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It's one of my more traumatic childhood memories: Visiting a car dealership with my family whenever it was time to buy a new car.
That's because it always went down one of two ways: Either my dad stormed off the lot, yelling at the salesperson for being too aggressive or trying to rip us off; or we went home with a new car, but only after an intense, cold war-level standoff (I think our record was eight straight hours of negotiating).
Turns out most people hate the process, too: University of Toronto research shows that 80% of consumers don't like buying a car because of the negotiating involved.
Startup Carjojo is trying to capitalize on that. Not only will the company help you research the lowest price they think you can get for a car you're interested in, it will also provide you with a professional negotiator to haggle with the dealership on your behalf. If you decide to use a haggler stand-in, you pay $199; the average savings is about $1,500 when compared with prices listed on car-buying websites, CNN reports.
Carjojo joins the ranks of several companies offering to perform uncomfortable tasks for you. Sure, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and call customer service, but if your budget allows for it, consider hiring someone to do the dirty work — especially if it means you can avoid a lot of awkwardness (plus, research shows outsourcing is good for your mental health).
Here are a few things to slough off:
Fighting traffic tickets. If you can't afford a lawyer, the TIKD app will contest your traffic tickets so you don't get points on your insurance; the company claims their costs are lower than the average fine amount. It is currently available in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and parts of Maryland and Florida, with plans to expand to 30 markets.
Cutting down monthly bills. Why is it that every time you call your cable company to try and cut the cord, you end up with a new premium package instead? Companies like BillCutterz and BillFixers will analyze your cable, internet, cell phone, gym and other service bills to try and lower your monthly costs, then call up the providers and negotiate for you. Both companies will only charge you if they can get you savings.
Halting recurring subscriptions. The Trim app will skim your credit card statements to see what recurring subscriptions you have and text them to you; you can then reply with the ones you'd like to cancel. (I mean, when was the last time you used your satellite radio subscription?) Then the company will contact your service provider on your behalf — for free — so you don't keep getting charged for a service you no longer need. (The company says it makes money from other bill negotiation services and from third-party partners.)