Used Car Shopping Online: Common Shady Practices to Watch Out For

February 10th, 2017 by

The Internet has changed used car shopping for the better. However, used car buyers still need to be weary of false advertisements and shady business practices that are all to common. Watch this quick video or read on to learn how to avoid these pitfalls.


Thanks to the Internet, there are now two entrances to today’s car dealership. Traditionally, buyers walk onto a car lot, get approached by a salesman, hear a sales pitch and then hash out a deal in a sales office. The other entrance, a virtual one, is quickly increasing in popularity due to the prevalence of smart phones and easy internet access. Yet, just because it’s quite easy to shop for a car online, it isn’t always the best solution. Buyers need to be weary of false advertisements and shady business practices.

The truth is, car shopping online has its potential flaws. Whether shoppers pursue cars from their mobile device or while sitting on their computers, they frequently go to the internet to do their research. Yet, it’s important for buyers to beware and remember that not everything on the internet is true. Some dealers will advertise cars that are already sold and price them extremely low just to get traffic to their lot.

If you find a car with a price that is much lower than the others in the category, then there is a reason behind it. It could be a repaired car after a collision, a salvage title, or maybe it doesn’t even exist!
Yes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

So, what’s a buyer to do? The car seems great so how can you determine if the dealer is being trustworthy and advertising honestly?

The answer is simple. If any particular car catches your eye online, give the dealership a call and ask them about the car. To be sure it’s there, ask the salesperson some questions. First of all, ask if the car has a clean title. If it is not clean, then you should probably run the other way. If it is clean, ask the dealer to text you a picture of the used vehicle or even make a quick video so you can see what you are potentially getting yourself into. If the dealer is honest, then they should not be opposed to doing any or all of these things. After all, they are in the business of selling cars, right? With all the technology available to us, it shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Our salespeople at Auto City, regularly do walk around videos for customers whether they buy or not. We will gladly offer this type of service without any commitment at all. There’s nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. So remember, cheaper isn’t always the better option. Doing your research both on and offline and spending a little more for a quality car can be cheaper in the long run. Typically, spending a little more means that the car has had all the maintenance up front such as tires, brakes, and other routine care.

Also, keep in mind when you are shopping for cars that there will be hundreds of shoppers looking for used cars in the same category that you are, so knowing that up front will help to make the car shopping experience easier. Be patient, and diligent in your research. Most of all, remember, cheaper isn’t always better!

If you are shopping for a used car we also recommend these helpful topics:
Curbstoning
Odometer fraud
Vin Cloning
Title washing