Shopping for a used car

Learn what matters most to people when shopping for a used car.

Who are used car shoppers? Why do they choose to buy used in the first place? What are they looking for in a used car? More importantly, what are they looking for when they come to your website to shop for a used car?

CarStory recently released a White Paper that studied all these important questions and more to give online car dealerships a greater insight to their customers and their needs. Important findings emerged from this study include the following:


    • Optimal number of images on an online used car marketplace = 9
    • 86% of used car shoppers log onto the internet first
    • MP3, iPod, Bluetooth top three features in highest demand
    • Vehicles with prices ending in “99” convert the best
    • Vehicle condition is most important detail in vehicle description

So, you may be wondering who is CarStory? According to their White Paper:

CarStory creates market-based analytics that help consumers quickly discover and decide on the right used car. The size, quality and completeness of our inventory and anonymous search data, generated from over 350 vehicle marketplaces, sets CarStory’s insights apart.

Who Are Used Car Shoppers?

The number one reason people buy used cars is to save money. The second most given reason for buying used is to get a good deal. When creating your online automotive marketing strategy, it’s critical to keep in mind that financial incentives are the two most commonly cited reasons for buying used.


Highlighting the financial gain by stressing savings and showing the value of your inventory are by far some of the most important aspects of your online automotive marketing strategy. Good pricing and merchandising strategies are recommended as well as highlighting the niche or particular advantages of the vehicle.


Demographics were found to play a critical role in used car shoppers’ habits. Depending on the age group, buying practices varied. In the younger age group, ages 18-34, shoppers were more likely to  negotiate a price. Part of this could be attributed to the extensive knowledge and research that is typically performed by these shoppers before they even hit the lot.
Another difference identified is that older buyers, ages 55 and up, are more likely to pay more when they identify something being of high value in the vehicle they are considering.

What Are They Looking For in a Used Car?

used car shoppers

*Image credited to CarStory White Paper

Revealed in the poll conducted by CarStory is the fact that 26% of used car shoppers buy used in order to get more features for the price. So which features were most important to consumers?

It may come as no surprise to our technology centered generation that the top three features sought after were MP3 capabilities, Bluetooth and iPod integration. With that being said, it’s incredibly important to list these features on your vehicle descriptions.

Speaking of vehicle descriptions, what information in a vehicle description is most important to shoppers? According to the survey, the condition of the vehicle is the most important detail used car shoppers are looking for. Service records are the third most important detail shoppers want to see. At Aim Experts, we have developed tools that allow you to upload all service records and maintenance records associated with a particular vehicle in a ”virtual glovebox”. This tools gives your dealership a clear advantage by making it easy for people to access this valuable information.

used car shoppers

*Image credited to CarStory White Paper

Accident reports are indicated as the second most important detail used car shoppers are looking for in online vehicle descriptions. Let us take the hassle and headache out of the process by using our advanced CarProof report syndication. This feature creates a link on the Vehicle details page to the CarProof report, and adds into the comments when a vehicle is cited as major accident free based on the report.

What Do Used Car Shoppers Want to See on Your Website?

Reviewing the data in the poll from Car Story, it is revealed that only 38% of men felt the vehicle descriptions contained enough valuable information and 47% of women felt the descriptions contained all the information needed to make an informed decision. In both groups, more than half of those polled felt online car dealerships are failing to meet their need for adequate vehicle information. How do you meet those needs? Is your dealer website providing the valuable information used car shoppers are looking for?


At Aim Experts, we have the online vehicle inventory solutions you need to create more informative vehicle descriptions and deliver the data that matters most to your customers. Learn more about these advanced inventory management systems on our features page.