Mar 13, 2003
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By Managing Editor Anne Holland
Recently I moved from the city to the seaside, so it was time at
the age of 40 to finally buy my first car.
I figured it would be easiest just to surf classifieds on the
Net. It was a horrible experience. Listings are left up on most
classified sites for the whole "term of the ad" even if the car's
been long sold.
The dealer sites weren't much better. Most car makers won't let
you surf a data across all their dealers. You've got to click
in to each individual dealer and then click, click, click until
you see the list of available used cars. Many of which say,
"Call for price."
Yeah, like I'm shopping online due to a strong desire to call a
car salesmen on the phone.
Frustrated and fed up, I finally called my sister-who-knows-
about-cars. "Did you look on eBay?" she said. Oh. Duh.
Which is how I found myself at 7:16 last night staring at my PC
screen while the final seconds of an auction for a cute '96 VW
Golf ticked away. It was pulse pounding. It was seriously fun.
It was reasonably priced. It was safe due to services from
Escow.com and 1SourceAutoWarranty.com.
It was everything I'd ever been told used car buying is not.
Oh, one last thing. Very cool item at Geico.com when I was
filling out the form to get an insurance quote for my new car.
They cleverly put a customer testimonial next to the submit
button on each page of the looong form. I'll bet that reduces
form abandonment rates. Totally a stealable idea for online
merchants worried about their shopping cart abandonment rates.