Auto Industry, Car

7 Tips on Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is not a decision that should be made lightly. While they typically cost less than new cars of the same make, model and year, some used vehicles may have underlying problems. And purchasing one of these lemons could leave buyers stranded on the side of the road.


1. Define Budget

The first step in buying a used car is to define a budget. According to USA Today, the average sale price of used cars sold in 2014 was $15,900. Whether a buyer is willing to spend more or less, though, he or she should first define their budget.

2. Determine Needs

Buyers should consider what exactly they want or need in a used car. Considering that roughly 1.3 million people die each year from vehicle crashes, many buyers prefer cars with safety features like airbags, collision detection, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability control.

3. Start Searching

After defining a budget and determining their needs, buyers should start their search for a used car. There are dozens of places that list used cars for sale, some of which include local classified ads, Craigslist and Autotrader. Alternatively, buyers may have success visiting local car dealerships.

4. Reach Out to Seller

The next step in buying a used car is to contact the seller. Time is of the essence; the longer a buyer waits to contact the seller, the greater the chance that someone else will buy it. So, buyers should contact the seller, preferably by phone, immediately after finding a used car that meets their criteria. During this call, the buyer should arrange a meeting to inspect and test drive the car.

5. Look Under the Hood

It’s always a good idea to look under the hood before buying a used car. If the engine bay is dirty with spilled fluids — oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, etc. — the buyer should consider a different vehicle.

6. Test Drive

Assuming everything looks fine under the hood, the buyer should test drive the car. This will give him or her the opportunity to see how the car drives and whether it contains functional problems. If the vehicle slips when changing gears, for example, it may have a failing transmission, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair.

7. Negotiate Price

Even if a seller lists the used car for a specific price, he or she may accept a lower offer. Therefore, buyers should always offer a lower price first. The seller may still reject this offer, but he or she may also make a counteroffer that’s lower than the car’s original listing price.


Buying a used car doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Following these seven tips can help buyers navigate this otherwise complicated process, putting them behind the wheel of a great car.


Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!

Auto Industry, Car

The Impact of E-Commerce on the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is currently undergoing a critical change. No longer are consumers forced to purchase auto parts from local stores. They can now buy these items over the internet. As online retail sales continue to rise, e-commerce will reshape the future of the automotive industry in the following ways.


Easier Access to Aftermarket Parts

E-commerce provides consumers and auto parts businesses alike with easier access to aftermarket parts. According to a study conducted by IHS Automotive, the average car is now 11.5 years old. As drivers continue to squeeze more life of their vehicles, they’ll find themselves needing parts. Aftermarket parts offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Aftermarket manufacturers use websites and online portals to sell these parts at low prices to consumers and auto parts businesses.


Local Pickup

Local pickup has become a standard tactic used by auto parts suppliers with a brick-and-mortar presence to boost online sales. With local pickup, the customer buys the part online but visits the business’s local store to pick it up. Lock pickup is beneficial for both consumers and auto parts businesses as it eliminates the need for shipping. Furthermore, many consumers need auto parts immediately to keep their vehicles running, so they aren’t willing to wait for delivery.


Online Car Sales

E-commerce sites sell more than just auto parts. Some forward-thinking companies sell used vehicles online. Carvana, for instance, has become a leading online vendor of used cars. Initially founded in 2012, the company sells, finances and purchases used vehicles through its official website. When a consumer buys a car, he or she have it delivered or pick it up from one of Carvana’s signature car vending machines.


Omni-Channel Online Marketing

Auto companies are now using an omni-channel online marketing strategy to promote their sites. Rather than relying strictly on search or referral traffic, for example, they are using pay-per-click (PPC), social media and even video marketing. This multi-faceted approach helps companies reach their target audience with their marketing message, and it’s also useful for offsetting the cost of digital marketing.


Statistics show that 79 percent of consumers regularly buy products online. As e-commerce continues to evolve, it will have a lasting, positive impact on the automotive industry.


Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!