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Car-Selling Sites Overstate Prices, Study Finds

April 18, 2001|Reuters

More than half of U.S. car buyers check vehicle prices on the Internet before entering a showroom, but the prices shown on the most popular Web sites are hundreds of dollars above the real sticker price, a study found. In a survey of 10 popular Internet car-selling Web sites, the average vehicle price listed was $630 above the manufacturer's suggested retail price, according to Bandon, Ore.-based CNW Marketing Research Inc. Incorrect Internet pricing has worsened. Last year's survey by CNW found that prices were overstated by an average of $444. ChromeData, which provides pricing information to Yahoo Inc., had the most accurate pricing information, with an average error rate of about $24, CNW said. The worst was CarsDirect.com, which overstated prices by an average of $1,516, CNW said. CarsDirect recently reached agreement to become the exclusive car-selling site affiliated with Amazon.com Inc.

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