Dealers & Cars Both Commodities

Used cars and the dealers that sell them are commodities to the customer. Buyers search through thousands of cars trying to narrow their choices down to just a few cars, essentially ignoring the car seller. This isn’t to say that some customers don’t automatically go to a franchised dealership for better service, but most shoppers narrow down on the cars and ignore the dealership.

Adding in a service component to a customer’s decision is difficult. I know that Edmund’s has a review site for dealers, but I have trouble seeing it catch on. Several review sites, like Yelp.com, have become successful, but they have an engaged audience that can constantly come back and write reviews. Most people buy cars once every 5-7 years, not frequently enough to drive serious engagement.

How would customer and dealer interactions change if customers could search for dealerships by service/feedback ratings instead of just cars? What if, and I know this is slightly crazy talk, any dealer could sell any car, and customers made purchase decisions based off service?

Cars would become even more commodity-like, and greater emphasis would be placed upon the dealership’s service and the dealership’s ability to put a deal together.

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