For car buyers, new times seemed to dawn with the advent of online car exchanges. In the meantime, however, the insider tip car exchange has become a mass market – and one does well to consider traditional ways of vehicle search.
"What used to be a manageable scene is now a center for the commercial activities of professionals," says Rainer Hillgärtner of the Auto Club Europa (ACE) in Stuttgart. Who thinks today, he would find with the used car search at the PC actually still the longed for bargain, might be disappointed as a rule.
In fact, dealers have now largely professionalized the topic of online vehicle searches. They use search software that scans several car exchanges at short intervals. In doing so, they execute numerous pre-entered search queries. Inform the dealer immediately about the results. While the layman is still looking for the car of his dreams, the professionals have often already found and bought the really interesting vehicles.
Car exchanges are not entirely pleased by the high number of professional search queries constantly passing through them. Thus with on-line stock exchange "AutoScout24" in Munich according to speaker Enrico Beltz is already worked on countermeasures. The background, however, is not that one rejects the activities of the dealers in principle – rather, it is about the technology and also the associated costs.
According to Beltz, search programs generate a lot of "traffic", i.E. High data traffic. "But such a database has to be fast for the user."Therefore, considerable personnel and financial effort is necessary to make it still possible for private users to quickly browse through the offerings.
But while the technology behind the car-buying search engines is still relatively new, the basic principle behind them is not: "The method has changed, but the facts themselves have not," says Bastian Roet of the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) in Frankfurt/Main. "In the past, the car dealer was just the guy who read the ads in the daily paper early in the morning and then rang the vendor out of bed before the private prospect was even awake."
Conversely, the fixation of many professionals on the Internet may also mean an opportunity for the private interested – by remembering the old days again. "For the private prospective customer, it may be advisable not to rely solely on the offers on the internet. Instead, he should also use the traditional channels by studying the ads in the regional newspapers and also going to the local dealers," says Rainer Hillgärtner. The ACE spokesman even suspects that these tried and tested routes will experience something of a renaissance in the near future.