The Next Amazon:
Site offers 'Price Promise' to demystify car-buying experience
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2013 8:05 AM CDT
A row of Ford Fusion sedans sit in a lot at a Ford dealership in, Norwood, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Add to the list of companies dreaming of emulating Amazon's success. With last year's quiet launch of a service called Price Promise, the car shopping website is trying to "be as close as possible to for the automotive experience," president Seth Berkowitz explained at an industry gathering yesterday. What that means, per the Detroit Free Press: Berkowitz says car shoppers' No. 1 gripe is the lack of a clear, exact car price; Price Promise cuts out the haggling that follows as a result by allowing dealers to email the exact price of a vehicle found on the site to shoppers who request it. Shoppers can then print out a certificate bearing the number; the dealer must sell the car for that price. Ergo, no haggling.

Though the site hopes the feature will set it apart from the competition, has offered a similar program since 2009, the Free Press notes; it claims 6,200 participating dealers, to's 600. The service also doesn't factor in a buyer's credit history, which could change the monthly payments, points out the Wall Street Journal. Price Promise doesn't necessarily meaning getting the lowest price, either. Dealers say they sell cars to Price-Promise users for $300 to $500 more than traditional buyers. But according to Berkowitz, it's a worthwhile tradeoff for those looking to save time and avoid headaches.

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Jun 6, 2013 8:45 AM CDT
... the dealer must sell the car for that price. Plus a documentation fee, an administration fee, an infrastructure fee, a utility fee, a sales fee, etc., etc.. This actually happened to me. I went on a dealer's web site and made an offer on a car, clearly stating that it was an all inclusive, out the door offer --- the only exclusion being tax and tags (government related). They accepted. When I arrived to sign the paper work, they had all sorts of extra "fees" added in. So then we were back to haggling over the fees and the "intent" of my offer. An hour and a half later, I was presented with paperwork at my offer price.