TTAC republished an excellent piece by David Ruggles on True Car's transparency game. Full disclosure, True Car is a competitor of mine and while I respect their business model, we differ greatly in our approach. True Car is essentially a "broker" they charge the dealerships a "fee" for participating in their website in return those dealers get the leads that True Car generates. Of course those dealers have to agree to sell a vehicle at a specific price. I have found these prices to be pretty good deals, but not awesome ones. What consumers need to understand is that the sale price of the car is only one way the dealer will take your money. Often dealerships will discount a car to undercut their competition only to make the difference up with "back-end" fees and charges.
For my customers I have the sale price, tax and paperwork fees, detailed with a final cost all laid out in writing so that they can see how much they are paying.
Of course my other advantage over True Car is that do not deal with used cars or leases. Most of my business usually is lightly used, CPO or leased, luxury cars. While negotiating leases is not much different than a new sale, the used car market can get much trickier.
I will say that True Car and I do share one major similarity, some dealers just won't play ball. I have had many dealers blow me off and give me some line of BS on why it's policy "not to send price quotes via email." These dealerships usually have a reputation for not being the most "transparent." However the smart ones, are aggressive with their pricing and get me the info I need quickly. They understand that even though they won't make a ton of money off of this deal today, their interaction with me means more deals in the future.