That's where a new company called CarWoo! comes in, connecting dealers and buyers in a manner that the company's founders hope will bring the excitement of buying a car to the actual buying process.
Rather than manually searching nearby dealers for the specific car you want, you can use CarWoo! to submit your request, including color and trim options, to up to 5 dealers. You can even add in information about a trade in so that dealers can factor that into their offer.
The dealers will then bid on your business in a standardized format that makes it easy to compare offers. Since dealers can see all of the bids the process can take on a competitive edge -- driving the price down further. CarWoo! claims that, on average, users save $400 to $500 dollars on the purchase, in addition to the time savings, and have seen users save up to several thousand in some instances.
If your offers come in and you don't see the price you want to pay, you can make a counter offer from within CarWoo!. The negotiation all takes place online and is less confrontational than when you're in the hot-seat at the dealership, which should give buyers another edge.
Here's another big bonus to using a tool like CarWoo!. Instead revealing your identity by calling and e-mailing all your local dealers, the dealers only know your first name and last initial. Tommy McClung, co-founder and CEO of CarWoo! enthusiastically shared in a phone interview with WalletPop that this means you won't receive countless e-mails, phone calls and faxes from dealers. Instead, all communication is routed through CarWoo!.
CarWoo! has more than 3,000 dealers nationwide participating in the program, creating a competitive environment that is good for the consumers, but also for the dealers who know they are dealing with a new car buyer that is ready to buy.
The dealers know that CarWoo! users are in the final stages of buying a car because users have paid to use the service. CarWoo! offers two plans, a basic offering that brings in 2-3 dealer offers for $19.99 and a premium plan that brings in 3-5 dealer offers for $49.99.
The plans come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee that McClung said stands for any reason, such as recent refunds to a user who lost his down payment in a poker game and another who never talked to his wife about his plan to buy a car.
Right now CarWoo! only handles new cars, but the company told WalletPop that in the future they look forward to bringing a similar service to the used-car buying experience.