Car Negotiating on Autopilot: A Carwoo Review

UPDATE: CarWoo has gone out of business. I recommend using these other car price websites to find the best car prices.

CarWooCarWoo sounds like an innocent and friendly name, but don’t let that fool you.  It’s a powerful new service that turns car buyers into fierce negotiators.  Car dealers who don’t embrace Internet-savvy, comparison shoppers will become dinosaurs. And car buyers will love the CarWoo experience that puts them in control of negotiations.
In my new car buying strategy I detail how to make car dealers compete with each other.  But I’ll admit, it takes work to send emails and keep track of car dealer responses.  CarWoo eliminates much of that manual effort by tracking dealer offers for you and allowing car dealers to see each other’s offers.
The CarWoo website is like a reverse auction for car buyers, but there’s no set time period and you don’t have to buy if you don’t find a deal you like.  Instead of prices going up, car dealers lower their prices while you sit back and watch.  In this post I’ll review how CarWoo works and in my next post I provide detailed tips on how to correctly use CarWoo to avoid leaving any money on the table (or in the dealer’s wallet).

Your Auto Advocate is developing new car buying tools to compete where CarWoo failed.  Check out my review of YAA and their latest features.

What is CarWoo? And why is it one of the best ways to buy a car?

CarWoo is not like any other free car price website.   All other car price services require you to enter a phone number and email address that’s passed along to dealerships.  You can expect to be bombarded with calls and emails interrupting your day. In fact, I usually recommend creating new email and Google Voice accounts specifically to sort through the spam from car dealers.
But CarWoo is different, they keep you completely anonymous.  You provide contact details when you sign up, but they are never shared with car dealers until you want to talk to them.
Dealers send you offers through CarWoo’s website, instead of sending you emails.  You just logon and watch the offers roll in.  Each dealer can see their competitors’ prices, so they usually reduce their offers in order to beat other dealers.  After a couple days of sitting back and relaxing, your car price should be much lower than where it started.

How does CarWoo Work?

1- First you select a make and model car and check all the dealerships you’d like to send you car prices.

How CarWoo works

2- Then you create a CarWoo account (Don’t worry, your contact information is not shared with car dealers unless you allow it).
3- Within a few hours you should start receiving offers

4- Over the course of a couple days, car dealers will try to beat each other’s prices.  And you get to choose the lowest offer.
5- You can make a counter offer any time, but you should never use this feature!!—I’ll explain why that’s a big mistake in my next post.

CarWoo offer details

6- After you get a price you like, you can accept the offer and print a CarWoo Official Claim Certificate.  This gives you something to take to the dealership as proof when you go to pick-up and pay for your car.

How much does CarWoo Cost?

  • It’s completely free to get competitive offers on a single make and model car through CarWoo.
  • If you want to get offers on 2 or 3 different makes and models, then it costs $89.  So what’s the lesson here?  Figure out exactly the type of car you want before starting a negotiation so you won’t have to pay the fee!

CarWoo Review

Here’s what I like about CarWoo

  • Anonymous negotiating so you don’t have to provide your contact info. to dealers!
  • I love the “out-the-door” estimator. They independently provide an estimate of additional costs (like tax, title, and license). This is calculated for you automatically with each dealer offer – so no guessing if the dealer included it.
  • Phone support – This is the only service I’m aware of that actually takes your calls and helps you negotiate.
  • You can potentially get competitive car prices from up to 15 car dealers.  All other car price services will give you a maximum of 5.
  • Their website is very intuitive and extremely easy to use.

Here are the only things I don’t like about CarWoo

  • CarWoo is growing quickly, but is not yet the largest of dealer networks.  They say you will get offers from at least 3 dealers, but how many more than that varies based on how many dealers are signed up in your area.  I recommend getting car prices from at least 8 dealers to get a truly competitive price.  However, if you do not get enough offers, you can always check these places for more new car prices.
  • You can see CarWoo user reviews and ratings of dealerships from other readers, but that’s only effective if enough people have left feedback.  I’ve found that car dealer reviews are sparse, but that should change as CarWoo becomes more popular.
  • On the offer page, there is a big button to “Send a Counter Offer”.  As mentioned above, it is a mistake to use this feature as you will only set a price floor for yourself that dealers will never go below.  I explain how to get around this in my next post.

UPDATE: CarWoo has gone out of business. I recommend using these other car price websites to find the best car prices.