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Not just money: Most car shoppers value time, too

June 20, 2014
Although cost is important to car shoppers, it seems that their time also is a big priority, and most aren’t willing to spend extraordinary amounts of it just to haggle away at a car’s price tag.
In a new report, "2014 Car Shopping Trends," reported that while most shoppers at least try to get a good price — 96 percent, according to a company survey — only about one-fifth are willing to take that to the limit and use as much time as possible to get the lowest price.
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) find it important to save time and money when car shopping.
"These findings dispel the myth that car shoppers will do whatever it takes to pay a rock-bottom price," said Edmunds President Seth Berkowitz. "The feedback we’ve received from shoppers is clear: they’re more than willing to limit their efforts to haggle if they can get a fair deal without the difficulty and stress of long negotiations."
They’re also particularly keen on getting upfront pricing. According to the survey, two-thirds of respondents said they were likely to ask for guaranteed upfront pricing on a new ride.  
And it’s not just the price they want to be clear-cut: 82 percent said they would rather have a price guarantee on a VIN-specific new car versus a vehicle configuration that might not even be in the dealer’s inventory, Edmunds reported.
Going back to the time element, it appears most shoppers aren’t willing to go from dealership to dealership. Edmunds shared what it called "The Rule of 2s."
That is, the average shopper will go to only two stores and take two test drives. So, here’s the takeaway, as listed by Edmunds in the report: "Find out what other vehicles and brands the shoppers are considering and be prepared to express what separates your business and products from the competitors.
"Create brief and specific messages that highlight the positive attributes of your OEM, models and dealership. This is also where strong online reviews can really help your dealership shine. It also helps to keep a list of vehicle accolades from independent sites like on hand."
Edmunds based its report on a survey done by Added Value on behalf of the company last fall. Edmunds said 500 in-market shoppers or recent purchases were surveyed.