For those many shoppers who would like to make their larger purchases the same way that they make many smaller ones, it looks like there’s now an effective way to buy a car over the World Wide Web. A recent press release details the development of CarWoo!, a startup that offers web users the chance to view offers from car dealers and even to make counteroffers and engage dealer reps in possible sales agreements. Where sites like Vehix.com have already put part of the car buying process online, CarWoo! takes this a step further with a setup for truly interactive discussions of particular model years, all from the comfort of the buyer’s home and, assumedly, a nice, air-conditioned office at the dealership.
This unprecedented service is apparently aimed at younger consumers, the “Gen Y” crowd that some experts feel are unlikely to trudge physically down to the dealership. There’s no denying that some of today’s first time car buyers might prefer a mid-morning Internet surfing session to picking out a clean shirt and braving cross-town or cross-city traffic to dicker over MSRP in all weather. But the announcement that CarWoo! has been successful in linking up buyers and seller online does have a few caveats. It seems that because the negotiating process on CarWoo! is fairly anonymous, it takes a mutual respect to pull off these deals successfully. Staffers quoted in the press release imply that those who make unreasonable offers or irritating demands are likely to be “sender-blocked” by dealers. Instead, CarWoo! top brass recommend using the “golden rule” and treating dealers with respect in order to arrange the successful purchase of your dream ride online. CarWoo! calls this kind of thing “consultative online relationships” and hails it as the next big thing in auto sales. Dealers who are not clued into this next-wave way of interacting with customers would do well to take a look, and if you are the type who would rather not have to do that face to face showdown over warranty, financing, and more, browse the site to see if online car buying is something you’d like to add to your list of Internet skills.