CES 2012: Autoref Lets Car Dealers Bid For Your Business

One of the most painstaking things you can do in life is buy a new car. Of course the payoff is always great, you in a brand new car, it’s a big pain point for many consumers.

One of the most painful parts of the car buying experience is that actual haggling. You know what you want, you know what you want to pay but some car dealer feels he needs to take a good 4-8 hours of your day to show you cars you don’t want at prices you don’t want to pay. That’s where autoref.com comes in.

Now the “ref” part in Autoref has nothing to do with “reference” it actually stands for referee. The Autoref referee isn’t the referee between you and the car dealers, it’s between the dealers and the dealers. Autoref has designed a system to allow car dealers to bid against each other for your business.

More after the break

It all starts with you signing up for autoref. Once signed up you let autoref know everything you can about the car you want and what you want to pay. From there you let them “hold” $33. If you actually test drive just one of the autoref bids you get the $33 back. If you’re serious about buying a car and won’t take a hassle free test drive the $33 is autoref’s to keep.

Once the haggling between the dealers is over Autoref gives you a few recommendations of vehicles to buy. The recommendations include everything you need about the car from the car itself, to the features, the discount you’re getting and then your financing options based on credit.

It’s actually pretty easy and very pain relieving try it yourself autoref.com


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  1. We’ve actually found that different customers want different things. We’ve had customers that have chosen accessories, better financing and warranties over price. And most of our customers choose different cars so the pricing doesn’t always line up exactly.

    And we’re working to make the redesign of our website much, much simpler. Stay tuned!

  2. Saw their display at CES. Although I think it’s an interesting concept, it just doesn’t seem practical enough for most to use.  Buyers want a bottom price, not a process. That very likely could be the deal breaker here.

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