Collier said the company primarily certifies franchised new-vehicle dealerships, and those that apply first are given preference.
To be certified, dealers must agree to:
- Meet strict pricing requirements.
- Rank high in customer satisfaction scores.
- Offer strong inventory levels.
- Ensure select dealership representatives are available to assist members.
- Offer new and used inventory through CarSaver.
While CarSaver operates independently of Walmart, dealerships in the CarSaver network must be within a reasonable drive time of a Walmart location to be a part of the expansion tied to the retail giant. Collier said this is to reach more of the 90 percent of U.S. consumers who live within 15 miles of one of Walmart's 3,500 stores nationwide. This is also because CarSaver employees send customers from its shopping centers within Walmart locations to the closest dealership that has the car they want.
The dealership pays CarSaver a "success fee" of $350 only if a sale is made. Depending on state law, payment may come in the form of a subscription fee. Prices on the site are set by the dealership, but CarSaver says customers using the site are able to save an average of $3,000 per vehicle off the sticker price. The site does not compare dealership prices against each other.
Lorie Ceal, Internet director at Horne Hyundai, of Apache Junction, Ariz., told Automotive News that being in CarSaver's network has attracted people who wouldn't normally consider buying Hyundais to the dealership. So far, Ceal said, the dealership has had fewer sales from the digital online marketplace than expected, but attributes that to the dealership's small size and the relative newness of the program, which the store joined in August. She is hoping for better sales stemming from being a member of the dealership network.
"It definitely does drive people to come check out the Hyundais," Ceal said. "Per capita there's not a whole lot of sales on them, but it definitely does drive traffic."