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Introduction to Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online
Our web site Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com (http://www.where-can-I-buy-a-car-online.com/) was launched on March 5, 2001. Our goal is for the site to become the first online destination for everyone researching automobile-related purchases in the United States, Canada and the UK.
Our web site offers a wealth of resources for those researching or purchasing new and used cars, containing links to hundreds of websites in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Online merchants of parts, accessories and services, such as insurance and financing, are also listed.
What makes Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com unique is that all the resources are reviewed and rated, allowing consumers to go immediately to the best web sites that provide exactly what they are looking for.
Visit Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com and see for yourself how easy it is to navigate the site. Then think of how long it would have taken you to discover these resources on your own. We are positive that consumers will save time and money by making Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com their first stop on the Information Super-highway.
Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com is produced and maintained by Where Can I Buy Anything Online, Inc., a Victoria, British Columbia, Canada company that specializes in producing 'metasites'. Metasites are sites that contain links to other sites but offer a 'value-add' component by briefly describing and rating these listed sites. This allows visitors to find sites on their topic of interest quickly and assess these sites, without visiting them, to determine if they'll contain relevant content.
Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com is the brainchild of Michael Korican. When Michael started using the Internet in 1995 he realized it had as much potential as Gutenberg's moveable type and printing press did to revolutionize information dissemination. Michael's company, Informediation.com, specializes in database-driven websites that allow anyone to dynamically publish information on the Internet.
Susan Z. Martin
Susan Z. Martin is the voice behind the reviews and ratings of Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com. Susan sees the Internet as a huge, evolving library with no Dewey Decimal System and a lot of pages that aren't worth the wire they're traveling through. Her personal mission is to help people find the best automobile related resources on the Internet in as few clicks as possible.
Together Michael and Susan have formed a new company called Where Can I Buy Anything Online, Inc. which has a focus on producing helpful, consumer-oriented, informational sites. Their work on Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com has created a site that is constantly updated and improved as new resources become available.
Why we produced "Where Can I Buy A Car Online?"
The Where-Can-I-Buy-A-Car-Online team knew, from their own online research during the car buying process, that a comprehensive, rated directory of online automotive resources was sorely needed. The team looked into the size and predicted growth rate of the automotive industry as well as the increasing penetration of the Internet into automobile-related purchasing and felt they had a viable market opportunity.
According to a recent study by Harris Interactive (March 2008-http://zillow.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=159&item=57) an average car shopper in the United States spends eight hours researching a car purchase (although how much of that time is spent online is not specified). A 2001 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that on average Internet shoppers pay 1.2% less for their vehicle (http://papers.nber.org/papers/w8667). Obviously the Internet can save you money and probably save you time and aggravation versus the traditional method of visiting dealers' lots and kicking tires.
Here at Where-Can-I-Buy-A-Car-Online we want to simultaneously increase your monetary savings and decrease the time you spend online doing research by pinpointing the best web resources for various stages of your shopping process. Where-Can-I-Buy-A-Car-Online also keeps you coming back with its large selection of automotive-related categories (new, used, research, accessories, services), constantly updated reviews and industry news.
Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com uses two scales to rate most of the web sites we list: Overall Ratings and EQuality Ratings.
Overall Ratings are determined by looking at a number of criteria for each resource. Most important to us at Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com is content. A well-presented, well-organized web site is virtually worthless if it has no useful content. Conversely a messy, amateurish web site with great content can rate highly in our books. Ideally we think web sites should score highly in both content and presentation but that is rarely the case.
Here are the topics we consider when rating a web site's Overall Ratings:
EQuality Ratings look at the site's performance in terms of buying a product online. Obviously for many sites an EQuality rating doesn't apply - that is why the Privacy and Security ratings are in both areas. If you are going to enter personal information on a site where you aren't actually buying anything then we will include the privacy and security rating in the overall rating.
Some of the topics we consider when assessing a site's EQuality Rating are:
See http://www.where-can-i-buy-a-car-online.com/info/ratings.htm for more information on our ratings system.
One of Where Can I Buy A Car Online's biggest advantages over other informational sites is its logical and easy to understand structure that makes the site simple to navigate. When you first enter the site you can proceed to the next area in one of three ways.
If you have a specific car buying need you may find this need expressed in the list below - clicking on the statement that best fits your situation will take you to the appropriate resources.
You can also access the site by clicking on the American, Canadian or UK flag on the main page. This will take you to the top-level page for that country.
Finally, from the main page, you can select your area of interest directly from the list in the left-hand column of the page. For example, if you are interested in researching cars in the UK then click on the link 'Auto Research' underneath the heading 'United Kingdom'.
A quick glance at the top of the page (directly beneath the banner ad) will always tell you where you are. You can also quickly display any type of data (for example, Used Cars - Classifieds) for another country by clicking on the 'See this page for:' link in the lower left hand corner of the page.
A search function is also available on every page. Your query will find matches across the full site or can be narrowed down to an individual country.
The concept for Where Can I Buy A Car Online was first discussed among its principals in November 2000 at an informal meeting in the lounge of the Oak Bay Recreation Center in Victoria, British Columbia. While grey-haired ladies curled in the rink below and families lunched after swimming lessons, Chris Churchill, Michael Korican and Susan Martin roughed out the structure and content of the website. At that initial meeting we decided to focus on the three major English-speaking markets - the USA, the UK and Canada.
We also agreed that the site would be all about content and that the content would be regularly reviewed and constantly updated and improved. Michael began work soon after on the site design, preparing scripts to extract the data from our data warehouse and convert it into HTML and building foundation web pages that the converted code would slot into. Susan started gathering URLs for sites, working out a rating scheme and further delineating the hierarchical structure and categories for the site.
After just four months the website was ready to launch. The principals met at another Oak Bay landmark - the small, family-run Mee Wah restaurant to finalize launch plans. At this meeting they discussed promotion ideas, further tweaks needed before the official launch and plans for the immediate future. Where-Can-I-Buy-A-Car-Online officially launched on March 5, 2001.
'I think these guys "get it". Some might say that they rely too heavily on links to other sites, but that's part of understanding that the Internet is radically different from the print medium. The value-added work comes from their themed approach i.e. buying a car or buying insurance etc. and by building introductions to each of the links that they have selected.
One of the great advantages of this treasure house of information that we call the Internet is the ability to address individual research needs quickly. The Where-Can-I-Buy-a-Car-Online.com site takes away a lot of the frustration when looking for information as the basis for good decisions. And after all we're talking about a decision on an expenditure that for most people is exceeded only by the purchase of a house - so quality information is essential. In a day and age of "dot.bombs" I think they've done their homework.'
Ken Stratford, Executive Director
'Canadian based, but with sections for Britain and the USA, this site pulls no punches in its description of players in the Automotive E-marketing game. If you're buying a car, this site should be your first stop.'
Dave Haughey, Hawkman's Automotive Webspace
'I had a good look through the entire site. Great job!' - Colin Knecht
'I loved it!' - Irene Holms
'I just checked out your web site, SACRED BULL!!! It's totally fabulous. Very helpful too, it just so happens that I am in the market for a new car (well actually new used car), so I'll probably be accessing your site often.' - Kyrsten Dewinetz
'Your site is a paragon of how to develop a website.' - Kevin Allen
Industry Facts and Figures
Size of automotive industry:
US - gross output in 2004 about $420 billion and about 1 million employees
UK - £49 billion GBP (in 2004, approximately $87.8 billion dollars US)
Canada - value of shipments in 2006 was $59.7 billion (http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/auto-auto.nsf/en/am02194e.html), Canada's largest manufacturing sector accounting for "12 percent of manufacturing GDP and 24 percent of manufacturing trade," employs nearly 500,000 Canadians
Number of new car purchases:
US - 16.15 million new vehicles in 2007
UK - 2.4 million vehicles in 2007
Canada - 1.65 million vehicles in 2007
Percentage of people using the Internet to research car purchases:
Sources: 2004, 2005 and 2006 figures have accessible sources; earlier years can no longer be sourced
Contact us by e-mail at info@where-can-I-buy-a-car-online.com
Our address is:
Where Can I Buy Anything Online, Inc.
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© 2001-8 Where Can I Buy Anything Online, Inc.