We live in an age of instant discounts. Groupon, Living Social, Gilt and a host of other websites offer up excellent deals on everything from designer clothes to dinner. One area those sites have yet to tap is the world of car buying. Groupon has tried, but it hasn't exactly gone swimmingly.

Partnering up with LaFontaine Automotive Group in Detroit, Groupon offered consumers a $500 coupon for the price of $199. Mind you, that's not $500 off since you just shelled out nearly 200 bucks, but you'll get a $301 reduction in the bottom line of the vehicle purchase price. LaFontaine needed at least 10 folks to jump on the Groupon deal.

Just four folks understood the deal and clicked "Buy!"

It seems this first attempt at a Groupon deal for car buying hasn't gone as well as some hoped. Customers want more bang for their buck, and $301 off the price of a new car just isn't going to cut it.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      jbm0866
      • 3 Years Ago
      $300 bucks off is not only pretty weak, but it's $300 off of what price? Since this is all done before negotiations, there is nothing stopping the dealership from recouping that $300 (and maybe more) on the final agreed price..
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course it was a fail - The one and only bargaining chip that a prospective buyer has during negotiations on a purchase/lease of an automobile is the ability to stand up and walk away... ...whereas pre-purchasing a $301 discount locks you into dealing with that company, or you risk losing your $199. (Then of course there's the "60% discount" falsehood within the Groupon ad - That's just insulting)
      Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would not have bought into it either. It would be another excuse to not deduct the price as the dealer knows you are now bound to deal with them unless you dont mind losing money. I really was not a smart Groupon.
      jbphoto
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now if they offered the usual 50-75% off like they do on everything else, I'd be all in.
      TerryP
      • 3 Years Ago
      AB says four understood the deal and purchased this. I think everyone understood the deal and the four were suckered into misunderstanding it.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Woah, that was a shock! /s
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can save 10x that much just by going to Edmunds and being informed about the car I'm looking at. Being Groupon, I want 50% off a car just like I can get on a massage, dinner out, or a jelly-of-the-month club membership.
      Draw007
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lame.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Egon
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you're purchasing cars at MSRP or 'a tad below', you're getting royally screwed. I don't need the politicans to protect me from dealers. So long as the dealers are still getting customers that are willing to pay sticker, I'll have plenty of room to negotiate a good purchase price for myself.
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Egon
          Apparently the CT Attorney General sued Best Buy over this very issue and Best Buy agreed to settle late last year. http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?Q=382168&A=2788 http://ctwatchdog.com/2010/12/13/best-buy-settles-with-attorney-general-over-secret-web-site-used-to-cheat-customers But hey, Best Buy doesn't ever rip anyone off right??
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Egon
          Quote from Sea Urchin, - "i shop at Best Buy and they never ripped anyone off and i have no issues at all with them making money off me." - Wow really? You haven't looked very hard then. I know tons of people that have been ripped off by them and they don't often have the best prices on a lot of goods. But, if you want to believe that, go ahead. I personally recall one instance in particular when I went in to buy a digital camera. I had looke dup online which one I wanted, I found the exact model int he store and it was advertised for a different price. I calle dover one of their employees and mentioned it to him. He went over to one of their in-store computers and pulled up the BB website and the camera I wanted was listed as the same as the in-store price. This was before smartphones were big and I didn't have one of my own to verify the price either. He absolutely wouldn't believe that their own website (outside the store apparently) had the camera listed at a lower price (it was not an internet only deal either). So, I went home, bought the camera online from best buy, selected in-store pick up and went back to the very same store and picked up the camera for the discounted price they claimed didn't exist. Mine wasn't the only such instance of this issue either. I've heard of many such cases after it happened to me and a Google search brings up some as well. Here are a couple of such cases, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070209/124307.shtml http://consumerist.com/2007/02/best-buys-secret-employee-only-in-store-website-shows-different-prices-than-public-website.html
        mcdonaldtyler
        • 3 Years Ago
        Then I have to travel to Detroit to get it fixed? Thanks but no thanks...
          The Other Bob
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mcdonaldtyler
          John Sands - The automaker could own the dealership if state laws did not get in the way.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        God I would hate to be a car buyer in this country if you were appointed as car czar.
        John Sands
        • 3 Years Ago
        And I guess you are going to take your car that has broken down under warranty back to Best Buy and Amazon.com... Get real and go buy a used car, from a private seller, and learn how to fix it under that shade tree that's out behind your house... Dealerships are not going anywhere
      GearHeadDeals.com
      • 3 Years Ago
      As others said, the dealer is negotiable anyways. In this type of market, the aftermarket is where coupons should be applied. GearHeadDeals has been doing this for awhile now and caters to the car enthusiast. We thank autoblog for their article on us earlier this year.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GearHeadDeals.com
        The aftermarket is where coupons *of this amount* should be applied. The primary market is where coupons *of this percentage* should be applied. It's what you call a "loss leader". Don't drive down the price of every object on the shelf -- just the ones that get people in the door to spend more. Problem is, that primary market doesn't know how to do after-sales service. They are utterly bewildered. I don't have any suggestions -- I'm not the marketing type, being that I was born with a soul...
      ismail
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ankara's Havalimani transferleri, hotel transfers, car with driver is available to meet local needs… http://www.ankaraotokira.com/ankara-soforlu-arac-kiralama.html?lang=en
      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would buy this IF I had been buying a car from this dealershp already and signed a contract, picking it up that night and not yet done financing. Then I would pull this guy out at the finance guy's office and say "Here's $500 down" - They would flinch and probably bitch, but they would have to honor it... That would be pretty rare case, but it would be worth buying it then!
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ICantDrive88
        No, they wouldn't have to honor it if the coupon said that you had to present the coupon ahead of time.
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