Friday, February 18, 2011

Where's The Sticker Price?

I'm reading a terrific book for the second time..."Watch This, Listen Up, Click Here-Inside the 300 Billion Dollar Business Behind the Media You Constantly Consume." Fascinating book, I highly recommend it.

Chapter 15 is entitled, "Why Honda Hates the Internet...and Those Who Haunt It." The beginning two paragraphs read:

"In the dark ages of the early 1990s, before websites such as began publishing the invoice prices of cars for all to see, dealers maximized their profits by shrouding the deal. It wasn't an especially daunting task, as most new-car buyers involved a welter of variables including trade-in value, interest rate, different loan terms and a bevy of fees. In the old way of moving metal, salespeople practices psychological tricks on "ups" (as customers who strolled into the showroom were called) to stoke their excitement for the car, and employed numerical legerdemain on the "four-square" worksheet used to negotiate a typical car deal, starting with the sticker price and workng down and angling to squeeze more from the back end, such as in higher finance charges."

"Once the Internet pulled away the cloak, a car shopper could find the invoice price, add the requiste 2 or 3 percent profit and make an over, take it or leave it. Today, more than four out of five Ford's US customers have gone online before going into the showroom. Most come to the dealer with a spec sheet showing just what they want and what they're prepared to pay for it."

Sound familar? The first paragraph details exactly what happens when customers enter a timeshare presentation. The second paragraph sums up, clearer than anything else that I've seen,why more people don't buy least from the developer.

The first company who clearly unveils "the sticker price" of the timeshare is going to win the timeshare wars. Who is smart enough to step up to the plate?

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