I've always dreamed of an easier way to buy a car. No matter how much homework I do, I never feel good after I've visited a dealership. My non-blogging friend and Microsoft colleague, Thomas Lewis, and I have speculated many times about a service that would handle the process of negotiation, purchase, and delivery without all of the traditional hassle. Wondering if someone may already do this, I turned to the internet, and after a few searches, I found The Amazing Autowoman (otherwise known as Heidi Hough).
Before picking up the phone, I did as she suggests on her site. My wife and I visited a number of local dealerships to test-drive vehicles, and once we picked one, we got our "best price." Then, I called Heidi, and she said that she could do better. It's important to understand that Heidi is a buyer's agent whose job is to act as the buyer's representative and negotiate and/or arrange for the purchase of a vehicle (similar to a buyer's agent in real estate), and as such, she charges a fee for her services. But even after her fee, her price was a great deal. And this for a new model year vehicle that's tough to find much of a discount on. We decided to see how amazing this "autowoman" truly is.
After a few calls to determine colors, options, and availability, a lot of our communications with Heidi were done via e-mail. As a full-on Microsoft geek, I really appreciated this. Heidi kept us informed during the whole process. In our first phone conversation, she said something like: "it'll be like ordering a book over the internet." And I thought to myself: "don't tease me, Heidi...I only wish it could be that easy."
Well, I'm here to tell you that it was just about that easy! The only thing we really had to do for ourselves was call our insurance company and give them the VIN number for the new car. Otherwise, Heidi scheduled a time to meet my wife and I at my office and told us which checks to write, to whom, and for what amounts. She showed up on-time with the new car, had us sign a stack of papers, and explained in plain language what each of the documents were for. After that, she handed us the keys, and we were done. Seriously. Oh...she also gave us a few good tips about car pricing, servicing, etc. Her 20+ years of experience doing this really shows.
So, not only did we get the best price on the car, but almost all of the paperwork was handled by Heidi, and we didn't have to spend any time at the dealership. It was completely painless. You can bet that we'll be using The Amazing Autowoman for our next vehicle purchase.
Mike, great post. Your new site looks sweet! I'm tempted to bust out the reflections on my logo now.
I love how this post is about a small business person behind this company and working to satisfy the customers. The business is driven entirely by how well she treats the customers and gives them exactly what they ask for.
I definitely found some inspiration in this post. Good stuff.
I've recently relocated to Seattle because I've taken a job a Microsoft.
You'll be interested to know that there are subcontractors that are hired by Microsoft to help people that move here from overseas and they also highly recommend The Amazing Autowoman.
I have to say after reading this, I'm not as anxious about going out shopping for a new car.
Alex Barnett shares a similar great experience with Heidi: http://www.alexbarnett.net/blog/archive/2007/03/29/amazing_5F00_car_5F00_woman.aspx