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How the internet is changing the car market

internet Few people would question just how much the internet has changed modern life, but one area where its influence has perhaps been a little more surprising has been the car market. Where once the web and e-commerce were primarily used for smaller-value items, in recent years, there’s been a dramatic shift change in shopping online to far higher-value goods - including cars.

What started quite slowly has now turned into a mass industry that is turning the car market on its head. Only just a few years ago, prospective car buyers had little choice but to trail around local dealerships and make their choice from the comparatively limited stock available - often at the mercy of the showroom in terms of gaining a fair price.

How the web has changed car buying forever

As opinions have changed and people’s trust in online shopping has increased, it was perhaps only a question of time before e-commerce would influence the car market as much as it has changed today’s retailing. From a buyer’s point of view, shopping online for a car is a thoroughly more pleasant affair than the old route of buying from showrooms or private sellers.

Below are just a few of the other advantages of buying online:

Choice has been hugely increased in favour of the buyer: Because buyers aren’t just limited to the vehicles available locally from private sellers or car dealerships, there is far more choice available. Moreover, this isn’t just limited to new vehicles. These days, there are also highly specialised dealers online selling everything from high-end performance supercars to smaller electric runarounds and off-road vehicles. For example, John Brown 4x4 is a car dealer dedicated to selling vintage, classic Land Rovers. This level of choice simply wasn’t available to car buyers in the past.

Buyers can now compare prices from a vast range of sellers and sites: Car buying now is very much to the advantage of the buyer rather than the seller. With a huge range of vehicles literally at their fingertips, buyers are empowered to search out the very best deal for their next vehicle. Again, in days of old, this simply wasn’t possible and showrooms could potentially set their prices artificially high based just on what that local market could sustain. Now, with so much choice available, competition is fierce to land the next sale - meaning dealerships have to stick to reasonable pricing.

Shoppers are no longer forced to barter for the best price: For many people, car buying used to be quite intimidating. Showrooms were staffed by often overly-confident salesmen who could sometimes make people feel pressured. With the web, this face-to-face contact simply doesn’t happen, and buyers can browse the range of available vehicles at their leisure without having to learn the skills of bartering.

The web has also helped increase buyer knowledge: While it’s perhaps a more indirect benefit of the web, internet car advice sites and platforms like YouTube have helped increase buyer knowledge - for example, to help people spot defects in used vehicles or by giving ballpark prices. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and this extra wisdom helps prospective buyers make better choices.


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