Buying a new car should be fun, but the haggling over prices and high-pressure sales tactics at many dealerships can quickly make it anything but an enjoyable experience. CarWoo, which officially launches today, wants to transform car buying by giving its users the ability to negotiate prices and get quotes from multiple dealers online. While there are already plenty of car buying sites online that aim to help consumers, CarWoo claims that its system is not only more open and transparent (the competing dealers see each others’ quotes, for example), but also one of the few sites that are actually working for the consumer and are not beholden to the dealerships.
To use CarWoo, consumers have to pay. For $19, you can get up to 3 dealerships compete with each other for their business and for $49, CarWoo guarantees that you will get the lowest price and lets up to 5 dealerships compete (the company offers a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied). You can choose to haggle with these dealers and ask questions, but for those who don’t feel comfortable with haggling over their new car’s price and want to make their car buying experience as stress-free as possible, the system should take care of that for them as the different dealers can see each others’ offers and will (hopefully) try to underbid each other.
As Tommy McClung, CarWoo’s CEO and one of the co-founders, told us earlier this week, generating leads for car dealerships is a big business. Because of this, most similar services are financed directly by the dealerships and, as McClung told us, don’t really cater to consumers as much as to the dealerships. On CarWoo, the dealerships don’t pay to be included on the site, so the company is not beholden to them.
One of the nice features of the site is that users won’t have to give up their private information in order to start the process. The dealer never sees the customer’s name, phone number and address until the negotiations are over and the customer walks into the dealership.
For the time being, CarWoo is focusing on selling new cars, though the team might move into the used car business at a later point. CarWoo also just announced a new financing round (led by Interwest Partners with participation by Comcast Interactive Capital, Blumberg Capital, Accelerator Ventures, Raymond Tonsing and Dillon McDonald). In total, the company has now received more than $6 million in funding.