A recent study by Carwoo has shed some light on the notion that men and women are treated differently on price when buying a car. The study showed that there is only slight difference in the way dealerships negotiate vehicle sales with different genders. In 80% of the cases, no significant difference in price was determined.
The study was conducted in a single geographic area and based on same vehicle sales. Carwoo’s criteria were:
- Limited to one major metropolitan area in the U.S.
- All deals were for the same make and model of vehicle.
- The deals were started in same time frame within two to three weeks of each other.
- Limited to a vehicle with a small option set.
- Limited to new units with an MSRP of less than $40,000.
- Limited to buyers where there was no ambiguity of gender, such as someone named Pat or Chris.
- The same set of dealers was observed across the trial period.
The study showed that only 20% of dealers made offers of $500 or more based on gender. According to one dealer, “It’s a negotiation, and you have to size up the person who’s across the table from you. If I sense that person is going to be a strong negotiator, I might set my price higher.”
“What is surprising in this data is not the 20 percent of the cases where there is a significant difference. The eye-opener is that 80 percent of the time there is no difference at all. That is certainly not what people commonly believe or expect,” declared Peter Chiu, vice president of product management for CarWoo.
Although surprising, this study demonstrates the relevance of services such as Carwoo and Autotrader, which offer set prices on new and used vehicles and take out the process of haggling. Both males and females alike can benefit from such services, which eliminate any disparity between the genders.