Ebay Survey Results Point to More People Buying and Researching Cars Online

63 percent of respondents were likely to buy online

Ebay surveyed car shoppers about their research and buying interests. Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Source: iStock.com
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Every three minutes, a car or truck was sold on eBay via a mobile device during the fourth quarter of 2016. And if the results of a new eBay Advertising survey hold true this year, auto buyers could be more likely to buy online this year.

According to the report released this week, the internet is increasing in prominence for every part of the car-buying process. The survey, which was given to 1,000 general consumers and 1,000 customers of of eBay Motors, found that 87 percent used the internet in some way in the past six months when buying a car.

“We have a massive audience and passionate consumer base, and motors in particular has always been a category that has been a strong and passionate component of that community,” Josh Wetzel, senior director of sales and marketing at eBay Advertising told Adweek.

According to eBay, a majority of respondents (63 percent) said they were likely or extremely likely to buy a car online in the future, citing better prices, reliability and safety as reasons for their willingness to ditch the dealership. And when it comes to the shopping preferences of men versus women, men were twice as likely to have purchased a car online in the past. (Women who didn’t want to buy online said they wanted to test drive a car first, while men said they wanted to check out the car’s condition.)

The results also revealed other habits of the car-buying journey, which on average lasted around two months. For example, those who bought a vehicle via eBay Motors said they relied more heavily on customer and professional reviews than they did information from dealership visits. Also, while sedans and SUVs were the most popular, men were more likely than women to buy convertibles and collectibles. And when it comes to keeping a clunker, women were more likely to drive a vehicle until it dies.

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@martyswant martin.swant@adweek.com Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.