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Old 11-27-2010, 09:07 AM   #21
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Has anybody bought a used car online? Looking for a used car 2008 or 2009 Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Just starting the car buying process. I dislike haggling with car salesmen. My wife would want to consider 2008 or 2009 Toyota Rav4 or Honda CRV.
I'd compare new to used prices carefully. From what I've read at Bogleheads, one or two year old Honda / Toyotas have not depreciated enough to justify buying used.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:03 AM   #22
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Getting prepared and hard bargaining is your best strategy.


Know the current competitive sales price of the car. Identify any rebates or sales that are occurring.

Pit the dealers against each other.

Never let on that you have a preference for a brand or model. Tell the Honda sales person you are more interested in Nissan or Toyota, and vice versa.

Walk away if you do not get your deal during negotiation. You can always go back to the same dealer later. No matter what they say... unless a rebate is expiring you can almost always get the same deal later.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:54 PM   #23
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This is my story of a search for a new 2007 Toyota Corolla.
I decided to take the time and do the car search correctly now that I am ERed.

1) To get a deal you need to know specifically what you want.
2) As mentioned previously, you need to know what it should cost.
I learned that you need to buy over the Internet for the best deals. Many dealers have Internet sales managers. Sometimes these are the people who manage fleet sales. You need to deal with them directly and bypass the show room altogether. The only problem is that Western PA does not have Internet sales managers that give you deals. I visited several dealers in the area and I got the impression that it would be $800-$1000 over sticker when I finished the "deal". I imagine things are much more negotiable in todays economic environment but this was my buying environment back then.
You cannot tell what the final cost at the showroom will be until you try to buy the car.

I remembered a dealership in Carlsbad that offered really good deals. Even though I did not intend to buy there, I asked for a quote over the internet just to see what is possible.
3) Once you know what you want and what you should pay for it and who the potential dealer who will work with you are, then you have to see if they have what you want on the lot or easy to get for them.

Table 1 WHAT IS A FAIR PRICE?
2007 Corola CE Std tranny, no options.

SOURCE Retail (MSRP) + del fee $660

Toyota.com $15,065
edmunds .com $15,065 Others are paying $14442
kbb. Com $15,025 Others are paying $14920

Others are paying, on average below MSRP + $660 dealer fee as table 1 shows.


Table 2 SEARCH RESULTS SUMMARY
2007 Corola CE Std tranny, no option

OFFERS
Mel Grata - Bruce* $15,655 With upgrade - pwr windows
Mel Grata - Chris* $14,843
Rorhich, Pgh $16,751
Metro, Cleveland** $14,672
Carlsbad, CA $14,553 sell for $14553 with floormats
Grossinger, Chicago $13,827
Napierville, Chicago* $14,70

* Not really a written offer, just a verbal suggestion.

**Includes $250 "doc fee", all of the Ohio dealers mentioned
it. No written offer.

Most of this work, except for Mel Grata, Hermitage, PA was done on the Internet using
Invoicedealers.com for the initial contact.

None of the local dealers had what I wanted in stock and they wanted me to buy the car unseen and for a high price before they would consider getting it. Chicago dealers had the most inventory and the best pricing. I am not sure why.

I bought a car from Grossinger Toyota. I flew one way to Chicago for $59 on Southwest, bought the car and drove home the same day. Saved at least $1200 net on what I could have got it for locally.

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Old 11-30-2010, 07:23 PM   #24
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This is my story of a search for a new 2007 Toyota Corolla.
Thank you for posting your details. I am preparing to start my own search; and, your approach is pretty much what I am bracing myself to dive into. (Although, I was hoping for an easier route.)

Anyway, I am still at pre-step #1: Figure out what I want.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #25
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I learned that you need to buy over the Internet for the best deals. Many dealers have Internet sales managers. Sometimes these are the people who manage fleet sales. You need to deal with them directly and bypass the show room altogether.
I wonder why. After all, there is no sign explaining the 'rules' when I walk in. If I talk to a salesman I don't feel I owe him/her any allegiance (unless they really went out of the way for me). If the 'internet guy' is gonna give me a better price, why wouldn't I deal with him?

I know, people will say I'm screwing the salesperson out of a commission. Seriously, that is not my problem. If the sign says "Grossinger" I expect to deal with the "Grossinger" company, and not pick-choose sales staff within that organization. The company should represent themselves as one face to the customer.

Maybe it doesn't work that way. Some things just make no sense. I plan to show the guy the 'average' to 'great' prices from that TrueCar site. He can choose to sell me a car or not. I'm in no rush.

-ERD50
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:53 PM   #26
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I wonder why. After all, there is no sign explaining the 'rules' when I walk in. If I talk to a salesman I don't feel I owe him/her any allegiance (unless they really went out of the way for me). If the 'internet guy' is gonna give me a better price, why wouldn't I deal with him?
Internet guy usually can because he is paid a salary from the dealership while the salesmen are on commission, so usually the salespeople hate the Internet guy..........
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:21 AM   #27
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Internet guy usually can because he is paid a salary from the dealership while the salesmen are on commission, so usually the salespeople hate the Internet guy..........
+1
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:10 AM   #28
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Internet guy usually can because he is paid a salary from the dealership while the salesmen are on commission, so usually the salespeople hate the Internet guy..........
OK, so if I need to 'play this game', how do I go about it?

I spent 10 minutes at one dealer (not even a test drive, they didn't have the 6cyl/trim I want in stock at the time). DW & I did take a test drive at another dealer, but that model is a 'cousin' of the one I will probably buy (Kia versus Hyundai - same basic vehicle). Other than that, I've only talked on the phone for a few minutes with one dealer, telling him which model/trim I would consider. This guy has my name/number - do I just start ignoring him? It's not like he has a big investment with me.

While I know the trim level I want, I would still want to test drive and look it over, just so there are no 'ooops, I didn't know that!' moments on such a large purchase. And of course, DW must see the colors in daylight. How do you cover that with the 'internet guy'?

-ERD50
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:38 AM   #29
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Has anybody bought a used car online? Looking for a used car 2008 or 2009 Toyota Camryor Honda Accord. Just starting the car buying process. I dislike haggling with car salesmen. My wife would want to consider 2008 or 2009 Toyota Rav4 or Honda CRV.
I did three years ago via EBay Auto. Purchased it (off lease) from the original leasing dealer in another state. I matched the vehicle, options, mileage against similar cars within 100 miles of my home, and I could not find one (at the time) that compared in options, or price.

Had him take additional pictures and email them to me. I was not too concerned about the mechanical part since it was fairly low mileage (32k) and as a manufactured certified used car.

In my case, it worked out well and I would not hesitate to do the same thing again (assuming there was a car I was interested in). However, in my case, I only put a few miles on a year (it just turned 45k) and since I drive my cars until the "wheels fall off" I expect to be driving it for many years in the future.

BTW, it was delivered to my home (Detroit to PA) via a flatbed trailer, by a firm that "shuffled" used cars around the country as a business. It cost $500 to have it transported. It originally listed for mid-50's when new and I paid in the low-20's so for me, the transportation cost was not a problem. Since it was a U.S. badged vehicle (Cadillac) the discount was more than a popular foreign badged vehicle.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:20 AM   #30
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OK, so if I need to 'play this game', how do I go about it?

While I know the trim level I want, I would still want to test drive and look it over, just so there are no 'ooops, I didn't know that!' moments on such a large purchase. And of course, DW must see the colors in daylight. How do you cover that with the 'internet guy'?

-ERD50
I started by visiting the Mel Grata (see above post) and other dealerships to narrow down the models, options, color etc. At that time I was not sure I was going to do the internet thing. All I knew then was that a good offer was below sticker. I might have bypassed the research project if I got a good offer on something I wanted. No good offers were forthcoming. No vehicles with what I wanted were forthcoming at the local dealers, either. I am really glad I took the internet route.

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Old 12-01-2010, 09:30 AM   #31
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OK, so if I need to 'play this game', how do I go about it?

I spent 10 minutes at one dealer (not even a test drive, they didn't have the 6cyl/trim I want in stock at the time). DW & I did take a test drive at another dealer, but that model is a 'cousin' of the one I will probably buy (Kia versus Hyundai - same basic vehicle). Other than that, I've only talked on the phone for a few minutes with one dealer, telling him which model/trim I would consider. This guy has my name/number - do I just start ignoring him? It's not like he has a big investment with me.

While I know the trim level I want, I would still want to test drive and look it over, just so there are no 'ooops, I didn't know that!' moments on such a large purchase. And of course, DW must see the colors in daylight. How do you cover that with the 'internet guy'?[ERD50
First of all, Kia is owned by Hyundai, and while they share some parts, a Hyundai is a nicer car. I would do the following:

1)Find the car and trim level you want by either Internet search or calling around and dealing with the Internet sales guy.

2)Internet guy will let you drive vehicle if you want, no big deal.

3)Just be honest with the salesman who will call you, tell him you want a Hyundai, not a Kia, and they didn't have the model and trim you wanted, so you are looking elsewhere, and tell him not to call you anymore. be polite about it. Trust me, he doesn't want to keep calling a guy who has no intention of buying from him either, why waster your and his time?
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:45 AM   #32
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First of all, Kia is owned by Hyundai, and while they share some parts, a Hyundai is a nicer car. I would do the following:

1)Find the car and trim level you want by either Internet search or calling around and dealing with the Internet sales guy.

2)Internet guy will let you drive vehicle if you want, no big deal.

3)Just be honest with the salesman who will call you, tell him you want a Hyundai, not a Kia, and they didn't have the model and trim you wanted, so you are looking elsewhere, and tell him not to call you anymore. be polite about it. Trust me, he doesn't want to keep calling a guy who has no intention of buying from him either, why waster your and his time?
Thanks, but it's actually the other way 'round. We test drove the Kia, but decided (based on reviews and trim and option lists) that we liked the Hyundai better. The dealer that I've been talking with is Hyundai, so I can't really just say 'bye', as that is very likely the dealer I would buy through.

Maybe I'll just start emailing the internet guys at the 3-4 dealers in our general area, and then give this sales guy a chance to match that price. All he has invested is a few phone calls with me, so not a big deal really.

I was going to try to use the Kia/Hyundai thing for leverage - but most of these dealers represent both, so they can just say "Fine, we have Kias to sell you".

-ERD50
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:54 PM   #33
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Interesting discussion about the whole "internet guy" versus "sales guy" thing within the dealer. I wanted to test drive a Honda and a Toyota.

So I went to a Toyota dealership and asked to test drive one, spent 5 or 10 minutes talking with the guy afterward and gave him some of my information and got his contact number.

Process took a little longer at the Honda dealership, and the guy insisted on at least making ME an offer (even though I told him I was not going to buy anything because I was still considering which car I wanted) so that guy invested maybe an hour of time with us considering he took two test drives (one with me and one with my wife, because unlike the Toyota dealership they wouldn't let us strap the kids' carseats in an take them with us) and then his little let's-make-a-deal chat.

I did notice that the deal he was offering seemed along the lines of a "good deal" (even approaching a "great deal") based on the Edmunds and TrueCar site information.

My thinking was that, once we've decided what to buy, I'd contact several dealers via email (including the one that I test drove at) and let them bid for my business, telling them I'm ready to buy for cash today if any of them offers a good deal. Not sure whether I should mention that I test drove something there or not, and who the sales person was, or whether they'll sort that out in the records when they see my name should I choose to buy from their internet guy.

Like ERD50 said, I don't really care how they allocate the commission, that should be their headache not mine. I'm buying from the dealership, not the individual dealers. I expect this is not an unusual event so they should have worked out a fair way to deal handle it by now.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:24 PM   #34
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Here's another basic question -- when you're buying car "in cash" ... what do you do, pick up a cashier's check once you've determined the final amount? Presumably the dealer is not going to accept a check from my Vanguard account ...
This depends on local practice. The last car we bought, we used edmunds and got back a list of dealers and dealt with their internet salespeople. When we settled on a deal I just wrote a personal check. I've heard from some people that in their area a cashier's check is standard however.

We are about to most likely buy a new 2011 Town & Country minivan (I looked at the Toyota and Honda and neither met my needs) and will likely follow the same procedure.
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