Edmunds.com is a website that allows car dealers to list their cars for sale and offers customers a little extra info on the car, so when they launched an ad campaign making fun of how uncomfortable haggling with a car dealership is, it took some real backbone to point out their emperor (the car dealer) had no clothes. Haggling is also how car dealers make some of their money, and the emperor didn’t like being told he was naked, so instead of everyone learning a great lesson that you should bring a friend with you clothes shopping or something like that, car dealers complained and some even canceled their Edmunds subscriptions. Edmunds has some stiff competition from Cars.com, KBB and Autotrader, so they aren’t in the sort of position where they can tell car dealers to pound sand and promptly pulled the ads down.
Edmunds wasn’t pointing out how horrible the car buying experience can be for fun (And let’s be honest, some dealers are terrible. I recently had a dealer tell me that $3,400 for my trade was “like $4,000” because I would be saving a bit on sales tax and make some incomprehensible point about how the car I was buying was a “happy face car” before finally giving me my keys back), they were trying to bring attention to their new Price Promise no haggle pricing that gives you the Scion buying experience with any carmaker.
It’s not like Edmunds imagined the hatred for haggling either. A survey of their users found that 83% of people surveyed would rather cut the haggling out of car buying altogether, while one in three would go without sex for a month in exchange for not having to haggle.
Ad Age spoke to one dealer who said “dealerships are tired of vendors trying to portray themselves as protectors of consumers against unscrupulous dealers.” That’s a valid point. None of these companies are consumer advocates, they’re just selling new car leads like everyone else and pretending otherwise is just like the squash salesman in the video saying ‘forget the manager, I’m on your side.’ Especially if you pull down a video because dealers complain.
Source: Ad Age