At Roadster, we see all types of car shoppers in the market every day. Each person comes to Roadster with their own experiences and preconceived notions about car shopping. Unfortunately for all of them, buying a new car is either a dreaded undertaking or analogous to doing battle. We aim to change these feelings for each of the following shopper personas:
The Price Grinder: Working multiple dealers and often brokers to negotiate the best price possible, this shopper is willing to spend several weeks squeezing every last dollar out of their deal. Time and effort are no object when trying to save the last dollar and no stone is left unturned. The carnage of jilted dealers left in their wake is an unfortunate outcome of the price grinder’s victory.
The Outsourcer: This person wants absolutely nothing to do with the process, either because they have no time or because they hate the process of negotiation. They often work with a traditional broker or have a family member do all the work for them. They trust their hard earned dollars in the hands of others.
The Frustrated Shopper: After having been turned off by all previous shopping experiences with dealers, this buyer has no patience for any games, conversation, or even niceties and does not trust anyone involved in the transaction. They mostly just want a price as fast as possible and then move on.
The Alpha Shopper: Similar to the Grinder, except this shopper enjoys the sport of finding their ideal car and then haggling with dealers to get a price that they think is a great deal. They consider themselves a semi-professional negotiator and believe the dealer usually makes 10-20% profit on cars, but personally aim to reduce the profit closer to 0%. Typically, when discussing deals that their friends or family recently negotiated, they conclude with, “you got ripped off,” regardless of what information they have ascertained about the deal. The difference between the Alpha and Price Grinder shoppers is that the Alpha sees this as a fun pastime whereas the Grinder sees it as a necessary way of life.
The Perpetual Shopper: Always combing through websites and newspapers for the killer lease and finance deals and looking at end of model year blowout sales, the deal shopper is looking for that special opportunity to get a screaming deal. The hunt can last months and even years, meaning this shopper is perpetually in market and usually disappointed to discover the deal as advertised is not available or there is a catch in the small print.
The Conflict Avoider: This shopper, which the dealers call a “lay down,” is very uncomfortable with negotiation and conflict. They typically put tremendous faith in their dealership and don’t haggle much, figuring it is worth paying a little extra in order to avoid the discomfort of a back-and-forth battle with their salesman. Unfortunately, the Conflict Avoider often pays far too much and indirectly subsidizes the Grinder’s transaction. On the plus side, the Conflict Avoider does spend only a fraction of the amount of time the Grinder invests in their deal.
The “I Just Don’t Want to Get Ripped Off” Shopper: This most common type of shopper is willing to concede a fair profit to the dealer, but they loathe the thought of other people getting a much better deal than they get. This shopper wishes that identical new cars were priced the same so they wouldn’t have to think about the transaction so much. They applaud Saturn’s and Tesla’s efforts and don’t understand why all cars aren’t sold that way.
The Roadster Experience
The Roadster Concierge team is eager to engage with every shopper to educate them about how our service works and the value we can bring to them in their shopping process. Some shoppers are, obviously, more skeptical than others.
The Frustrated Shopper usually thinks there is a catch, but when they learn that there really isn’t and that we are truly working on their behalf, they quickly turn into a Happy Shopper. The Alpha Shopper is highly skeptical that Roadster will be able to get them a great deal, but when we explain the efficiencies of our model, they become believers. Now, the Price Grinder is always the toughest to convert and build trust with. They usually use Roadster while continuing their own efforts, figuring that the additional work can only help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The Price Grinder is, what we call, “putting heat on” or raising the demand on the same cars we are attempting to get on their behalf. By creating the perception with the dealer that multiple people are searching for the same car, the Price Grinder is unfortunately doing themselves a disservice and actually pushing the price higher.
Generally speaking, shoppers spend a disproportionate amount of effort on the up-front price of the car, while not spending enough time and energy on the other aspects of their deal that can be even more impactful to their bottom line. Things like finance or lease rates, trade-in values, or settling for a car that has more features than they really need or want. As we say at Roadster, you get the biggest benefit (both money and time savings) by letting us manage the entire process for you. We are confident we can help everyone have an enjoyable shopping experience that is stress-free and also a great value. Keep reading to see how we do it!
The Five Ways We Help You Save
Great Pricing – Our team negotiates with dealers every day. We know which cars sell above or below invoice price. By making dealers compete, we are able to quickly get to the insider’s price for any vehicle. We work with management at the dealership who are compensated based on sales volume targets, as opposed to commissioned salespeople who are compensated on a percentage of the profit. Roadster pricing is presented to you, prior to any commitment, in a comprehensive Deal Sheet, including all fees and taxes. There are no games and no surprises. Avoid the pain of contacting multiple dealerships and let Roadster negotiate on your behalf to save you an average of $3,668 off MSRP.
Rebates & Incentives – We find you the best combination of rebates and incentives, making sure you obtain the maximum savings for which you are eligible. This can include first time buyer, loyalty, conquest, employer, college grad, military, and other discounts, some valued at $1,000 or more. Make sure you know what you qualify for and get the discounts you deserve.
Selection – Don’t overpay by hundreds or thousands of dollars for features or add-ons you don’t want or need. By searching inventory across all of California, we can find the car you want with the only features you need, while still maintaining price leverage. If you don’t need navigation, save $1,200. If you don’t need the cold weather package, save $550. Don’t settle!
Leasing & Financing – We always get you the lowest possible manufacturer interest rate or money factor for your credit tier. Dealers often markup your rate to increase the profitability of their deal. A 1% interest rate markup on a $30,000 loan will cost you an extra $650 over the course of a 48 month term loan. With a 2% markup, that is $1,300! Get the best rates.
Trade-In – We get competitive bids on your trade-in and make you a firm offer within 48 hours. No trip to the dealership and no home visit by a stranger for a lengthy inspection. Just upload a few pictures of your car and provide a basic description of the condition using your phone or computer. We typically get you hundreds, if not thousands, more than a dealer would offer.
We Help Save Your Most Valuable Asset – Your Time!
In addition to the five ways we help you save, and perhaps most important for many shoppers, Roadster helps save many hours of your precious time that should be used to do something you enjoy. Spend time with your family. See a Saturday matinee. Take a weekend vacation. But please don’t spend it scouring websites to find the car you want, driving from dealership to dealership, negotiating with salespeople, and then hanging out in the finance office for 2 hours while being upsold on high margin add-ons. Don’t try to sell your car yourself and deal with endless inquiries from random people that are looking to bamboozle you, or God forbid, something worse. Leave those time consuming and stressful activities to Roadster. We are professionals that do this all day, every day. There’s a reason we are consistently rated 5 stars on Yelp!