Welcome to another exciting ReviewMe (aff) review! This one is sponsored by Autotropolis. Today we're going to check out their new Interactive Car Dealership Finder that allows you to rate, review, and research local car dealerships in your area.
The Autotropolis site is clearly devoted to cars. The ashphalt screams of hitting the road, while the yellow paint reminds you to stay on it. The site offers research tools for new cars and used cars. They even offer buying advice, and when you've finally made up your mind, the site can even help you with financing. Today we're going to concentrate on their Interactive Car Dealership Finder.
No Canadians Allowed!
Well, at least not yet. The site only works for Dealerships in the US, so slimey car dealerships with subpar service in Canada are safe...for now. This area allows you to search for dealerships by Zip Code or by Location. They've even tied in the power of Google Maps so you can check out dealerships on a map. Just check out the what they've got on Guntersville, Alabama. Don't ask me why I picked that 😛 You can even narrow it down by car make. Unfortunately, it's not specific enough to allow narrowing by model.
Once you've located a dealership in your area, selling the make of vehicle that you want, you can click on them and see what other people have said about them or rated them. If you have an opinion about a dealership, you can go ahead and rate and leave your comments right away. Unfortunately, it looks like anyone can just leave a comment or rating, which is good and bad. It's bad because some people believe everything they read on the Internet. It's good because dealerships that deserve to be crucified can be. I guess you'll just need to take them with a grain of salt, though it is possible that competing dealerships can sling mud at eachother.
Get A Deal
After getting the information that you need about a car you'd like to try out, and heading out to dealerships in your area for a test drive, it's time to find a deal on your dream car. That's where their TIP (True Inernet Price) service comes in.
The TIP service puts you in contact with dealers in your area that sell the make and model of the car that you want. Once you've plugged in the make and model, you can then further customize your choice by year and configuration, even color. You'll be able to see MSRP as well as Invoice Pricing on the vehicle you're looking for so that you know if the dealer is BS'ing you if they say they're only making $100 on the sale. Ready to pull the trigger? Punch in your info so that dealers in your area can give you their rock bottom pricing.
What's the Verdict?
I haven't bought a car in over 7 years, but it doesn't mean that I'm not in the market. I'm always kicking tires. I'm actually starting to get that itch... Hmm... When I went shopping for my car, there wasn't nearly as much information out there on the Internet as there is today. A service like the Car Dealership Finder could have saved me a lot of time and a lot of phone calls. It's just unfortunate the service isn't available North of the border, but our Southern neighbours now have another great tool at their disposal. Instead of having to haggle for a price at every dealership, I could just pick a dealer that had a good rating and I'd already have a price I'd be willing to pay (or start negotiations at). Once I got there, I could do my final interview to make sure the dealership had the service level I was looking for.
As the service grows and includes more dealers, I can see this being a great starting point for new car buyers. You'd have dealerships that rate well to start at and you'd have a price to begin your negotiations with. Of course, you can still haggle if you want, but time is money, and if you can save that and get a reasonable price, I'd take that any day. Autotropolis is definitely off to a good start at trying to save people time, money, and from those Slimey Car Dealerships. It'll definitely force dealers to work harder and give better service. Hopefully, those Slimey Days are numbered.
More information never hurts when it comes time to spend your money. It's definitely easy to use, and their tools including a forum and blog are helpful. If you're in the market, give them a spin.