Negotiating for a new car purchase

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verbose
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Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by verbose » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:30 am

I'm ready to buy a car. I test drove one, researched it, have the money ready, no trade in and no hurry.

I've been contacting dealerships but they don't give me prices. It's all "when can you come in" and leaving me voicemail while I'm working. In my state, car dealerships have very limited hours that happen to coincide with my work hours. I can actually visit a dealership on some Saturday mornings.

I can't even get them to repeat back to me the model I asked for. I'm looking for a LX and they keep talking about an EX (two different dealerships are doing this). No prices, just "when can you come in" and "we only have one of those left" or "those models were hot I don't know if I can find one." I don't believe them. I think
They are trying to create a false urgency.

I don't want to play games. I'm far too nervous to actually negotiate in person. Any tips to get them to stop wasting my time??

squirm
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by squirm » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:36 am

Have you try tried Costco?

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bottlecap
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by bottlecap » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:38 am

Are you doing this on the phone? If so try email. Ask for firm out the door price. If they are the best price, you'll come pick it up. Otherwise, they get crossed off the list.

Playing games makes them money. Figure out a way to convince them it will lose your business and not make them money.

If you want a popular model, they may prefer to deal with someone else that will meet in person and pay more.

JT

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:39 am

Email and to the point:

I'm looking for a dark color Camry LX with NO options.
Please forward your price including your Doc Fee but not tax/title/registration.
I am price shopping other dealers and will buy within a week from the dealer who emails me the lowest price.

If you are unable to email a price, I will assume that you don't want my business.

don't include a phone number. If they don't send you a price, delete their response and move on. You could email dealers outside of your area to get an idea on a price. Heck.....I see people from my area (Massachusetts) getting an email offer from Heuberger Subaru in Colorado, then flying out and buying from them.
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verbose
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by verbose » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:46 am

Thanks for the help. They have my phone number now.

I will try to compose a better email. I'm looking for a Honda Civic, so it's a common vehicle and the markup on it isn't worth going too far out of the large metro area where I live.

rg422
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by rg422 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:59 am

Send emails to a few dealerships asking for their best OTD price. When you get responses from said dealerships, email each one back with the lowest OTD quoted asking if they can beat the price. I've used this method numerous times between us/family/friends with great success.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:02 pm

I suspect the blanket email strategy doesn't work anymore.

You might need to waste that Saturday morning. You will not get a remotely reasonable price during that visit so you will be walking out. You should be able to negotiate by email when they follow up (and they will).

denovo
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by denovo » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:04 pm

verbose wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:30 am
I'm ready to buy a car. I test drove one, researched it, have the money ready, no trade in and no hurry.

I've been contacting dealerships but they don't give me prices. It's all "when can you come in" and leaving me voicemail while I'm working. In my state, car dealerships have very limited hours that happen to coincide with my work hours. I can actually visit a dealership on some Saturday mornings.

I don't want to play games. I'm far too nervous to actually negotiate in person. Any tips to get them to stop wasting my time??

Check this thread. viewtopic.php?t=124638 To start off, use a new email account, a different name, leave no numbers. You want the internet sales dept, you can usually see that info on dealer sites. Go through the thread.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

armeliusc
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by armeliusc » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:07 pm

Last time I bought a new car I used the Fighting Chance method, which basically boils down to:

- I called the dealership and asked for the sales manager or "internet sales manager" and tell them that I want to buy a car with specific spec, and am asking quotes from about 10 dealerships. Then I tell him/her that I will fax or email my specifications if they are interested in the chance of getting my business.

- Then I send them (fax / email) the document that basically contains:
- "We will buy a car by the end of the month from a dealer. We are asking for price proposal, include both out-of-the-door and itemize price (including tax, registration fee, etc)." Give them your state and county so they can figure this out.
- Specify the model as explicit and exact as possible. For e.g. in my case I said:
"The car we want is <Year) Honda Civic LX 4 Door Sedan, Automatic Transmission, exterior color "Alabaster Silver Metallic", interior color "Gray" with standard equipment. We want the car exterior color AS-IS from manufacturer, i.e. we do no want any dealer pinstripe add on".
- We say something that "we we will get the list of prices, then all the dealer that participates from the start will have one more chance to beat the best price from the first round. We will not make endless negotiations". You want to convey that you are looking for a good price and ready to buy, and won't just go on and on.

The whole thing took about two days for me using email and occasional phone calls. Once I pick a dealership to go with, I arranged the time to come in and sign the docs and pick up the car.

I think the initial phone call is an important component. It shows you're serious and not just randomly send blanketing emails (they get a lot of that). I had a couple dealers refuse to follow the "rule" and I simply then just not including them. The dealer I ended up selecting sounds earnest from the start and ended up giving me the best price.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:12 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:02 pm
I suspect the blanket email strategy doesn't work anymore.

You might need to waste that Saturday morning. You will not get a remotely reasonable price during that visit so you will be walking out. You should be able to negotiate by email when they follow up (and they will).
I disagree. Many, many dealers now know that there are plenty of us who won't step into the dealer until they have a price. Heck....I did this by snail mail in 1991 and continue to this day. Worked flawlessly with the purchase of my 14 Wrangler and wife's 13 Crosstrek.

To the OP....you don't have to actually go outside of your area. Having a quote from a dealer 2000 miles away gives you a number to work with. If nobody within your area is willing to give you a number, that gets you a number. Tru Car will get you the Doc Fee for each dealer, which is the only value I see with them (got my Wrangler for well over $1000 below the lowest price they said was possible).

I just looked at Civics at my local dealer (Herb Chambers, so huge set of dealerships). In Civics, they only have a few '18's and a gaggle of leftover '17's (over 400). If you're asking about 18's, they may simply not have many yet. You'll have to wait until the 17's get cleared out.
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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:18 pm

You can get an idea of inventory from the dealer's site. New car inventory is normally up to date. You can probably also go through Honda's web site to build out a car, and get an idea of local inventory. That will tell you whether the dealer is playing games when they say the car is available or not.

If you are looking for a 2017 model, you may get decent deals.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by jadd806 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:42 pm

I was satisfied with a very high volume dealership in my area that advertises "right price, lowest price." No haggling. The price marked on the car is what they'll sell it for, take it or leave it. They were cheaper than about 95% of dealerships. The few that were cheaper were far enough away that it wasn't worth the hassle to save a few bucks. Additionally, the salesman that I was working with seemed like an honest guy and he wasn't pushy or annoying like every other car salesman I've dealt with. So I wanted to give him my business.

The dealership I went to prior to them kept trying to upsell me before I even got in the car! I asked to test drive a base model Toyota Corolla. They pulled up the pricier sport model because "it was easier to get out of the lot." I didn't like the Corolla, so I asked to test drive a Prius Three. He pulls up a $5,000 more expensive Prius Five because "I thought you'd like it better." I told him that wasn't the car I asked to test drive, so I collected my driver's license and left.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:45 pm

verbose wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:46 am
Thanks for the help. They have my phone number now.

I will try to compose a better email. I'm looking for a Honda Civic, so it's a common vehicle and the markup on it isn't worth going too far out of the large metro area where I live.
Some dealerships have web-based request forms whereby you can request a quote on their inventory. Even if you get a bunch of quotes outside your metro area - you can return to your dealer of choice with the best quote you receive and say "can you beat this? I'd like to do business with you since your local with me but need the best price - if you can beat this I'll buy today". At least this is what I've always done.

I also don't understand your "Markup" comment. Are you talking about the difference between invoice and sticker? How do you know what they are willing to sell their vehicles for? I bought my last couple of new cars below invoice price by shopping around (although I also bought at times I new inventories were high - no idea about the Civic in your area).

SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:57 pm

Not to hijack this thread, but I wonder if one should mention that one is a cash customer (i.e. no financing) when making the initial email/form approach to a dealership. I am not suggesting being dishonest here, just not mentioning your situation.

The dealership may be willing to offer a lower price if it thinks it can get some of that back through financing. Of course, they may also waste your time (and theirs) quoting 0% APR offers from the manufacturer. So I am not sure whether it make sense to mention that or not.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by wolingfeng » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:08 pm

I recommend to go to the specific car forum, normally they have a mega thread about how much people paid for the car with respective trim, and you could really have a sense of how much is a good deal vs getting rip off... it takes a little time to go through every response and I find it very useful. Once you have a number, just stick to it and you can email or just call the dealership to see if something can be worked out.

SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:13 pm

wolingfeng wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:08 pm
I recommend to go to the specific car forum, normally they have a mega thread about how much people paid for the car with respective trim, and you could really have a sense of how much is a good deal vs getting rip off... it takes a little time to go through every response and I find it very useful. Once you have a number, just stick to it and you can email or just call the dealership to see if something can be worked out.
Edmunds Forums ? Almost all of the discussions I see there are for lease offers, rather than purchases. Or are you talking about some other forums ?

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by kjvmartin » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:48 pm

I don't know your location and number of dealerships nearby, but I followed the thread started by Denovo previously linked with some good results and then mixed results.

I am interested in two different cars by 2 different manufacturers.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Lease. Outgoing model on sale, harder to find... Some dealers are unwilling to communicate details over the Internet. I queried six dealerships using the contact form on their websites and ended up getting 2000 more miles, $200 off the down payment, and $30 off the lease payment. Only three dealers were willing to "play ball". ... I am considering this lease or..

2018 Chevrolet Equinox - Purchase. Widely available. Chevrolet has a Sign/Click/Drive web form which is thorough and allows you to do everything but pick up the keys over the Internet. I filled out all but the final stages of this process for three dealerships and found three different prices for the exact same trim. They e-mail a "deal sheet" which can be saved and sent to other dealers as proof of an offer. The problem is, the form doesn't take into account any employee & relative pricing. So, when the initial response came from the sales-people, I replied asking for a final price including the employee rate. So far, only one responded with employee leasing terms (why?) and two have not responded at all in 48 hours. One price is low enough that I'd be tempted to buy it without any employee discount, and I've followed up. They just aren't answering at all.

Basically I can lease a nicely equipped (but questionable reliability?) Grand Cherokee for $300 or buy a more sparse Equinox for $350 for a much longer term (though it should be less with the discount).

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verbose
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by verbose » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:14 pm

Update on this situation: I’ve had a lot of pointless communications with dealers, mostly them trying to find out “when can I come in.” None of them have the car I want in stock. They all say they can find it, but then they fail to follow up on that and fall back to asking me to show up in person.

So I showed up at a dealership a half hour away that seemed to be willing to find the car. We went through a strange song and dance and there is still no car.

They started trying to sell me on their dealership’s service department. I countered that I live a half hour away.

Then they claimed to have found the car I want in Arkansas. The salesman “found it” right then even though they knew days in advance what I wanted. The salesman didn’t show me his screen.

They presented an inflated price (of course) that included their service contract, floor mats, pinstriping, etc. I told them I didn’t need any of that and countered with my price (which wasn’t even that low—I want this transaction over with and I don’t like haggling). They also had financing details and I told them I am paying cash. They asked several times about a trade in and I said every time there isn’t one. My teen will be driving my current car.

After “the talk with the manager”, the car disappeared. It wasn’t really available after all. They let me walk out.

Was there ever a car? Was I not a big enough target for them? I have trouble taking anything a car salesman says at face value.

I’m looking for this car, and I can’t believe it’s so hard to find:
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback LX CVT w/ Honda Sensing in any color other than white or black. Or 2018 if 2017 aren’t being made any more. Whatever.

I’m in a major metro area and can’t get any Honda dealers to take me seriously. How do I find this car? The dealers don’t even seem to want to sell me a car.

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dm200
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:24 pm

In this area, http://ubs4cars.com/ is a very good service. We have used it twice for new cars. You can get/order the exact car you want and get the no hassle price, with NO "processing fee".

One time, when I went to a dealer that was not contracted by them, the dealer agreed to give me the UBS price (and no processing fee).

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by eagleeyes » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:26 pm

I will agree with above the internet email method works best. Especially towards the end of the month. One thing I would recommend:

When you go to the lowest price dealer take a picture of their offer sheet with your phone. After that point if there is any shenanigans you can walk out. And take that quote to the next dealer and say hey I was going to buy the car from dealer x but if you beat it by 250 I'll buy from you

My crv purchase had some shenanigans like that. I had a newborn at the time and couldn't spare the time to walk out and renegotiate down the street.

If they don't pull shenanigans don't walk out. Just call it a day. Its stressful enough buying a car

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verbose
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by verbose » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:46 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:24 pm
In this area, http://ubs4cars.com/ is a very good service. We have used it twice for new cars. You can get/order the exact car you want and get the no hassle price, with NO "processing fee".

One time, when I went to a dealer that was not contracted by them, the dealer agreed to give me the UBS price (and no processing fee).
Thanks, I am not in that area and that service is geographically limited. I live in the St Loius area. I’m not familiar with any such service here.

daveydoo
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by daveydoo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:48 pm

verbose wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:14 pm

I’m in a major metro area and can’t get any Honda dealers to take me seriously. How do I find this car? The dealers don’t even seem to want to sell me a car.
This is puzzling to me. Everyone gets jerked around a bit but this is way worse than expected. I only had this happen with a one-off high-end used car -- after I teased the sales guy about his not wanting to part with his daily driver (he had just let it slip that he drove the car three hours North just for fun). He decided I wasn't his buyer.

Usually, you can get any number of prices, but getting the one you want takes some finesse. How many dealers have you been to? Is your vibe that you're willing to work with them and are interested in buying? If you come in like a bull and lead off that you're willing to pay $50 over dealer cost, they may decide to let you waste someone else's time. So say you want to take a test drive. Waste someone's time. Set the hook. On the low-cost, commoditized cars like a Civic, the margin can be quite low.

As others have said, they've all wised up to the telephone-internet approach -- that was a piece of cake a decade ago but I suspect there is some collusion in your area about not pre-emptively undercutting each other before a customer has even set foot in one dealership.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by daveydoo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:52 pm

verbose wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:46 pm
I live in the St Loius area. I’m not familiar with any such service here.
Yikes. Is it race? I hope not, but hadn't thought of that earlier. No need to answer. If your demographic does not match the other buyers when you look around, you may do better in another metro area, sad to say.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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dm200
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:45 am

verbose wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:46 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:24 pm
In this area, http://ubs4cars.com/ is a very good service. We have used it twice for new cars. You can get/order the exact car you want and get the no hassle price, with NO "processing fee".

One time, when I went to a dealer that was not contracted by them, the dealer agreed to give me the UBS price (and no processing fee).
Thanks, I am not in that area and that service is geographically limited. I live in the St Loius area. I’m not familiar with any such service here.
What about the Consumer Reports buying service? Or Costco?

MOBY DICK
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by MOBY DICK » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:59 am

Look on line for a dealer that has an " unlock your internet price " button. You'll have to enter your e-mail for a response. I was recently browsing for a RAV4H and couldn't believe how LOW the first offer was...approx $4K under list for a $30K vehicle. If I was actually buying, I would have pulled the trigger right then and there. The progressive dealers realize this is the way forward and the process removes the wasted day that usually happens during car purchase.

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William4u
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by William4u » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:44 am

We bought a new car recently and had to deal with a lot of shenanigans. It took a week or so. We emailed 12 nearby dealerships, were very specific about the car we wanted, and most of them just wanted us to come in. After a few rounds of competative bidding (just like in many bogelhead threads), 3 dealers settled on the same low price and we could not find a lower price from other dealers (which was $3k less than some other dealers' "lowest price"). We emailed one dealer and said we were coming in just to buy that car for that price. The dealer said he had the car and would honor the price.

We started to go to the first dealer, but when we called the internet manager (who we had been dealing with for some time) saying we were coming right now, the internet manager said that they just sold the car and could not get another for some time, but offered a higher trim for an extra $4k. So we called the other two dealers, and they did THE SAME UPSELL. It was as if this particular upsell strategy is in the official dealer strategy book!

So we told all 3 dealers no. The next day I called one of the dealer's managers, and related that I was disappointed that we were told that our car was on the lot only to hear that it was not on the day we intended to buy it. The manager promised to get the car immediately, which he did, and we bought it the next day at the original agreed upon price (only after the salesman "accidentally" tried to sell it for their higher "original bid price" before we showed the salesman the "final bid price" on the email).

In buying a new car I would just expect this level of shenanigans, unfortunately. It is a small pain but it saves money.

theplayer11
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:52 am

get the invoice price and then walk into the dealership and simply ask, "how much above invoice will you sell me this car for".

Boglegrappler
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by Boglegrappler » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:07 am

I've had success doing the following.

1. Use autotrader and Cars.com to see how prevalent the car you want is in dealer inventories in your region. You will also be able to learn how many dealers will discount from the sticker, and to what degree. I find this very useful to get an idea of what kind of price I might reasonably expect.

2. Look at the online inventory schedule for the dealers you might visit. See if you can find your car. If so, email the dealer and follow the instructions of others about how you are ready to buy within the week, etc. I did this on my somewhat rare truck purchase, and emailed the dealer saying :

I see you have truck x showing in your inventory. Would you sell me that truck at price y? If so I'll come to pick it up and finalize on Saturday.
*********
Naturally pick a price that is favorable to you, but that also reflects what you've learned about available pricing from the most aggressive dealers on auto trader and cars.com. Rural dealers often discount their cars and you can get a sense of what you might expect from looking away from the metro areas. Those dealers will discount too, but they don't advertise it as much.

In my case I had to travel a bit to get my truck, because that's where it was. But you may not.

I think the most important thing is to get an idea of what price is fair for you to pay. And then you propose the starting point. They will respond and let you know whether they're willing to deal. Not everyone is, but some are. You having your own number does away with a lot of pointless back and forth, and relieves them of the misimpression that you're the guy that will overpay. You do that with your own number, not with questions or attitude.

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William4u
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by William4u » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:32 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:52 am
get the invoice price and then walk into the dealership and simply ask, "how much above invoice will you sell me this car for".
Invoice price used to mean something, but that is no longer the case. Invoice price has less and less usefulness. Often one can get a new car for below invoice price.

Articles: "Here’s why the dealer invoice price is not a real number anymore"...
http://clark.com/cars/eye-opening-truth ... ice-price/
https://www.autocheatsheet.com/new-car/ ... voice.html

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by eagleeyes » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:56 am

eagleeyes wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:26 pm
I will agree with above the internet email method works best. Especially towards the end of the month. One thing I would recommend:

When you go to the lowest price dealer take a picture of their offer sheet with your phone. After that point if there is any shenanigans you can walk out. And take that quote to the next dealer and say hey I was going to buy the car from dealer x but if you beat it by 250 I'll buy from you

My crv purchase had some shenanigans like that. I had a newborn at the time and couldn't spare the time to walk out and renegotiate down the street.

If they don't pull shenanigans don't walk out. Just call it a day. Its stressful enough buying a car
I forgot to add: taking a picture of their offer ensures they know they won't get your business. If you walk out and show another dealer the quote, it will be matched and beaten. So most dealers would rather work with a tough customer in the store than one in the future if lose one

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sunny_socal
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:27 am

OP, whatever you're doing, you're doing it wrong. I suspect you're actually driving to a dealer and talking to people, or calling the "Front desk" and talking to people. That's not necessary. The "fax/email" method or "talking to the internet manager" likely won't work either.

Just do this:
1. Figure out what car you want
2. Use the web to find all the dealers for that car within a certain area (eg. 30min driving distance)
3. Visit the dealer websites and look through their online inventory
4. When you find a car you like, select "Request Quote"
5. This will bring up an online form. Enter the following information:
- Name
- Phone Number
- State that you would like their best price and you're looking to buy immediately

[Note: the emails generated through the website find their way to the Right Person, no need to email/fax to someone in particular and hope that they call you back]

That's it! You'll have phone calls and emails from all of them within a matter of hours. Write down the quotes and contact information for whoever emailed or called you back.

After that, take the top offers and see if they can beat each other. Feel free to disclose what the other offers are rather than being vague.

I could be driving a new car by noon with this approach. Really, it's super simple.

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William4u
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by William4u » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:49 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:27 am
OP, whatever you're doing, you're doing it wrong. I suspect you're actually driving to a dealer and talking to people, or calling the "Front desk" and talking to people. That's not necessary. The "fax/email" method or "talking to the internet manager" likely won't work either.

Just do this:
1. Figure out what car you want
2. Use the web to find all the dealers for that car within a certain area (eg. 30min driving distance)
3. Visit the dealer websites and look through their online inventory
4. When you find a car you like, select "Request Quote"
5. This will bring up an online form. Enter the following information:
- Name
- Phone Number
- State that you would like their best price and you're looking to buy immediately

[Note: the emails generated through the website find their way to the Right Person, no need to email/fax to someone in particular and hope that they call you back]

That's it! You'll have phone calls and emails from all of them within a matter of hours. Write down the quotes and contact information for whoever emailed or called you back.

After that, take the top offers and see if they can beat each other. Feel free to disclose what the other offers are rather than being vague.

I could be driving a new car by noon with this approach. Really, it's super simple.
This is basically what we do. I only go into the dealer to test drive. Talking to a dealer is a waste of time and a way to get hoodwinked. I do it all over email until no other dealer is willing to beat the OTD price. Then I call and say I'm coming to finalize the deal. I come in and sign the papers. Negotiating in person is counterproductive for most people. I hate to say it, but they lie and manipulate so much in person it is ridiculous. All I care about is the OTD price with title taxes and fees. Most people are taken in by the deceptions.

I hear a lot of people say that they are getting a great deal, but then I hear the doc and title fees are high and the trade in is mediocre or the financing stinks. Usually, dealers make money in at least one of three areas: financing, trade in, or car price. They will often make a great deal in one of those 3 areas to fleece you in another. Or they will accept what looks like a great price for the car but not include title, doc, and taxes. They can pad the price pretty well with title and doc fees alone. Recently a guy seemed to have paid a pretty good price for a minivan IF it was OTD including all taxes and fees. But it was a lousy price, since it was before title taxes and fees. And he didn't do well with financing and trade in. So he got fleeced, but he did not realize it, since the "low offer" he made was accepted (but then they just padded the other costs).

tapotti
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by tapotti » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:01 pm

I just bought a new Honda at the end of September, and the email method worked amazing for me. This was my first new car purchase, and I can't imagine it could have went any smoother.

I sent generic emails to about 15 dealers. As many people have already posted, I gave exact details of what I wanted and requested a firm out the door price. I stated that I was paying cash, and would bring a cashier's check, thus there is no way for them to add surprise fees.

I got 10 or so responses, and the eventual winner was pretty obvious from the start. When I got to the dealership, the whole thing was done within 2 hours.

Good luck.

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dm200
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:17 pm

I hear a lot of people say that they are getting a great deal, but then I hear the doc and title fees are high and the trade in is mediocre or the financing stinks. Usually, dealers make money in at least one of three areas: financing, trade in, or car price. They will often make a great deal in one of those 3 areas to fleece you in another. Or they will accept what looks like a great price for the car but not include title, doc, and taxes. They can pad the price pretty well with title and doc fees alone. Recently a guy seemed to have paid a pretty good price for a minivan IF it was OTD including all taxes and fees. But it was a lousy price, since it was before title taxes and fees. And he didn't do well with financing and trade in. So he got fleeced, but he did not realize it, since the "low offer" he made was accepted (but then they just padded the other costs).
What I see a lot is another high percentage "profit center" - expensive add-ons, such as GAP insurance, various extended warranties, paint protection (bird poop is a common 'hazard' pitched), prepaid service/maintenance0, etc. I recently saw a high add-on sale of a used car with many hundreds of dollars for something to do with tires (the woman who bought the car did not know what she paid for).

The way. commonly, the dealer or F&I (financing and insurance) guy/gal make money on financing is that various lenders pay a fee to the dealer (shared with F&I guy/gal) to place the loan with that lender. Often the financing "offered" at the dealership is from the lender that pays the highest fee.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by ccieemeritus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:17 pm

+1 Costco auto buying service. Why negotiate when you can have a mega corporation do it for you?

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dm200
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:44 pm

In my opinion (and experience) just as important as the "negotiation" (or use of a service like Costco) in your eventual cost of purchase of a new car is selecting or excluding trim levels, model level, options and features you want, need and are willing (or not willing) to pay for.

I suppose different people value such features differently, but I know that may, often expensive, trim levels, model upgrades and options lots of people spend a lot on - are not things I even want, letalone pay for.

When the dealer or salesperson gets you into the showroom in person - they are very good at getting lots of folks to buy more "car" than they really need or want.

marc515
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by marc515 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:58 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:52 am
get the invoice price and then walk into the dealership and simply ask, "how much above invoice will you sell me this car for".
Why would you ask to buy it above invoice? You should be able to buy almost any car for a minimum
of a few hundred under invoice.

m

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by marc515 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:04 pm

ccieemeritus wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:17 pm
+1 Costco auto buying service. Why negotiate when you can have a mega corporation do it for you?
We tried Costco this weekend, and basically it was $400 under invoice, and we didn't settle for that.

Bottom line is if you are willing to pay their game for a short while, you can really save. I worked them until they let me walk away, then I knew I had a good deal

I view it as a challenge, and figure I earned a great return for a couple of hours of negotiation.

m

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dm200
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:14 pm

marc515 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:04 pm
ccieemeritus wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:17 pm
+1 Costco auto buying service. Why negotiate when you can have a mega corporation do it for you?
We tried Costco this weekend, and basically it was $400 under invoice, and we didn't settle for that.
Bottom line is if you are willing to pay their game for a short while, you can really save. I worked them until they let me walk away, then I knew I had a good deal
I view it as a challenge, and figure I earned a great return for a couple of hours of negotiation.
m
Yes - some folks can do this. It can take a toll on you, though. What I think about is those ("successful") sales folks are professionals and do this stull all day, every day. We once took almost all day to buy a car - AND we used a buying service for a no negotiation price. What took so much time was our insistence at EXACTLY the model and features (including color) we insisted on. We would not back down and buy anything more. After many hours, they finally recognized we would buy nothing extra - and they found the exact car on its way to a dealer 500 miles from here. Once we reached agreement, they rerouted the car here and we picked it up later in the week.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by Impromptu » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:03 pm

The Youtube videos on how to buy a car are not very informative. However, the Youtube videos on how to increase your car sales will teach you all of the sales techniques that they use. I think you will be surprised at how many tricks you have fallen for.

Cars are commodities, so leave emotion out of the process. If you know what car you want, you do not need to test drive it. They will all drive the same. Car dealerships have already purchased the cars, so the car they will give you the best deal on is the one that is already on their lot/warehouse, rather than finding a car for you, buying it themselves, then selling it to you. So find one on their lot that has the trim level and most of the options you want, and pick it. Color is the least important of all of the options.

You are in the admirable position of being able to pay cash for a car (Outside financing is also considered paying cash). You can avoid the switcharoos that the dealerships make when they can juggle financing, trade-ins, and the actual price of the car. 0% financing is worse than cash payments. Keep it simple. Adding in trade-ins and financing is like mixing investing and life insurance, rather than keeping them separate.

Internet sales departments work under a different business model than in person sales. Internet sales departments focus more on volume and efficiency of sales. Imagine a salesman working you over for 3 hours to get your business verses making a sale in 15 minutes for an internet salesman. That might be worth it for them to give you their best offer. As part of a fair price, you and them should both be happy with the deal. You should not want to rip them off, as they should be able to make a bit of a profit on every sale, too. So find out what their best offer is on a specific car on their lot, which should be a few percentage points above their actual invoice price (which is the invoice minus their extra incentives that they never show customers). Check this out from a few different dealerships, including all of their fees, do not get any add ons, then buy the car. Some will even deliver it to your house and you never have to show up at the dealership.
I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by hudson » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:33 pm

armeliusc wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:07 pm
Last time I bought a new car I used the Fighting Chance method, which basically boils down to:

- I called the dealership and asked for the sales manager or "internet sales manager" and tell them that I want to buy a car with specific spec, and am asking quotes from about 10 dealerships. Then I tell him/her that I will fax or email my specifications if they are interested in the chance of getting my business.

- Then I send them (fax / email) the document that basically contains:
- "We will buy a car by the end of the month from a dealer. We are asking for price proposal, include both out-of-the-door and itemize price (including tax, registration fee, etc)." Give them your state and county so they can figure this out.
- Specify the model as explicit and exact as possible. For e.g. in my case I said:
"The car we want is <Year) Honda Civic LX 4 Door Sedan, Automatic Transmission, exterior color "Alabaster Silver Metallic", interior color "Gray" with standard equipment. We want the car exterior color AS-IS from manufacturer, i.e. we do no want any dealer pinstripe add on".
- We say something that "we we will get the list of prices, then all the dealer that participates from the start will have one more chance to beat the best price from the first round. We will not make endless negotiations". You want to convey that you are looking for a good price and ready to buy, and won't just go on and on.

The whole thing took about two days for me using email and occasional phone calls. Once I pick a dealership to go with, I arranged the time to come in and sign the docs and pick up the car.

I think the initial phone call is an important component. It shows you're serious and not just randomly send blanketing emails (they get a lot of that). I had a couple dealers refuse to follow the "rule" and I simply then just not including them. The dealer I ended up selecting sounds earnest from the start and ended up giving me the best price.
I've used fighting chance to buy my last two vehicles. I've talked to James Bragg a number of times and he's a great car buying coach.
I'm no longer a push-over negotiator. I prefer using the phone to get prices and negotiate.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by JBTX » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:31 pm

Last new car I bought I used cars.com and found the make and model and general specs I wanted and looked at all available within 50-100 miles. Sorted by price lowest to highest. Found a couple with the lowest prices, called them, and asked what they would sell if for. After a little bit of discussion, they took some money off the online price (which is already usually pretty low, because posting an inflated price online isn't going to generate much interest). After a couple of those, I called my local dealer, and they lowered the price by another few hundred, and I went with them.

Playing dealers off each other works best if you live in metropolitan area with multiple dealers. In general, I think you have more leverage on the phone, before you have gone in, as long as you seem genuinely interested. As soon as you walk in a dealership they have the leverage, unless you are willing to walk out if you don't get the number you want.

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by lthenderson » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:42 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:27 am
OP, whatever you're doing, you're doing it wrong. I suspect you're actually driving to a dealer and talking to people, or calling the "Front desk" and talking to people. That's not necessary. The "fax/email" method or "talking to the internet manager" likely won't work either.

Just do this:
1. Figure out what car you want
2. Use the web to find all the dealers for that car within a certain area (eg. 30min driving distance)
3. Visit the dealer websites and look through their online inventory
4. When you find a car you like, select "Request Quote"
5. This will bring up an online form. Enter the following information:
- Name
- Phone Number
- State that you would like their best price and you're looking to buy immediately
I'm guessing the OP is being hostile and confrontational. My friends in the business say that so many people believe that the salesperson is lower than pond scum and not much of a human being. It is very difficult for them to put a smile on their face while dealing with these sorts of people. Salespeople are humans out trying to support a family like the rest of us.

I've said this many times in many threads but emailing for a quote results in someone responding to a thousand or more of similar emails of week putting in exactly 15 seconds worth of work to give whomever sent the email a pre-decided quote that the dealership determined would be competitive with other email departments at other dealerships. If they don't have that specific model on their lot which is likely in these days of tons of options and many different models, you are likely to not even get a response. My advice is to do all your research online including getting email quotes if you can and then walk into the dealer with cash on hand and make a deal for less. It is much harder to let a potential deal walk out of their dealership with cash on hand than it is for some anonymous person on the internet sending one of a thousand emails they get every week. They person walking out of the dealership is likely never coming back. Next week, there will always be another thousand anonymous emails.

sschoe2
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by sschoe2 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:04 am

This was back in 2009 for me but I was looking for either a Honda Fit or Hyundai Elantra. The Hyundai place really bleeped me around tried convincing me the radio was extra part of a "popular electronics package." Seriously?

I got online quotes for my Fit from 3 local dealers and the one in town matched the lowest quote and I went with it. I really don't like haggling and I needed a new car badly as my old one the muffler fell off and it needed $2k worth of exhaust work which was more than it was worth and had lots of other problems.

The worst was trying to get a car loan in Jan 2009. I gave up and paid cash despite a 765 score.

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Alexa9
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:14 am

I would not just take the lowest offer from several dealers, but make an offer well below the lowest offer to several dealers.
Use this as an estimate:

http://tellmethebest.com/honda.html

deikel
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by deikel » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:57 pm

Why negotiate at all ? You will drive off the lot and take a huge hit in depreciation right then and there, couple of hundred bucks more or less make little difference at that point...

..don't buy new, its a fools game...
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by tc101 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:13 pm

..don't buy new, its a fools game...
I just read a detailed analysis in another thread that said just the opposite. If you are going to keep a car until it is 12 years old, you do about the same buying new or used. Now I can't find that post.

What do others think.
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

hightower
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by hightower » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:37 pm

Email them all with a price you’re willing to pay. Only deal with the ones willing to negotiate. If no one local bites, try all over the country. That’s how i found my car. I shipped it from Colorado to Ohio for 600 bucks and still paid way less than locals were willing to give me.
Sometimes you can get two dealers bidding against each other.
verbose wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:30 am
I'm ready to buy a car. I test drove one, researched it, have the money ready, no trade in and no hurry.

I've been contacting dealerships but they don't give me prices. It's all "when can you come in" and leaving me voicemail while I'm working. In my state, car dealerships have very limited hours that happen to coincide with my work hours. I can actually visit a dealership on some Saturday mornings.

I can't even get them to repeat back to me the model I asked for. I'm looking for a LX and they keep talking about an EX (two different dealerships are doing this). No prices, just "when can you come in" and "we only have one of those left" or "those models were hot I don't know if I can find one." I don't believe them. I think
They are trying to create a false urgency.

I don't want to play games. I'm far too nervous to actually negotiate in person. Any tips to get them to stop wasting my time??

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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by Easy Rhino » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:41 pm

verbose, i'm not sure why you're getting the runaround from internet sales departments. Most are very businesslike.

it may help to go to their website and search through inventory to see if they actually have the specific car in stock before inquiring. Because if they don't have it in stock, they're have to get it from another dealer, which is doable (that's how I got my car), but if there's only one dealer that has your car in town, then the multiple other dealers may end up contacting that first dealer, and they'll think there's inflated interest in the car, and things will get weird.

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dm200
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Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Post by dm200 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:10 am

tc101 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:13 pm
..don't buy new, its a fools game...
I just read a detailed analysis in another thread that said just the opposite. If you are going to keep a car until it is 12 years old, you do about the same buying new or used. Now I can't find that post.
What do others think.
As I have posted in the past, over the decades we have purchased both new and used - with good and bad experiences with both.

I believe that purchasing new is often a wise decision, especially if you can keep the vehicle for a long time (we almost always did).

1. New vehicles are identical - no matter where you buy
2. When buying new, you can (and should, IMO) get the exact vehicle you want, need and are willing to pay for. That can lower your cost because you do not pay for things you do not want.
3. Some features may be important, but not always common in used cars. In the 1980's, for example, we wanted a power seat on a minivan (I am tall, my wife is short) - but did not want all the common extras that may usually come with a power seat. By buying new, we got what we wanted and did not want.
4. You should have lower maintenance/repair experiences with a new car.
5. If you finance the purchase, new vehicles almost always have the lowest rates
6. I believe buying new tends to make more sense the more miles you drive each year.

Now, in semi-retirement and (for multiple reasons) much lower driving miles, we are now buying older used vehicles.

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