Buycentives Turning the Car Rebate Process on its Head

October 9, 2011

11:00 am

I love cars, but I – like pretty much everyone else – hate the car buying experience.  It’s not just that I feel like I’m being had – I do for sure! – but the process takes so long it’s painful.  Who wants to spend a beautiful Saturday shuttling between the lot and the sales guy’s desk between test drives?  Ann Arbor-based startup Buycentives is hoping to change the car-buying experience a bit.

Founded by former automaker marketing executives, they want to not only make the car buying experience less painful but also reinvent the automotive incentive program by letting us car buyers get incentives directly from manufacturers.  (Did you know automakers spend $30 billion every year on rebates and incentives?  Me neither!)

Here’s how it works:  The automatker decides on marketing parameters, from geography to loyalty sale, and what information they want from a potential car buyer.  A proprietary system calculates a personalized Buycentive in real-time, which is delivered instantly to the online shopper, who can accept it if interested. The Buycentive is then popped into the customer’s shopping cart; if they’re buying offline, they can print a personalized certificate to use at a dealership.

This Ann Arbor-based company is really onto something.  Everyone likes a personalized shopping experience, and everyone likes to save money, so I can see this system working for other manufacturers of big ticket items, too: TVs, home theatre systems, home stereo systems, computers, boats, etc. What other big ticket purchases would you like to see Buycentives applied to?  Leave a comment below!

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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