Clicks or tire kicks?

Position:Cyberwise - Online car buying - Brief Article
 
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Q I thought online car buying was supposed to be the next-big thing to hit the Web--what happened?

--Shane Blake Baltimore A Ah ... the best laid plans of mice and men ... well, you know the rest. From the mid 1990s to the dawn of the 2000s, there were many attempts to port brick-and-mortar businesses--or just plain bad ideas--to the Web. Remember Pets.com? You remember the sock puppet, though, right?

Online auto retailing was one of those ideas. It was simple, really: Consumers would flock to the Web to purchase big-ticket items, namely, new cars, without the benefit of the proverbial tire kick. It worked for clothing, why not cars, was the prevailing thinking. But there's a big difference between an angora sweater and several thousand pounds of metal. And converting customers, who are used to the haggling, tire-kicking, and test driving that goes along with the auto buying process, was a bit tougher than anticipated. People just weren't ready for...

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