Frequently Asked Questions
Group Buying For Cars
What is CarBuckets?
CarBuckets is an online platform where car buyers get bigger discounts for their new cars. Our platform is unique in that we group car buyers by city and brand to then have local dealers compete against each other to win that group of buyers. Dealers win the group by giving each car buyer their best price. CarBuckets is rooted in the concept of Economies of Scale, which means dealers can give CarBuckets users lower prices since they are part of a group, with more sales at stake. Manufacturers give dealers large cash bonuses at the end of the month if the dealer surpasses its sales objective. When dealers are bidding on a CarBucket, they are trying to not only win your business, but they’re also trying to qualify for their own manufacturer bonuses.
We are not a co-buying site, meaning you do not have to share the car with a group of people. Each person in the group gets to pick their car, just the way they want it.
What if everyone in my Bucket doesn’t buy their car?
That’s OK. You still get the discount you were given, regardless of who in the group decided to purchase their own car. There is no obligation to buy your car when using CarBuckets. Your only obligation is to take a test drive at the dealership that gave you the best price.
How are Buckets grouped?
Buckets are grouped by the city and by vehicle brand. A bucket consists of a group of automotive buyers who live in the same city and who want the same brand of car. For example, if you live in Atlanta, GA and want a new Toyota Corolla, you will be placed in the Atlanta Toyota bucket. If you live in Miami, FL and want a new Honda Civic, you will be placed in the Miami Honda Bucket with other Honda buyers in Miami. A bucket can have a variety of different models and trims from the same brand.
How long does it take for a Bucket to get filled?
We close our Buckets every Tuesday at 11:59p. Dealers bid on Buckets on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Final pricing details are sent to our users by Friday morning. The winning dealership is determined by who gave the lowest volume price for that Bucket. Users have five (5) days (Friday-Tuesday) to make an appointment to test drive their new car at the winning dealership. Users who have not scheduled their test drive appointment within 24 hours of receiving their final bid are contacted by the winning dealership.
Ten (10) days is the longest amount of time a CarBuckets users will ever have to wait for their final CarBuckets price. If you join a Bucket on Wednesday at 12:00a, you will have to wait until the following Tuesday for that Bucket to close. In contrast, it could take only a few minutes for your Bucket to close if you join a Bucket at 11:58p on Tuesday. Your car will be in that week’s Bucket. In the fastest scenario, you will wait 2 days for your final price.
What happens if I join after a Bucket has closed?
Not a problem. When one Bucket closes, another one automatically opens! Our Buckets close every Tuesdays. Dealers bid on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you join a Bucket at 12a on Wednesday (1 minute after the deadline), you will be placed in the following week’s Bucket, closing on Tuesday at 11:59p.
Why do I have to take the test drive within five (5) days of receiving my CarBuckets price?
Participating dealers are bound by the CarBuckets Code of Conduct, which means they must have the car they quoted you in stock during your test drive appointment. Therefore, since dealers are constantly moving inventory, they can only hold your car for up to five (5) days. Otherwise, they would require CarBuckets users to put down a deposit.
Of course, if there are extenuating circumstances that make you unable to take your test drive within five (5) days, reach out to us and we will try to work with you. We are people too and understand that things pop up.
Can I join multiple Buckets?
Yes, you can join as many Buckets as you would like. If you cannot narrow it down to one brand of car, and would like to price out a few competitive models, join multiple buckets.
Choosing Your Car
Why do I have to choose two (2) color options?
By selecting two (2) color options, you give all dealers the opportunity to bid for your car. The more dealers bid, the greater the discounts to CarBuckets users. Everything we do is meant to maximize dealer competition.
I got my final price, and I didn’t get the car I wanted. Why?
Let us begin by saying, there is no obligation to buy the car. That said, just because a car is available online, doesn’t mean it’s actually available at nearby dealerships. Participating CarBuckets dealers are legally bound to do their best when it comes to matching your preferences – model, color and trim. However, dealer inventory fluctuates greatly, and your car might not be available. If you are unhappy with the car you’ve been quoted on, please contact CarBuckets at email@example.com. We will do our very best to get you into the car you want. If you are still unhappy with the car, simply walk away with no strings attached. At CarBuckets, we strive to make this the best car-buying experience possible.
Can I reschedule my test drive?
Yes, you can reschedule your test drive by logging into your CarBuckets account at carbuckets.com/login. You can edit your appointment for any day/time available within the 5-day sales event. If you cannot make it to your test drive during the 5-day sales event, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to accommodate you. We know life happens.
Financing & Pricing
I got a cheaper price elsewhere. How do you get to my CarBuckets price?
Be skeptical of pricing on other car-buying sites. Even though the say they include all fees in your quote, they usually do not. Most price quotes provided online usually reflect the Net Price of the car, and do not include the hidden fees and factory/dealer installed accessories. Sometimes dealers even put cash rebates as the dealer discount, without knowing whether or not you qualify for them. In summary, don’t let their marketing gimmicks hook you in! Please read the fine print which can be found as disclaimers located at the bottom of the page in fine print.
At CarBuckets, we pride ourselves on full price transparency. Your CarBuckets price includes every single line item (i.e., dealer fees, destination fee, cash rebates, etc…) before tax, tag, and title (which vary from county to county). When you get your CarBuckets price, you will understand exactly what you are getting into. You will know the real out-the-door price for that car.
It’s worth noting, we do not make any money off the sale of your car. Our mission is simple: to bridge the gap between car buyers and car dealers—that’s why we prohibit CarBuckets dealers from any form of price bumping. They must honor the final price they gave you, for the car they quoted you on.
If you have any questions regarding your CarBuckets final price, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
What if I want to lease a car? I wasn’t given a monthly payment.
CarBuckets is still the place for you! Your monthly lease payments—wherever you buy—are actually based off of the purchase price of that car. So… the lower the purchase price, the lower your monthly payments will be. We would need to ask you a lot of personal financial information in order to calculate your monthly payments. We think it’s best practice to negotiate the best price for your car, and then you can share your credit score, down payment amount, etc with the Finance Director at the winning dealership.
We explain exactly how leasing works –whether you’re leasing through CarBuckets or not—here: How Leasing A Car Works: A Guide and Glossary. Take a look at it. We guarantee, you’ll learn a ton. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know I am getting the lowest group price for my new car?
The CarBuckets magic lies at the intersection of simple economics. Our platform leverages Purchasing Economies of Scale to get our users the lowest possible price on their new car.
Other car buying sites tell you that they’re leveraging their size to get their users the best price. This is deceiving. The reality is that all these vendors are still selling these leads to dealerships on an individual basis. None of them are grouping car buyers together and having dealers price these cars as a group.
Still don’t believe us? Search “economies of scale” in your favorite search browser and you can learn more about this economic principle.
OK, I got the email with my price. What happens next?
You have five (5) days from the time you receive your CarBuckets Final Price email to test drive your car at the winning dealership. Users who have not scheduled their test drive appointment within 24 hours of receiving their final bid are contacted by the winning dealership to schedule their test drive and answer any questions they might have regarding their final price or new car.
All participating dealers are required to sign our Dealer Code of Conduct, which requires all test drive appointments to be under 60 minutes.
After your test drive appointment, please fill out the post-test drive survey, which will be sent to you via email. This helps us ensure your CarBuckets dealer abided by our Code of Conduct and is adhering to our high standards for customer satisfaction. We penalize dealers who violate our Code of Conduct. Repeat offenders are kicked off our platform. We rely on our community of car buyers to keep dealers honest.
What can I expect when I visit the dealership for my test drive appointment?
You can expect to have one of the smoothest dealer experiences possible! The heavy lifting has already been done for you. On the day of your test drive, your salesperson will be waiting for you, with your car, ready-to-go for a test drive. Upon arrival at the dealership, let someone know you are there to take your CarBuckets test drive appointment. They will connect you with your certified CarBuckets representative who knows exactly how to treat our VIP CarBuckets customers. They will ask you for your name and proof a valid driver’s license before taking your test drive. They are not supposed to ask you for any other personal details (i.e., financial information, social security number, etc…) before the test drive. If you decide you want to buy the car, then you’ll be asked for your financial information by a certified Finance Manager at the dealership.
If you have any doubts about the process, please email us at email@example.com. We are here to help make your car buying experience as smooth as possible.
Does CarBuckets approve me for financing?
We do not do any financing approval. Our job is to get you the best deal for your new car. Once we deliver on that, you can discuss your finance options with the dealership.
I want to trade in my car. How do I apply that value to the sale of my new car?
You’ll apply the value of the trade-in once you’ve decided to move forward with the purchase of the car—after you’ve taken the test drive.
Our advice is that you go to the dealership equipped with knowledge on how much your current car is worth. One of our favorite sites for this is Kelly Blue Book. Go to kbb.com and fill out the trade-in appraisal questionnaire – this is the same tool most car dealers use to determine the value of used cars. Print it out and bring it with you so dealers know you're an educated buyer who isn't there to mess around.
Ultimately, the price of the trade-in is determined by the dealership. However, prices from Kelley Blue Book are reliable ranges and give great estimates, allowing you to have an educated conversation with dealers.
If you are not satisfied with the trade in appraisal the winning dealership gave you, you are in no means obligated to sell your car for that price. You can either move forward with the purchase of your new car without applying the trade amount, or you can walk away from the deal all together. Remember, you’re in charge!
Is CarBuckets an automotive broker?
CarBuckets is not a broker. We do not negotiate on behalf of our users, nor do we make any money off the sale of your car. Instead we let our platform, which is rooted in the Economies of Scale, do the negotiating for you. Since dealers bidding to win a bucket are competing to win a group of car buyers as opposed to just one buyer, they are able to offer lower prices as a way to not lose out on multiple sales. Our way of doing things is much more effective at getting you a solid deal than negotiating per car.