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Old 11-24-2013, 07:48 AM   #21
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I've had friends who used Costco and were very happy.

For those who want to try a different approach, you might think about this. It uses game theory:

How to Buy a Car, Using Game Theory | Bruce Bueno de Mesquita | Big Think
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:27 AM   #22
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Many many years ago (before the internet was popular) I used a place called CarBargains. I picked out the options I wanted and received a print out of the invoice prices and quotes from several dealers in my area that made the lowest bids.

From what I see, CarBargains is still around:

CarBargains - New Car Shopping Service Homepage
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:32 AM   #23
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I haven't bought a car without using an online car buying service for at least 20 years. They're free, so why not take advantage. I am convinced we got better deals as a result, or at the very least cut out lengthy haggling. When you start out online, it seems dealers know you have as much info as you can get in advance, something a cold walk in buyer may not.

You start with a firm price, and I have always been able to negotiate a further discount from the "Internet price." It's usually important that you give the impression of car buying as an emotionless commodity transaction. Try to appear indifferent about a specific car or even color, dealers know they have you if you've clearly "fallen in love with the car." Even if it's true, never tell a dealer they have the exact model, options and color you have to have. Be prepared to walk to make your point, they'll get in touch soon enough if they can offer a further discount.

If dealer A gives you a price online, you give dealer B, C, D a chance to beat it (not match IMO) - if they do you buy, if not you buy from dealer A.

I used to use autobytel.com (not sure if they are still around), edmunds.com lately - but there are several good ones, nothing stopping you from trying more than one. Best of luck...
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:13 PM   #24
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I used USAA's car buying service which is also the same service PenFed CU offers. I was happy with it. I probably could have gotten a slightly better deal had I haggled back and forth with several dealers, but to me the gain wouldn't have been worth the pain.

There is no cost for the service.

That's exactly what I did 2 years ago and I was happy with the process and the auto that I ended up with.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #25
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COSTCO is the best option. I have negotiated some car purchases for friends and family over the years, but accepted beer and pizza as payment.......
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #26
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I used the USAA service. I was happy with it. It does not have relationships with all of the Honda dealers in my area, but the price was right, so I bought from one of the designated dealers, but have the car serviced at my nearby dealer.

Also, before I went Honda shopping, I was shopping for a Volt. I also used the USAA service for that. In the breakdown of costs on the USAA results, it was revealed that ALL the GM dealers (at that time, anyway) that provided quotes back were adding a $1000 surcharge on each Volt. I don't believe I would have found that out any other way so early in the process if it was not listed on the USAA cost sheet. One of the dealers called me up, and I told him the surcharge made me not interested in getting a Volt. He said OK and hung up. Never heard from him again.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:13 AM   #27
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The CR program seems to have worked well. We received several contacts with dealers but the closest was an hour away. All other things being equal I'd prefer to buy from the closest dealer so I went there first. Their initial offer was high and I presented them with the printout of CR's target and they accepted that with the provision that we also finance through them. I had initially said I would pay cash for the car and they quickly added that there was no prepayment penalty on the loan so we accepted that. We'll make one payment and then pay off the loan.

And I made the finance guy at the dealer blush. In 1989 we financed a new car and the dealer put my name first on all the paperwork. Since DW was the primary driver and it was "her" car she made all the payments. When the loan was paid off I was the one who got the nice letter from the finance company for timely payments, etc. I could see the steam coming from DW's ears.

I related that to the finance guy this time, and said to DW "Okay, this time you can be on top". That brought a blush.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #28
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I gave one of the services a shot last night online and sure enough, got an email this morning saying they could honor the price. They have one in stock so going to test drive it tomorrow. A 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe GLS 6cyl. I had been looking at a A Chevy Traverse but just thought it was a tad more car(suv) than I needed. Plus I like the 5 year 60k mile bumper to bumper and 10 year 100k powertrain warranty.

Oh yes, I told them what I expected on for my old Trailblazer and they said they would not let that get in the way of making a deal. The price I requested was a quote from another dealer if I had traded for a Traverse, which is more than what the Kelly Blue book shows for a trade in. So I'm comfortable with the number.

Will see how the test drive goes tomorrow. I have ridden in one as a passenger, but that's it. Want to be comfortable in it as I'm not one to trade very often. Would like to get a good 7 years out of it. All in all, an easy way to come up with a satisfactory price. Actually a little more discount than I expected.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #29
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Pulled the trigger and bought it. There was another thread about how hard it is to write a check for a major purchase like a car and how true that is. I wonder if that has to do with getting older or just being a tight sob?

Really liked the way it drove and seems to be the right size for me. They had a demo model I ended up buying with 3k miles. Got a better deal on this one so that eased the pain a little bit. But glad I bit the bullet and bought it. Feel better about it all now and will pick it up later today. And as I mentioned in the above post, it turned out being a fairly painless process since I began the transaction via the internet. Probably the best way for me to go from now on.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:08 PM   #30
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There was another thread about how hard it is to write a check for a major purchase like a car and how true that is. I wonder if that has to do with getting older or just being a tight sob?
I dunno, but when I bought my truck my hand shook writing the check too.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #31
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I used TrueCar buying service. It was a nightmare!

TrueCar gave me 3 dealers with the new car I want to buy. One dealer's quote was cheaper by $1000 than others. I thought it was odd that there would be that much of discrepancy. But I ain't complaining and went to the dealer, expecting to show them the certificate, select a color, pay the dealer, and get out with a new car. It should take about an hour, I thought.

Boy! There is a reason why they quoted $1000 less. They threw every old car dealer trick in the book to get me to spend more. When I showed up, they told me what a great deal (not!) they have on another car. They threw 5 different salesman on me. Told me that they have only one car (not a desired color) in stock. This nonsense went on for 3 hours. When they finally wrote up the contract, $1000 was somehow (?) added to the car price. This took another hour to get sorted out.

It's really shameful that there are still car dealers operating this way in the age of internet car buying services.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #32
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I used TrueCar buying service. It was a nightmare!

TrueCar gave me 3 dealers with the new car I want to buy. One dealer's quote was cheaper by $1000 than others. I thought it was odd that there would be that much of discrepancy. But I ain't complaining and went to the dealer, expecting to show them the certificate, select a color, pay the dealer, and get out with a new car. It should take about an hour, I thought.

Boy! There is a reason why they quoted $1000 less. They threw every old car dealer trick in the book to get me to spend more. When I showed up, they told me what a great deal (not!) they have on another car. They threw 5 different salesman on me. Told me that they have only one car (not a desired color) in stock. This nonsense went on for 3 hours. When they finally wrote up the contract, $1000 was somehow (?) added to the car price. This took another hour to get sorted out.

It's really shameful that there are still car dealers operating this way in the age of internet car buying services.
I used TrueCar too and was very pleased. My dealer had the exact car quoted with all the features I wanted on a new suv. They did show me a demo with 3.5k miles and I ended biting on it because of the better deal. I bought a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe gls and couldn't be happier.

All dealers are not created equal though. I tried another dealer before using TrueCar and got the typical run around many give you.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #33
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I used TrueCar too and was very pleased. My dealer had the exact car quoted with all the features I wanted on a new suv. They did show me a demo with 3.5k miles and I ended biting on it because of the better deal. I bought a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe gls and couldn't be happier.

All dealers are not created equal though. I tried another dealer before using TrueCar and got the typical run around many give you.
Coincidence? It was a Hyndai dealer who tried to sell me a demo car with 2000 miles on it as soon as I walked in. The problem was, it had an option package of $6000 which I don't need. They offered it to me at my TrueCar quote + the $6000. I didn't see how that was a better deal. Then the deal went south from there.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:10 PM   #34
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Coincidence? It was a Hyndai dealer who tried to sell me a demo car with 2000 miles on it as soon as I walked in. The problem was, it had an option package of $6000 which I don't need. They offered it to me at my TrueCar quote + the $6000. I didn't see how that was a better deal. Then the deal went south from there.
My demo had the same features as the brand new one. So I was comparing apples to apples and appreciated the opportunity to get a better deal.

Sorry it didn't work out for you.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:10 PM   #35
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #36
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Most dealerships nowadays have an "Internet Sales Manager."

Last car I bought I researched various makes/models. Then I went down to my local dealers for those vehicles and test drove them. (Note: was very standoffish with the salespersons and did not give them my full name/address info to avoid them trying to horn-in on a commission later. Never went inside the dealership building with them either.) After deciding on what we wanted I did price research on Edmunds.com & elsewhere - then sent e-mails to the "Internet Sales Manager" for dealers of that brand for 200 miles around & let them know I was serious buyer for the particular make & model, and that I was shopping it around for best price with other dealers. I gave them preferred color & option package, and also a second color that would be acceptable. I also let them know I was a cash buyer & was aware of the current incentives on the vehicle. Also gave them a 5 day deadline to get back with me with a quote.

(Interestingly, the dealer that ended up selling me the car went & picked it up from another dealer closer to me who had given me about a $1000 higher quote for same car.)

I think I avoided a lot of hassles this way.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #37
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I used TrueCar buying service. It was a nightmare!

TrueCar gave me 3 dealers with the new car I want to buy. One dealer's quote was cheaper by $1000 than others. I thought it was odd that there would be that much of discrepancy. But I ain't complaining and went to the dealer, expecting to show them the certificate, select a color, pay the dealer, and get out with a new car. It should take about an hour, I thought.

Boy! There is a reason why they quoted $1000 less. They threw every old car dealer trick in the book to get me to spend more. When I showed up, they told me what a great deal (not!) they have on another car. They threw 5 different salesman on me. Told me that they have only one car (not a desired color) in stock. This nonsense went on for 3 hours. When they finally wrote up the contract, $1000 was somehow (?) added to the car price. This took another hour to get sorted out.

It's really shameful that there are still car dealers operating this way in the age of internet car buying services.
I used Truecar in 2012 and had no problems with the low bid dealer. Truecar seems to standby their quotes and encourages feedback on your experience. Did you complain?
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:19 PM   #38
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I used Truecar in 2012 and had no problems with the low bid dealer. Truecar seems to standby their quotes and encourages feedback on your experience. Did you complain?
I don't think it was TrueCar's fault. The problem was with the dealer who eventually honored the quote but went out of their way to sell stuff I didn't want.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #39
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It turns out that Consumer Reports car-buying service is with True Car. I later received a survey request from CR, but when I finished it saw the notice that "reply sent to True Car".

Whoever it was, things ended well. But like others I suspect a lot has to do with the dealer, their ethics, and how they do business.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:56 PM   #40
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I've been using the car buyer through our Credit Union for over 20 years. I wouldn't do it any other way. We actually had one of our cars delivered to our door. We check Consumer Reports. Drive a few cars at the local dealers and then buy through the CU. I've always felt like I got a no hassle good deal.
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