Edmunds Pairs the Expertise of an Established Company With the Innovation of a Startup to Simplify the Car-Buying Experience

Edmunds Pairs the Expertise of an Established Company With the Innovation of a Startup to Simplify the Car-Buying Experience
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Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: September 23, 2016
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In a Nutshell: Thanks to the beauty of technology, what used to consist of hoofing around a seemingly endless series of car dealerships looking for the perfect car has become an almost entirely online shopping experience for millions of Edmunds.com users. Edmunds lets you search, browse, compare, and read reviews for thousands of vehicles online from their website or mobile application. With the Edmunds Price Promise and True Value Appraisals, you can achieve car-buying peace of mind, knowing you likely saved up to thousands off the MSRP. Take the hassle out of buying your next car with Edmunds.com.

When it came time to buy my first car, I was thrilled. I practically flew around the lot, flitting from car to car like an overeager automotive hummingbird. I could have happily spent hours at that dealership, imagining myself behind the wheel of each and every make and model.

When it came time to buy my second car, I was less than thrilled. I basically stomped around the lot, lumbering from car to car like a grouchy automotive ogre. I dreaded spending hours at that dealership, imagining myself having to haggle with each and every salesperson.

When it came time to buy my third car, I was back to thrilled. I easily maneuvered around Edmunds.com, navigating from car to car like an automotive expert. I didn’t need to spend hours at the dealership, imagining myself driving off the lot with the wrong car.

Edmunds.com gives car buyers the ability to search for their perfect car, new or used, from anywhere around the country. In fact, it does even more; Edmunds users can search, review, compare, and price hundreds of vehicles, all from the same site — eliminating the lot-trot and haggling that make buying a car a nightmare.

Save Thousands With Desktop & Mobile Technology That Puts In-Depth Vehicle Research at Your Fingertips

Walking onto a car lot can be an extremely intimidating experience. When your average lot can house hundreds of cars, how do you find the right one? It can be especially harrowing if you have poor credit or a small budget, and don’t want to be swayed by a smooth salesman pointing you toward the high-priced hotties.

Screenshot of Edmunds Mobile App

The Edmunds mobile app puts the car-buying power in your hands.

For millions of shoppers, the solution has become Edmunds.com. Their huge database of vehicle information can be searched by make and model, or browsed by vehicle type, such as truck or hatchback. Results can be narrowed by the car’s age (new or used, in general, or the specific year), as well as by price range or feature, and searches can show both local and national results.

The process isn’t any more complicated if you spend your time on the go, either. Edmunds offers a fully-loaded cellphone application that is available on both Android and Apple devices. The Edmunds app has much of the same functionality as the website, allowing users to search for the right vehicle from anywhere.

To many, though, one of the best parts using the site is the ease of going from browsing to buying with the Edmunds Price Promise. It eliminates the bother of haggling for a deal — you can walk into the dealership knowing you already have one.

The innovative Price Promise system has turned car buying into an easy three-step process:

  1. Find the right car through the Edmunds website or mobile application.
  2. Get your Price Promise Special Offer Certificate, getting your car at your price.
  3. Meet your dedicated dealer contact to test-drive your vehicle and finalize your purchase.

After doing your homework on Edmunds, and walking into the dealership with your Price Promise in hand, the only thing on your mind during the test drive will be the car (not the haggling to come).

“I got there for my appointment with the dealer and they had the vehicle ready for me,” said Daniella, an Edmunds user highlighted on the site. Daniella knew she would receive a fair price on her car before she ever hit the lot, alleviating her concerns and freeing her to focus on the test drive. “The Price Promise program made the process absolutely hassle free.”

Edmund’s True Market Value® Appraisals & Expert Advice Help You Become an Informed Buyer

The engine behind the Edmunds powerhouse performance is the in-depth vehicle information carefully curated and crafted by “the car people.” After five decades, the team at Edmunds has a lot of experience behind the informational wheel.

“We have an exceptionally talented staff here,” said Avi. “And we have an unrelenting commitment to innovating, to building a better car-shopping experience.”

Part of that innovation is the Edmunds True Market Value Appraisal. The remarkable program uses real data — real purchases, by actual buyers near you — to give you the “True” value of your vehicle.

Instead of driving off the lot convinced not only that you could have gotten a better deal but that your neighbor did, you can use Edmunds to get the peace of mind of knowing you paid a fair price.

The peace-of-mind extends beyond the price: With a plethora of reviews from both real users and objective experts, you’ll know nearly everything there is to know about your new vehicle. Want a little extra assurance that your car is in it for the long haul? Check out the long-term road tests, where the Edmunds team puts a variety of vehicles through their paces over the course of months or years.

From Small Print to Tech Giant: 50 Years of Dedication to the Car-Buying Experience

The original Edmunds, started in 1966, was a printed price guide for automobile buyers that was sold in newsstands and bookstores. In 1988, what was still a relatively small publishing company was bought by Peter Steinlauf. Peter spent the next few years pumping the business full of sweat equity.

Photo of Avi Steinlauf, CEO of Edmunds

Avi Steinlauf is the current CEO of Edmunds.

“There wasn’t even an office back then,” revealed Avi Steinlauf, Peter’s son and the current CEO of Edmunds. “He worked from the back of his house.”

The company launched its first website in 1995, providing vehicle price information online to the public — for free. As the popularity of the site grew, the company added more data, including specifications and comparisons, as well as tons of original content, like extensive reviews.

The modern Edmunds has become one of the largest automotive presences on the web, with over 20 million visitors using the site every month. The company’s decades of vehicle expertise, combined with the latest technology, has allowed them to put the car-buying power in the hands — and cellphones — of shoppers all over the country.

Cutting-Edge Company Culture That Competes With Startups in Silicon Valley

Edmunds’ dedication to innovation doesn’t stop with the car-buying experience; in fact, the company has been recognized by a dozen publications for its cutting-edge company culture, and recognized as one of the best places to work by the Los Angeles Business Journal for seven years in a row.

Walking into Edmunds’ main headquarters in Santa Monica, CA, is a very startup-esque experience, with the vibrant decor and open floor plan we’ve come to associate with Silicon Valley. The double Corvette’s above the reception desk are the first sign that you may not be in the Valley anymore.

Photos of Edmunds Reception Desk

A 1966 Chevy Corvette, and its new 2016 counterpart, sit wheel-to-wheel above the reception desk at the Edmunds headquarters. The 2016 Corvette was added to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary.

Moving through the offices, it quickly becomes clear that this isn’t your average company. Employees make use of the giant game room, marvel at the 130 fish occupying the two 600+ gallon tanks, and grab a hot drink at the company coffee bar. The all-hands meetings take place in a room packed with comfy couches, and it’s perfectly normal to take the 32-foot stainless steel slide when you need to go down a floor.

Just about the only thing you won’t see at Edmunds? A time clock.

“One of the things that I think differentiates us from some of the employers in our area is that we adopted something called the results-oriented work environment,” explained Avi. “We got rid of the concept of vacation and sick time.” Employees at Edmunds don’t clock in or out, but instead are solely responsible for their production. “We provide unlimited time off — as long as they’re getting the work done.”

Photo of Edmunds Headquarters Slide

The 32-foot, two-story stainless steel slide provides the Edmunds employees a fun way to travel.

The concept of the results-oriented work environment (ROWE) has been taking over the tech industry over the last few years and has shown a lot of great results for many early adopters. Edmunds alone saw an increase of over 5% in customer satisfaction scores for their Live Advice teams just a month after the company implemented ROWE.

“People really enjoy, and appreciate, being treated like adults and not being told when they need to be here, or leave,” said Avi. “It’s just very consistent with the way we see the world, and the way we run our business.”

Edmunds: Taking Car-Shopping Technology Into the Fast Lane

Beyond the funky decor and startup-like company policies, Edmunds has another of the traits common to the Silicon Valley tech giants: an eye on the future. The annual Hackomotive and Fastlane events hosted by Edmunds are finding the best and brightest of the industry’s up-and-comers.

Hackomotive is an annual three-day competition designed to “re-imagine the future of car shopping.” Entrepreneurs and inventors generate ideas and develop prototypes with the help of industry professionals, with the winners often invited to join the Edmunds’ Fastlane program.

Edmunds Hackomotive & Fastlane Logos

The Fastlane Accelerator is the ideal place for promising teams of innovators to take their products to the next level. With the guidance and support of Edmunds’ experts, the teams have the opportunity to test, re-design, and perfect their technology. The Fastlane program culminates with Demo Day, where the entire Edmunds staff and the Fastlane Board get to see the results.

For the last 50 years, Edmunds has been impacting and innovating the world of car buying, and the company doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Between the web, the app, and the Accelerator, I think it’s safe to say that Edmunds will be a huge presence in car buying for many years to come.