I start today late as I slog through the backlog from my vacation. Though this first post is related to cars, it’s important to consider when looking at any pricing regime. TrueCar claims serious savings compared to dealer MSRPs, which may be technically true, but in reality it’s a savings roughly equivalent to the dealer’s value of lead generation. Like many services these days, you are the product, not the cars and certainly not the dealers. Tom, the contributor who wrote this, is a car buying consultant…I also worked briefly as an auction buyer for a car purchasing service and have seen a little bit of how the sausage is made.
The reality is that car dealers are getting better these days. As long as you walk in with an expectation that the dealer is providing a service and deserves to make at least some money, negotiation can be respectful and productive. Ultimately, saving money on a car is not something you do in a conversation with the dealer so much as one you do when you choose to compromise. I purchased a car that had been sitting on the lot for thousands off of the offered price…but if I was going to order a car from the factory specced exactly how I wanted it, I would be willing to pay MSRP.
If you really want to spend less, buying used will be much more effective than TrueCar.