Buying a used cars? These simple tricks could save you time and money

If it’s not the plethora of models and versions available – plus diesels, petrols and hybrids – the choices can seem almost endless before you have even got to the detailed decisions of a used car’s mileage or condition.

However, the reality is that while there are plenty of hurdles to trip you up in the used car market, there is also plenty you can do to help yourself too.

Do a little homework on where and how to fi nd the best deal and you can give yourself a helping hand before you have even taken a test drive.

Buying a used carGETTY STOCK

Buying a used car needn’t cause headaches, just follow a few simple rules

1. CHOICES

The first steps are the most obvious. What do you need your car for?

There is little point in buying a small city car if you are likely to spend hours pounding the motorway but likewise there is no point in buying an expensive sports car if it sits in the train station car park for 90 per cent of the week.

Think about why you are buying this car and why you need it in the first place.

Do you need to regularly transport your family or is this car largely for you alone? Will anyone else be driving it and what are their needs?

Do you need a small hatchback or a large estate, four-wheel drive for tricky lanes or perhaps a crossover for that high-up driving position?

Is your situation likely to change soon with a new baby, children leaving home or even a job switch and how will that affect matters?

Of course, much of the above will be dictated by your budget and what you can afford but give it some serious thought as the last thing you want to do is to have to go through the whole process again.

Used carGETTY

Hybrid and electric cars are still not for everyone

2. FUEL FOR THOUGHT

Although hybrid and electric cars have gained massively in popularity and sales in recent years, they are still not for everyone.

Electric cars, while having improved, are still limited by their range compared to petrols or diesels and if you are doing a lot of motorway miles, then they might prove pricier to run than you think.

Look at online owner forums and read road tests to get a clearer picture of which might suit you.

The same goes for the age-old petrol versus diesel question too.

The latter might boast a better fuel economy at the pumps but you might need to be doing some serious annual mileage to realise that saving.

Some local authorities are penalising diesel drivers too when parking, so be sure to check.

Buying a used carGETTY

Buying a used car from a franchised dealer is undoubtedly the safest place to go shopping

3. BUYING FROM A DEALER

Buying a used car from a franchised dealer is undoubtedly the safest place to go shopping for your next wheels but it is probably the most expensive too.

They will have a larger stock, especially of newer models usually in excellent condition but be sure to shop around to get the best deal for you.

By comparison, independent dealers will be more affordable and usually feature slightly older cars but they cannot usually offer quite the same back-up with their warranties.

Some will be able to sell you independent warranties for a little peace of mind but make sure you read the small print to find out what is covered before signing on the dotted line.

Used carsGETTY STOCK

If you are after a mainstream model, then a car supermarket is a great choice

4. CAR SUPERMARKETS

If you are after a mainstream model, then a car supermarket such as Cargiant is a great choice.

The cars might not have the same level of care and attention bestowed upon them as a dealership but what you will have is great value and plenty of choice.

Look beyond the odd scuffed alloy wheel or higher-than-average mileage and you can fi nd some bargains.

The downsides?

The cars might require some cosmetic TLC but they are a great way to save on time and shoe leather especially with mainstream models as you can see lots of cars in one place at the same time. Instead of looking at one or two Ford Focuses or VW Golfs, you might have ten to choose from, so if you need a car in a hurry, they are a great opportunity.

10. Ford F-150

5. PURCHASING PRIVATELY

Aside from car auctions – which are certainly not for the faint-hearted – buying a car privately is probably the riskiest option here – but it’s also probably the cheapest.

The good news is that private sales can sometimes realise some real well-loved, one-owner bargains.

The bad news is that it can unearth some of the worst cars too. Before going to look at any car make sure you ask about its provenance, details and mileage of the car beforehand so that you can do an HPI check (to verify the car’s mileage and finance status).

Independent inspections by fi rms such as the AA and small garages are often available for a fee but rely on your common sense and you will not go too far wrong – if a car looks and sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Check every detail with a keen eye and make sure you take it on a decent test drive, running through all the gears and asking the owner about it.

If you are not confi dent enough to do it on your own, take a friend (two pairs of eyes are always better than one) and if they are mechanically-minded, so much the better. Whichever route you choose, though, when buying your next used car, do not buy a car that you are not 100 per cent happy with.

If it does not feel right, just walk away – there will always be another ten just around the corner.

The power to buy or not is always in your hands, never forget that.

[“Source-express”]

Amazon India Officially Launches ‘Local Finds’ Buying, Selling Platform in Four Cities

Amazon India Officially Launches 'Local Finds' Buying, Selling Platform in Four Cities

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon customers can buy and sell new and used goods
  • The company facilities delivery and payments
  • Local Finds was first piloted in Bengaluru earlier this year

Amazon India has officially launched its Local Finds service in India, a platform for customers to find and sell used and new goods to others in their city. Piloted in Bengaluru since earlier this year and spotted in action last month, the service is now live in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai in addition. Amazon facilitates delivery and payments for Local Finds transactions, something that’s rare to see in the online pre-owned and online classifieds space – a USP of the service with the company picking, packing, and shipping the product.

Through Local Finds, Amazon India customers in the same city can other buy and sell products amongst each other. Product categories include books, fashion, home decor, music, movies, mobiles, laptops, accessories, tablets, and video games. The company boasts that customers are adding “hand crafted and rare products” daily. The Bengaluru pilot saw roughly 600 sellers, and up to launch, it has seen 30,000 customers use the service across all four cities.

To launch Local Finds, Amazon India has an introductory offer with free delivery along with cashback (up to Rs. 100) as Amazon Pay Balance for purchases of certain items, and as an incentive for sellers, it is offering additional earnings of Rs. 500 upon selling five items.

Talking about Local Finds, Mahendra Nerurkar, Director – New Initiatives, Amazon India said, “Through our pilot, we realized that in every city we have customers who have a few products to sell – some want to get value for their used products, others are hobbyists, creators and home entrepreneurs who need to find the right customers for what they collect or create and there are customers who are interested in buying such products. Existing solutions available to such sellers and buyers had gaps – people needed to commute in traffic and meet strangers, this lead to privacy and safety concerns along with precious time and money lost. With Local Finds, we aim to seamlessly connect sellers and buyers, help them quickly list and discover each other’s products and transact tension free with delivery, payments and customer service facilitated by Amazon. We are humbled to see over 30,000 customers sell their products on Local Finds in such a short period of time.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Shares Interesting Insights on Consumer Mobile Buying Habits

facebook mobile

In the last couple of years, the number of shoppers using mobile devices to make purchases during the holiday season has increased rapidly. If Facebook is to be believed, it promises to be no different this year.

According to a Facebook IQ article, the percentage of online purchasers transacting on a mobile device will rise by 30 percent this holiday season.

In the article, Helen Crossley, Facebook IQ’s Head of Consumer Insights Research, shares some interesting insights on how to succeed in mobile commerce.

Basket Sizes on Mobile

For marketers, one of the biggest challenges is that the basket sizes on mobile devices are smaller than those on desktops and in-store. Crossley mentions that on an average and in aggregate, mobile basket sizes “are worth 60 cents to the dollar versus a desktop transaction, whereas a tablet transaction is worth $1.

She also explains several factors account for the smaller basket size on mobile phones. For example a large number of people who make mobile purchases don’t have access to tablets and desktops. Such buyers are likely to have less disposable incomes and spending power.

But what’s perhaps most interesting is a finding from an internal Facebook study that reveals when marketers control for people and the categories they’re buying from across devices, “smartphone and desktop sizes are actually on par.”

This is a useful insight because it tells us:

  • It’s not all about the size of the screen,
  • People who own a smartphone and a desktop are less likely to be mobile-dependent,
  • They are more likely to have higher disposable income and be tech-savvy.

Mobile Site vs. App

Deciding whether to go for a mobile site or an app often causes confusion among marketers. According to Facebook, 58 percent of mobile purchases are made on mobile sites, whereas 42 percent are on apps.

Further, there are fewer transactions on mobile sites and more on apps for frequent mobile shoppers.

To choose between mobile sites and apps, marketers need to ask themselves:

  • What is my primary goal?
  • Am I mainly concerned with customer acquisition?
  • Or do I want to drive frequency and loyalty?

Future of Mobile Commerce

Millennials are going to play a key role in driving mobile commerce growth. Crossley calls them the “Thumb Generation” and says they are going to conduct commerce related activities on their mobile devices more than the older generation.

There are also some interesting figures that support Crossley’s observation:

  • 83 percent of Millennials research products on their smartphone compared to 66 percent of Gen Xers (the Mouse generation) and 25 percent of Boomers (the Remote generation)
  • 69 percent of Millennials buy products on their smartphone compared to 53 percent of Gen Xers and 16 percent of Boomers

Consumer mobile buying habits clearly indicate that M-commerce will gain further momentum in the coming years. The best way to harness its potential is to focus on people and offer solutions that they’re most interested in.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Wal-Mart Buying Jet.com to Lift Online Sales, Battle Amazon

Wal-Mart Buying Jet.com to Lift Online Sales, Battle AmazonWal-Mart Buying Jet.com to Lift Online Sales, Battle Amazon
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, vying to better challenge Amazon.com Inc , will pay about $3 billion (roughly Rs. 20,076 crores) for Internet retailer Jet.com and its innovative pricing software in the largest-ever deal for an e-commerce startup.

The deal disclosed on Monday follows a five-year e-commerce acquisition spree in which Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest traditional retailer, has already bought 15 startups, seeking the talent and technology to make it a dominant player online and narrow the massive gap with market leader Amazon.

Wal-Mart’s online division has underperformed against Amazon, posting its slowest growth in a year in the first quarter as it struggled to gain traction with consumers, especially millennials.

Jet.com was launched by Internet entrepreneur Marc Lore in July 2015 and includes software that can offer a customer lower prices as they add items to their shopping cart. Wal-Mart has said it would integrate that software into its main website while keeping Jet.com as a separate entity.

“One of the things we really like (about Jet) is that the customer is even more in-charge of the price that they pay,” Chief Executive Doug McMillon said on a media call.
McMillon said Wal-Mart will take time in getting the technology and design components from Jet and that they will grow both brands separately in the short-term.

“Over time, piece-by-piece, we will end up running a business that is simpler and not completely independent.”

McMillon said Lore would run its new US e-commerce business. Lore had cofounded Quidsi, the owner of sites like Diapers.com and Soap.com, which was sold to Amazon.

“Marc’s e-commerce experience and success are obviously attractive,” McMillon said.

Wal-Mart’s current head of global e-commerce Neil Ashe will leave the company at the end of the fiscal year.

The decision to run Jet as an independent website is a good step because it can stay focused on growth, but the price Wal-Mart paid is high, UBS retail analyst Michael Lasser said in a note to clients.

Wal-Mart said it would pay around $3 billion in cash and $300 million in shares for Jet, with some of that paid over time. Given Jet’s revenue of about $500 million, the cash purchase price represents six times Jet’s revenue, according to analysts.

Moody’s retail analyst Charlie O’Shea said the acquisition gives Wal-Mart a leg-up on competitors in the race to be the No. 2 online retailer, citing the size of Jet.com’s online offerings and number of customers. Wal-Mart said Jet has added nearly 400,000 new shoppers monthly.

“The impact on Amazon will be fairly benign. However, this acquisition, in tandem with its joint-venture in China with JD.com, demonstrates that Walmart is attacking online retail with significant zeal,” he said.

In June, Wal-Mart said it sold its Chinese online grocery store in return for a stake in JD.com Inc, China’s 2 e-commerce firm.

Billions spent on online efforts
Wal-Mart’s first-quarter online sales grew 7 percent, a weaker rate than any of the four quarters just before that. In 2015, Wal-Mart’s online sales rose 12.3 percent to $13.7 billion, compared with a 16 percent jump to $92.4 billion for Amazon.com.

Wal-Mart has not said what it spent on acquisitions, but prior to the Jet.com deal it disclosed a total of $3.1 billion for e-commerce and digital projects, such as its platform and new warehouses, in the four fiscal years to January 2017.

The deal should give Wal-Mart the scale to bolster its online presence, broaden its assortment of goods and offer the lowest prices at the same time, analysts said.

Wal-Mart noted Jet has offered 12 million items in its first year of operation.

Wal-Mart has said previously it wants to expand its online selection from around 10 million items to the tens of millions over the next few years. Rival Amazon has more than 200 million items for sale online.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Internet, JD.com, Jet.com, Wal Mart, Walmart

[“Source-Gadgets”]