Q: What are the benefits of working with an auto broker?
A: Historically, buyers worked with brokers to get the best deal when there was really no way to know what a good deal was. Insert services like Costco, AAA and TRUECar, buyers can now easily find the same deals that a broker can. There are still brokers that simply get price discounts but brokers that offer more benefits have greater access to what the customer wants. He or she may provide customers with benefits such as accurate quotes on specific cars, negotiating, expedited dealer visits, transparency through the entire process, and even discounts on maintenance. Dealers have been slow to adopt the idea that customers will pay a bit more for better service, and that’s what good brokers provide.
Q: How do brokers get paid?
A: Brokers are paid in two primary ways: from the client and/or from the dealer. Each source might be combined or independent of one another. My primary source of income from brokering deals is from the client. This way, clients can be sure that I am looking out for their interest first and foremost. Fees might be flat, ranging from $200-$1,000 or may be a small percentage of MSRP savings. The cost should be justified by time or money saved.
Q: What should buyers look for in a broker and where do they start?
A: What to look for in a broker is easy… find the better half of you. Brokers exist to provide a thorough and efficient car buying experience. You will lean on them for knowledge, skill and facilitation. If the offering aligns with how you like to buy cars, then the broker fee can be more than justified.
Finding a broker can be accomplished by the normal online research channels, similar to looking for a good restaurant. One interesting tidbit about the broker business model is that you are not exactly bound by state lines. Good brokers can broker deals in other states.
Q: Do brokers help with new and used cars purchases?
A: Yes. Though, a broker’s value is greater with new car purchases because new cars have greater room for negotiation. Still, brokers who help with used cars can provide great guidance and consultation when considering a previously owned purchase. For example, I perform a ‘used vehicle analysis’ report for clients which is an all-encompassing report of items they may or may not have overlooked. A second opinion on a used car purchase is always helpful.