Evolution of Car Shopping

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Connectivity Enhances Car Shopping

The car shopper of 2016 takes about 3 months to buy a car — often with the research process starting online.  Car shoppers will visit an auto dealership an average of two times before making a purchase; unlike 10 years prior, where the average car shopper would make 4.6 visits. Today, car shoppers rely heavily on social media and review sites to get advice, research makes and models, and to see which auto dealership has the best deal. In addition, car shoppers are filling out credit apps, working with auto payment calculators and using YouTube to take virtual test drives before even setting foot on the lot!

Car Shoppers are Researching More than Ever

This longer close cycle has a slower build up with a quick finish and requires dealerships and manufacturers to be omnipresent and synchronized across multiple marketing platforms. A study, by Digital Air Strike, includes findings from 2,000 car buyers and 2,000 service customers who either purchased or serviced a vehicle within the previous six months. The study covers all major U.S. geographic regions and represents domestic and foreign automotive brands, with even distribution across age and gender groups. The study concluded that 75 percent of car buyers and 68 percent of service customers say internet research, including social media and review sites, was the most helpful medium when selecting a car dealership – surpassing all other mediums including dealership websites which ranked highest with only 16 percent of car buyers (down from 19 percent in 2014 and 24 percent in 2013).

Influential Car Shoppers

In addition to social media, car shoppers are reading blogs, forums  and review sites like Quora, Kelly Blue Book, and Car and Driver, and watch auto review videos on YouTube for advice. When it comes to car shopping, social media sites and online research are a clear major influence in the decision making process. Although, car shoppers are also likely to reach out to friends and family, who are knowledgeable or passionate about cars, influencing their decision making process.

Increasing Dealer Interaction with Car Shoppers

How is your auto dealership interacting with potential car buyers? TapCars Dealer Marketing Suite for auto dealers helps to move auto dealer inventory online. TapCars distributes used car  inventory across all the major classifieds and social sites, connecting with car buyers wherever they are — from Craigslist to Facebook and beyond. Want to know more about TapCars Dealer Marketing Suite? Contact us at 408-725-2957, marketing@tapcars.com, or set up a FREE demo here: www.tapcars.com/dealers. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow TapCars on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

TapCars Introduces a New Auto Payment Calculator

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TapCars introduces a new auto payment calculator! Calculate your estimated monthly payments, to stay on budget, when buying your next used vehicle. With the TapCars calculator, you can calculate your monthly payment or financing based on purchase price. Our auto payment calculator is unique in that it has sliding scales to play out different scenarios – so you can get the best car in your purchasing power.

To calculate for either monthly payment or purchase price follow these easy steps:

  • Enter the total purchase price (before tax), or use the slide bars to the right, to enter the price of the car. The monthly payment or purchase price is automatically calculated based on the terms in months and interest rate you select.
  • The next step is to enter your down payment. Enter any rebates and cash down, trade allowance, and amount owed on trade vehicle.
  • Lastly, enter any taxes and fees. These include non-taxable and taxable fees as well as the sales tax rate. If there is a “no sales tax deduction” for your state check the box for “Check here if your state does not allow a sales tax deduction for trade-ins”.
  • Finally, click on “Request Quote” – you will be brought to a second page to fill in your personal information name, email, phone number and add a personal message – click “Request”. You will receive a thank you message saying that the car dealership will get back to you as soon as possible – which is usually within 24 hours.

Want to know more about our auto payment calculator or TapCars automotive posting service? Contact Zachary Jarvinen at 408-725-2957, getstarted@tapcars.com, or set up a FREE demo here: www.tapcars.com/dealers.

Top 10 “shopping list” for buying a used vehicle on Craigslist

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Top 10 “shopping list” for buying a used vehicle on Craigslist

Top 10 shopping list

Before purchasing a used vehicle on Craigslist there are a number of questions to consider. Asking the right questions online or at a dealership will help you purchase a “bargain” instead of a “lemon”. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – get prepared with this Top 10 used vehicle shopping list.

Top 10 questions to ask when shopping for a used vehicle on Craigslist or at the auto dealership:

  1. Why was the car traded in? Inspect the vehicle; exterior body, interior, and verify mileage.
  2. Ask for a CARFAX to see if there have been any accidents. And any maintenance/service records on the vehicle.
  3. How did the dealership acquire the vehicle? Why is the car not selling? Sometimes it can be something simple like the color, that can be used to help negotiate the price.
  4. Ask if the car was traded in for a later model? If so, it shows that the previous owner had confidence in the car/dealership and possibly just wanted a newer vehicle.
  5. Make sure the Title of the car is “For Sale by Owner”, not a salvaged vehicle.
  6. Ask if it is a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle or if it has an extended warranty.
  7. Take a test drive. Some dealerships even let you keep the car overnight!
  8. Find out if there are any incentives if you pay cash vs. credit card/financing. Some dealerships offer a percentage off for “cash” sales.
  9. Ask if the dealership accepts trade ins? It is much easier if you can trade your vehicle vs. trying to sell it after.
  10. Any outstanding recalls on the vehicle?
  11. And a bonus question – was the previous owner a smoker or pet owner?

There are many important questions to ask before considering purchasing a used car, doing your research online and asking some of these questions during the process can help make you a smart shopper! According to the fifth annual Digital Air Strike Automotive Social Media Trends Study 75% of car shoppers look to social media, and Craigslist, for researching and purchasing decisions.

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About Us:

TapCars provides digital classifieds and merchandising solutions for local companies doing business online, delivering a unique ability to generate and track leads and other consumer interactions in unprecedented detail. Founded in 2009, TapCars operates out of offices in Silicon Valley, Canada, India and Mexico. Our team brings together deep expertise in technology, marketing, media, e-commerce, advertising, social media, digital merchandising, and mobile applications.

Certified Pre-Owned Used Vehicle Programs vs. Extended Warranties. And How to Find These Cars on Craiglist.

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The extended warranty your dealership offers is not considered a true automotive warranty. Extended warranties cover things like auto repairs and maintenance for a certain period of time. A Dealerships true warranty includes the cost of the vehicle and service contract – as they cost extra and are sold separately. With the right CPO program you can easily convert car shoppers that are considering an extended warranty on their current vehicle.

To shop for a used vehicle, below are the 2015 “Top 5 CPO” programs ranked in order, as the best brands to purchase. Knowing what to shop for can help narrow your search in Craigslist. Rankings were based on length of coverage, ability to transfer the warranty to other vehicle owners and the deductible for necessary repairs.

“Top 5 CPO” programs by brand:

  1. Porsche
  2. Lexus
  3. Volvo
  4. Hyundai
  5. Kia

Consumers want peace of mind and purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle is the way to go. Purchasing an extended warranty for a current vehicle doesn’t provide the same coverage. CPO programs were introduced in the 90’s and have been gaining traction ever since. Not only do they include an extended warranty but also these cars are tuned up and ready to go by certified technicians.

Shopping for a used vehicle on Craigslist allows you to configure your search results to by zipcode; including dealers, private sellers, or both. Be sure to look for CARFAX and CPO certifications like this example below when purchasing a used vehicle.

TapCars is the only vehicle posting service that offers CARFAX with our online listings, which is a great benefit to car shoppers!

About us:

TapCars provides digital classifieds and merchandising solutions for local companies doing business online, delivering a unique ability to generate and track leads and other consumer interactions in unprecedented detail. Founded in 2009, TapCars operates out of offices in Silicon Valley, Canada, India and Mexico. Our team brings together deep expertise in technology, marketing, media, e-commerce, advertising, social media, digital merchandising, and mobile applications.

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