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Edmunds Shows their True Colors

By | Published April 10, 2017

Visitors have been questioning why they don't see links to Edmunds around our site anymore. The answer is due to a sudden and unexpected revealing of their true colors. Edmunds has always portrayed their brand as being a consumer advocate that helps you find good deals on cars and trucks. Their recent actions reveal that all they care about is the bottom line. Their actions make it seem like they are only pretending to be on the side of the consumer in order to gain your trust in using their dealer referral service.

A Bit of History

Along with, Edmunds was one of the early pioneers of online car buying content. In the beginning, their site was more focused on providing information on and reviews of vehicles. They were one of the first (if not the first) sites that provided detailed invoice pricing down to the individual options.

In 1997, they added a section with some limited car buying advice to their site. In the same time period, they added the Town Hall discussion forums that had a section for discussing buying advice. It wasn't until 2003 that Edmunds added their referral service to allow consumers to get new car quotes from dealers.

car dealership

When was born in 1998, we focused on providing the most in-depth content about the car buying process and also strove to expose all of the tricks and scams that were being used by car dealers to rip people off.

In addition to our content, we incorporated links to other resources that our visitors could use to help in the car buying process. We developed partnerships with many sites that could put our visitors in contact with reputable dealerships.

In November of 2004, we added Edmunds to our site and recommended them both as a quote service and a resource for research. Their invoice pricing wasn't always perfectly accurate but it was close enough to make a good estimate of the kind of deal that you could expect to negotiate.

Our Visitor's Best Interests

Before we agree to put a link to any site on, we make sure to thoroughly vet the site we will be linking to. The most important thing we investigate is how the sites will treat your personal information. Since any site that puts you in contact with dealerships will need your email address and phone number, we make sure that they will only use your information for your car purchase and not bug you with spam and unwanted phone calls.

We also make sure that we will have direct access to high level people within the companies so that if any of our visitors have issues and have difficulty resolving them, we will be able to step in and help get the problem solved. We have rarely had to do this because we are careful about what sites we link to but we have solved a handful of problems for our visitors in the past two decades.

We always tell it like it is and will never soften our content at the request of a partner. Our main goal is to make sure that our readers learn how to be the best possible negotiator and understand how all the dealer tricks and scams work.

Sudden Notice to Remove Edmunds

On March 23, 2017 we received a very surprising email from our contact at Edmunds that asked us to remove all links to them within seven days. The email stated that they had decided to end all partnerships with sites that "portray dealers and their sales people negatively. For example, content about dealer scams and sales people ripping off car shoppers."

This decision means that they don't want to be associated with sites like that expose the truth about scams that are pulled by some dealerships and the tactics used by some salespeople to rip off car shoppers. They don't want us to provide the very information that is most valuable to you.

Our speculation is that one or more of their larger dealership partners threatened to stop doing business with Edmunds if they continued to associate with us. Most likely, our educated readers were negotiating too well or sniffing out tricks that were being employed.

The dealerships probably didn't want to pay Edmunds to refer customers to them that know how to negotiate a great deal. Faced with the prospect of losing revenue, Edmunds caved and sided with the dealerships instead of the consumers. is Always on Your Side

The implication made by the email from Edmunds was that if we edited our content to remove the negativity, we could maintain our partnership with Edmunds. Doing that would go against our entire philosophy. We will always give our visitors the truth and expose every scam that we come across.

Thankfully, there are still resources you can use that don't operate completely for the benefit of the dealerships. To learn everything you need to know about negotiating you should read our new car buying guide. Once you are done reading it, you will have all the tools necessary to get a great deal on a new car, truck or SUV.

Author Lyle Romer

About The Author: Lyle Romer is a consumer advocate, Founding Contributor and Vice President of For over 17 years, he's been researching all aspects of the automotive sales industry. The findings of his research are incorporated into the main content on He has been an auto industry insider since 1999. Lyle also has worked with other automotive websites to help improve their offerings based upon feedback from users. He can be found on Google+.

Connect with the author via: Email | Google+ has affiliate relationships with multiple web sites. We are paid referral fees for leads or sales generated from visitors that click on some links or fill out certain forms on this site. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.