Since 1999, AutoFinder.com has been providing the service of connecting online car shoppers with dealers in a more straightforward manner. The company leaves little footprint of its history online, but it is clear about its mission and the service it provides to consumers.
- Expansive network
- Local search options
- Direct contact with dealers
AutoFinder's main focus is catering the car buying and selling process to today's consumer. Their position is that today's consumer (i.e. millennials) is different than those of decades past. The difference is that now the consumer is most concerned with the bottom line best price-uninterested in showing up at the dealer to negotiate pricing.
The first honorable mention is AutoFinder's expansive network of thousands of car dealers across the United States to connect car shoppers with.
AutoFinder.com allows you to search locally for all makes and models in your local area offered by dealerships. You can get a free new car price quote instantly from a number of different auto insurance companies. Auto financing is also available for those with bad or no credit. The website offers a free car buying guide to assist you through the process. There are also plenty of articles on car ownership and maintenance.
When searching for a used vehicle, you can narrow your search through a number of different options. These options include things such as body type, mileage, color, and fuel type. You can instantly see the CARFAX vehicle history report on each vehicle. You can also browse by images as well. The local search radius extends up to 250 miles of where you live.
You will instantly receive the contact information of the dealers who are offering the vehicle. You can call them for more information, request they call you, or stop by the dealer's location and test-drive the vehicle. Car descriptions listed on this automotive shopping website list the performance and mechanical specs and the fuel economy ratings for city and highway driving for each vehicle. You can filter the number of results you want to see and sort the available listings by best match, price, distance, mileage, and year of the vehicle.
AutoFinder also offers a sort of on-demand car shopping resource: the Find Your Car feature.
This Search tool allows consumers to get clearance dealer pricing. This refers to being able to have a price confirmed and solidified prior to stepping on the dealership floor. The up-side for customers is that they avoid price manipulation and haggling, and the up-side for dealers (the downside will be addressed shortly) is that customers that walk into their dealership are pre-qualified and ready to buy, saving them the effort of "selling" them on a car and losing or wasting time with window-shoppers.
Lastly, the site does offer car loans. There is an online application under the Financing tab claiming to accept all credit, including bad credit, no credit and bankruptcies. Car shoppers just have to fill out the form to allow AutoFinder to locate the best dealer suited for their financial needs from their network in a promised short turnaround time.
AutoFinder guarantees the following to loan applicants:
- The service is 100% free.
- No obligation to buy.
- Your information is safe and secure.
Other sites in the auto consumer niche have loans catering to people with poor credit, making this a competitive feature. Sure, it sounds too good to be true and of course there is no guarantee of approval or of a decent interest rate, but for those needing to finance a car without other options, there at least is an available option to explore.
- Lacking company information
- Dealers disadvantages
One of the main concerns with Autofinder.com is its lack of company information found online. After doing a domain name ownership search, we discovered that Autofinder.com belongs to HLK Enterprises, Inc. in Cummings, Georgia.
The business is operating as a web development firm that owns other online shopping sites. The owner of this company is Harvey Kaplan. This lack of company information is disturbing to the overall credibility of the company. Consumers want to know the full disclosure of the companies they are buying from.
If you are a Car Dealer, chances are you may not like that AutoFinder surpasses you totally in the sales process-what AutoFinder refers to as "typical games". Dealers definitely lose out. As for the website itself, it claims to offer new car listings but fails to create a tab for "Find New Cars" alongside the already featured "Find Used Cars" feature. For a site focused on helping consumers do car searches, it is unfortunate that it lacks the basic resources like payment calculators, a trade-in-value tool, recommendation tool and vehicle history report. Also interesting is that the site's premise is to cater to the new car consumer seeking on-demand services but it fails to have apps for mobile devices-a staple for today's consumer everywhere. Because of this, they're leaving both money and customers on the table.