General Motors May Sell Cars Through eBay

General Motors is considering a partnership with eBay to make it easier for consumers to impulse-buy new vehicles, the recently solvent car maker announced yesterday. Though the deal isn’t yet finalized, General Motors would like to sell their vehicles both through traditional auctions and with a “Buy It Now” option.

One G.M. dealer said he had already talked with the company about the program and was excited about it.

The dealer, Inder Dosanjh, who owns Dublin Chevrolet outside San Francisco, said listing new cars on eBay would allow his dealership to get in front of customers who were doing most of their car shopping on the Internet. He said that would include some people who might not have otherwise considered a G.M. car.

For customers, he added, shopping on eBay could take some of the pressure off the negotiation process. “One of the fears the customer has when they walk in the door is that they are going to pay too much for a car,” Mr. Dosanjh said. “If they are negotiating a deal on eBay, from their living room, they are in their comfort level.”

State franchising laws prohibit car makers from selling directly to consumers, and it looks like dealers will still have a significant amount of leverage, including control over “the inventory and what pricing they have out there.” Would you buy a new G.M. through eBay, or is haggling in person with the dealer half the fun?

General Motors to sell new cars on eBay [Mercury News]
EBay Denies Partnership With G.M. [The New York Times]