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Gen Y Buyer Goes Out of His Way to Avoid the Dealership Next Door

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Article Highlights:

  • Word of mouth is a huge influencer for all customers, including Gen Y.
  • "We did NOT want to purchase from the dealership next door!"

We’ve all heard the stories about Generation Y and how different they are from the generations before them. They don’t like talking face to face, they’re very tech savvy, they’re always wanting praise… the list goes on and on.

However, some things do stay the same. I sat down to talk with Josh about his recent new vehicle purchase and found out that word of mouth, whether good or bad, still has a major impact on people’s buying decisions, including Generation Y.

Read Josh’s story below to find out how a few bad stories from co-workers affected his buying decision.

A. Tell me about your experience shopping for your new vehicle. Where did you search, what did you search for, how many sites did you go to?

J. Well, my wife and I started out searching online, just looking at what’s available, trying to find what car and trim level we wanted and what features we liked most.

We googled different makes and models to compare new vs. used cars. We looked at over 10 different websites just to narrow our search down to a few cars.

A. Did you research dealerships too?

J. Yes, we researched the online inventory for several dealerships to make sure they had what we were looking for. Then we had to make sure they would accept the discount we received from our insurance company. We ended up finding two dealerships with the exact vehicle we wanted that would accept the discount.

One of them was pretty much within walking distance of our home, but we did not want to visit their store. The second one was about 40 minutes away.

A. Why didn’t you want to go to the dealership close to your home?

J. We did NOT want to purchase from the dealership next door! My wife’s co-workers told us about their bad experiences with the pushy sales staff and unfriendly service department.  We also heard their sales staff had a reputation for trying to make the biggest sale regardless of the customer. Even though it was closer and had the exact vehicle we wanted, we just didn’t want to deal with it.

A. So, you chose to go to a dealership farther away than next door?

J. Yes, we ended up driving to the one 40 minutes away. We drove up there one Saturday; test drove it and brought it back home that same day.

A. Do you plan to go back to the dealership for service or your next purchase down the road?

J. For service, it’s a little too far to drive. They gave us a coupon book, but I don’t think I’d drive that far unless it was a major mechanical issue or high dollar problem.

As for my next car, I would definitely check out their online inventory and if they had something I really liked, I’d probably drive up there.

A. What about the dealership next door? Will you go there for service?

J. Definitely not! There are other dealerships and service centers in our area with better reputations than them.


Whether it’s online or in the community, your reputation is everything!

Josh and his wife drove 40 miles away when there was a dealership right next door with the exact vehicle they wanted. Even though the dealership they bought from won’t see the service dollars, neither will the dealership next door because of their lousy reputation – that means they lost out on the sale and the repeat business!

Your consumers are talking about their experience at your dealership… the good, the bad, and the ugly. Do you know what they’re saying?

This article is part of a new series featuring Generation Y customers and their experiences when buying cars. Generation Y is the newest customer coming through your dealership’s doors, and we want to help you understand them better! Read more about the changing consumer experience and how you can stay ahead with our whitepapers.

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Director, Brand Marketing, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ashley is Director of Marketing Communications for Reynolds and Reynolds. In her 10 years with Reynolds, she has managed the marketing strategy for several key Reynolds solutions and branding initiatives. Today, she leads the U.S. and Canadian marketing teams to drive brand awareness, product penetration, and content strategy for Reynolds and other key brands within the Reynolds Retail Management System.

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