This morning on my drive to the office I heard an ad for a new online car buying service called Vroom. Their entire pitch to the consumer is that car buying is time-consuming and boooooo-ring. That going on test drives and researching different models and trims is a waste of time. So why not just pick the color you like and buy a car sight unseen?
OK, sure, lots of us here have bought or at least considered buying a car from many states away and having it shipped. But I also bet we all spent hours driving cars to decide on the exact model, year, and trim level we wanted, then shopped nation-wide for that car.We probably hired a mobile PPI tech to inspect the car. We probably talked extensively to the seller about the car’s history. We might’ve even flown out to see the car in person and drive it home after the deal is done, or fly home empty-handed if it wasn’t perfect enough.
But now we’re being told this is all pointless. Just go online and buy a car. Get financing, pay the man, and wait a week for your purchase to be dropped off in front of your house. Don’t test drive, it’s a waste of time! How 2007 of you. Just buy it. You’ll love it. Promise.
To be fair, I think most consumers these days are only concerned with how many buttons are on the dash, and for those folks there’s fundamentally no difference between a Corolla and an A4. Vehicles are appliances, and we’re being conditioned to base our decision largely on how many stars out of 5 the product has.
I dunno why, but this entire concept really bugs me. Cars are generally the second most expensive purchase we’ll make (unless you count college as a purchase, and I guess we should). I can’t help but feel that convenience is diminishing our ability to think critically and solve actual real-life problems, like making expensive, life-altering purchases.