How Phoenix Preferred is Navigating Change and Winning Today’s Automotive Market
Affordable Personal Car Shopper Takes the Headache Out of Car Buying.
“Every two years I normally would spend several hours a week and on weekends for two to three months researching, test driving, comparing features and comparison price shopping for a new auto. This was precious time away from family that would be lost forever, until now…” –Eric Markowitz, Phoenix Preferred customer
For over a decade, Phoenix Preferred has helped take the stress out of car buying with its personalized services and unmatched expertise. Their relationships with local dealerships, knowledge of the ever-changing automotive industry, and sharp negotiation skills have saved families precious time and money—and have won them multiple Main Line Parent LOVE Awards.
Rather than customers having to spend hours researching, visiting multiple dealerships, and haggling with imperfect and asymmetric information, Phoenix Preferred brings the showroom into your living room, the test drive to your driveway, and gets you the best deal. “The car market is such a minefield,” founder Eric Bell tells us. “Everything on the table is negotiable [including warranty, trade, and financing], and people don’t realize that. It’s so confusing, and I wanted to be that advocate for consumers.”
Poring over their numerous LOVE Award nominations, it is clear that Phoenix Preferred has a bright future of repeat customers and lifelong relationships. But what in hindsight seems like a brilliant, can’t-miss business idea was the result of faith, struggle, and perseverance. Like the mythical bird that inspired its name, their story is one of “rising from the ashes.”
Ten years ago, a friend’s birthday wish changed the course of Eric’s career and launched his unique business. Bell’s friend was approaching his 50th birthday and wanted to celebrate with a new car. Others were suggesting “ostentatious luxury cars,” but “he wasn’t a flashy guy,” Bell recalls. “I told him ‘none of those cars are your personality,’ and had a long conversation about what he really wanted.” Bell had long dreamed of being involved in the car market, and had already conceived of Phoenix Preferred, but now he had a business mentor in his friend-turned-satisfied-customer. He soon created a business plan and dove headfirst into his new life.
Today, the pandemic and its fallout have made the car market more complicated than ever. When the pandemic began, both manufacturers and dealerships initially shut down and then reopened to slow sales. Suddenly, the market was flooded because dealers didn’t want to be sitting on inventories, and rental car companies were unloading their supply due to decreased travel. But then came a surge in demand for new and used cars due to overdue leases, increased consumer spending, cabin fever, supply shortages, and other unforeseen factors—from the Suez Canal blockage to chip scarcity.
“Some manufacturers are literally without new cars right now. And the dealer network is so extensive, that even if they made 100,000 cars a day, they couldn’t get them out to all the dealerships quickly enough,” Bell describes.
In response to these industrywide challenges, dealers have begun raising prices far above MSRP, and Bell does not expect a market correction in the short term. But this is where Phoenix Preferred’s vast experience and network really shine.
“It’s about working the market to save money,” Bell says. Sometimes that means locating cars out of state, and other times it means candid conversations with dealerships based on the numbers they are seeing in real time. “There’s a point where you can’t negotiate anymore, but they won’t tell you what that is.”
Rather than having to navigate the chaotic car market, families rely on Phoenix Preferred to deal with all car-buying logistics from locating the perfect car to negotiating the best deal to paperwork to delivery, without ever having to step foot in a dealership. The results speak for themselves.
“Eric is like a car genie. You text him or call him with an idea of what you want and patiently wait to see what he comes up with. Eric has established relationships with ethical car dealers who have cars they need to move or sell on a deadline, and he waits patiently on behalf of his clients to negotiate and get great deals. He protects his clients from bad dealerships and always exceeds what you ask for. The best part is he LOVES what he does and actually gets as excited about you buying a car. I adore Eric and Phoenix Preferred and would never shop without him for a car.”—Robyn Gilbert, Phoenix Preferred customer
Contact the car buying and leasing experts at Phoenix Preferred: 832-515-4937.
Phoenix Preferred supports the Main Line Parent Community.