Buying a Car, How to Haggle?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Carl Miller, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    OK, I need some input. I'm not a good haggler. On top of that, for whatever reason, I must look like a mark.

    The new car is for my wife, who is currently driving what was suppossed to be my RX-300, and we've settled on either a Solara, or an Accord.

    Both the Toyota and Honda dealers we visited tried to sell me over MSRP. They changed their tunes quickly when I told them I had researched dealer cost for the vehicles etc, however they still came way too high.

    I'll be visiting two different Toyota dealers (my wifes preference) and maybe another Honda dealer as well this weekend...and I could use some advice on how to handle this, or what you all have found to be good strategy.

    I read the Consumer Reports buying info, have all the research but still have questions....Do I set a max price for myself, start slightly above or at dealer cost and then work from there?

    Or do I walk in there, tell them that I'll buy at $24,400 for example, and walk if they say no?

    I don't know what it is. At work, and really everywhere else I handle myself well...Put me in a car dealership looking to buy and I turn into a blithering idiot.
     
  2. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Hi Carl,

    The absolute best information on negotiation for new cars can be found at these two sites:

    http://www.carbuyingtips.com

    http://www.fightingchance.com

    I personally spent my 29 bucks on the fighting chance package, used their system, and bought a 2003 Mitsubishi Evo 8 for $750 over invoice when others were paying as much as $5K over MSRP. It works!!

    The info on carbuyingtips is absolutely free and extremely valuable. I liked the fightingchance stuff best because it teaches how to negotiate by fax and phone (no haggling in the dealership). Gotta love that.

    Good luck!

    John
     
  3. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I just asked this a couple weeks ago. A lot of good responses and through research I've found that the best way is just to email all the dealerships near you and ask them to price the model for you with the features you want. The internet salesmen will probably give you price between 500-700 over invoice because they sell on volume.

    Took 10 minutes to email all the dealerships and when I went on the lot they wouldn't even talk to me about price. I had to go sit in a room and it took one hour and they were not going to get anywhere near 500 over invoice. Plus you have to deal with those vultures.
     
  4. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    Are you going to finance or pay cash? If you are going to finance, go through your bank and get the check for the amount you want to pay. When you arrive on the lot and already have money in hand they are less likely to fight you over a few thousand or losing the sale. I did it once and it worked in that regard and it also got me a lower interest rate when the dealer found out. Not only did he meet the price but he beat the interest rate from the bank by more than a point.

    One thing my mom did a few years ago was to show up at one dealership and pick out the car she wanted. While on the test drive she drove it over to the other lot and told that sales guy "dealership XXXX down the road is ready to sell me this car for $X, what can you do to beat it?" Then she drove back saying she was just offered a lesser price and she will either go back to them or give dealership 1 a chance to come in lower.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Steve's advice about using the internet is golden. Lots of dealers will give much better prices through e-mail and the internet than they will for a walk-in because they know that if you're emailing them that you probably have done the research.

    There's a car buying guide at www.edmunds.com that explains how to figure the value of your car and how to negotiate. I used that advice in my last two car purchases, and feel that I paid a fair price for both of them with very little negotiations. The article totally free and covers lots more than just pricing and haggling.

    Here is a direct link to the article - 10 steps to buying a new car. Highly recommended.

    THE ABSOLUTELY most important thing to remember is that you have to be comfortable walking out at any time. If they nickel and dime you or try tricks, then just walk. There are plenty of good dealers out there with honest salespeople (believe it or not), there's NO NEED to mess around with crooks. If their counter-offers are way too high, walk. If they really want your business they will catch up to you before you get to your car. [​IMG]
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Another option is if you own a Sam's club membership. They have prenegotiated pricing with dealers on cars. My wife was able to buy a Jeep with a ton of accessories/dealer options that ended up being just under the cost of the car w/o those options. She ended up paying about $500 over invoice roughly.
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Do a search on this forum with "haggle" there are a couple of threads that directly deal with how to haggle buying a car on here that will help ya out.

    Jay
     
  8. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "Both the Toyota and Honda dealers we visited tried to sell me over MSRP"

    I, for one, would NEVER go to those dealerships again!

    I tend to like the Email thing. It's a lot less work for you, and if they take the request seriously you can make a VERY quick purchase.

    Brent
     
  9. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    I will second http://www.carbuyingtips.com it is an excellent resource.

    When I bought my car it pretty much went like this.

    Me: So how much for the car?
    Dealer: Quoted me the MSRP
    Me: I'll give you $500 over invoice.
    Dealer: $1,000 over invoice (amazing how quickly he dropped four grand or so)
    Me: I'll give you $500 over invoice.
    Dealer: Let me talk to my supervisor.
    10 minutes later
    Dealer: We can do $750 over invoice.
    Me: I'll take it.

    I paid $750 over invoice, and got 0% interest for four years.

    About six months later my friend was going to go buy a car and I told him about carbuyingtips.com. He walked into one dealership with his little folder with all his internet printouts and stuff. One of the salesman walked up to him, saw the folder and said "You do realize that this is a for profit organization" [​IMG]
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have to do this in every car buying thread...

    If car dealerships and how sleazy they can be is interesting to you, check out the movie "Suckers". A tiny independant film from a few years ago, it's an absolutely hilarious send-up of car dealers.

    And there's a bonus feature where the writer of the movie (who used to sell cars) explains how to not get ripped off. It's nothing that isn't covered much better at the Edmunds web site, but it's amusing.
     
  11. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    Big folders are where its at. Edmunds.com is great. And Chris Moe's approach is great, reinforced with a big folder that says: "I know what I'm talking about. I've done the research. Do a deal or I walk."
     
  12. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Costco and BJ's Club also have these programs. I've always wondered if they were really worthwhile.

    I've considered using this for my next car purchase, but I just don't like the way they don't reveal which dealership you're going to work with or what the club price is until you've entered all your contact info.
     
  13. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    Chris that's amazing. I'm going to try that this weekend. That way it will take 5 minutes.
     
  14. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    The whole thing was really painless. I did have a bunch of print outs with me to back up my price as well.

    Just do your homework, bring it with you and don't be afraid to walk when you know that you are offering a fair price and they won't deal.

    There are some exceptions to this, there are some hot new cars that you won't be able to get for less than MSRP (or more). The dealers know that someone will come along shortly and be willing to pay MSRP. But I wouldn't worry about this buying a Toyota or a Honda.
     
  15. TedE

    TedE Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree on having a check from your bank or financing agency. Figure out what you want to pay, get a check for that amount (if it is possible), and walk in with it. If they don't match that amount, walk right out. Be firm.

    Slightly different situation, but I bought a used car with some savings and graduation gifts when I graduated college a few years back. I was moving out of town and closing my bank account, so decided to literally cash out. Spent a couple nervous days (with two other rather large friends, and I'm pretty big myself) driving around town with a lot of cash on me (well, at least a lot for me!). It worked wonders at the place I finally ended up purchasing from, after a few aborted stops where the salespersons were complete a$$es and didn't even get the pleasure of sitting down with me. I had done my research (blue books and such back then) and offered the guy what I had determined beforehand, about $3000 below what they were asking on the lot. He gave me a look like I was nuts. I then calmly took a few stacks of bills out of my bag and laid them out in a row on his desk, complete with the little paper "$X,000" bands the banks use. Told him, "I have this much to give you. Today. No more, no less." A quick, "Uh, let me go talk to my manager" and five miutes later the car was mine. A little dangerous I guess (I wouldn't have wanted to walk back outside after flashing that much green in public), but it worked!
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  17. RonR

    RonR Stunt Coordinator

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    I made sure I was in the office haggling with the guy and had a friend call that dealership. I acted all surprised when they handed me the phone and told them it was one of the dealerships down the street with an outstanding offer. I dont think this is used very often because they seemed pretty surprised by it.
     
  18. KurtW

    KurtW Stunt Coordinator

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    Your best weapon is the internet. Do the research. I just bought my wife a '04 Corolla last week. I did alot of looking, decided on exactly what I wanted, and started emailing and calling the fleet managers of the local dealerships. I'm in Tucson, about 2 hours south of Phoenix, and it was pretty easy to get the dealers here to cave just by telling them you were willing to go to a dealership in another city to buy.

    I walked into a local dealership, with invoice in my hand. The fleet manager said that internet pricing was $300 over invoice, plus $300 for "dealer fees". After looking around and comparing, I came back to him with $400 over invoice, fees included, and they did it. I even got the 2.9% financing they were offering.

    The best thing I can tell you is to be prepared to walk out if you're not getting the deal you want.
     
  19. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who replied and also give a huge extra thank you to John and Chris for recommending carbuyingtips.com!

    I got the car for $454 over invoice at the dealer today. They actually beat, by a minimum of $200, all the quotes I had received via e-mail from other dealers, and the one quote I got from carsdirect.com. It was actually easy and relatively low stress.

    The sad thing is that as my wife and I were walking around the showroom while waiting for the paperwork to come back, we overheard another couple there which had just agreed to pay Edmunds TMV price on the exact same car with the same trims...He paid $840 more than I did.

    This is the one thing I did not like about the Edmunds info...In my first meeting with this dealer, the offer I got was in the ballpark of Edmunds TMV so I was told. I didn't know what that meant, but when I got home I checked it out.

    The salesman today brought up the TMV price again when we first sat down, and I quickly interrupted him and said that I didn't care what other people have paid for the car.

    Edmunds is a great site, but I really don't see how that Edmunds TMV price has any value other than to make buyers think they're getting a good deal at that price when they could probably pay significantly less.
     

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