It started with a simple enough idea: ‘what if I could buy a car without the salesperson knowing who I am?’
Shoshi Vorchheimer (pictured), who is a mother of four and a former English teacher, said she had her fair share of bad experiences with pushy car dealers, and so had many of her friends.
So she built a website.
“I wanted to take age, gender and language barriers out of the negotiation process by giving car buyers a way of negotiating a new car purchase without any bias creeping into the negotiation.”
The website DutchAuctionAuto.com.au is the first of its kind in Australia and is very simple to use.
Once you know what car you want to buy, you post the maximum price you’re prepared to pay for a new car, while dealers compete for the sale by offering their lowest possible price.
“You can include options, paint colour and even rim size in your choice and before setting your price,” says Shoshi.
“DutchAuctionAuto is particularly good for women because research shows that car buying is a ‘man’s world’.”
Shoshi said that car dealers have a reputation for taking advantage of women who might not know as much about cars as men, as well as young people and people whose first language isn't English who might not have the right level of bargaining and negotiating skills.
Once the car buyer sets the price they are willing to pay, licensed car dealers from all over Australia can bid for the sale.
“Whether they’re around the corner, across town or interstate, all the dealer has to do is match or better the specified maximum price at the close of the 72 hour auction and make the deal. The seller then has to deliver the car within a set period, usually four weeks,” Shoshi says.
Car buyers across Australia can use DutchAuctionAuto.com.au for free.
Once committed to buying a car, buyers put down a $1,100 deposit. If unsuccessful, the buyer’s deposit is fully refunded. Fees are only paid by the dealer when the sale is successful.
Shoshi says that the website is not only great news for buyers, but also for dealers.
“It helps them close sales in a tough market,” she says.
“The Australian automotive market is becoming increasingly competitive so dealers need to find ways to reduce their overheads while accessing new sales leads.
“DutchAuctionAuto is equivalent to opening up a new dealership without the costs.”
Soshi says she has had an overwhelming response from dealers.
“They just love the concept. They recognise that by increasing sales volume at no extra cost, they can also lower their prices and be more competitive.
“And buyers can span their search across Australia to find the best deal.”