Finding the best car dealership, auto mechanic, or body shop can a tricky proposition to be in because of the uneven bargaining power between you and them. After all, you’re most likely looking for a car dealership when you’re really in need of a new car.
Car salesmen engage in high pressure tactics and are in control of the price of the car. Further, short of having your own inspection of the vehicle, the dealership will have a much better idea of its true condition. Surprise costs and add ons can dramatically increase the agreed-upon value of goods or services sold. Based on all this, finding the best possible car dealership is critical to ensure that you’re getting what you want without additional stress and a huge price tag. Here are some tips on how to find a trustworthy dealership that’s the least likely to swindle you.
Go Old School and Listen to Word of Mouth
Cars are significant purchases. They are expensive, they require long term financial commitment, and they are critical to family’s getting to work, to school, and going about their daily lives.
These family members are all around you so you should: ask, ask, ask! Ask friends, colleagues, Facebook, and family. Ask those people in your life who are knowledgeable and demanding.
Trust those “difficult” people who don’t settle for shoddy customer service and overbilling. You have a rich network around you, use it to your advantage!
Once you’ve collected some names, hop onto your computer and check out what the world wide web has to say.
Use Online Reviews to Your Advantage
You can be sure that if someone fails to properly sell or represent a car to a customer, news of that will get around and the most likely place for that information to be collected is online.
From Yelp to Google Reviews and everything in between, spend some time looking at what people are saying. Businesses with higher numbers of reviews will give you a better data set overall, as a business with three reviews may have 5 stars and look great but a business with 4.5 stars and 100 reviews is ultimately more trustworthy.
Don’t be put off by one or two negative reviews. They are bound to happen. In fact, pay close attention to the business’s responses as well. If they seem open to discussion and willing to redress grievances, that is a good sign. If they are antagonistic and belittling, you may want to steer clear.
This exercise should let you narrow down your options by location and by reputation. Armed with this information, it is time to look at the business’s online presence.
If you’re interested in learning more about online reviews or online reputation go check out the experts at RepCheckup!
Check in on the Cost and Warranties Provided
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential dealerships you’d want to move forward with, the first point of differentiation you are going to want to look into is pricing.
A reputable dealership will provide certain warranties pertaining to its vehicles and will adhere to industry pricing – or even offer competitive lower pricing. This is a way to level the playing field ahead of time by avoiding sudden fluctuations of in-person pricing. You will want to ask how long are the warranties for? What voids them, if anything?
The person who is on the phone will you should be willing to answer any questions that you have or, at the very least, can transfer you to someone who is able to help you.
Make the Leap!
Once you’ve gotten the answers to the questions above, you are ready to make the final leap and pick a company with which to do business. You will be better prepared and more confident in your selection.