If you look back at TRED’s photo in our high school yearbook, you’ll find the title, “Most Likely to be a Car Nerd” next to a picture of a pimply logo wearing headgear. How is this relevant? We’re still unsure. But take comfort in the fact that we deeply care about this industry. We do everything we can to ensure that you have the information you need in order to make the right choice for you. When it comes to buying or selling a vehicle on Cars.com, there are many pros and cons. In this week’s article, we’re going to cover all wheelbases for you.
Pro: Large Database
When you’re looking to buy a car, it’s great to have options! Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, Cars.com leaves you free to check out everything your heart desires and re-visit the things you enjoy most. This allows you to distinguish which make, model, and year you’re most attracted to. In addition to that, you can start to get picky with things like mileage, aftermarket improvements, options, and paint color.
Note: This “pro” is actually a “con” for those who are selling on Cars.com. When it comes to selling a vehicle, you want yours to stand out. You don’t want to be one of 50 or more of the same make and model. This may force you to drive your price lower in order to move your car faster.
Cars.com allows people who are buying and/or selling cars to access their photo feature. As always, the more images you can upload for a vehicle, the better. No matter how good the written description is, it’ll never do a beautifully-manicured interior justice. On the other hand, photos are a great way to identify if a car has (literally) been used for botched manicures on the 405.
Tip: Sally Hansen’s Dark Knight polish doesn’t pair well with cream leather seats.
For the buyer who knows exactly what they’re looking for, Cars.com offers extensive search options to find local results. It’s always good to be able to see a car in person before buying it. Just like it’s great to have plenty of photos, nothing can quite replace seeing a vehicle “in the flesh.” Like that time you tried online dating, you’ll never be able to identify all the small flaws from an internet profile. Things like leaky tubing and bad wiring will never show up in a broad photo, and they’re rarely disclosed in ad text.
Con: Review Inflation
Cars.com is known for offering incentives to boost its own reviews online. What does this mean? It means that Cars.com regularly asks dealers and customers to leave positive reviews about their experience using their service in exchange for something else. This creates a false sense of positivity when someone searches for unbiased reviews of the site online.
When buying and selling a car, it’s important that you partner with a company that’s transparent, honest, and raw. If a company needs to bribe its customers to boost their rapport, it could mean that they’re aware of issues and unwilling to solve them (like my mother-in-law).
Con: Lack of Reliable Data
Cars.com runs CARFAX reports, but it doesn’t guarantee clean reports or weed out bad vehicles. This means that the database is saturated with totaled vehicles, cars with extensive damage, and “lemons.” They also don’t personally inspect every vehicle, which does little to assure anyone purchasing a car from far away. It leaves room for surprises, and while some surprises can be great, a faulty transmission or leaking gas line aren’t among them.
Con: Charging for Listings
When selling a car, you have enough to worry about. Paying to list your vehicle shouldn’t be on the list of things that give you a headache. Cars.com favors customers who buy into their $50 Marketing Package, which promises better visibility and faster sales.
We prefer a fair and equal platform for all users. Let’s say that you’re trying to sell a car and have fallen on hard times. There may be a person who’s searching for your exact make and model but will overlook your listing due to your wise non-spending.
At TRED, we feel that every listing should be given equal attention and opportunity. That’s why we don’t charge for marketing fees until after your car sells. And even then, the price is the same for everyone, regardless of the value of your vehicle. We also utilize our extensive database (along with partner websites) to target the right buyers for any car.
And, as always, you can take comfort in knowing that each vehicle listed on TRED is backed by a full CARFAX report and NMVTIS title report. We do our best to ensure that you drive away with peace of mind.