How To Shop At An Automall – The Right Way
For the car consumer looking for a great deal on a new or used vehicle, the options can be a bit overwhelming. Not only are there dozens of new models to choose from each year, but it seems like your options for where to buy from increase day by day as well. The advent of internet car shopping and the persistence of brick-and-mortar dealerships, coupled with more people buying new cars than ever, add up to a market flooded with options – which can be seriously confusing for the unprepared.
If you’re looking for all of the conventionality of a standard dealership but don’t want to sacrifice on having plenty of options available, look no further than your nearest automall. These car-buying superstores work as a collection of different car dealers, who benefit from sharing one convenient location by combining their reach to consumers. If you’ve never experienced the revolutionary convenience of King’s Automall and others like it, here’s a rundown of what you should expect – and why it’s a great option for your next vehicle purchase.
Do Your Research Ahead Of Time
The beauty of an automall is the variety of dealerships it can offer, all within a short distance of one another. By choosing a one-stop shop for your car browsing, you make it much easier to explore a variety of options before committing. This helps you to avoid that disappointment when you drive off the lot in your new car, only to spot a better option on the way home. At an automall, you can check out several different brands and models in one day without having to drive all over town.
That being said, it’s still important to do plenty of research – this is a car purchase, after all, and you still want to get the best deal possible for that new or used vehicle. Try to nail down the exact details of the vehicle you’re looking for, from year to color and everything in between, and how much you should realistically expect to pay. Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds, among others, offer easy tools to look up your target model’s average value and can give you a good benchmark for negotiations later on.
If possible, check the dealer’s inventory online to see if they have your ideal car in stock or if they can dealer-order the model for you. This can make a difference in price later on, and could determine whether you hold out for exactly what you looked for or settle for something more convenient at a better price.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – A Little
The benefit of choosing a dealer located within an automall is their unique market environment – they benefit from other dealers within the mall bringing customers in, and yet since there is only one of each brand’s dealer he or she is able to effectively corner the market on that brand within that area. Thus, although everybody is sharing customers, nobody is really competing to sell the same cars.
This also benefits the consumer, since he or she is then able to explore many more options in a single visit than by going to a stand-alone dealership. Maybe there are brands you’ve never driven before, or have never been able to find a dealer you’ve liked. Maybe you’ve simply never noticed a certain brand before, and have yet to discover that it’s the perfect option for you. By shopping at an automall, you greatly improve your chances of stumbling onto a brand or a certain model you had never considered before – so let serendipity strike as it may, and don’t be afraid to take a few test drives you might not otherwise have bothered to seek out.
Know What To Expect – And What Not To
If anybody has a bad rap, salesmanship-wise, it’s a car dealer – notorious for being deceptive and underhanded, car dealers seem to be the archetype of sleaze in our collective understanding of the industry. At an automall, however, this is likely not the case.
The reason a less-than-satisfactory car dealer is able to act so poorly is because of lack of oversight. When a dealer is able to act on his or her own and set his or her own standards for customer service, pricing, and negotiation, there’s little incentive to favor the customer – the dealer wants to get the best deal possible for the car, and is a pro at doing so.
In an automall, however, dealers act as a collective – that means they hold each other accountable, since all of them benefit from a good reputation and all will suffer for a bad one. Through this communal policing, automalls work harder to maintain consistently excellent service across their showrooms. This oversight and accountability help ensure that you’ll have an easier time working with a dealer in an automall than a traditional solo dealer – their business depends on it.
That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that automalls generally tend to operate on a much bigger scale than traditional dealerships. Often, automall dealers will have huge lots and wide inventories, sometimes with many more vehicles on premises than usual for smaller solo dealers. This can mean that you, as a consumer, will have a greater likelihood that the model you want will be available on the lot on your first visit. Since their inventories are so large, they may also have a better chance of securing the car you want if it has to be ordered.
Since these automall dealerships also deal in much higher quantities of vehicles than smaller, private dealerships, they may actually be able to extend better offers to consumers in the end. When the dealer isn’t as desperate to squeeze every potential penny out of a deal, there is more room for negotiation before the contract is signed. For some crafty buyers, this could be a ticket to saving a few hundred bucks.
A Collection of Experts
The ease of having a one-stop auto shopping center doesn’t stop at the sales floor. Since a customer can choose from a wide variety of vehicles, it only makes sense that he or she would then be able to bring any of those vehicles back to the same dealer for repairs. At an automall, this means being able to repair just about any car being sold – no matter the make or model.
Since an automall’s service center must do work on many different brands, a customer can expect the mechanics there to be true experts in automotive repair, able to utilize their training to repair a wide variety of vehicles. This encourages the automall to gather a collection of experts, each able to offer professional input on specific cars and lines. This nearly guarantees that your service will be of a very high quality and will come at a reasonable price. Plus, since there is actually oversight at an automall, you are more likely to have a pleasant customer experience and see more accountability for any mistakes or further repairs that are needed.
For these reasons and many more, it’s worth heading to your nearest automall and seeing what all the fuss is about. There’s a reason these work so well, and it’s because it represents a new way of car shopping: that careful mixture of expansive availability fond on the internet with the traditional person-to-person contact of a conventional dealership. See one for yourself today – you may find you never want to go back to the old way once you have.