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Old 02-04-2011, 03:47 PM   #21
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My son ordered a pickup. What the dealer did was to check the production schedule at the factory and was able to trade vehicles with another dealer, adding his options to it. He got the truck in 6 weeks versus 2+ months if the dealer had to place it at the end of the queue.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #22
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There is another option if you don't mind a very low number of miles on the car; I did this on my current car. A lot of dealers will go to manufacturers auctions where cars used by company employees are sold. When I bought I gave the dealer a list of what options I had to have and the color I wanted then waited for a matching car to come up at auction. I waited about a month but got the options and color I wanted in a car with 5500 miles on it at about $6000 under list price.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:24 PM   #23
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Sure.
I always hate the first ding or scratch on a car...even the ones that weren't exactly what I wanted. But realistically it will happen with any car.
I guess the next question would be how much it'd cost to get a car repainted. That way you could go find a bargain in any ol' color (harvest gold? avocado? eggplant?) and have it painted exactly the way you want it.

It'd save a lot of retail hassle at the dealership and open up a lot of Craigslist/Autotrader choices.

The more common your car color is, the easier it is to find replacement body parts at the junkyard in 9-10 years...
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:06 PM   #24
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Most car makers have "build your car" features on their websites. You can construct the car just like you want it, and see the pricing. Keep in mind that many options are built into "options packages" nowadays. For instance, you want intermittent wipers, but they are only available in the "Convenience Package." Naturally the "Convenience Package" has other stuff that you couldn't care less about. It's maddening.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:29 PM   #25
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I've never done that. How long does it take to get the car? Do you have to pay MSRP to do that or can you still negotiate a price with the dealer?
You can negotiate the same way as you do on any car. Actually, you might be able to do better on an "order-out" since the dealership doesn't pay "juice" (floorplan interest) like they do on a lot of their inventory.......
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:29 PM   #26
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Yep, order the car, but do not act as if they are doing a special favor or you will pay too much. As in,

"Well, I'd buy that car, but you gotta lower the price a few thousand and convince me to get a color I don't want."

"OK, you lowered the price, but I still hate the color. Maybe if you lowered the price some more, I would start to love the color."

"Thanks for lowering the price, but that color makes me puke. Can I just order the car in my color with ABS, side-impact airbags, etc and pay the same price? I can? Thanks, it's a deal."

Then when the minivan comes, "I didn't order pin-striping nor the rear spoiler. Who ever heard of a rear spoiler on a minivan? I'm not paying for those options. In fact, you will never sell this minivan with those options to anyone, but if you lower the price another few thousand, I'd be happy to take it off your hands."
I firmly believe I kicked you out of at least one dealership I worked at......
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:49 PM   #27
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You can negotiate the same way as you do on any car. Actually, you might be able to do better on an "order-out" since the dealership doesn't pay "juice" (floorplan interest) like they do on a lot of their inventory.......
Bingo!

I have ordered every new car or truck (all except 2 of them) since the early 1970's. For buying new, I want to have exactly what I want. Ordering a car takes you out of the "impulse buyer" mainstream of auto sales, and puts you into the strange category of those who know what they want, and do not need immediate gratification. Which greatly reduces the hold over a customer.

Top salesmen will usually take an order, as it means less selling work and time for them, and adds to their unit sales total. Then they can get back onto the lot or floor to work all of those impulse buyer sheep.

I have sometimes come across salesmen who did not want to order, pulled games, etc. They were salesmen that were barely holding on, they wanted a big deposit up front from an off-the-lot sale so they could take it home that night. Losers. Just walk out. And I have. As the years went by, I have seen less of those type. But then, I don't shop on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon with a wife and kids along!
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:55 AM   #28
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.............. Keep in mind that many options are built into "options packages" nowadays. For instance, you want intermittent wipers, but they are only available in the "Convenience Package." Naturally the "Convenience Package" has other stuff that you couldn't care less about. It's maddening.
Having been in this business, I can tell you that ultimately those packages hold the cost of the cars down and improve the quality. As someone pointed out in a earlier post, after you add up all the color and trim level possibilities and multiply them by the option possibilities the total complexity is crazy.

I can recall the day when you could order just power windows or just power door locks or both. There were four interior colors and three trim levels. The trim panels had different cutouts depending on the power window / lock combination. Also the wiring harnesses were unique depending on the power accessories ordered. Not only was it crazy stocking all the parts, but the rate of installation error was much higher.

So, in my experience, option bundling was done for the right reasons. I can see where it might be abused, but it's gotta be rare, given the competition.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:20 AM   #29
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Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:40 AM   #30
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If you order a car is a deposit typical?
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:48 AM   #31
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I used to work for a car company. I would just order the car and have it built to my exact spec. I didn't have to dicker on the price, but I don't see why that should keep you from ordering it, after you agree on a price.
That's what I've done in the past. That said, we are those who will buy new cars but then keep them until either parts availability or reliability become issues.That's in the range of 14-18 years.

If I'm going to be living with a vehicle for that long I want it to be exactly what I want, no more and no less. The salespeople have always said it takes 6-8 weeks to get the car and that's been about right.

Was it the absolute lowest possible price? Probably not, but amortized over the length of time we keep the car it matters (to me) less and less as time goes on.

They did lower the price significantly when they realized I was a serious buyer and would put down a deposit on it. It saves the salesguy time and he's got a sale in the pipeline so he's happy about that.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:05 AM   #32
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If you order a car is a deposit typical?
In my case, it was. Actually, a full retail contract was completed along with a document that stated if my trade-in was damaged before settlement that I would be liable for having it returned to current day assessed value, since they did give me a trade-in value on the day I placed the order. Additionally, a factory order document was completed where all the specifications/options I wanted was defined.

If you think about it, everything is done in the same manner as buying a car out of stock (and you pay a deposit to hold it while you complete any financial arrangements) with the exception of the factory order document and trade in value "guarantee" - which is good for both parties in the sales process.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:13 PM   #33
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If you order a car is a deposit typical?

Yea, it is only fair. Sometimes people order strange combinations that are impossible to later sell to someone else.

When I was w*rking, there were certain restrictions on options that you could order on your lease car for the same reasons. I recall that one year a certain color of purple was offered as an option, but we weren't allowed to order it on a lease car because they knew in a few years it would depreciate the car's resale value.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:30 PM   #34
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Congratulations on being in a place in your life where you get to order exactly what you want. Nice problem to have.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:34 PM   #35
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If you order a car is a deposit typical?
I think it is almost mandatory. Not all the cars people order are ones the dealer would want to be stuck with.........
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:08 PM   #36
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I can recall the day when you could order just power windows or just power door locks or both. There were four interior colors and three trim levels. The trim panels had different cutouts depending on the power window / lock combination. Also the wiring harnesses were unique depending on the power accessories ordered. Not only was it crazy stocking all the parts, but the rate of installation error was much higher.

So, in my experience, option bundling was done for the right reasons. I can see where it might be abused, but it's gotta be rare, given the competition.
That is interesting and I hadn't thought of it that way. That said, in this specific case, it is annoying to me.

We have a choice of getting the Town and Country Touring-L or the Town and Country Limited. Most things that are on the Limited can be obtained as an options on the Touring-L. A few things can't. Some of those I don't care about (the suede inserts on the Limited). There are two that I care about, one a little bit and the other a lot.

If you want the high intensity discharge headlamps you must buy the Limited. This is a big deal to me. I would much prefer to have them than not have them. It may end up being enough to persuade me to order the Limited.

The other is that you can get a slightly better audio system with more speakers. This is a nice to have. I might pay for it in the Limited if it wasn't much of an extra charge. But it isn't available in the Limited.

So, configuring the Limited and the Touring-L identically (except for the things that are Limited only), the Limited is $2200 more than the Touring-L. So I'm paying $2200 for HID headlamps and the better audio/speakers.

I might do that.

But....the Limited has Standard the DVD player and video screens and Sirius backseat TV (which has 3 channels -- Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon).

On the Touring-L that is a $2525 option ($2000 for the player/video and $525 for the backseat TV for some period of time).

We had a DVD player and screens on our old minivan and when the kids were young and we did long driving vacations it was wonderful (especially with the wireless headphones). But, now, they are older. They both have iPhones to entertain them and we hardly ever buy DVDs any more. So that whole thing is a waste.

So you might look at that the true cost of the HID headlamps and the audio is $2200 + the $2525 for the options we don't want which ends up being a $4725 upcharge.

Still haven't decided on that one. I'm sure we would get some limited use out of the DVD player but I would never buy it if I got the Touring-L. I just resent it that I can't get the HID headlamps without it.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:50 PM   #37
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Well, also keep in mind that a lot of stuff can be added aftermarket, such as the headlights (although I would check with a local customizer before you order). We got the basic radio and upgraded it to an HD radio for less.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:57 PM   #38
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Headlights should be really easy to change out. Probably <$100 for good ones. And you've got a spare. If I were a dealer I would throw in the upgraded bulbs if it made the deal.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:09 AM   #39
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Headlights should be really easy to change out. Probably <$100 for good ones. And you've got a spare. If I were a dealer I would throw in the upgraded bulbs if it made the deal.
Hmm...that is interesting. Not sure if that would work. One thing I like about these is that if there is a car within a certain distance (so many feet) the lights will dim. Some of the complaints about the HID headlights is that they are too bright but this car alleviates that by having the dimming. Not sure if you did after market if you would get that benefit, but definitely need to look into it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:44 AM   #40
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Good HID Aftermarket. There seem to be lots of options out there, in the $100-200 range for conversion kits. More if you pay someone to do it.
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