Buying a car used to be a process that involved a salesman with slick patter, a showroom filled with fancy cars, and a buyer overwhelmed by all the decisions he or she had to make. Eventually the buyer would walk out of the showroom with a fancy car, more or less satisfied with the purchase.
Today, however, buying a car involves a lot less of the showroom, and a lot more social media. Rather than trying to cut through the spiel of a salesman intent on reaching his monthly quota, car buyers are turning to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to find the right car — an idea you should definitely consider!
Using Facebook as a resource
If you’re going to buy a car in South Africa, it might not be a bad idea to post that factoid on Facebook. Make the post a few days in advance, wording it something like, “Going to nearest Volkswagen dealership for a new car. Can’t decide between the Golf and the Jetta. Any advice?” This, of course, is only an example, but you get the gist!
When your friends see your post, they’ll fall prey to the Facebook wormhole of opinions. Within a few hours, your post will be inundated with comments like, “The Golf is way better!”, “Get the Golf Hatchback model,” “Stick with a Jetta 2006 or newer,” and similar advice.
The beauty of using Facebook is that you’ll be able to get in touch with people who have actually bought the cars you’re considering, and they’ll share their advice with you.
Try posting: “Does the Golf (or Jetta) have any problems I need to know about?” Once again, people will readily share not only their opinions, but also their experiences. You’ll be able to ask questions about the features of the car, the potential problems, and more, which will allow you to understand more about your “perfect” car before you buy it.
A recent survey by eBay Motors found that people will trust a Facebook friend’s review far more than a third-party review. Even with reviews from trusted websites, 59% paid more heed to their friend’s review on Facebook.
How Twitter can help
If you’re going car shopping, bring your smartphone along with you. When you listen to the salesperson trying to sell you the car, post a Tweet about the car he’s pushing on you. Your Twitter feed will soon light up with comments on the car, and you’ll get some invaluable feedback on the car of your choice.
Hit up Yelp
If you’re buying a car at a showroom, check out the dealership’s Yelp page first to see what others have to say. The dealerships with the highest rating will be the best to visit; they’ll be recommended for their “Customer service,” “friendly, non-pushy attitude,” and “accessible prices” (always a plus!).
Just remember, Yelp reviews are written by customers, one or more of which may just have been having a bad day when they visited the dealership. One or two bad reviews don’t make a dealership a poor choice.
Don’t forget Google!
Google can be your best friend if you’re not sure where to go to buy your perfect car. For example, if you’re looking for a VW Golf, using Cars Brick 7 is a good way to go! You’ll be able to find information and reviews on dozens of websites, including reviews by mechanics and professional car experts on websites like AutoTrader, Edmunds, or eBay Motors.
If you find a car you like, Google it on your smartphone. Read the various reviews, and see if it meets your high standards!