My New Car Buying Tips

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sunny_socal
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:53 pm

Bustoff wrote:Folks refer to the using the TrueCar price, but which price?

TrueCar pricing displays a range of pricing as follows:
Exceptional
Great
Good
Above Market

Are you guys using the lowest price ever paid under the "Exceptional" price column?
I beat the 'exceptional' price on my car purchase last year, using the "contact the internet department" method. It was effortless.

inbox788
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by inbox788 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:04 am

finite_difference wrote:So to make this a bit more specific, I don't really care if I am leaving a bit of money on the table since I hate negotiating but I don't want to get too ripped off either. I'm trying for "win-win". What is a reasonable price then for a Honda Odyssey EX (MSRP $32,700, Truecar $29,813). I was thinking if I could get it for $29,000 that would be a good deal. Am I still leaving thousands on the table at that point?
I don't believe TrueCar anymore. When they began, I think they were good, but only the first year or two. Now it's evolved into a dealer outlet, and it's the most you would ever pay, and possibly thousands less. I was quoted 2-3k less than the lowest prices indicated on a luxury car. YMMV

This is the last year before a major redesign, so no one is buying these left overs. You should be able to get a great deal if you shop around and are patient. I'd aim for lower or see if you can get the SE (RES, VAC, etc.) at that price. I might settle for an older outgoing model if the EXL goes under $30k, but even then, I don't know if it's worth it for me, when I know in 6 months the new model will make mine look old. And I'm no fan of that lighting bolt design. Wish they would hide the sliding door rail like the other companies, but looks like they're sticking with the same door design.

finite_difference
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by finite_difference » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:20 pm

inbox788 wrote:
finite_difference wrote:So to make this a bit more specific, I don't really care if I am leaving a bit of money on the table since I hate negotiating but I don't want to get too ripped off either. I'm trying for "win-win". What is a reasonable price then for a Honda Odyssey EX (MSRP $32,700, Truecar $29,813). I was thinking if I could get it for $29,000 that would be a good deal. Am I still leaving thousands on the table at that point?
I don't believe TrueCar anymore. When they began, I think they were good, but only the first year or two. Now it's evolved into a dealer outlet, and it's the most you would ever pay, and possibly thousands less. I was quoted 2-3k less than the lowest prices indicated on a luxury car. YMMV

This is the last year before a major redesign, so no one is buying these left overs. You should be able to get a great deal if you shop around and are patient. I'd aim for lower or see if you can get the SE (RES, VAC, etc.) at that price. I might settle for an older outgoing model if the EXL goes under $30k, but even then, I don't know if it's worth it for me, when I know in 6 months the new model will make mine look old. And I'm no fan of that lighting bolt design. Wish they would hide the sliding door rail like the other companies, but looks like they're sticking with the same door design.
Thanks! Yeah sounds like I should be able to get 20% MSRP, so more like $26,000 for the EX or $30,000 for the EX-L. Good to know. If you really work it maybe you can get 25%. I'll see how much effort it takes to get to 20%.

I don't mind the current design that much. For the redesign, I only really care about Honda Sensing, but I couldn't find any concrete info on whether it's coming next year or the following year.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

inbox788
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by inbox788 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:24 pm

finite_difference wrote:Thanks! Yeah sounds like I should be able to get 20% MSRP, so more like $26,000 for the EX or $30,000 for the EX-L. Good to know. If you really work it maybe you can get 25%. I'll see how much effort it takes to get to 20%.

I don't mind the current design that much. For the redesign, I only really care about Honda Sensing, but I couldn't find any concrete info on whether it's coming next year or the following year.
If you can get close to 20% and need a van, you should probably take it. I don't think the prices are that low yet, but by could get there by December. Unless you start seeing $3000 cash back on top of the current deals, I don't think 25% off is realistic, but hey, it's a last year, so who knows. Good luck in finding the van, and if you're shopping this weekend, let us know what kind of offers you're getting and whether you wind up buying now vs waiting. Big Labor Day sales is almost over and some dealers may be trying to hit their numbers vs make a big profit.

clipso1
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by clipso1 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:37 pm

1. log in to Truecar.com to find a dealers with the lowest price.
2. Sell your trade in to Carmax
3. Unless you get special APR from the manufacture ( 0% -1.9% APR ) finance the car with a credit union.

good luck

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ejvyas
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by ejvyas » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:30 pm

an_asker wrote:
ejvyas wrote:Negotiate over email/phone. Dont step in until you get the best rate. Use truecar for reference
... and ONLY as a reference. If you are not (significantly) undercutting truecar, you are paying too much!

Disagree with this.I helped multiple friends recently. Anything lower than truecar dealer quote they actually showed us the door. They were not even ready to talk. Finally in all the transactions we got like 200-300 off but if you do like that the deal turns sour.

an_asker
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by an_asker » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:27 am

ejvyas wrote:
an_asker wrote:
ejvyas wrote:Negotiate over email/phone. Dont step in until you get the best rate. Use truecar for reference
... and ONLY as a reference. If you are not (significantly) undercutting truecar, you are paying too much!

Disagree with this.I helped multiple friends recently. Anything lower than truecar dealer quote they actually showed us the door. They were not even ready to talk. Finally in all the transactions we got like 200-300 off but if you do like that the deal turns sour.
Which car make and model are you talking about? If you go through this (admittedly long) thread, you will see that most folks have been able to easily beat Truecar prices - at least in the last two-three years. I am assuming your data points are within that time frame.

sc9182
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by sc9182 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:12 am

Check edmunds forums on cars and prices paid (or leases too, separate thread) for the car you are interested (also check competing cars).

If you have USAA, there is a search method to look for Best Deals for the type of cars you are looking (in-addition to best price for your specific car). This I found extremely useful, so that either you can pit competition against each other, or if you are slightly flexible in brand, you can snatch insane deal towards end of month (also end of model year 2016 sales, currently!).

Once you know the right car and best price, negotiating a better deal becomes the easy part. Always negotiate purchase price, not payments. Doesn't hurt to know your credit score, and best available financing ahead of time (penfed, dcu or other local credit unions).

NO to extended warranty plans. If you are afraid your car needs such plan (due to bad reputation of brand and model) more likely or not - you prolly don't want that car to begin with! Know what you want, or what you need!

Thanks

denovo
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New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by denovo » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:13 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

Dear Bogleheads,


I recently purchased a new car for a family member and decided it was a good idea to make a follow up post on the matter.


First lets start off with the good news, this method of buying a car still pays off with huge dividends. The sticker price on this car was $61,055. The utterly useless TrueCar Price was $55,850. My price was $50,942. Oh, and just to further illustrate how useless TrueCar is every single dealer's initial quote even before haggling was lower than the TrueCar price. Contrary to previous assertions on that thread, every dealer that I requested a quote from (7 in total) had a dedicated Internet/Fleet Sales Manager that was willing to give a price and negotiate over the e-mail (eventually).

I won't repeat the advice from the other thread that hasn't changed (invoice prices don't mean squat, TrueCar is useless, pick out a car online from the dealer inventory, etc).

I sent all the dealers the following e-mail after making an initial inquiry on their website for the car that I had picked out which was quite simple since this car came in basically one of two packages that was exactly the same across all dealers.
Please provide me with an OTD price for the car I submitted an inquiry for. There will be no trade-in and I will not be financing with the dealer. I have already test-driven this car so I am already familiar with it. I have submitted price requests to multiple dealers and will purchase the car from the dealer that offers the lowest price. You will need my zip code to calculate taxes to generate an OTD price. (xxxxx). Please let me know if you have any questions.
A few observations from doing this process multiple times

1. Be Patient At any dealership, the real person who makes the decision on what price they can sell a car is a Sales Manger for the entire floor. The salesperson you deal with online or in person doesn't really have any authority to negotiate prices. Sometimes it will take a while to get back to you. Collecting bids and follow up bids will take a few days as you play the dealers against each other. Take your time. Many dealers will insist on asking when you need a car by. Just tell them when you get the absolute best price and that you are not in a hurry. They only want this information so they hope you become impatient and crack.


2. Stick to Your Guns If you go into the process wishy-washy thinking it won't work, it won't work. Make "NO" your favorite word in the English language. "I want you to come to the dealership so we can talk in person" NO. "I want to call you to talk about the purchase "NO". If I can beat their offer by $xxx , will you take my deal" NO!!! As I mentioned before, every dealer at first insisted I come meet them or talk it over. Once I said NO, they all coughed up prices.

To play on your impatience, a common tactic employed by every dealer was employing the following questions . "If I beat this price by $500, will you buy from me? "What price will make you stop shopping?" You never give a price, ever. The only answer to these questions are NO!

The way you can usually tell you have the best price is the response you get from other dealers when they can't beat it. They usually don't say we can't beat it and leave you alone. They try to convince you that their price is a bait and switch and you should just come here in person and make a good deal. It's a common tactic, don't fall for it.
Last edited by denovo on Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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jabberwockOG
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:34 pm

Good advice thanks for sharing.

d0gerz
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by d0gerz » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:15 pm

Thanks a lot for posting this! Your advice is much appreciated.

I'm on the market and just started the bidding process yesterday via email/online form. I contacted 9 dealers. 3 dealers have responded with an itemized out-the-door price, 4 have provided only the base price showing some discount on the MSRP, while 2 have not yet provided anything. To echo your experience, of the 7 that gave some sort of a quote, all but 1 offered a base price lower than the current TrueCar estimate.

A couple of questions I had: for dealers not providing an OTD price, should I email them back or just wait it out until they do so?.
Also when I shop the lowest quote around, do you recommend just telling them the OTD quote or is it helpful to give the whole breakdown including taxes and fees etc.?

denovo
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by denovo » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:26 pm

d0gerz wrote:Thanks a lot for posting this! Your advice is much appreciated.

. To echo your experience, of the 7 that gave some sort of a quote, all but 1 offered a base price lower than the current TrueCar estimate.
:happy
d0gerz wrote:A couple of questions I had: for dealers not providing an OTD price, should I email them back or just wait it out until they do so?.
Also when I shop the lowest quote around, do you recommend just telling them the OTD quote or is it helpful to give the whole breakdown including taxes and fees etc.?
E-mail back tell them otd only. And only discuss otd prices, breakdown is irrelevant.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

TheOscarGuy
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:19 am

denovo wrote:Dear Bogleheads,


I recently purchased a new car for a family member and decided it was a good idea to make a follow up thread on the matter. viewtopic.php?t=124638
Excellent original thread and follow up. I have sent the link to the original to several of my colleagues, friends, when they were in the process of buying new car. Thank you for writing it up.
I would mark the advise that folks have to go read the first one first in bold, red, else you will start getting similar questions that have been asked and answered already!

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JPH
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by JPH » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:37 am

Thanks for this post. I have one question. I just looked at a few local dealers' websites, and it doesn't look as if they post the sales manager's email address. How do you find the email address?
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Nekrotok
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by Nekrotok » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:41 am

Regarding truecar prices, I found the quotes to be reasonable in my experience buying an economy car (~$15k), but you have to fill out all the info correctly, and also select the applicable manufacturer incentives. There's a link to click on the page where they show you the range of prices, before you get quotes from dealers in the area - it's very easy to miss. I managed to get just a bit below the "exceptional" price after a very tough negotiation, and shortly after the purchase, I noticed my price show up on truecar as the new "exceptional" price. Just sharing one car-buying experience, YMMV.

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Blueskies123
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by Blueskies123 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:56 am

Nice work and thanks for sharing the process. You got a 16.6% discount. If you do not want to share the make and model can you share if the was an American car or import? Also, I assume this was a 2016 model and not a 2017 or 2016, correct.

jcchen
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by jcchen » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:23 am

Re JPH's question:
To make initial contact, I went to dealer's website, and found a car whose trim/color I liked. On the page describing the car, look for a button or place to ask for a quote or better price. There I enter Denovo's message asking for OTD price. If the dealer doesnt have the trim you like, I would look for a 'contact us' page.

Denovo's method worked for me on a Honda a year ago. And more recently on a Chrysler. In both cases, got below Truecar by alot.

southbay
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by southbay » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:28 am

I am willing to drive a bit to buy from a dealer who will just give me a fair no haggle price via email. I hate endless haggling.

denovo
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by denovo » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:47 am

TheOscarGuy wrote:
denovo wrote:Dear Bogleheads,


I recently purchased a new car for a family member and decided it was a good idea to make a follow up thread on the matter. viewtopic.php?t=124638
Excellent original thread and follow up. I have sent the link to the original to several of my colleagues, friends, when they were in the process of buying new car. Thank you for writing it up.
I would mark the advise that folks have to go read the first one first in bold, red, else you will start getting similar questions that have been asked and answered already!
+1
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

denovo
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by denovo » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:51 am

JPH wrote:Thanks for this post. I have one question. I just looked at a few local dealers' websites, and it doesn't look as if they post the sales manager's email address. How do you find the email address?

When you make an inquiry your response will eventually end up at the internet/fleet sales manager. In my experience doing this several times, neither in-store or over e-mail do you end up ever dealing directly with the sales manager. That comment was just to illustrate who's boss.


http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/behin ... rship.html


Q: What happens when the sales guy goes to talk to the manager, and why is he gone so long?
A: Most salespeople just aren't authorized to make deal decisions, such as determining a trade-in value or discounting the price of a car on their own. They usually have to take a trip over to the sales manager (a process that's known as "visiting the tower").

The sales manager may be working out terms for other deals at the same time as yours. And if you're shopping during peak hours, those deal discussions are stacking up like air traffic at Los Angeles International Airport.

Even if you are the only customer in the dealership, there is still no guarantee you'll be able to get a deal offer in a flash. If you're taking out a loan, the sales manager might have to run your credit to get your credit score. He'll call the finance department to get your interest rate, and then look up specials and incentives on your car to make sure you're getting the right program offer for the right car. Sometimes it just takes a while to get all the information together.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

2015
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by 2015 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:01 pm

It's time I thanked you for your first thread. I live in Los Angeles and a year ago I followed the advice in your first thread exactly and saved between $3-$5K. As you advised, I ignored Trucar, which I also view as worthless. Thank you for your work!

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LadyGeek
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:32 pm

I merged denovo's thread back into the original. While the "new" thread has good info, there's quite a bit information in the "old" thread. Keeping everything in one spot is helpful to see things in context, as well as avoid swapping between the discussions. It also provides an easy way to follow-up from older posts.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

d0gerz
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by d0gerz » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:57 pm

When does car insurance come into the picture? Do you need to have some insurance in place before you purchase the vehicle? Is this something you do at the dealership? Or after you bring the car home?

camaro327
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by camaro327 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:43 am

Your current policy covers a newly acquired auto for a specified period of time. Usually this is 14 days, after that you would not have coverage. Comp and Collision are usually included for 14 days. You would have to check out the definition of "newly acquired" auto in your particular policy to see your policies exact terms.

d0gerz
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by d0gerz » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:44 am

camaro327 wrote:Your current policy covers a newly acquired auto for a specified period of time. Usually this is 14 days, after that you would not have coverage. Comp and Collision are usually included for 14 days. You would have to check out the definition of "newly acquired" auto in your particular policy to see your policies exact terms.
Sorry, should've mentioned I'm not a car owner currently so do not have auto insurance. That's why I was curious as to when during this process insurance has to be factored in and whether dealers play this to their advantage somehow.

d0gerz
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by d0gerz » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:46 am

denovo wrote:
d0gerz wrote:Thanks a lot for posting this! Your advice is much appreciated.

. To echo your experience, of the 7 that gave some sort of a quote, all but 1 offered a base price lower than the current TrueCar estimate.
:happy
d0gerz wrote:A couple of questions I had: for dealers not providing an OTD price, should I email them back or just wait it out until they do so?.
Also when I shop the lowest quote around, do you recommend just telling them the OTD quote or is it helpful to give the whole breakdown including taxes and fees etc.?
E-mail back tell them otd only. And only discuss otd prices, breakdown is irrelevant.
When engaging the bidding war do you reveal to other dealers where the lowest bid is from?

denovo
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by denovo » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:53 pm

d0gerz wrote:
denovo wrote:
d0gerz wrote:Thanks a lot for posting this! Your advice is much appreciated.

. To echo your experience, of the 7 that gave some sort of a quote, all but 1 offered a base price lower than the current TrueCar estimate.
:happy
d0gerz wrote:A couple of questions I had: for dealers not providing an OTD price, should I email them back or just wait it out until they do so?.
Also when I shop the lowest quote around, do you recommend just telling them the OTD quote or is it helpful to give the whole breakdown including taxes and fees etc.?
E-mail back tell them otd only. And only discuss otd prices, breakdown is irrelevant.
When engaging the bidding war do you reveal to other dealers where the lowest bid is from?
NEVER!
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

denovo
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:04 am

d0gerz wrote:
camaro327 wrote:Your current policy covers a newly acquired auto for a specified period of time. Usually this is 14 days, after that you would not have coverage. Comp and Collision are usually included for 14 days. You would have to check out the definition of "newly acquired" auto in your particular policy to see your policies exact terms.
Sorry, should've mentioned I'm not a car owner currently so do not have auto insurance. That's why I was curious as to when during this process insurance has to be factored in and whether dealers play this to their advantage somehow.
Thank god dealers don't do car insurance, one less place they can jack you. If you're pretty sure you know what model you want, every insurer will be able to give you a tentative quote without a VIN. Once you found the insurer you want, ask them how to get immediately insured on day of purchase just make sure they have you info on hand, address, driver's license, etc.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

MI_bogle
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by MI_bogle » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:41 am

Any tips on if you find a car you want, at the most reasonable price, at a dealer 100+ miles away? I have no issue driving to get a car, but would worry about the price changing or other shenanigans that would make it a wasted trip

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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by ernest.n.wiseman.phd » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:11 pm

denovo wrote:I've done this a couple of times, and wonder what you guys think. I think I have got the best deal using this process.

Follow-up here. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=124638&start=150#p3061421

First, before you negotiate you need to decide on a car, and when I mean decide, I mean make model, options and even the color and interior. You may have to flexible on color , but there's usually no difference on price for color. That means test-drive it and then leave the dealership without leaving your number, e-mail , or any contact info. The only way to get the very best deal is to deal with the internet sales department for two simple reasons. A. You can't shop around multiple dealers simultaneously when you are stuck in a showroom. B. They are always slow to respond to get "approval" from their manager for a price request because they are hoping you will get tired out and just give up. Negotiating via e-mail over a couple of days destroys their advantages.

The Negotiating Process
1. Search the dealer inventories online for the exact car you are looking for. They usually give you the VIN Number, and you can usually find the same car at 4-5 different dealerships within a 60 mile radius if you live in a decent sized metro area, if you are not asking for something really unique like a pink Aston Martin. Ask for price requests from those 5 departments through an online questionnaire. DO NOT PUT down a phone number, or if you have to, a fake one, only contact information you leave is an e-mail address, no residential or mailing address.

2. You'll get an initial contact from someone within 24 hours via e-mail once the phone line doesn't work which is the first thing they'll try. Make it clear that you will negotiate over e-mail only, are soliciting multiple dealers for the best price, and want the quotes to be the out-the-door-price which means after taxes and fees. They will need your zip code to calculate taxes so they give them that. Do not let them talk to you about financing or if you have a trade-in. Tell them you are negotiating on the price of the car only and that those things won't be discussed until you find the dealer with the best price. Do not let them lure you into a phone call or insist you come in and talk to them. Eventually, they will all let you contact them via e-mail if you insist.

3. After you get the initial prices, and insist this is an out the door price after taxes and fees, take the lowest offer and take it to Dealer #2. So this doesn't take too long, tell them you will only go with them if they beat the price of Dealer #1 by at least $300.00. Insist, no matching will be accepted. They key thing about negotiating is for you to create the rules and be firm about it. Don't sound desperate, give them at least 24 hours to respond, but usually they will respond within a few hours. If they beat the price from Dealer #1 (which on the first round they usually will, since everyone starts with a high-ball offer) take that offer to Dealer #3, and keep on rinsing till you get the price. In later stages, you may want to say they can beat the price by only going down $200.00. You know you have the best offer when other dealers back out of the deal and refuse to counter. Not always true, but usually the best deal will end up being from a high-volume dealer in your area that can take a low margin. Even though the manufacturer sells the cars to the dealers for the same price, manufacturers will give rebates to dealers who sell higher volumes.

4. When you have the best offer, keep in your hip pocket the closest offer which will probably be within $200.00 A few dishonest dealers may try to give you an excuse when you get there to buy a car that they can't do that offer anymore, or that the car is gone, but that should be rare since by now you have established yourself as a no nonsense customer. Be prepared to walk out if the offer is even $10 more than what was initially quoted, they will either back down or you go to the second dealer. This will only happen rarely.

5. FINANCING- If you are not paying cash for your car, your best pathaway is to finance through one of the national banks or credit unions, they will offer rates as good as the dealer and you are not tied to one specific dealership as the bank will give you a check you can give to any dealer. Dealers usually just take bank loans and add a markup so only focus on negotiating the price of the car with the dealer. The Finance Department of the car dealership is a pure profit center.

6.TRADE-IN , You will never get the best deal from the dealer. Either sell it private party or to a company like autodirect. This is just another profit center for the dealers.

7. Refuse all markup services like lo-jack, extended warranty, etc. These are all rip-offs that usually some people will cave into when they are tired after sitting in a showroom all day. None of them are good deals.

General Advice
*Be realistic on how much of a discount you can get below sticker price. Even with this strategy, there are certain factors out of your control. If a car is really popular, and selling like hotcakes this strategy will only bring the price down a little bit. Certain manufacturers have rebates on certain cars which will bring the price down. Your best deals usually come in Aug-October when they are bringing in the next year's model and the dealer wants to get rid of the prior year stock, especially if the design is being changed.
*Car negotiating isn't about making friends. There's a less of a chance of this happening since you are going to be dealing with people over e-mail until the end, but the dealer sees this as a pure business transaction and so should you. Dealers are pros about trying to make a fake personal connection, so you feel bad about negotiating, don't fall for it. When you walk in with the best deal, they are not going to greet you with roses since you bought the car for the bare minimum they would sell it.
Definitely right on target! I have used these tactics myself with great success.

I will add two things:

1. Keep in mind "dealer regions." I was able to get a significantly better out-the-door price in the central region of my state, compared to the northern one, which is where I live. A two hour drive saved me over a thousand dollars (I don't remember precisely how much over)

2. You can start firing-off your email negotiations mid-month, but don't pull the trigger until end of month. Dealerships are often trying to "hit a sales number" at the end of the month so they get a manufacturer's bonus; sometimes they'll even take a slight loss at the 11th hour if they have to, i.e., not receiving the bonus will be costlier than the loss they take on the car.

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hornet96
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hornet96 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:08 pm

I have been reading through and obsessing over this thread (and the one on FatWallet) for the past couple of months, as I knew I would be in the market for a new car in the near future. Well, that day came yesterday as I just bought a new car (2017 Subaru Legacy), and I largely followed the approach outlined by Denovo. This approach was very effective, and I thought I'd share a few of my own observations while the experience is still fresh in my mind.
  • I test drove several cars early in November, spending as little time at the dealership as possible. Afterwards, I jotted down my thoughts about each vehicle while they were fresh in mind.
  • I decided on the Subaru Legacy and purchased the report on from James Bragg's website (http://www.fightingchance.com/) for $40 and reviewed his techniques and compared to those discussed in this forum.
  • While James Bragg advocates making phone calls (rather than just emails), I ignored that advice and simply used the email attack as outlined by Denovo.
  • I launched the email attack using Denovo's email wording to 15 dealers in my region late on Sunday Evening, since the last three days of the month were about to begin (Nov 28-30, Mon-Weds). These were considered "Dead" sales days in the middle of the week at the end of the month, right after the recent Thanksgiving holiday.
  • To my surprise, a couple of bids came in almost immediately (this was around midnight Sunday evening). I assume they were just robo-responses, and they were not OTD quotes as I had asked for (the quotes excluded taxes, titling, and all the other BS dealer fees).
  • Before noon on Monday morning, I received quotes from all but 1 of the 15 dealerships I emailed. 9 of the initial 14 quotes were already below the TrueCar market average price, before doing any negotiating at all. The best initial quote was below the "exceptional" price on Truecar by about $500.
  • Of those 9 quotes, only 2 included OTD totals as I had requested. I asked the other 7 dealers for OTD quotes, and while a few of them initially balked and "insisted that I first visit their award winning dealership," they eventually coughed up an OTD quote after a couple of additional polite but firm emails from me (and mentioning that I already had other OTD quotes from dealers so they had to play by my rules if they wanted my business).
  • The 2 best OTD quotes were within $70 of each other; dealer #2 was my preferred nearby dealer (although they didn't know that), so I shopped dealer #1's quote to them first. By Tuesday afternoon, dealer #2 had agreed to match dealer #1's quote but would not go lower.
  • In the meantime, I shopped the best OTD quote to dealers #3 through #6, asking if they could do better by at least $300. None responded right away so I essentially decided to go with Dealer #2 at this point.
  • On Wednesday around noon, I made my way to Dealer #2 to pick up the car, and while I was sitting at the desk to begin paperwork, I received a couple of additional emails from the competing dealers asking if I was still interested. I replied on my iPhone while dealer #2 was talking and told the others that I was sitting at a dealership already so they needed to beat my OTD quote by a significant amount.
  • Both of those competing dealers responded back within 15 minutes, basically saying "Wow, that's a great price and there is no way we can beat it."
  • I then proceeded to complete the transaction with Dealer #2 (who matched Dealer #1's quote), confirming the OTD quote I had via email was what the total was on all the paperwork (it was).
  • I then had them look at my proposed trade-in, which they promptly offered me only 1/2 of the Carmax price (which I obtained last Sunday) and refused to match. I said no thanks, I'll just sell it to Carmax.
  • I of course said no to all of the up-sell attempts in the finance office. Total time at the dealership was a little over 2 hours.
  • Final price including all dealer fees (but excluding sales tax) was $1,400 below the ficticious "invoice" price, or about $3,700 (>11%) below MSRP.
A big thanks to Denovo for starting this thread; I believe this approach easily saved me quite a bit of money (and hassles) and helped me feel much more empowered in this process. All with truly very little effort on my part. :sharebeer

Loik098
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Loik098 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:31 am

hornet96 wrote:I have been reading through and obsessing over this thread (and the one on FatWallet) for the past couple of months, as I knew I would be in the market for a new car in the near future. Well, that day came yesterday as I just bought a new car (2017 Subaru Legacy), and I largely followed the approach outlined by Denovo. This approach was very effective, and I thought I'd share a few of my own observations while the experience is still fresh in my mind.
What a great post, and congrats on your new vehicle. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this up.

I'm in exactly your same shoes, having obsessed over posts here and other places as well.....although we are waiting to pull the trigger until the end of this month. I already have my initial email written and ready to go.

I too have been debating about whether to actually call + email dealerships, but I'm with you....I think email alone will be sufficient. I know this because I created a fake name and email address to gather contact info for a lot of the dealers around me a few weeks ago (because many of them make it difficult to find this info on their websites, and I don't want them knowing who I really am yet), and every single one of the ~25 dealers responded to my generic request for an internet contact.

I've even replied to all of them that I was just gathering information and wasn't interested in buying at this time (hey, I may be a fake user but I still respect their time)....but many of them have ignored that email and continue to send me emails from various managers/sales folks weeks later. Imagine how they will respond to a real request :D

abonder
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by abonder » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:00 am

I love this thread because I hate the car buying experience and I think that the method outlined really does result in a fair price with minimal stress. I recently employed this method for my in-laws. I went through all the steps and worked out a final deal for them at a dealer all from the convenience of my smartphone two thousand miles away. My in-laws are immigrants and have had difficulty buying cars in the past due to the high-pressure tactics sometimes applied. It was so satisfying to have the exact car (in heir first choice color/interior) with desired options waiting for them to purchase at a pre-negotiated (and very respectable) price. It took them about an hour to fill out the papers, refuse the add-one, and drive away with a new car. The price we ended up getting was almost 2000 dollars less than the truecar price which they said was "excellent."

Stick to email. It's easy, can be done on your time, and takes the stress/pressure out of the situation. Once I got down to the price they ended up paying, many dealerships said that they simply couldn't even match (much less beat) that price. That gave me some additional confidence that we had made it to what was at least a good price. I made a basic spreadsheet to manage the information - itial OTD price, price after first round of negotiations, etc. Not necessary but helped me organize the information from 12 dealerships. Also helped me know my best #2 option had the number one flaked out.

I can't recommend this method enough. It's funny to me that many friends/colleagues still think they do best be going in and "driving a hard bargain" when I suspect that they could do better with less stress (and maybe less overall time) taking the email approach.

denovo
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:18 pm

hornet96 wrote:I
A big thanks to Denovo for starting this thread; I believe this approach easily saved me quite a bit of money (and hassles) and helped me feel much more empowered in this process. All with truly very little effort on my part. :sharebeer

I am glad it worked out and I see further confirmation that TrueCar is utterly useless. When the dealers couldn't match your lowest price, did they try to the scare tactic of claiming that price is a lie and telling you to come to their office to hammer a deal?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

abonder
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by abonder » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:41 pm

I know you weren't directing question to me but I found that about 2/3 of the dealers were open to doing business via email. I couple asked for more information and then moved forward via email. A few continued to ask for a phone call, which I politely refused. If they didn't eventually move to emailing a price, then I simply ignored them and moved along to the dealers who were willing to engage.

I feel like the information in this thread should be moved to the wiki!

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hornet96
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hornet96 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:47 pm

denovo wrote:When the dealers couldn't match your lowest price, did they try to the scare tactic of claiming that price is a lie and telling you to come to their office to hammer a deal?
Of course. I had more than one insist that if I would just come out for a visit they would beat my lowest price, but refused to counter with their price in an email. With one dealer, after a couple of rounds of me demanding that they name their better price in an email, here was his response:
Shady Dealer wrote:Thank you for the opportunity. Good luck buying your Legacy. I like being very transparent and avoiding going back and forth.
To which I responded:
hornet96 wrote:I couldn't agree more. It's understandable why you don't want to compete on a level playing field with the other dealers. Thank you and good luck.

keystone
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by keystone » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:57 pm

hornet96 wrote: [*]I launched the email attack using Denovo's email wording to 15 dealers in my region late on Sunday Evening, since the last three days of the month were about to begin (Nov 28-30, Mon-Weds). These were considered "Dead" sales days in the middle of the week at the end of the month, right after the recent Thanksgiving holiday.
May I ask how you were able to come up with 15 valid email addresses? I tried this same technique a couple of years ago and it worked great, but I found that the biggest challenge was obtaining good email addresses for the dealerships. I was surprised at how few of the dealers I looked up posted an email address in an easily accessible location on their website. In several cases I ended up pasting my letter using the "request a quote" feature and in most of those instances it didn't result in a valid price quote.

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hornet96
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hornet96 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:55 pm

keystone wrote:
hornet96 wrote:May I ask how you were able to come up with 15 valid email addresses? I tried this same technique a couple of years ago and it worked great, but I found that the biggest challenge was obtaining good email addresses for the dealerships. I was surprised at how few of the dealers I looked up posted an email address in an easily accessible location on their website. In several cases I ended up pasting my letter using the "request a quote" feature and in most of those instances it didn't result in a valid price quote.
The dealers don't post email addresses anymore as you mentioned. I sent the exact same "email" through the comment box on the "request e-price" or "request more information" part of the webpage for the car I was interested in on each of the 15 dealers' websites (so 15 separate inquiries, not one single email blast). Most of them responded with a price of some sort (though most were not OTD prices as I had asked for), which then gave me the mystery email address to work with*. I then went back and forth with a few of them to get them to provide the OTD price for comparing amongst the dealers.

*In most cases. There were a couple that seemed to come from the "main" website email address, but most were from an actual human being (i.e. samthesalesmanager@cardealer.com). YMMV depending on your region but it seemed to work out ok in my area.

Big Worm
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Big Worm » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:03 pm

I used Costco. Easy-peasy. I couldn't stomach dealing with all that haggling and the time and effort it takes.

Loik098
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Loik098 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:26 pm

keystone wrote: May I ask how you were able to come up with 15 valid email addresses? I tried this same technique a couple of years ago and it worked great, but I found that the biggest challenge was obtaining good email addresses for the dealerships. I was surprised at how few of the dealers I looked up posted an email address in an easily accessible location on their website. In several cases I ended up pasting my letter using the "request a quote" feature and in most of those instances it didn't result in a valid price quote.
My suggestion: create a "fake" email address and a fake name associated with that email address, then go and click on the "Contact Us" button on the dealer's website. In the dialog boxes, just put down your fake name, your fake email and leave everything else blank (unless they ask for a phone number, then make one of those up, too. There's really no need to write a message to them.

Wait a day or two. Almost every dealer you contact in this way will email your "fake" account and ask what you're looking for. Copy down the email address they write you with and put it in your real email you plan to send.

smackboy1
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by smackboy1 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:49 pm

keystone wrote:May I ask how you were able to come up with 15 valid email addresses? I tried this same technique a couple of years ago and it worked great, but I found that the biggest challenge was obtaining good email addresses for the dealerships. I was surprised at how few of the dealers I looked up posted an email address in an easily accessible location on their website. In several cases I ended up pasting my letter using the "request a quote" feature and in most of those instances it didn't result in a valid price quote.
I sent a short direct email using the website quote request. Use words that will get a salesperson's attention. At this point all you are doing is fishing for a live salesperson. e.g.

"I want to buy a 2017 BMW 340i. I am ready to buy immediately, do you have any in stock?"

The first response is usually a generic canned introduction. Wait for a response from a salesperson before sending the email with all the specifications and details.

Some dealerships do not check the inbox often. Call the dealership and ask for the internet sales manager. You will get connected to a salesperson. Keep it short and sweet, tell them you which car you want to buy and ask for their email. Again, you are just fishing for an email. If they waffle or try to get you to come in, name 2 local dealers you have emails from (give them hope, don't reveal you have 14 others!) and if they don't want to give out their email, no big deal.

There are 2 kinds of way dealerships handle internet sales:
1) Attempt to convince the sales lead to come into the dealership or call to generate sale. Internet is only a source of leads, no real negotiations or agreements are done online.
2) Attempt to convince sales leads to come into dealership or call to generate sale. If fail, attempt to close a sale by negotiating online.

You can tell if you have #1 or #2 within 2 emails. Don't waste time corresponding with #1, they will never come to the table with a quote. It's not in their policy. If they won't give you an OTD quote after being asked twice, they never will.

#1 uses a lot of canned emails and they will spam you for a few weeks. They will ask you if you need more information, how can they help you, if you can come in to visit etc..
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Blueskies123
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Blueskies123 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:57 pm

Big Worm wrote:I used Costco. Easy-peasy. I couldn't stomach dealing with all that haggling and the time and effort it takes.
I was very disappointed in Costco. I signed up but only got a call from the local dealers I had already contacted without much luck. They all wanted me to come in and negotiate.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:10 pm

MI_bogle wrote:Any tips on if you find a car you want, at the most reasonable price, at a dealer 100+ miles away? I have no issue driving to get a car, but would worry about the price changing or other shenanigans that would make it a wasted trip
I went to a dealer ~300 miles away for my last car. I had everything (and I mean everything) nailed down except for signing papers before I left home. I was prepared to walk if the car was not as represented or if the dealership attempted to alter anything that we had agreed upon. Fortunately, everything went as expected and I could not have been more satisfied.

This is probably not much help to you, but I had the same fears and concerns that a dealership might try to take advantage of the trouble I had gone to in order to get there. Nothing happened in my case, but I had my steps planned if it did. I'm not sure what else you can do.

Big Worm
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Big Worm » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:57 am

Blueskies123 wrote:
Big Worm wrote:I used Costco. Easy-peasy. I couldn't stomach dealing with all that haggling and the time and effort it takes.
I was very disappointed in Costco. I signed up but only got a call from the local dealers I had already contacted without much luck. They all wanted me to come in and negotiate.
I put in a request and was contacted shortly thereafter by a single dealership about 90 miles away.

There was absolutely no haggling on the price. I spent about 2 hours at the dealership including the test drive and signing all the paperwork. The guy found the exact model I wanted at another dealership which required an extra fee that wasn't too bad.

The salesman drove the car to my house personally. great experience.

TOJ
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Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Post by TOJ » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:06 am

denovo wrote:
JPH wrote:Thanks for this post. I have one question. I just looked at a few local dealers' websites, and it doesn't look as if they post the sales manager's email address. How do you find the email address?

When you make an inquiry your response will eventually end up at the internet/fleet sales manager. In my experience doing this several times, neither in-store or over e-mail do you end up ever dealing directly with the sales manager. That comment was just to illustrate who's boss.


http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/behin ... rship.html


Q: What happens when the sales guy goes to talk to the manager, and why is he gone so long?
A: Most salespeople just aren't authorized to make deal decisions, such as determining a trade-in value or discounting the price of a car on their own. They usually have to take a trip over to the sales manager (a process that's known as "visiting the tower").

The sales manager may be working out terms for other deals at the same time as yours. And if you're shopping during peak hours, those deal discussions are stacking up like air traffic at Los Angeles International Airport.

Even if you are the only customer in the dealership, there is still no guarantee you'll be able to get a deal offer in a flash. If you're taking out a loan, the sales manager might have to run your credit to get your credit score. He'll call the finance department to get your interest rate, and then look up specials and incentives on your car to make sure you're getting the right program offer for the right car. Sometimes it just takes a while to get all the information together.
And you need to walk out if the delay is more than a couple minutes. This is a power tactic by the dealer. Leave your number on his desk and say you'll be at the dealer next door.

jmk
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Re: .....

Post by jmk » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:31 am

pinecrest wrote:Make it clear that you will negotiate over e-mail only, are soliciting multiple dealers for the best price, and want the quotes to be the out-the-door-price which means after taxes and fees.
Your whole article is terrific.

The thing I personally have found the most important of them all is the above. Out the door cuts through everything and gives one an apples to apples comparison

young danny
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by young danny » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:14 pm

This thread helped a lot for my cash purchase of a 2017 Toyota Camry SE for $21,000. This was $1,500 below what TrueCar said the average person paid in my area!

On December 21, my mechanic showed my former 2009 Nissan Altime 2.5 SL was hitting a point where I'd have to bury $2,000 into it ...so I decided to sell, and with the help of this thread, did the following

1) Emailed 11 different Toyota dealers (6 in Houston, 5 in Dallas) specifying the following below. I was fortunate in that I live in Houston, but have family in Dallas (four hours away) that I can stay with if there was a better deal there.

Hi ____
I am looking to purchase a new 2017 Toyota Camry SE, Predawn Grey Mica exterior, with Black interior from your inventory. I will purchase this vehicle in cash either Friday or Saturday, (December 30th or 31st). Also, I will not have a trade in.
Please submit your best bid for this car, including tax, title, license, and all fees. I look forward to your reply.

2) I opened a new email account to send these emails.

3) Before I sent the emails, I test drove a Camry and Accord, and, knew what I wanted.

4) The place that ended up giving me the best deal for a new car also had the best prices for a one-year-old Toyota Camry SE.

5) CarMax had the best price for my former car by $500.

6) Due to the holiday season timing, I was unable to negotiate more than two rounds. As I drove up to Dallas, the only dealer in Houston who had not replied to my email responded with a deal only $100 more than the best offer...however he was too late. If I had two more weeks, I'd have negotiated more.

7) I refused all additional warranties fairly easily. They allowed up to $3,000 to be put on credit card, so, I got some cash back!

8) My Consumer Reports subscription came in handy as it is linked with TrueCar. Additionally, having CR quickly verified the ratings of the vehicles I was interested in.

stlutz
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by stlutz » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:09 pm

I think dealers must be shopping one another using this method more frequently. Earlier this week I contacted 6 dealers about a vehicle I'm interested in. I got OTD quotes from 4 of them and they were all within $100 of each other. Prices about $900 below the "Truecar average").

Loik098
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:20 pm

stlutz wrote:I think dealers must be shopping one another using this method more frequently. Earlier this week I contacted 6 dealers about a vehicle I'm interested in. I got OTD quotes from 4 of them and they were all within $100 of each other. Prices about $900 below the "Truecar average").
Agreed. Recently, I couldn't get anyone to negotiate for more than one round. Seems everyone knew what the best price available out there was already, and once I found it and asked the other ~15 dealers I had emailed to beat it, no one would. Everyone had "given me their best offers already". In the end, it came as no surprise to me that my best offer came from one of the largest volume dealers in Northern California.

So, I would argue that expanding one's search to include all possible dealerships you're willing to travel to (being sure to include other cities besides your own) in order to locate that initial lowest price is becoming more important. I don't know if emailing just 5-6 local guys is going to cut it anymore.

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dual
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Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by dual » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:12 pm

stlutz wrote:I think dealers must be shopping one another using this method more frequently. Earlier this week I contacted 6 dealers about a vehicle I'm interested in. I got OTD quotes from 4 of them and they were all within $100 of each other. Prices about $900 below the "Truecar average").
I would not put it past the dealers to contact each other. This collusion is illegal and you might send the list of quotes to your local district attorney and the state attorney general.

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