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eBay: Car Buyers Will Buy Online

February 16, 2017

BRISBANE, Calif. — Will consumers buy cars online? Results of a new two-part consumer survey conducted by eBay Advertising shows they will..

Six-three percent of consumers polled indicated they are “likely” or “extremely likely” to purchase a car online in the future. Additionally, twice as many men as women have purchased cars online, citing reasons such as convenience, low prices, variety and access to more options. The survey results also showed that, when it comes to features, both men and women care the most about price, reliability and safety.

“Technology continues to evolve the automotive shopping journey,” said Josh Wetzel, senior director of sales and marketing at eBay Advertising. “Consumers are already executing prepurchase activities related to online research with increased interest in online automotive experiences. As more consumers continue to embrace automotive ecommerce for vehicles; enhanced experiences and technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence will continue to drive a larger shift to online purchasing.”

Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they are using the internet to research a vehicle prior to purchase, including reviewing price comparisons, ratings and current reviews. Among those who prefer to purchase vehicles in person, female survey respondents say it’s because they want to be able to take a test drive, while male survey respondents want to be able to check out the condition of the car.

Additional findings include:

  • eBay Motors buyers rely more on customer and professional reviews than informational dealership visits.
  • The average length of the buying process is two months.
  • Women are more likely than men to plan to keep their vehicle until it dies.
  • 7% of respondents said they prefer to share the news of a new vehicle purchase with their friends and family in person, rather than via the phone, text or social media.
  • Sedans, crossovers and SUVs were the most popular vehicles.
  • Men are more likely than women to purchase a convertible or a collectible car.

The survey included more than 1,000 U.S. consumer between the ages of 18 and 65 who had purchased a vehicle in the last six months. The company also analyzed eBay Motors data based on approximately 1,000 consumers who had either made purchases from the “Cars and Trucks” category on eBay Motors or who browsed the site in 2016. 

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