I don’t ride my camel down to the town bazaar to barter with Persian merchants for carpets and spice, and I don’t see why I have to haggle with a car salesman to buy a car. But I do.
Most dealerships post a fake price on the window and then make you engage in a battle of attrition with some lowlife to arrive at a cost that’s fair. And the best part is no matter how hard you try, you’re still going to get fucked.
That’s because virtually every state has franchise laws that prevent you from buying a car directly from the manufacturer. Instead, you have to buy them from a dealer, and that stupid dealership system increases the price of every single vehicle sold by an estimated thirty percent.
This system is also inefficient and results in a lot of unsold cars just sitting on dealer lots.
When I want to buy a computer, I hop online and choose all the options I want. The manufacturer then builds it and ships it to me in a few days. This was a system pioneered by Dell, and GM already does it in Brazil with the Chevrolet Celta.
Brazilian dealerships still do the warranty repairs, but they only stock one Celta, and that’s for test drives. If you want to buy one, you go online and customize it the way you want it, and the factory then builds it and ships it to you. But we can’t do that in America because of these franchise laws.
The owners of car dealerships are some of the most active political donors in the country, and they’ve gotten politicians to create a system that’s great for them but terrible for you.
It’s time these restrictive dealership protection laws were abolished so I can buy a car online.