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Posted: 12/30/2003 12:10:43 PM EDT
I've got the car picked out and now begins the dance.  I went to Edmunds.com and got the invoice price of the car with options.  They also have a TMV (true market value) or basically what most people are paying for the car, and of course there is the MSRP.

Now, the dealerships always have those Dealer add-ons, like Paint Protection (they say it is the real shiznit, but most of the time I think it is just a nice wax job), undercoating, pin stripes, handling charges, delivery fees, security system, Scotch Guard, yada yada yada - hell, that crap alone comes to like $1500.

So, what do I do?  Do I go into each dealership, tell them I'm ready to buy but they have to meet the invoice price list I have plus a few hundred for their profit?  Do I go in at the end of the month?  Do I tell them to NOT include all the dealer add-ons or else I won't buy?

Also, does anyone know how often Toyota has 0% or special finance options?  Right now they are doing 60 months 0%, but it ends on Jan. 2

My current car, a 1996 Honda Civic, is still running well, but at 205,000 miles I'm starting to have concerns - it still has the original clutch, the brakes need a redo, and who knows what else may at some point fail.  Part of me was wanting to keep driving it till it totally dies or will cost more than $500 to fix, since I hate car payments and the increased insurance costs that come with it.  But on the flip side I don't want to be stranded somewhere or have to rush out and buy a car quickly if and when it does give up the ghost.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:22:09 PM EDT
ANYTHING that the dealer adds to its cars, you should refuse to pay for. Period.

Market Value, MSRP, even invoice mean little or nothing.

Best bet? Buy it used, from an individual, preferably the guy who bought it new. That's the only way I buy.

My dad was a car dealer, not the typical slob you find at dealerships, he taught me well enough to know the easiest way was to just wait until someone had what you wanted 'barely' used.

If you insist on buying from a dealer, pick out the car you want. List all the options you want. Find 3-5 dealers who have THAT CAR in stock. Go look at each one, it's the only way to know they're not lying to you about even having it in stock. get a price from all of them. Decide what you will pay for it. Call each of them back. Make your offer. Either one takes it, or none of them do. If the latter, just wait and buy it used.

I have no patience w/ the average car salesman.

I don't mind someone making a living, as long as they provide me w/ some sort of service.

Car salesmen don't do anything useful, best I can tell. If they were'nt there, I could still buy the car.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:35:40 PM EDT
In my experence with Mitsubishi and Honda I didn't have to play off the mandatory added dealer options. When I bought my father's Buick I told them I wasn't paying for the undercoating/scotchguard and that I would take the next one off the truck without that profit center added. They gave it to me for free.


You're playing a salemen's game on his home court so your only advantage is your ability to play his games back on him.

Play all the local dealers in the area off of each other letting them cut each other's throats. Lie and cut a few hundred off the price each time to present it to the next dealer to beat.

If you're trading in your old clunker (most aren't going to take it) tell them that you have no down payment and need everything you can get for it. Wait for the guy to give you a price for it - haggle with him or let him think he's shafted you - as you don't have to give him the car until you've signed the pink slip.

Tell them that you need their finance and that you're bank is giving you X% (a lie) and have them beat it. By financing the car they can make a bit of money back.

Then when you've finished with the salesmen and you're in the finance department doing up the paper work stand up and say that it's too much money and you changed your mind (or lost it!). The salesguy is already spending his commission and you'll be able to reduce the cost of the car a bit or get some options thrown it - for me it was a $500 roof rack at half cost.

Like sharks salemen can smell blood in the water. If you need support bring in someone who's old and tough to help you keep your senses.

There was a book published by a car salesmen of like 20 or 30 years where he broke out the top ten games that the salesmen play with buyers and how to counter each one. I took notes with me and had the Honda dealer play four on me.

"What's it going to take you to walk out of here with this truck?" - "Give me $1200 on my trade-in, sell me the truck for $18,500 at 3.5% interest for 36 months" A response like that knows you're serious, done your homework and that the deal is his to lose.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:39:25 PM EDT
Just like Bartering with the Hajji’s for rugs over in Afghanistan....  They won’t sell you the car unless they’re making something.  Have a price in your head and don’t bend.  If they don’t give you what you want, walk... It’s what easy.

Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:42:49 PM EDT
Best advice I can give is take your time. Sleep on a decision. If the car is gone the next day, then you will find another deal just as good if not better. Be patient, it will pay off.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:42:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Paul:
........"What's it going to take you to walk out of here with this truck?" - "Give me $1200 on my trade-in, sell me the truck for $18,500 at 3.5% interest for 36 months" A response like that knows you're serious, done your homework and that the deal is his to lose.
View Quote

Link Posted: 12/30/2003 3:19:44 PM EDT
In any negotiation, and especially when dealing with cars, you must have both the mindset and the ability to just walk away.

Once a salesman sees that you want the car no matter what, they won't give you a good price.

Do your research and know exactly what you want, be prepared to walk if you don't get it, and finally, just get up and walk out.

If you are anywhere near a price they'll accept, they will bring you back into the negotiating room.  If you are offering $10k for a $30k car, they will let you walk.

Anything that's a dealer add on, except for tangible things like a better stereo, or nice rims, or a ski rack, has an extraordinary profit margin.  Like the $495 "paint protection package" that they probably paid ten bucks for.  Refuse to pay for these. Demand they remove the fluff if they want your business.

The tangible add ons are also very high margin. Either negotiate them out of the car and the price, or demand big reductions.

Once you get your price from the saleman agreed on, the "finance manager" gets a turn at you, trying to sell you things you don't need and adding excess fees. The one I hate the most is the "Dealer document prep fee" of usually $150-250.  What this means is that their $7/hour secretary takes about 5 minutes to fill out the paperwork so you can get some license plates sent to you, and to record the paperwork with the state.

I always refuse to pay this fee. If they say their boss won't let them waive it for any person or reason, then say, ok, drop the price of the car another X dollars equal to the doc prep fee and you can leave it in.

The last few cars I've bought have been at a round number price.  For example, I bought a Honda Civic a few years ago (I hated that car....) and told them I would pay $7000.  The salesman seemed happy until I told him it was $7k out the door, including sales tax, license & docs, and a full tank of gas. (Always demand a full tank of gas at the end, it's only a few dollars for them and they won't let a juicy commission check get squashed because they were too cheap to fork out $20 for gas.)

He wasn't too happy after that.  I told him he could alloate the money where ever he wanted - charge me $1000 for pinstriping and $500 for doc fees if it would make his boss happy, but either they took $7k even or I would leave.

As an aside, when I showed up with my corporate check for $7 the next day, the finance guy demanded that I provide my ss# for the paperwork.  I refused since I was paying with a corporate check and wasn't financing anything.  He said it's required. I said give me back my check. He said, well, maybe we can let it slide this one time.  I still have no idea why he wanted the #.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 3:34:29 PM EDT
If you can, bring a friend who happens to be a lawyer (a GOOD lawyer [;)]) with you.


I went with my father one day, to check out new jeeps. My Durango R/T was nearing the 30k mile mark, I had heard that their rear ends tend to self-destruct around 32k, and I had had the thing less than a year. Oh, and I was throwing away over $100/week in gas for it, as I commuted to work. Loved the thing, but too damn expensive for me. Already had a couple major repairs to it as well by this point. (All warantee work, but...)

Never mind I'm stoned out on percocet; I had my wisdom teeth taken out the week earlier, and 2 of them dry-socketed. I'm sure many of you know the pain that entails, and why I was taking percocet like kids take jelly beans.

So, there I am, with Dad. We're looking at jeeps. I had a Wrangler previously, and figured it's time to go back to basics. We've largly always been a jeep family; he had his Cherokee.

Me, I'm dumbed out and by the time we finish touring the lot, the percocet's wearing off; I'm hurting. I need to get a car, and NOW, before I lose my mind. The salesman saw this on me. Dad goes his own route...he wants one of those new Libertys.

I haggle for a bit, get a decent price on my Durango, get a not-bad interest rate..I don't care, I'll sign, shut the fuck up and get me the paperwork.


2 hours later, he haggles the saleswoman (who looked like she had ironed out the entire charter to NATO) down to no interest, major money for the cherokee, and below cost on the liberty. He just LOVES to haggle. Holy Christ. "WHADDYA MEAN, %3.9 INTEREST?!?! I GET BETTER RATES FROM MY LOANSHARK!"...crap like that. Not above making scenes, not above flat out changing his mind. The man's a freaking artist at getting his way when it comes to car dealerships.

And yah. He's a lawyer. I know several others, some even around my age (shy of 30). They live for making that impossible deal in their favor.

If it's your first car? Don't go without backup, a lawyer as above. (Until that jeep, I had always gotten cars from my local dealership; their owner and my Dad go way back, so any screwing they'll give me, I know I'll get back in maintaince, warantee, and just repeat business. One hand washes the other.)
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 3:48:21 PM EDT
Read this book: [url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/155870566X/qid=1072831566/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-6484535-0818352?v=glance&s=books[/url]
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