When you’ve begun the process of shopping for a different vehicle and have narrowed your choices of where you want to shop because of that dealership’s reputation, the next step is to find out what other people have to say about doing business there.
Reputation is a big thing. But people don’t typically start looking for a dealer based solely on reputation. They might. We do get those customers all the time who are referred to us from our satisfied clients. They come in not knowing us, but they’ve got a pretty good idea they want to buy from us. That’s a great thing.
But the reality of it is that you will likely search the internet and call around looking for the kinds of vehicles you want or believe you need. When you find the vehicle, you may narrow it down to a few dealers, so that’s when the reputation comes in.
Look at online reviews of that dealer. What has been other customers’ buying experience? How long has that dealer been around? What’s their reputation in the community? How long have they been in business? What kind of vehicles do they have for sale? What kind of history reports can they provide? Do they offer the services that you’re looking for? Do they provide the financing that you need? Do they offer a warranty on the vehicle?
Answers to those questions are important. The reason I believe in reputation first is that a strong dealer will have been in business a long time and has a good reputation—a lot of those other things tend to follow that.
There may be a lot of things to do on the front end before buying a vehicle, but it will cut down on the buying process itself. In the digital age/Internet era, you can get financing pretty much handled before you ever go to a dealership.
With text and email and online applications, a lot of the process can be handled before you even go to the dealership you’ve chosen.
Consider that we finance thousands of dollars to customers and handle all of that online—and being able to do that within a day—compared to the mortgage industry where it takes weeks and weeks to get approved.
In comparison, I think the car-buying process is relatively short.