Most Internet auto shoppers like to haggle over prices - even when they shop sites that give non-negotiable price quotes.
The vast majority of consumers don't settle for fixed online price quotes. They use the quotes to comparison shop and to negotiate lower prices, said Judy George, senior vice president of Friedman-Swift Associates, a Cincinnati automotive research firm.
The desire to haggle could be what drives many people to shop dealer sites. A Friedman-Swift survey of almost 1,000 consumers who shopped dealer Web sites shows almost two-thirds prefer dealer Web sites to online buying services that refer customers to dealers. These shoppers felt dealer sites gave them more control over the shopping process and eliminated the middleman, according to the survey.
Online buying services often require participating dealers to supply a no-haggle price.
More than any other feature, consumers want dealers to post prices for the vehicles that dealerships have in stock, according to the survey. But dealers need to keep customers' desire to haggle in mind. Said George: 'To not give them price information would be to let them walk out the door.'