Is it the true price you are paying?

Cartoon mouse with glasses reading the paper and the caption

“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” is a phrase quoted over the years. It’s pretty much true but guess it is good or bad depending on if you are a mouse or not. A mouse needs to avoid new traps.


There is another old nugget “save money and cut out the middle man” which seems to be a logical and TRUE statement, right? If you go right to the source to make a purchase you’re obviously going to save money. So what’s the deal with this new scheme in the car business?


We now have at least one online “middleman” that claims they can get you a lower price on a car than if you went directly to the dealer. On top of that, they claim they can accurately tell you what others paid for your new car, and ensure you’ll pay less without considering the fact that not everyone is buying the same car, with the same features, same trade-in, and same financing. So how can this be a TRUE price?


The fact is all cars need to be sold through a franchised dealer, so there is no way going through a middleman could save you money. Also, one of these “services” fails to mention that if you use them to get your car, the dealer must pay them a $400 fee! So once again how could this possibly be your best price?


Couldn’t the dealer just sell you the car for $400 dollars less and you keep the cash?! Now that would be a TRUE price. However, as a result of this middleman fee, many dealers will add their own hidden fees to the price such as paint sealant or rust protection; unnecessary add-ons that will just drive up the cost. This is not to mention that a dealer can bump your interest rate or give you less for your trade-in to make up for the “upfront” low price.


My advice? Do your research and make three columns on a sheet of paper, label them, price, interest rate and trade-in value. Judge your whole deal not just one aspect of it. There are no “magic beans” here, you need to have all the facts in order to make a decision that is right for you and your family.


In an ongoing competition to build a better mousetrap, these online middlemen are trying to take the prize. (Or more accurately, treat you like the mouse) 

1 comment

Almost comical how a plan to help you save money, yet they charge $400 that has to be added to the customers price. We've seen it a hundred times. Autonation, the worlds largest vehicle retailer just threw them out of their network of stores. what does that say? It's clear, it's all about the middle man....who wants a middle man? Ever met a middle man that saves you money?? Never.

Jul 18, 2015 2:46 pm
- Michael P.