Buying a car online in San Diego
Internet shoppers have little time or patience to sort through automotive sites that do not provide the
information they are looking for. This article examines sites that are aimed at making the online buying
process easy for Internet customers.
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Today’s car shopper is faced with many choices on how to buy a vehicle, but none offers more information
and up-to-date information like the Internet. In years past, when you in were in the market for a car, you
would go to the dealership empty-handed, test-drive the car and put together the deal based on what you
thought the car was worth. Unfortunately, many times buyers ended up getting a raw deal, with the
dealerships using their salesmanship and behind the scenes knowledge to turn the deal in their favor.
But now, things are different. The Web offers shoppers a tool which they can research, price and even take a
virtual test drive of the car they want. They can e-mail or call, and have all the information at their fingertips
at sites like Kelly Blue Book (www.kbb.com) and Edmunds (www.edmunds.com).
Possibly one of the best examples of a site dedicated to the car buyer is www.sandiegocardeals.com, run
exclusively by the internet/fleet department of Kearny Mesa Toyota in San Diego. The site offers a complete
virtual inventory of all new Toyota and Scion models as well as complete pre-owned inventory listings. But
what really sets this site apart from the others is that they actually post retail and invoice prices so that the
buyer can simply “name my price”, based on the research they’ve done online prior to coming to the site.
This approach, of providing the buyer with as much information as possible, is a product of Kearny Mesa
Toyota’s realization that it is not status quo in the car business anymore.
“We found that the buyer responds to being treated like an intelligent human being,” said Melissa Amick,
Internet/Fleet Director at the San Diego Toyota dealer. “They have done the research, and they just love it
when they talk to one of our Internet specialists and get a straightforward, honest answer.”
Kearny Mesa Toyota has even taken it a step further buy training and authorizing their entire Internet
department staff so that they can quote prices over the phone without having to check with management.
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