My New Car Buying Tips

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Maverick3320
Posts: 528
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 2:59 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Maverick3320 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:57 pm

namenloseblonde wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:33 pm
I started my email campaign this morning so I thought I'd share my preliminary results! I sent the following email to about 35 dealers (through their "Contact Us" form on their website, with 555-555-5555 for the phone number) within a 75 mile radius of my home:

I am in the market for a XXX and would like to complete my purchase in the next two weeks, before the end of July. I am shopping online for the best price on a vehicle in COLOR with package XXX (cloth interior) and a sunroof (white or black exterior would also be acceptable). I would appreciate it if you could send me your best "out-the-door" price on this vehicle including a breakdown of all fees and rebates. I am planning to finance through the dealer if the 0% incentive is available. If not, I am pre-approved for private financing or may consider a cash purchase. I look forward to hearing from you.

I got a predictable assortment of "when can we talk on the phone" emails, all of which I simply deflected by stating that phone was not convenient for me and to please send any questions and a quote via email. It feels SO GOOD to say NO! Most of them did send quotes, although a couple simply didn't respond and one said they didn't negotiate prices online. Okay, BYE FELICIA. I got about 20 responses, and about half of those have sent me a quote already. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Unfortunately, the combination of features and colors we really want seems to be uncommon enough that most dealers don't have one in stock. Also, there are four or five "bloatware" packages that we don't want, but nearly all models include at least one and sometimes several of these. Therefore, we have received quotes on vehicles that vary wildly in MSRP, making it a bit difficult to pinpoint the best deal. I created a spreadsheet to track the responses and added columns showing the MSRP and the quoted OTD best price, and then another column to calculate the percentage discount off MSRP. While I realize MSRP is not the number you want to use when negotiating, given the variety of options available on this car and fact that one dealer may not be able to quote the EXACT same model as another, I am thinking that when I ask dealers to beat a given price I will actually have to ask them to beat a percentage off MSRP.

Anyway, I have already gotten three quotes in the 8-9% off MSRP range including a $1,000 rebate from Ford. I will wait to discuss the other rebates until we're further along in the process, since they come from the manufacturer anyway. I will probably wait until Wednesday to start round 2, as I anticipate getting more initial quotes tomorrow. TrueCar claims an exceptional price for my area is 14% below MSRP - fingers crossed I can beat it!
I lol'd.

ronteller11
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:57 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by ronteller11 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:19 am

l2ridehd wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:52 am
This process works great when buying new. I used it with great success buying my Toyota Tacoma.

For cars I usually buy certified used so the process needs to be a bit different. I like Mercedes so I find dealerships within about a 150 plus mile radius which gives me a dozen or so to work with. I do the online search until I find four or 5 cars that work for me. I just purchased a 2013 E 350 with 10,000 miles and used a process very close to your new car process. The main difference is you can't do exact comparisons because each car has a few variables. Like mileage, options, warranty, and even finance differences. So first step is to identify 4 or 5 cars that work. Do a kbb price check using the wholesale price. Get the car fax for each car so you can eliminate any with other then minor damage, but more important is to determine how long the dealer has had this car. The car fax lists all ownership transfer dates.

1. Start with the one that has been on the lot the longest. They are getting ready to send it to auction if it has been there a couple months and they will sell at wholesale or below.
2. Get the best internet price from their internet sales department for each car. (also out the door price)
3. Determine what you will pay for the specific car that is the current best deal and make the offer in person at the dealership.
4. Offer to pay cash or to use the dealers finance only if they will match your best available interest rate. Finance is a profit center and you can pay it off the next day if you want. But they will usually sell at a lower price if you will finance through them.
5. Tell them your offer is final and you have 5 cars you have selected and if they don't accept your offer you will move to car number two on your list.
6. They will usually have the manager come out and say they can't meet you price but for just $XXX more they will do it.
7. Be ready to walk and tell them your price is final.
8. Continue on until you get the car and price you want.

Using this process I bought the loaded 2013 certified used E 350 with 10,000 miles for $6500 under kbb wholesale price. I was shocked they took my offer when I got up to leave.

One other point to consider in buying a used car. I don't rule out a car with a car fax damage report if the damage is listed as minor. Car fax uses several ratings and minor means under $1000 damage. Which at todays prices is almost nothing. Without a clean car fax dealers will really deal. One car on my list, not the one I bought, had minor car fax damage report. It was that the front lower "honeycomb" grill was broken and had to be replaced. I would have used this as a strong discount point, but I would have accepted that car if the price I offered was not rejected.
Do you factor in that a clean car fax doesn’t matter to you now but will matter when you go to sell it?

Topic Author
denovo
Posts: 4414
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:04 am

namenloseblonde wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:57 am
Denovo, thanks for starting this fabulous thread and sharing your secrets. I am planning to start the emailing process tomorrow and I have a couple of questions for you or the other experts on this thread.
My suggestion would be to skim through the thread. All of your questions are answered , but to recap TrueCar and msrp and invoice are useless as reference points. Also a key part of my guide is to check each dealer's inventory and only negotiate with dealers that have the car you want in their inventory. Don't bother contacting dealers that don't have what you want in stock and have to get it from somewhere else. That's why the process hasn't been working for you.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

core4portfolio
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by core4portfolio » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:55 pm

sman09 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:15 pm
core4portfolio wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 8:03 am
While I purchased my new car back in Jan 2018, I know what is the exceptional price of that car and my budget.
So I havent done bidding game.
I have been following the internet pricing thread forum of that car for close to 6 months.
I sent an email to dealer who is 300 miles away asking for OTD price.
His quote came back as 26k. I told them my budget is only 25k.
Next day they send quote for 25.5k including small accessory in that price. I agreed to that price.
My friend also need a new car, want to counter that with local dealers which stretched one week of my time but no one willing to do so.
When I drove 300 miles and arrived dealership on buying day, sales person told car is sold and they need to get from another dealer.
Gave an offer for AWD with 1700 more and I know it also an exceptional price. i havent pulled the trigger.
I stick to my budget and informed I will go to next dealer if you dont have Now.
After 30 mins, I got brand new car loaded down from truck which is just 2 miles in Odometer.
Email strategy works but if you know whats exceptional price then you can do specify that number directly and be done with that.

Excellent! Nice reading about the way you closed the deal.

A new car i bought last year had about 60 miles in it. Is that normal/Okay or is it a little too high for a new car?

I was on the market for a very long time trying various negotiating strategies backed by a thorough homework (such as gleaning information on user forums regarding the price paid in an area, extra features added etc.,) - finally the need for a car outweighed my ability to wait any further (Waited almost 3 months).

Looking back, not sure whether i should have used the 60 miles on odometer for a sharp bargain - any thoughts?
60 miles is very normal for few test drives. Even if my new car have 100 miles, then also i would have bought.
For me until 100 miles is very normal. 60 miles is negligible on long run.
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

namenloseblonde
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:40 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by namenloseblonde » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:38 pm

denovo wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:04 am

My suggestion would be to skim through the thread. All of your questions are answered , but to recap TrueCar and msrp and invoice are useless as reference points. Also a key part of my guide is to check each dealer's inventory and only negotiate with dealers that have the car you want in their inventory. Don't bother contacting dealers that don't have what you want in stock and have to get it from somewhere else. That's why the process hasn't been working for you.
Thanks! I have had more success getting bids now that I started targeting dealers that actually have a car that meets our needs on their lots, but it is still very slow going. Because there are so many different bloatware packages, we had to open our search to different colors and options. Therefore, each dealer's car has a slightly different MSRP, so when you present them with another dealer's quote, they claim that they can't beat the price because their car is different (even if the only difference is floor mats or a slightly more expensive paint color, etc.). I don't think I've seen more than one or two cars that are equipped exactly the same way. Hence, I've been trying to get them to beat a percentage off of MSRP, since it's the only reliable number I as the consumer can use to compare offers on differently equipped cars.

Anyway, the offer I am shopping around right now, which is about 10% below MSRP, has met with quite a bit of resistance. I've taken it to five dealers and all of them have said they can't beat or match it, and even warned me that it will probably not pan out because it's too low for anyone to honor. I have submitted it to dealers in five states, so I feel like I've cast a wide enough net to know this is about as good as it gets. At this point, we're only waiting to pull the trigger because the car with the best offer isn't actually on the dealer's lot yet - it's in transit, due any day. We have a couple of decent backup offers so we'll see how it all plays out.

chemocean
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:45 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by chemocean » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:37 am

To help do an apple to orange comparison with differing MSRP of the same vehicle, go to Costo car buying site to figure out what MSRP costs of each options is. I was able to add the base price to the various options to come up with MSRP for most vehicle. In some cases, the difference between my sum and the MSRP was EXACTLY equal to an option on the Costco site. When I called the dealer to ask if the specific vehicle had that option, sure enough it was included in that vehicle. This comparison of features was very helpful in figuring out what features I was not willing to pay for. Initially, I was not willing to pay extra for premium colors. IN the end, the cost of the premium color did not matter. In the end, I was comparing two vehicles with the same features, except one had Bose speakers. Using Denovo method, the negotiated price was the same, so I went with the vehicle with the Bose speakers. The way I figure I got a free set of Bose speakers even thought I was not willing to pay for them.

sman09
Posts: 268
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:02 am

Help with buying a used car and guidance on donating/selling current car

Post by sman09 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:30 pm

My old car (almost 20 years old with 200,000 miles) has some issues that i need to attend before i could renew the registration - the car itself will not fetch me more than $500 (probably less) if i trade it with a dealer.

Got estimates to make the car better - $500 to change vapor canister (to pass emission test and renew registration) plus another $800 to fix some issues and another $400 for new tires would make it even better

Personally would be open to spending this money myself and keeping the car for some more time - but tired of spending on something or the other every year on this car and also want something more reliable to feel confident to take baby in the car. Also, not sure what else could go wrong next year - have had it for 6 years and have spent considerably, despite it being a Toyota.

Don't have the bandwidth (energy/time) to engage private party buyers for a higher price - but open to any advice/suggestions.

Given this backdrop, i'm wondering whether i should donate it to a charity that may pass it on to someone who can make good use or use it themselves. Are there any tax liabilities (like gift tax) that i should be aware of? I'm also open to any suggestions on how i could get a better price at a trader.

some details on the car

- about 20 years old with 220,000 miles (Toyota Sedan with leather seats)
- changed the timing belt+Water pump about 40,000 miles ago - so good for another 50,000 miles or so
- have serviced regularly with high mileage oil from JiffyLube with free top-off - had also done radiator flush and other such recommended services from time to time (nothing too expensive) (had quite a bit of oil leak for the last 2 years or so - changed the valve gasket (casket?) and yet been leaking

about 3 months ago, changed the old battery with a brand new one from AAA (the car was in the parking lot for months during winter and so had to sign up for AAA), so at least a few more years left

checkengine light on and to be able to renew the registration on the car (which just expired) the buyer would have to spend about $500 on replacing the Vapor Canister.


Any suggestions on how could i go about buying my replacement car (looking for a used with a maximum budget of $10,000 - preferably less) - how do i go about getting a better deal than what is offered. Also, if trading in this car is a better option than merely donating it, how could i get a good deal.

Thank you very much for your guidance!

Leesbro63
Posts: 5963
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:33 pm

Give it to charity and move on.

namenloseblonde
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:40 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by namenloseblonde » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:17 pm

chemocean wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:37 am
To help do an apple to orange comparison with differing MSRP of the same vehicle, go to Costo car buying site to figure out what MSRP costs of each options is.
Actually, finding out the MSRP has been the easiest part of the process - dealers are more than happy to send you the window sticker for any car they quote, which very clearly shows the base price plus all the options, etc. They also like to tell you that the MSRP minus the rebate is the price of the car, LOL!

SixAlpha
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:01 pm

Re: Help with buying a used car and guidance on donating/selling current car

Post by SixAlpha » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:44 pm

sman09 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:30 pm

Any suggestions on how could i go about buying my replacement car (looking for a used with a maximum budget of $10,000 - preferably less) - how do i go about getting a better deal than what is offered. Also, if trading in this car is a better option than merely donating it, how could i get a good deal.

Thank you very much for your guidance!
There are any number of sites (AutoTrader, CarGurus, etc) where you can search for used cars within your price range. You’ll have to negotiate the old-fashioned way to get a lower price. I commend taking any used car to your favorite mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. If they find anything wrong you can use that as leverage in your negotiation. If you live in a large enough city, you can also try one of the rent-to-buy programs through a Hertz or Avis. They have a number of 1-2 year old well-maintained cars for under $10k with no haggle.

As far as getting rid of the old car, if you have a CarMax in your area, take it to them and see what they’ll offer you. They buy liertally anything.

SixAlpha
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:01 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by SixAlpha » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:48 pm

namenloseblonde wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:38 pm
.

Anyway, the offer I am shopping around right now, which is about 10% below MSRP, has met with quite a bit of resistance. I've taken it to five dealers and all of them have said they can't beat or match it,
You might try shopping that offer again on the 29th or 30th. Depending on how desperate they are to make quota, at least one of those dealers might suddenly become a little more flexible.

namenloseblonde
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:40 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by namenloseblonde » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:40 pm

SixAlpha wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:48 pm
namenloseblonde wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:38 pm
.

Anyway, the offer I am shopping around right now, which is about 10% below MSRP, has met with quite a bit of resistance. I've taken it to five dealers and all of them have said they can't beat or match it,
You might try shopping that offer again on the 29th or 30th. Depending on how desperate they are to make quota, at least one of those dealers might suddenly become a little more flexible.
We actually ended up buying the car last night! I exhausted my shopping options early in the day yesterday - I had a total of 15 dealers across five states tell me they couldn't beat the 10.3% off MSRP deal (and several of them warned me that there was no way the dealer would honor such a low price), so we decided to go ahead. We were planning to wait until this weekend, but the dealer called in the afternoon and said the car had been delivered, so we just decided to go in and get it done on a weeknight when they would presumably be less busy. I asked if they were willing to deliver and do all of the paperwork at our home, and although they said it was possible there was definitely a push for us to come in to the showroom - probably just to save them the hassle of delivery, since there was no further wheeling and dealing to be done.

Anyway, it was a fairly painless process. They tried to add a $300 charge for VIN etching, but removed it without argument when I told them we weren't willing to pay for that. No other bogus charges on the bill, no trying to change the agreed-upon sales price, no "you didn't qualify for the 0% rate, so your rate will be 3.9%" BS, nothing. The finance guy gave us a short, not-too-high-pressure spiel on extended warranties and gap coverage (NO THANKS), congratulated me on my fabulous credit score, and we were good to go. The last time we bought a car the finance department tried every trick in the book to scam us, so this was a refreshing change. We were there for about 45 minutes total, including a 10 minute tutorial on the new car's features.

Now for what I consider the most interesting thing - my best offer, that 15 other dealerships couldn't beat, came to me through TrueCar (as did my second-best offer at 9.7% off MSRP, coincidentally). I have no idea whether this is normal nationwide or just luck of the draw. The dealer we went with is a high-volume dealer with multiple dealerships in different cities under one umbrella, and as it happens I got a quote on the same car from an affiliate in the next town over (they share inventory). The non-TrueCar quote from the affiliated dealership was over $1K more, and they weren't willing to budge on the price at all. Presumably the TrueCar-affiliated branch has much more incentive money coming their way. Anyway, I wouldn't count on TrueCar being the best price everywhere, but I would say if you plan to shop offers around via email, it can't hurt to see what TrueCar can find for you.

Baldrekr
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:12 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Baldrekr » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:18 pm

We had no luck trying to buy a 2019 Acura RDX in the Seattle area. Sent email to all 4 area dealers (Bellevue, Seattle, Lynnwood, Fife) with the exact package (Advance; the top of the line one) we wanted and asked for itemized quotes. They all outright said the car is selling well so they will sell for MSRP only, and to add insult to injury even the add-ons are marked up above MSRP on Acura's web site. When I asked why our options of floor mats, a cargo net and the $50 film strip on the door are, in total, several hundred dollars above list price on Acura's web site, I was told it is due to "labor costs". Then of course they all tacked on the "dealer prep fee" which Consumer Reports outright says is a total scam and to never pay.

Meanwhile, on forums daily I'm seeing people in California, Texas, Chicago, etc. posting their out the door prices where they got $2000-$2500 off the car, and that's not including any loyalty bonus, financing discounts, or any trade-in.

The Seattle area Acura dealers were so uncompromising we decided to not purchase that car at all and are instead planning on picking up a discounted 2018 Honda CR-V in a couple months when the 2019s arrive. It's probably for the best anyway, we don't do that much driving and it will save about $23K.

Yellowjacket1
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:19 pm

I didn’t get a chance to go thru all 7 pages of this thread, so I don’t know if I am repeating something or not. We used a similar negotiating strategy as the OP and it worked out well for us. We also started our emails to the dealerships on a Friday, noting we would be making a deal before COB on Sunday, which happened to be the last day of the month.

Dealerships have weekly and monthly quotas. So, the closer to the end of the week (usually Sunday) and the end of the month, the better deals you will see.

SixAlpha
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:01 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by SixAlpha » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:58 pm

namenloseblonde wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:40 pm
,

Now for what I consider the most interesting thing - my best offer, that 15 other dealerships couldn't beat, came to me through TrueCar (as did my second-best offer at 9.7% off MSRP, coincidentally). I have no idea whether this is normal nationwide or just luck of the draw.
Congrats! Ironically, the best offer on our Pilot came through TrueCar as well (the USAA branded version). 16% off MSRP right out of the gate, which is about as generous as Honda gets on the Pilot. Enjoy your new ride!

MarionSSS
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by MarionSSS » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Has anybody tried a similar technique to buy a RV? While dealerships are more spread out I would think it might work.

Topic Author
denovo
Posts: 4414
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:37 pm

MarionSSS wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:06 pm
Has anybody tried a similar technique to buy a RV? While dealerships are more spread out I would think it might work.
I know a few people who have used it for motorcycles. I see no reason for it to use for RV's. Same rules apply. Check x number of dealers that have the same model/build in their inventory and force them to bid against each other.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

rainb0w88
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by rainb0w88 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:10 pm

Baldrekr wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:18 pm
We had no luck trying to buy a 2019 Acura RDX in the Seattle area. Sent email to all 4 area dealers (Bellevue, Seattle, Lynnwood, Fife) with the exact package (Advance; the top of the line one) we wanted and asked for itemized quotes. They all outright said the car is selling well so they will sell for MSRP only, and to add insult to injury even the add-ons are marked up above MSRP on Acura's web site. When I asked why our options of floor mats, a cargo net and the $50 film strip on the door are, in total, several hundred dollars above list price on Acura's web site, I was told it is due to "labor costs". Then of course they all tacked on the "dealer prep fee" which Consumer Reports outright says is a total scam and to never pay.

Meanwhile, on forums daily I'm seeing people in California, Texas, Chicago, etc. posting their out the door prices where they got $2000-$2500 off the car, and that's not including any loyalty bonus, financing discounts, or any trade-in.

The Seattle area Acura dealers were so uncompromising we decided to not purchase that car at all and are instead planning on picking up a discounted 2018 Honda CR-V in a couple months when the 2019s arrive. It's probably for the best anyway, we don't do that much driving and it will save about $23K.
Hello: Have you found your new car? I am also in Seattle area and looking to buy a car. wondering how you made out. thanks

Baldrekr
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:12 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Baldrekr » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:08 pm

rainb0w88 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:10 pm
Hello: Have you found your new car? I am also in Seattle area and looking to buy a car. wondering how you made out. thanks
Yes, we bought a 2018 Honda CR-V EX-L in August for $29,200 + tax. The car is amazing, great fuel economy, roomy, sits high up, leather was definitely worth it for us. All the nearby Seattle area dealers as usual were a total ripoff (e.g. Bellevue Honda puts ugly pinstripes on every car they get, and then wants to charge $200 for their graffiti), and were not willing to negotiate a good price over email ("For our best price, we need you to come in"). We went slightly further out of town to Klein Honda in Everett, who it turns out do not work on commission, and settled on the exact dollar amount over email, and that is exactly what I paid (no upsell).

Topic Author
denovo
Posts: 4414
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:56 am

Another data point for Bogleheads, I was helping a co-worker get a base model Subaru Forester 2.5i, sticker of 26,300.


Costco/TrueCar price was $27,400 OTD.

OTD paid was $26,000, or $1,400 less than TrueCar and 2,800 less than sticker.

First round quotes ranged from 26,600 to 29,400 i.e. beat TrueCar in one round. Approx 12 dealers were e-mailed. One dealer made an offer of 26,000 in Round 2 that no other dealer could match. This process only took a few minutes of e-mails a day over a one-week process.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

hudson
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hudson » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:21 am

denovo wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:56 am
Another data point for Bogleheads, I was helping a co-worker get a base model Subaru Forester 2.5i, sticker of 26,300.


Costco/TrueCar price was $27,400 OTD.

OTD paid was $26,000, or $1,400 less than TrueCar and 2,800 less than sticker.

First round quotes ranged from 26,600 to 29,400 i.e. beat TrueCar in one round. Approx 12 dealers were e-mailed. One dealer made an offer of 26,000 in Round 2 that no other dealer could match. This process only took a few minutes of e-mails a day over a one-week process.
Great discussion! Very helpful!
As has already been said, the bidding process using OutTheDoor is king....no trade...no finance. The MSRP is a marketing ploy.

I like giving a person at the dealership my email, phone, and text number so that they can contact me anyway that works for them. I haven't had a problem with dealers bothering me after the bidding process ends. I like to work the bidding process over the phone. As wonderful as emails are, I like voice. I want a live person. I want them to hear me say that I'm a serious buyer who is going to make a purchase either today or tomorrow. It's useful to know if my contact person is at work, and if I can contact them outside of work. It's good to know who I can talk to if that person isn't there....so I don't have to start over. I've had negotiations break down with a good dealer; I later found out that my contact wasn't at work that day.

Topic Author
denovo
Posts: 4414
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:46 am

hudson wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:21 am


I like giving a person at the dealership my email, phone, and text number so that they can contact me anyway that works for them. I haven't had a problem with dealers bothering me after the bidding process ends. I like to work the bidding process over the phone. As wonderful as emails are, I like voice. I want a live person. I want them to hear me say that I'm a serious buyer who is going to make a purchase either today or tomorrow. It's useful to know if my contact person is at work, and if I can contact them outside of work. It's good to know who I can talk to if that person isn't there....so I don't have to start over. I've had negotiations break down with a good dealer; I later found out that my contact wasn't at work that day.
This process is completely different from what I do and recommend and won't get the same results. You never want to "make the purchase today or tomorrow". Putting a time limit on yourself weakens your position and makes you seem desperate. Also doing things over telephone doesn't help you since you want the written quotes to pin them down on and then can easily track in a spreadsheet. No need to waste time on calls making useless small talk. I don't even give out my real name or use my real e-mail address. You establish yourself as a serious buyer by locating a VIN in their inventory and laying down the terms of the bidding process and sticking to your guns.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

hudson
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hudson » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:34 am

Thanks Denovo! I think that anything that works is good technique! When I make my calls, I'm usually referring to the last business day of the month. It's completely up to me if I want to extend for a day or two. I do get emailed or texted quotes...but not to pin anyone down really. I go with the honor system and make written notes. If I'm in the mood, I'll spreadsheet everything. I usually have a 3x5 card for each dealer. The only notes I need are names, good phone numbers, the backup person if applicable, and the out the door price. If a dealer plays games with me...and as you know, they will, I do not fall for it....most dealers behave. Good dealers get the benefit of the doubt. A bad dealer will have to reform quickly with a great price and with documentation. Since I'm usually running the process on a non-busy day of the week, I usually get the dealership's best price. Many times, the sales manager of a large dealership will start emailing or calling me with better prices.

When I started doing this process, there was a lot of talk. Now not so much; I only want the VIN number and the out the door price. I get very silent when they start talking about oil changes, warranties, and the like. Sometimes, they'll ask me if I'm still on the line.

I think the goal of the process, is to find who wants to sell you a vehicle. Using phone calls eliminates dealers quickly and lets you work with maybe 4 serious dealers. I feel like I've gotten the best available price for my vehicle at that time. I've bought 4 vehicles using various versions of this method.

Again, I think both methods will work...and anything that works is good technique :)

Topic Author
denovo
Posts: 4414
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by denovo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:10 am

Quick update, this strategy even works for rarer cars. I helped an acquaintance get a Mustang Shelby GT350, a car that most dealers only have 1 of and some dealers even mark it up above sticker by 10-15k. (additional dealer markup). Sent out quotes to 25 or so dealers and did the process, was able to get a few dealers to go 2-3k below sticker, which was impressive for this car. Note all dealers gave OTD on this, but because of additional dealer markup, range on the prices was around 20k for cars with pretty much the same sticker price.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Thomas-Hawk
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:36 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Thomas-Hawk » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:45 am

I've read thru the entire thread, and wanted to say thanks to denovo for posting this negotiating method, and to all who have contributed information to the thread as well.

A question for denovo (or anyone else that knows for sure) if I may: I live in a state where we pay the sales tax at the DMV when we go to register the vehicle within 30 days after purchase. Should I still include my zip code in my message to the dealers when asking for the OTD price?


TIA!
T-Hawk

lazylarry
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by lazylarry » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi,
Thanks all for this! I definitely got a better deal than I would have doing it myself.
I went for 2020 Corolla : OTD $19500, which is about MSRP, car price itself was $17700 (10% of MSRP). There was about a $2000 spread between dealerships. I never went to 2nd round - nobody bit on the best 1st round offer. I do think markets are different, I'm in PA.

Things to add that others haven't:
-Try the car you want at a dealer that seems expensive so you don't "waste" that dealer.
-Buy at end of month (25-30th or at least be in contact with dealers around then). At end of quarters (e.g. March, June, December) may be better. Be prepared to be super attentive to email as you'll get more emails. I got like 30 emails in four days. Email fast.
-Do research to make sure the base features of the car you are getting. I got the Toyota L and didn't realize that I wouldn't get remote entry (which I may buy in future).
-You don't need VIN - there just needs to be that type of car in stock for them to quote. All you want is the quote. My car was transferred from another dealership and did not cost me any extra (I requested a specific car color).
-I would email and re-email dealers. For Corolla, several dealers wouldn't even make me an initial offer (3 out of 13). They also just ignored my initial questions. For my initial questions, I would have rephrased it to include these key parts:
>>Quote for out the door pricing
>>Would have given zip. They do need this.
>>Don't need to finance but can if there is incentive (for Corolla, there was $500 incentive, though I didn't need it)
>>Tell them you would like to buy a car in next week or two preferably (optional)

For follow-up questions:
>> Get any offers in writing. I was promised 3.5% financing but my salesguy "messed up" and they couldn't provide this, and gave me 4.5%. I didn't care given I'm paying off right away, but not cool.
>> When dealer brings in car (they can bring in any color you like for free typically), make sure it is the car you want without extra features. The salesguy got a car with floor liners and mudguards...which I sort of unnecessarily went with just to get it over with for $400.
>> Keep calling and emailing. I was ignored several times by the dealership I bought it from. If I hadn't pursued it, I seriously doubt they would have contacted me. Also, other dealerships may tell you that the price offered by the best dealer "is not possible." I would not necessarily believe these obviously but do due diligence and make sure there are no other fees.

Will try to post the original posts and updates on the virtualbogleheads website at some point!
My profile: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=86026 | Virtua lBogleheads® Blog: https://virtualbogleheads.wordpress.com/

Nowizard
Posts: 2314
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by Nowizard » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:36 pm

There are so many responses, I have not read them all, but one suggestion is to check the documentary fee. Some states have fixed fees, some do not. In our area, they are typically $599! However, we are in a three-state area and purchased 80 miles away from a dealer who not only beat local prices for the vehicle but had an $82 documentary fee.

Tim

bbrock
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:55 pm
Location: CA

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by bbrock » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:06 pm

Used this process Dec. ‘17 when we were shopping for our Toyota Highlander. Worked great.

However this time, it was even better. Purchased our Tesla Model 3. Superb because there was no one to compete with. Straightforward easy purchase. Now that was the best car buying experience hands down.
bbrock

hudson
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hudson » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:47 am

lazylarry wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:59 pm
Hi,

Be prepared to be super attentive to email as you'll get more emails. I got like 30 emails in four days. Email fast.
I would email and re-email dealers.
>>Would have given zip. They do need this.

Tell them you would like to buy a car in next week or two preferably (optional)

For follow-up questions:
>> Get any offers in writing. I was promised 3.5% financing but my salesguy "messed up" and they couldn't provide this, and gave me 4.5%. I didn't care given I'm paying off right away, but not cool.

>> Keep calling and emailing. I was ignored several times by the dealership I bought it from. If I hadn't pursued it, I seriously doubt they would have contacted me. Also, other dealerships may tell you that the price offered by the best dealer "is not possible."
LazyLarry,
I've had success with Toyota dealers at the end of the month by just calling nearby dealers and telling them that I'm going to buy in 2 days and I'm looking for the best out the door price for a specific vehicle. I don't hesitate to give them my address, phone number, or email. I ask for the sales manager or internet sales person...but I'm happy with who I get. I write down their name and contact information and ask them if they'll be there for the next 2 days; if not, I request an alternate contact. Sometimes, I'll call 10 dealerships....it's easy to cut dealerships that won't deal. I'm looking for a handful of folks that want to sell me a car. I trust them with their phone quote, and I expect them to trust me. They all know what "out the door" means....but I'll ask them to email me a final quote towards the end...before I go there. I'm not chatty with them. If they want to talk about their loans, oil changes, or warranties, I just say no; sometimes they'll ask if I'm still on the phone.
On the dealerships that want to deal, I've found that many sales persons get tense about the bidding pressures; I'm assuming that they are looking at their commission. I get a lot of calls from who I assume is the sales person's supervisor. Only once in my last 3-4 purchases has a salesperson fudged on the out the door price. I calmly asked for a fix and got it. It's good to double check everything before making a deal.
I like the phone calls and the personal touch. The dealer knows that I'm real, and that I want a car. On repeat phone calls they know me and I know them. They know that I'm a serious buyer right now; all they've got to do is give me a price. After my purchases, dealers have left me alone. They may call and ask if I've made a purchase...that's the only calls that I've gotten.

billlumber1981
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:28 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by billlumber1981 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:45 am

Denovo,

Thank you so much for this knowledge. By doing this, I was able to negotiate a 2019 Hyundai Elantra SE from 18k OTD down to 16,750 OTD. Most dealers replied, some could not go below 17k, but a final dealer was able to go down to 16,750.

One dealer even replied:

Good morning,

XYZ DEALER is in the business of providing quality Hyundai products to customers who respect the workmanship put into the vehicles and the repected reputation of the Hyundai corporation, and we are will not risk diluting that for the sake of appeasing price chasers.

You're original inquiry was an OTD price of $18,000, with the second being at $17,500, with the third being at $17,000, with this last inquiry stating ABC DEALER is offering a vehicle $16,750.

Unfortunately, we at XYZ DEALER can not participate in a bidding war with potential customers who does not value our Hyundai products, to include customer service not only on the sale side, but also when it comes to our service department, and potential future purchase(s).

Thank you for your interest in XYZ DEALER, and have a great weekend.

smackboy1
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:41 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by smackboy1 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:22 pm

I just bought our 3rd car using this email reverse auction method. About 12% (~$6,000) below MSRP. I learned a few more tricks this time around.

- Almost all dealerships now have internet sales departments and will play the email OTD shopping game - to an extent. Most will make a bid, but won't really dig deep and quote a very low price over email because they don't want their quote used to sell somebody else's car.

- Be patient. Often the internet sales manager will assign an online inquiry to the noob salesperson - because it's often a waste of time. Be patient and work with the noob. If the noob can convince the sales manager that you are a real buyer, that's how you can get a good deal.

- To get a really low OTD bid price I needed to either show up at the dealership and take a test drive or talk to the salesperson on the phone. I think dealerships need to know that the buyer is real and not an anonymous emailer. That's the way the sales manager will unlock the lowest prices. I went in person to test drive at the 2 dealerships closest to me where I would likely bring the car for service. I also returned several phone calls from dealerships that gave me a good initial bid price.

- Be flexible and aggressive looking for discounts. I learned that there was a manufacturer discount for owning a competing luxury brand, which I own. I also learned that there was a discount for financing the purchase through the manufacturer's financing arm. So I found out the minimum financing required to get the discount and I am going to pay off the loan in full in a couple of months with no penalty.

- Rather than buy accessories separately I added them to the purchase of the car and got all of them at dealer cost - less than if I bought them aftermarket on my own.

- Make sure the car spec is in writing and confirm everything via email. Sometimes there are misunderstandings or errors. The winning dealership made an error in my favor, but ate the loss to make the deal. I think part of the reason was that they could see I was very organized and experienced in negotiating like this and that I would walk away if they didn't make it right.

- Don't let salespersons guilt or bully you. You can tell when a dealership can't beat the best price because they start questioning the authenticity of the other dealership's price. Another trick is asking so see the other price in writing. Toward the end, when there was only a few dealerships left, I did forward redacted portions of bid emails to try to get a lower bid.

- The dealerships which had the car tried to convince me that it was a rare color and option package and there were very few of the particular car available in the state. The winning dealership didn't even have the car on the lot - but they were able to do a dealer trade and get it in 2 days. Of the 3 cars I've bought this way, none were sitting on the dealer's lot. The other 2 were factory special orders.

- Make sure the dealers tell you how they will source the car. If the dealer doesn't have the car on their lot, take a look around and check the inventory of other local dealers. The car I ultimately purchased came from a dealer that I did not include in the bidding war. Dealers have allocations for cars from the factory. If a dealer does not have an immediate allocation for a car, they may have to wait a long time time to get one.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

BanditKing
Posts: 613
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by BanditKing » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:46 pm

I'm going to be looking at the 2020 Highlander Hybrid when it comes out after the new year (February). I'll test drive the gas version in December or January when that model comes out, just to make sure it fits my butt, but want the Hybrid as I do a significant amount of work-related driving.

I'm curious if there are any suggestions to do different for what will be a very sought-after vehicle. I don't expect significant below MSRP, but I have about 10 dealerships "within range" to work with so I'm sure I can get a little play.

One thing I have found is that the dealers around here don't generally have a lot of hybrid inventory save the Prius. Not sure if they just don't have the demand, or if they simply sell quickly. Most Rav4/Highlander around here are gas-only version. This might make playing current inventory against the dealer slightly more difficult.

surfstar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by surfstar » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:43 am

#1 tip - don't shop when you NEED a car (much easier to jump on a deal vs buy the first thing)

...recent purchase we pulled off:
$27,600 -- 2020 Prius Prime LE in Blue Magnetism
$930 -- destination/delivery
$259 -- all weather floor mats + cargo liner
$125 -- door edge guards
$79 -- rear bumper applique
______
$28,993 MSRP

($1500) Toyota Factory rebate/customer cash
($3219) dealer discount
($500) USA Triathlon member incentive
($750) Uber driver incentive
+2707 TTL/fees/etc

$25,731 OTD price

upcoming rebates:
$4502 Federal Tax credit
$1500 CA rebate
$1000 So Cal Edison rebate

That means net price (incl. TTL!!!) for a 2020 Prius Prime - $18,729

#2 tip - look for manufacturer incentives. The military and college grad ones are actually harder to get than the Uber and USA Triathlon! DW created an Uber account, went through approval process including $30 web-based inspection fee, got $750 off a car. Not a single Uber ride given (nor required). USA Triathlon - similar - signed up/joined for $50, $500 discount received. No triathlon ran. Surprisingly these two stackable incentives were not mentioned on other sites. We may have been the first to use them and pass on the info. Others on PriusChat now seem to be utilizing this.

theplayer11
Posts: 928
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:17 am

smackboy1 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:22 pm
I just bought our 3rd car using this email reverse auction method. About 12% (~$6,000) below MSRP. I learned a few more tricks this time around.

- Almost all dealerships now have internet sales departments and will play the email OTD shopping game - to an extent. Most will make a bid, but won't really dig deep and quote a very low price over email because they don't want their quote used to sell somebody else's car.

- Be patient. Often the internet sales manager will assign an online inquiry to the noob salesperson - because it's often a waste of time. Be patient and work with the noob. If the noob can convince the sales manager that you are a real buyer, that's how you can get a good deal.

- To get a really low OTD bid price I needed to either show up at the dealership and take a test drive or talk to the salesperson on the phone. I think dealerships need to know that the buyer is real and not an anonymous emailer. That's the way the sales manager will unlock the lowest prices. I went in person to test drive at the 2 dealerships closest to me where I would likely bring the car for service. I also returned several phone calls from dealerships that gave me a good initial bid price.

- Be flexible and aggressive looking for discounts. I learned that there was a manufacturer discount for owning a competing luxury brand, which I own. I also learned that there was a discount for financing the purchase through the manufacturer's financing arm. So I found out the minimum financing required to get the discount and I am going to pay off the loan in full in a couple of months with no penalty.

- Rather than buy accessories separately I added them to the purchase of the car and got all of them at dealer cost - less than if I bought them aftermarket on my own.

- Make sure the car spec is in writing and confirm everything via email. Sometimes there are misunderstandings or errors. The winning dealership made an error in my favor, but ate the loss to make the deal. I think part of the reason was that they could see I was very organized and experienced in negotiating like this and that I would walk away if they didn't make it right.

- Don't let salespersons guilt or bully you. You can tell when a dealership can't beat the best price because they start questioning the authenticity of the other dealership's price. Another trick is asking so see the other price in writing. Toward the end, when there was only a few dealerships left, I did forward redacted portions of bid emails to try to get a lower bid.

- The dealerships which had the car tried to convince me that it was a rare color and option package and there were very few of the particular car available in the state. The winning dealership didn't even have the car on the lot - but they were able to do a dealer trade and get it in 2 days. Of the 3 cars I've bought this way, none were sitting on the dealer's lot. The other 2 were factory special orders.

- Make sure the dealers tell you how they will source the car. If the dealer doesn't have the car on their lot, take a look around and check the inventory of other local dealers. The car I ultimately purchased came from a dealer that I did not include in the bidding war. Dealers have allocations for cars from the factory. If a dealer does not have an immediate allocation for a car, they may have to wait a long time time to get one.
disagree with not getting their best price via email. No way would I go in for a test drive, maybe talk on the phone if I had to. Bought new Mazda cx-5 in July and got best price via email. Went in to sign paperwork and there were no surprises. Emailed about 15 dealers, some played along, some didn't. Only takes a few to play off each other.

hudson
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by hudson » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:39 am

I like to call 5-10 dealers and try to establish that I'm a serious buyer...honest, and straightforward.
I also try to get the name and phone number of who I'm working with and maybe their backup person. I ask for their schedule and who to call if I can't get him/her. I try to figure out what their preferred method of communication is. I don't insist on a written quote until crunch time....but I do ask for an "out the door price." I haven't run into anyone in the car sales business who can't deliver that exact "out the door price" quicky. I had one salesman fudge on the "out the door price". I didn't buy from him; that dealership would have to really drop their bid to get my business...and they didn't. Using the denovo (OP) system correctly can get you the best deal available....as long as you are buying a vehicle that is widely available. If you are buying a scarce type vehicle, it won't work. I've learned that there are many dealers that won't deal...but there are enough that are interested.

smackboy1
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:41 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by smackboy1 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:50 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:17 am
disagree with not getting their best price via email. No way would I go in for a test drive, maybe talk on the phone if I had to. Bought new Mazda cx-5 in July and got best price via email. Went in to sign paperwork and there were no surprises. Emailed about 15 dealers, some played along, some didn't. Only takes a few to play off each other.
I'm not saying I did not get the best price via email. I test drove at the dealer without talking price. I later emailed inviting them to bid. But this 3rd time using email, I found that the 2 dealerships that went to the mat on their email bids were both the ones I previously visited in person to test drive. All the other dealers either never submitted a bid or just gave me a half hearted bid and didn't go lower. I theorize that as more people use the internet, and the majority of online inquiries are a waste of time, dealers will hold out on the best prices for those prospects they feel could be real buyers.

This is compared to 2 and 3 years ago, when the best bids came from dealers I had never seen or even talked to on the phone.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

rich126
Posts: 893
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by rich126 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:05 am

This should be common sense but just in case, I strongly recommend setting up an email address just for this (or other junk stuff). I did that and was glad I did since that email address got hit frequently with emails from dealers for months afterwards.

david9117
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:00 pm
Location: San Diego, Ca

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by david9117 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:12 am

I tried email route for the first time buying my CX5 this June. Used the "Fighting chance" service by James Bragg. I found it totally worth it. Painless effort and used the email templates provided. Worth the $50. I am sure some BH's can write their own emails and research to get the latest prices and strategies and save the $50. For me $$ was worth it for someone to do the legwork for me and all I did was mechanically go thru the steps outlined.

Going forward I am only going to buy the car using emails. No more dealer song and dance.

GatorGuy7
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:36 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by GatorGuy7 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:06 am

I've read through the thread...So much great advice! I have a dilemma though that I'm looking for advice with...

I'm interested in buying a 2020 Rav4 Limited Hybrid. After contacting several dealerships via email, this vehicle isn't set to hit ground in my surrounding area for about 3-4 weeks. Dealerships that i'm negotiating with say they will acquire the specific vehicle that i want (color,etc.) and they can reserve it with a $1000 deposit. If i can get my desired OTD price through email, is there risk in putting down a $1000 deposit now? Would the dealer still sell it out from under me if they get a better deal? Or should i just wait till the vehicles actually hit ground before negotiating OTD price (it may be a slow rollout)?

My leverage right now is limited due to low supply, however my situation is semi-rushed due to a recent car wreck (everyone's ok, but old vehicle is toast), so I can't wait much longer than the 3-4 weeks (originally was planning on this exact new car purchase in about 4-6 months when supply would be higher).

I appreciate any advice!
Thanks

BanditKing
Posts: 613
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by BanditKing » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:16 am

GatorGuy7 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:06 am
My leverage right now is limited due to low supply, however my situation is semi-rushed due to a recent car wreck (everyone's ok, but old vehicle is toast), so I can't wait much longer than the 3-4 weeks (originally was planning on this exact new car purchase in about 4-6 months when supply would be higher).
If you have it in writing and they sell it out from under you, it could be considered a broken contract.

Could do the price negotiation among multiple dealers, get it in writing with your chosen "victor", and let them know you consider it binding.

I'm in a similar boat (posted above) since I want the 2020 Highlander Hybrid in the Feb-March timeframe, so I'm interested to hear how it works out for you.

BTW: any reason you need the 2020 vs the 2019? I know it has Android Auto, but I didn't think much else changed. Might be able to get a heckuva price on the 2019.

researcher
Posts: 1137
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by researcher » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:38 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:17 am
smackboy1 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:22 pm
- To get a really low OTD bid price I needed to either show up at the dealership and take a test drive or talk to the salesperson on the phone. I think dealerships need to know that the buyer is real and not an anonymous emailer. That's the way the sales manager will unlock the lowest prices. I went in person to test drive at the 2 dealerships closest to me where I would likely bring the car for service. I also returned several phone calls from dealerships that gave me a good initial bid price.
disagree with not getting their best price via email. No way would I go in for a test drive, maybe talk on the phone if I had to. Bought new Mazda cx-5 in July and got best price via email. Went in to sign paperwork and there were no surprises. Emailed about 15 dealers, some played along, some didn't. Only takes a few to play off each other.
I don't agree that you consistently get the BEST PRICE by negotiating exclusively via email.
That might be the case if buying a commodity base Toyota Corolla...
where there is a huge volume of identical vehicles, a huge volume of dealers, and little variance in pricing.

But in most cases, you are NOT going to get the best price if you don't make direct contact with the dealer.
These dealerships receive hundreds (thousands?) of online price requests every month, with 99.9% of them never turning into a sale.
The GM is not going to be involved in every online request to squeeze every last dollar out of the deal in order to provide the absolute best price.

The online method is great for a decent baseline price, but if you want to squeeze the last $500-$1500 out of a deal, you have to make contact so they know you are a serious buyer and will actually pull the trigger.

For the three new vehicles I've purchased, had I simply gone with the best online price I'd received, I would have left thousands of dollars on the table.

david9117
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:00 pm
Location: San Diego, Ca

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by david9117 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:12 am

That is why I prefer the hybrid approach. I called the dealers by phone to talk to a sales person and got his/her email address and mentioned I will be sending the request for type of car and option by email. I got 100% response back with quotes from each person I called. Most of them even followed up after a few days to see if their quote is the best and how to improve on it.

I think this approach stands out from the thousands of email the dealers get thru from various websites. Atleast the sales person knows I am a serious buyer who is willing to give a call instead of sending mass emails.

Car was CX-5 in case that matters.

researcher
Posts: 1137
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by researcher » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:36 am

david9117 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:12 am
I think this approach stands out from the thousands of email the dealers get thru from various websites. Atleast the sales person knows I am a serious buyer who is willing to give a call instead of sending mass emails.
Agreed. There shouldn't even be an argument that directly contacting the dealer better positions you for the best price.

Buyer 1
- Sets up an anonymous, single-use email address to communicate with dealers.
- Emails a dozen dealership "internet specialists," who are usually $10/hr noobs.
- Refuses to speak over the phone or in person.

Buyer 2
- Calls the dealer directly. Speaks with a sales manager.
- Provides their actual real name and contact info.
- Establishes rapport. Commits to a price and timeline for purchasing the vehicle.

Which is the dealer going to take more seriously?
Which is the dealer willing to expend more effort to gain their business?
Which will the dealer reach out to first when they need to make one more sale before the end of the month?

theplayer11
Posts: 928
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:33 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:36 am
david9117 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:12 am
I think this approach stands out from the thousands of email the dealers get thru from various websites. Atleast the sales person knows I am a serious buyer who is willing to give a call instead of sending mass emails.
Agreed. There shouldn't even be an argument that directly contacting the dealer better positions you for the best price.

Buyer 1
- Sets up an anonymous, single-use email address to communicate with dealers.
- Emails a dozen dealership "internet specialists," who are usually $10/hr noobs.
- Refuses to speak over the phone or in person.

Buyer 2
- Calls the dealer directly. Speaks with a sales manager.
- Provides their actual real name and contact info.
- Establishes rapport. Commits to a price and timeline for purchasing the vehicle.

Which is the dealer going to take more seriously?
Which is the dealer willing to expend more effort to gain their business?
Which will the dealer reach out to first when they need to make one more sale before the end of the month?
no way I have the time to call 15 dealers and establish rapport. 15 emails, play best offers off each other works fine with less effort. You can always call when you are down to a couple.

surfstar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by surfstar » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:57 pm

I never give a real phone # - I don't want to hear a salesperson try and con their way through a "deal" with me.

If they want our business, put it in writing.

I always use 867-5309 for my number, yet none of them get it. "I tried calling the number you gave and it didn't work. Please call me to discuss your needs." I told you my "needs" - your best price for the car I was interested in. No BS. No phone conversations.

Last purchase we never spoke to the person until we met them in person at the dealer. All email. Went perfectly.

researcher
Posts: 1137
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by researcher » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:36 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:33 pm
no way I have the time to call 15 dealers and establish rapport. 15 emails, play best offers off each other works fine with less effort.
You don't call 15 dealers. That is insane and a waste of everyone's time.
You are the one who mentioned contacting 15 dealers (via email), which I also think is a waste.
And you certainly sent more than 15 emails, given you sent that many in just your first round.
You can always call when you are down to a couple.
So it sounds like you actually agree with my approach, given this is exactly what I described doing...
The online method is great for a decent baseline price, but if you want to squeeze the last $500-$1500 out of a deal, you have to make contact so they know you are a serious buyer and will actually pull the trigger.

researcher
Posts: 1137
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by researcher » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:40 pm

surfstar wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:57 pm
Last purchase we never spoke to the person until we met them in person at the dealer. All email. Went perfectly.
I'm not saying you can't get a decent price and a smooth car-buying process via email only.

I'm simply saying that if you want the BEST opportunity to save the MOST amount of money, picking up the phone and talking with a few sales managers is the way to do it.

If you don't care about saving an extra ~$500 - $1500+, then you should absolutely go the email-only route.

surfstar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by surfstar » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:18 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:40 pm
surfstar wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:57 pm
Last purchase we never spoke to the person until we met them in person at the dealer. All email. Went perfectly.
I'm not saying you can't get a decent price and a smooth car-buying process via email only.

I'm simply saying that if you want the BEST opportunity to save the MOST amount of money, picking up the phone and talking with a few sales managers is the way to do it.

If you don't care about saving an extra ~$500 - $1500+, then you should absolutely go the email-only route.
See my post above for a recently purchased Prius Prime. SoCal area - please call a few dealers cold, and see how much of that "$500-$1500+" lower price you can manage. $1 gentleman's bet.

researcher
Posts: 1137
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by researcher » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:58 pm

surfstar wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:18 pm
See my post above for a recently purchased Prius Prime. SoCal area - please call a few dealers cold, and see how much of that "$500-$1500+" lower price you can manage. $1 gentleman's bet.
On a $29K vehicle, the dealer gave you $3219 off MSRP.
Actually less than that, because you rolled dealer fees (doc fees, ect) into the $2707 TTL line item.
The rest of the discounts (3 manufacturer rebates, 3 tax rebates) had nothing to do with the dealer.

I have no clue if that is a good or great dealer discount, as I'm not in market for a Prius.
I do know that I would have left money on the table, on all of my past vehicle purchases, had I simply accepted the lowest email offer.

I'm not sure about the Prime sub-model, but overall Prius sales are in a free fall...
Prius sales, meanwhile, have been taking a sharp nosedive. The hybrid hatchback is down nearly 37 percent over last year, despite an update for 2019 that includes a new option for all-wheel drive. Sales are on a six-year losing streak...

GatorGuy7
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:36 am

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Post by GatorGuy7 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:21 am

BanditKing wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:16 am
GatorGuy7 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:06 am
My leverage right now is limited due to low supply, however my situation is semi-rushed due to a recent car wreck (everyone's ok, but old vehicle is toast), so I can't wait much longer than the 3-4 weeks (originally was planning on this exact new car purchase in about 4-6 months when supply would be higher).
If you have it in writing and they sell it out from under you, it could be considered a broken contract.

Could do the price negotiation among multiple dealers, get it in writing with your chosen "victor", and let them know you consider it binding.

I'm in a similar boat (posted above) since I want the 2020 Highlander Hybrid in the Feb-March timeframe, so I'm interested to hear how it works out for you.

BTW: any reason you need the 2020 vs the 2019? I know it has Android Auto, but I didn't think much else changed. Might be able to get a heckuva price on the 2019.

Yea I saw your post. I’ll let you know how it goes. I was able to get an OTD offer in writing through email (pinned dealerships against each other to get a $3500 discount). I put down a $500 deposit on credit card to secure the vehicle (got a receipt emailed to me). The car is arriving in 30 days. Hopefully the dealership doesn’t pull anything shady when it comes.

Decided to go with a 2020 mainly because the RAV4s were re-modeled in 2019 and I wanted to shy away from the first year of a rebuild if possible. Plus Android Auto was important for me and the price of the 2020s really isn’t that much more than the 2019s.

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