Negotiation has always been a primary component in the process of buying and selling cars, but it’s also often a tedious and uncomfortable one. Whether it’s a buyer looking to get an even better deal than the one on the table, no matter how low the offer already is, or a dealer working to not lose a profit on a new car, negotiation is typically a hassle for all parties involved. That’s why LetYouKnow Inc., an online car-matching platform (LetYouKnow.com), is using anonymity to circumvent the pains of negotiating.  

LetYouKnow is a concept that originated in 2004 by Boris Zhukov, CEO and Aaron Shao, CTO. After several years of research and fine-tuning the mathematical model for matching, LetYouKnow was born. Their matching system platform launched in late 2020 and has been rapidly growing ever since. Given that it makes both buying and selling cars much faster and easier, it’s not hard to see why LetYouKnow is picking up steam. Instead of investing time and money into leads that may likely fizzle out, LetYouKnow delivers highly committed buyers right to the dealer. This helps dealers maximize profits, clear long-standing inventory and take their businesses to new heights.

How LetYouKnow works

LetYouKnow empowers new car buyers to submit their own prices to get the car they desire at the price they set. The platform is an easy-to-navigate online matching process that lets users input what kind of new car they want and the price they’re willing to pay. In minutes from building a car, choosing a search radius, to submitting their price, they can be matched to their car with a dealer who is ready to sell them their desired car at that price. If the price is accepted, the buyer prepays $799, the deal is locked in and the dealership’s information is revealed. The Dealer will contact the buyer to complete the remainder of the transaction and pick up their vehicle. Inventory and deal options are important to the traction of the company, so the LetYouKnow team is working hard to expand its current network of 31 dealerships.

LetYouKnow takes the painstaking process of negotiation out of the equation for both buyers and dealers. It also saves time on both ends, since the price is already approved by the dealer and the buyer submits the price they want to pay. The process is beneficial for both parties, as the buyer gets the car they want at their own price and the dealer makes their desired profit.

A key element of LetYouKnow’s process and why it’s so successful, is the anonymity that’s in place for both the buyer and dealer. Buyers can be assured that unless their transaction goes through, their info will not be shared with dealers and they will not be disturbed by cold calls, mass emails and text offers and dealers can avoid the risk of being undercut by publicly disclosing rock-bottom prices. Additionally, dealers are also able to reach buyers outside of their typical geographic reach, which only increases the likelihood they’ll make a sale.

“The anonymous aspect of listings creates a proper mathematical environment to make deals possible that would not be necessarily attained otherwise,” Zhukov said.

The benefits of anonymity

When it comes to profit maximization for dealerships, the anonymous component of LetYouKnow plays an important role. Dealers typically rely on a single price strategy, which when that price is publicly known, can make selling the car more difficult and time-consuming. LetYouKnow removes limitations in transactions. Essentially, by listing their vehicles on the LetYouKnow platform, dealers can sell a car for its list price on their own and then anonymously list a lower price for the same type of car on the LetYouKnow platform.

“Buyers and dealers are both better off,” said Zhukov. “Dealers can sell the same vehicles at different prices based on how many days those vehicles have been stuck on their lots, as well as other floor planning and market condition parameters.”

In many cases, not having anonymity can be detrimental for dealers. Zhukov said if dealers sell at lower prices that are public, it will likely be used against them by consumers and competitors. Many dealers have reservations about listing their true lowest price and can often lose out on sales because of it. 

“It would always be a new starting point for negotiations,” he said. “This can prompt dealers to overinflate prices, which in turn affects sales.”

With LetYouKnow, that fear is mitigated. Dealers can feel free to list lower prices without the trepidation of being undercut or having an interested buyer walk away only because another dealer beat their offer.

Anonymity is also beneficial for the buyers. Since they have the ability to submit their own prices, they avoid the discomfort of receiving phone calls from dealers who try to get them to come to dealerships to price negotiate. “We created a proper mathematical environment for the transactions,” Zhukov said. “It’s consistent with economic theory and collected empirical data.”

Leslie McGehee, CAO of LetYouKnow, said being anonymous helps dealers avoid typical obstacles of traditional car-selling. 

“The biggest way LetYouKnow helps dealers is we deliver highly committed buyers to dealers versus giving them dead-end leads,” she said. “Chasing leads costs dealers a lot of money and time. Our transactions don’t disrupt walk-in sales and can even enhance walk-in sales, as we free up more dealership resources to focus on those walk-in customers.”

Streamlining the process

Shao said LetYouKnow guarantees anonymity for dealers through encryption and the dealer information is not revealed until a match is found and the buyer has committed to their own chosen deal by prepaying a portion of their price.

“Nothing is publicized before the match,” he said. “All dealer prices are encrypted in the database and only dealer administrators can view or update them, we at LetYouKnow cannot even view or update dealer prices.”

Shao said although dealers currently go through a three-step process, the company is working on a new streamlined one-step method to make it even easier for dealers to sell cars. Shao said the LetYouKnow team continuously listens to both buyers and dealers in order to improve the platform to make it easier and more user-friendly. 

“We’re always looking to enhance the dealer platform,” he said. “We estimate this new process may cut as much as 95 percent of the listing time.”

With an even quicker and easier way to anonymously list cars and make sales, dealers who join the LetYouKnow network will not only cut their costs, but also engage in profit maximizing strategies to grow and scale their businesses in the long run.