By Danielle Costello
Buying a vehicle is one of the biggest financial decisions in life. From personal taste to financial matters, each buyer has a unique list of factors to consider along the way.
Regardless of different needs for style, utility, price, etc., all buyers have one thing in common: They want the experience of buying a vehicle to be as simple as possible. And the auto industry has responded. Transparency measures have revolutionized the process of buying vehicles.
Benefits of No-hassle or One-Price Automobile Sales
Historically, simplicity isn’t a word that would come to mind on the topic of automobile sales. However, a particular sales model, called by various names such as no-haggle, no-hassle, or one-price selling, has been a game changer.
The concept is simple: The sticker price on a vehicle is the same for every buyer.
Astorg Auto, with locations in Parkersburg and Charleston, West Virginia, was among the pioneers of no-hassle selling, implementing its one low price guarantee 17 years ago.
According to Pre-Owned Manager Tyler Astorg, “One Low Price” wasn’t a marketing move but rather a decision that came about organically. “At the time, many clients called in requesting Paul Astorg's (company founder) best price, so he then decided to give every client his best price, right up front.”
Astorg believes one-price selling is “just the right thing to do,” and he went on to tell a harsh truth about the typical sales process: “Nice people pay more for cars.” That is, people who aren’t good negotiators don’t end up with good deals. With negotiation removed, the playing field is leveled for all buyers.
No-hassle selling is still a relatively new method, but it’s catching on, even at the corporate level. For instance, a few years ago Tom Wood Lexus of Indianapolis, IN, began offering Lexus Plus, its version of no-hassle sales. If customer reviews are any indication, the trend will continue.
The Internet Has Changed Car Buying
For today’s Buyers, the automobile world is their oyster. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, buyers had to be willing to invest a lot of time to put themselves in the same position today’s buyers are in by default.
For instance, in the past if a buyer was interested in a particular make and model, finding out the market value and the best deal would require in-person visits to various dealerships. That could mean a lot of mileage and a lot of negotiating.
This lengthy exploratory process held true as recently as only ten years ago. However, it began to change due to two factors: buyers began using the internet to research their potential purchases, and the auto industry responded.
A major player in the online auto industry is CarMax. According to CarMax spokeson Lindsey Duke, “Car buyers today are Internet-savvy and better informed than ever before. This is the second largest purchase most people ever make, and consumers take their research very seriously. Approximately 90% of CarMax purchasers start on CarMax.com or the CarMax mobile app. CarMax has continued to revolutionize the experience through customer-focused technology innovations and is uniquely positioned to deliver as much or as little of the car buying experience online as customers want. “
The takeaway: Customers want a simple buying experience that leads to overall value. With transparent selling methods, dealers have the power to deliver.