Edmunds.com Rolls Out its “Price Promise” Program

Detroit Free Press

Aim­ing to become the ‘Amazon.com’ for car buy­ers, Edmunds.com is hop­ing to rev­o­lu­tion­ize how peo­ple buy cars by offer­ing more clar­i­ty and specifics on the car price.

Find out how Edmunds hopes to de-mys­ti­fy the buy­ing process.

Edmunds.com, one of the top Web sites for car shop­ping and auto­mo­tive infor­ma­tion, is hop­ing to rev­o­lu­tion­ize how peo­ple buy cars and elim­i­nate the No. 1 most frus­trat­ing part of the car shop­ping process.

Accord­ing to Seth Berkowitz, pres­i­dent and chief oper­at­ing offi­cer of Edmunds.com, 54% of car shop­pers say they want more clar­i­ty on the exact price of a car rather than hag­gle with deal­ers.

“The aver­age Amer­i­can per­son can­not under­stand how it is that as an indus­try that we can­not deliv­er an actu­al car price to them,” Berkowitz said today at the Auto­mo­tive Press Asso­ci­a­tion in Detroit. “It is just total­ly mys­ti­fy­ing to peo­ple.”

To solve that prob­lem the San­ta Mon­i­ca, Calif.-based com­pa­ny has qui­et­ly rolled out a new prod­uct called price promise that allows cus­tomers to ask deal­ers to e-mail them an exact price for a car or truck they find through Edmunds.com’s site.

Cus­tomers can print out the cer­tifi­cate and take it with them to the deal­er­ship. The deal­er is required to hon­or the price if cus­tomer decides to buy the car.

The pro­gram is sim­i­lar to a cer­tifi­cate pro­gram intro­duced by TrueCar.com in 2009. One dif­fer­ence is that TrueCar.com receives $299 for every trans­ac­tion that occurs. Edmunds.com, in con­trast, charges deal­ers a flat fee per month.

How­ev­er, Edmunds.com has rela­tion­ships with few­er deal­ers than AutoTrader.com and TrueCar.com.

More than 6,400 deal­ers list new cars for sale on Edmunds.com com­pared with about 20,000 deal­ers who list new cars for sale on AutoTrader.com.

Berkowitz said Edmunds.com plans to revamp its Web site in Sep­tem­ber to make the price promise shop­ping tool more promi­nent and will fol­low that Web site redesign with a nation­al mar­ket­ing cam­paign in Octo­ber or Novem­ber to pro­mote price promise.





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