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New website lets you shop for car salespeople

June 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A recent survey of consumers shows that one of the most important factors to having a good car-buying experience is working with a good salesperson. But how do you find the person you would like to deal with? Car buying is changing. Now through the Internet you can pick the salesperson before you go to the dealership.

For a lot of consumers buying a new car is very exciting but the process of buying can be dreadful, especially if you don't like the salesperson.

"It's probably 70 percent, 80 percent of people, when a car salesman comes up to them and they say, 'Can I help you,' they say, 'No, I'm just looking,'" said Chuck Dapoz, president of DealerPick.com. "Come on. They're not just looking, they're there to buy a car. But they're uncomfortable. How do you break the ice? How do you get over that fear factor?"

Dapoz co-founded DealerPick. He says it's like a match-making service between car buyers and car sellers. On the website a buyer can choose the exact salesperson they want to do business with by watching a video clip of that person.

"So you can see what someone, not just what they look like, but what they sound like. It's nothing short of amazing how much personality comes across in just a few seconds of video," said Dapoz.

Matt Chong is a salesman with Honda of Thousand Oaks. Having been in the military is one way he hopes to relate to customers, and so far it has worked.

"I'm currently working with a customer found on DealerPick, and she was talking about how she used to be in Hawaii, and I said, 'I was stationed there,'" said Chong.

Another benefit is that DealerPick may actually create more competition between car dealerships: Competition for the best salespeople. And that's only good news for the consumer.

"This will break down the barriers for people. This is kind of a natural evolution," said Scott Stanley, vice president of Honda of Thousand Oaks. "If at first people went online to see the research of the vehicles, then they went online to see the pricing. Now they can decide who they want to deal with."

Currently the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall is the test market for DealerPick, but the concept may expand to other areas.

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