How the Internet Revolutionized the Auto Industry and Minimized the Stigma of Used Car Lots
People born in the ‘80s or earlier can still remember a time when people had to look in the yellow pages, call a business or drive somewhere to learn more about products. Love it or hate it, the internet has completely changed the way people live their lives and shop.
The stigma associated with buying a used car was built over the latter half of the 20th century. People told jokes about “lemons” and used car salesmen that were often false or exaggerated, even then.
The internet has gone a long way towards dispelling those tropes.
You don’t necessarily have to buy a car online to take advantage of safer used car dealership shopping experiences. Online inventories, pre-owned certifications and a nearly limitless supply of information has made online research and vehicle purchases from used car dealerships an easy choice for many car shoppers.
Concerns about reliability are certainly not exclusive to used cars. Most people have probably owned an unreliable car at some point in their life. Frequent breakdowns, trips to the mechanic and expensive repair bills can hound some new vehicles as well.
Before the internet, it was tough to get an unbiased, honest assessments about a vehicle’s quality. You might see a car on the road, like how it looks and then visit a dealership. At the dealership, the car salesperson would give you a rosy, maybe even slightly misleading assessment of the vehicle. In these dark times, there were few ways for a car shopper to easily fact check the salesperson’s claims.
It’s unlikely that many new car salespeople were telling customers that a vehicle had a history of unreliability, even if it were true. They weren’t warning shoppers that they might end up paying mechanics thousands of dollars on repairs over the first couple years of ownership.
The internet brought us Carfax, countless car blogs, hundreds of websites about new cars and a practically limitless supply of personal anecdotal experiences on social media and message boards. Consumers and experts were able to speak directly to car buyers about their experiences with particular makes and models.
It’s never been easier to get unbiased information about the reliability of a vehicle from third parties with no incentive to mislead car shoppers.
Fair, Honest Pricing
It wasn’t always easy to be confident that the price you were paying for a new or used vehicle was fair.
The Kelley Blue Book has been around for nearly 100 years, but not everyone had easy access to an updated copy prior to the internet. Even CarMax and Carfax slightly predate the internet, but they weren’t exactly accessible or widely used until the 21st century.
Back in the pre-internet years, used car buyers often had no idea whether they were purchasing a vehicle that had been in an accident, suffered flood damage or was otherwise compromised.
It’s difficult for vehicle resellers to get away with selling unreliable vehicles today. Car shoppers have several ways to look up the history of a vehicle they are considering. Many pre-owned dealerships have embraced this new age of transparency by performing their own detailed vehicle checks and certifications. All of these advancements have been good for pre-owned vehicle shoppers. You can safely purchase a used car or truck and feel confident about the quality of your vehicle thanks in large part to online car buying resources.
Pre-internet car shopping usually meant driving around all the dealerships in your town to find out about their selection. If you lived in a rural area or there weren’t many dealerships in your city, you might only have a handful of options to choose from.
Online inventories have completely revolutionized the pre-owned vehicle choices available to car shoppers.
Easterns Automotive Group has an inventory of about 1,800 pre-owned vehicles. You don’t have to drive around our eight Baltimore, Washington DC and Frederick locations to learn about each vehicle. All you have to do is browse through the comprehensive inventory on our website.
Clicking on a vehicle is just as good as walking up to it in person. There are several images of the vehicle, a link to the Carfax report and even a picture of the window sticker – all available on your phone or computer.
You can even find out what kind of financing, lease or cash purchase options you can get on each vehicle in Easterns’ inventory. Modern shoppers can quickly and easily sort inventories by price, model and feature, something that would have been unheard of in pre-internet days.
Find a Reliable Pre-Owned Vehicle for Sale Near You at Easterns Automotive
Ready to upgrade your vehicle? Easterns Automotive Group makes it easy to find a great pre-owned vehicle at a price that works for you. Our friendly sales staff are customer-centric professionals who are committed to helping you find the right car, truck or SUV.
Worried about your credit, or aren’t sure you’ll qualify for financing? We work with more than 30 lenders to ensure we can work out some type of deal with nearly every car shopper, regardless of their credit. We even offer pre-owned lease options.
Call us at (877) 867-1407 to get started or visit an Easterns Automotive location near you.