to have a chance to be in each consideration set lined up against other new cars, demo cars and used cars – after all, every car is a new car at purchase time! 

Every day more and more people are buying from the choices that are presented to them online. But then again, maybe the Internet is just a fad.