Image: Fusion Auto Sales in Tilbury Ontario
The most important part of the car buying process is arguably picking the right car dealership. It is not always easy to tell a good car dealership from a bad one, but there are new methods and tools available to help you choose wisely. Buying a used car from a used car dealership represents a substantial investment for most people, and in fact for the majority of us a used or new car purchase from is generally the second biggest investment of our lifetime other than the purchase of a home.
What To Look For In A Car Dealership?
1) Look for a car dealership that is well known, and has a good reputation within the community. Often these dealerships are heavily involved in community activities, like sponsoring amateur sports or contributing to local charities. When a car dealer is involved in community efforts, it shows they are invested in their city or town, and the people who live there, and that they care about their reputation. Most car dealers who are engaged with their communities are in most cases car dealers who have been in business for a while and are well established. It's important to deal with a car dealer who has been around for a while, because you may need service after the sale, and if a car dealer goes out of business there might not be anyone around for you to get support from if you are dealing with a car dealership that no longer exists.
2) Check the Dealerships reputation through services such as the Better Business Bureau. If there have been complaints or problems they will be easy to find through these agencies, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that the dealership you are researching actually has a very favourable rating because of excellent an excellent customer service record. In short it's important to deal with a business that has a reputation for honesty and reliability, and a credible agency like the Better Business Bureau is a great place to start.
You can check Better Business Bureau reviews and read dealer reviews online. Visit the Better Business Bureau website here: http://www.bbb.org/canada/. Another valuable resource is Google Places http://maps.google.ca/maps.
3) Ask Around To Be Sure Customers are treated with respect
Ask friends, and family if they have ever dealt with the car dealership you are looking at. Ask people you trust, who you know will give you accurate information and take it from there. Make sure you are getting feedback from credible sources, preferably people you know who will give you straight information.
4) Look for a Professional Looking Facility.
It is hard to judge a book by its cover, but a car dealership's overall appearance will tell you a about the kind of business you are dealing with. Look for professional signage. Are the sales people dressed professionally? Are the offices and service bays clean and well kept? If you are at a used car dealership, look at the inventory on the lot, to see if overall the cars appear to be in good shape. The overall condition of the vehicles that are in stock gives you an indication of the kind of cars the dealer is acquiring to resell.
Does a Car Dealership Have Good Standing in the Community? Check online car-dealer-reviews.
Today car dealerships live and die through online reviews, and it's easier than ever to check a car dealer's reputation simply by doing an internet search for car dealership reviews at car dealers near you. In fact you've already shown that you are an intelligent and forward thinking car consumer simply by reading this online article. It shows that you are doing your car buying research.
Google car dealership reviews can't be changed or altered in any way by a car dealer, so if you are reading a review there you know you are getting an unfiltered review from a consumer who may have done business with the car dealer you are researching. There are other services as well like Yelp, and 411.ca that can provide information on local car dealerships.
How Are You Treated When You Step Onto The Car Car Lot?
Pay attention to how you are treated when you first step onto the lot. If the car dealer is focused on customer service, someone will likely approach you right away, but pay attention to the approach and the way the sales staff interact with you. Are you being thrust into a high pressure sales environment, or is the sales staff trying provide service and an enhanced buying experience? Make sure you are dealing with a sales person you are comfortable with. Ask all the questions you need to ask, and pay attention to the responses. Are you getting the answers you need? If you are not getting the information on the car you are looking at buying, then you should move on. However if the sales person is answering your questions, and providing service, it could be the start of fruitful car buying business relationship built on trust. If the sales person and dealership are reputable they will be focused on the long term, which means not just making a sale now, but also building a relationship that will result in return business possibly for service, and maybe repeat sales down the road years ahead when the time comes for you to purchase another car, used truck, used suv, mini-van, cross-over, or other used vehicle.
Your Opinion Will Count Too
Online reviews are more important to car dealers than ever before. Reputation management is a paramount concern for all reputable car dealers. So remember to look online at car dealer reviews. Those opinions from consumers in the online car dealer reviews you read through google, or the car dealer reviews at the BBB, will reveal valuable information that will help you make an informed car buying decision. If a car dealer is thinking long term they will bend over backwards to provide proper customer service for you, because they know that when you buy a used car, from their dealership you become a customer, and will then be in a position to offer your opinion of the dealership through an online-car-dealer-review. In the long run your opinion will count too, and your opinion on the car dealer you have done business with will help other consumers who read you online car dealership review online.