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ConsumerWatch: Sites Offer Streamlined Car Selling, Buying Process

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The homepage of the CarWoo website (Carwoo.Com)

The homepage of the CarWoo website (Carwoo.Com)

SAN FRANCISO (CBS 5) – Walking into a dealership and buying a car can be a hassle, but there’s a new buying trend that’s taking the pain out of buying a car.

Rather then spending a lot of time checking out dealerships, Brad Jones paid $500 to join Cartelligent. It’s an online service that doubles as a personal shopper.

“I don’t have a lot of free time, so the ability to spend that money and not have to spend hours at a dealership was invaluable,” he said. According to Jones, Cartelligent did his shopping, found his financing and even got rid of his old car.

But the online service isn’t the only site available. Carwoo is another service that helps car buyers through the shopping process.

According to CarWoo co-founder Tommy McClung, his site allows buyers to anonymously negotiate with dealers without having to set foot on the lot. He said buyers log on, specify the car they want and it’s the dealers who do the bidding sometimes competing with against each other.

“We have a network of dealers that basically come in [and] provide you with the offer,” he said. Buyers can then compare and contrast offers side by side.

Car buyer David Latham said he got eight different bids on CarWoo before choosing a Vacaville dealer that saved him $600.

“It means less work for me trying to go between dealership and having to negotiate in person,” he said.

As for Jones, he said Cartelligent saved him $200 and hours of valuable time.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “I drove my old car in [and] drove my new car out.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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