Let’s face it: most car shoppers dread the dealership experience. A recent Autotrader study found that fully 99% of shoppers want to see major changes in the dealership sales process. Of course, not all car dealers are bad; some take customer satisfaction quite seriously, earning high marks and repeat business. Nevertheless, dissatisfaction and distrust have long been predominant themes.
In response, third-parties like TrueCar and Edmunds have taken root, aiming to improve the experience by offering consumers insider advice and information as well as member perks like guaranteed discounts. More recently, startups like Carvana and Shift have entered the scene with visions of reinventing the entire dealership sales process.
These changes are admirable and welcome. However, one thing that seems to have been overlooked is the fact that, to buy a car, you don’t actually need a dealership at all.