Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Car Buying Services - Your Thoughts
Old 06-26-2015, 07:21 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,896
Car Buying Services - Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts and experiences with car-buying services (Penfed, United Buyers Service ((UBS)) that pre-negotiate prices with selected dealers for specific models/options?

Do they really save money over traditional negotiations?

Thanks,

Amethyst
__________________

__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-26-2015, 07:48 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 2,483
I once negotiated a cash deal on a new car (with no trade in) only to discover that my company had already setup an arrangement with the manufacture for special employee pricing. Fortunately I hadn't bought the car yet so I called the dealer and he gave me the special pricing my company had negotiated with them. (About $300 less than the price I had negotiated)

So it was a little better than I had got on my own, but not by much. (IMO) Of course it could have saved me the time and hassle of my own negotiations with the dealer. But then I would have never known if I was getting a better deal.
__________________

__________________
Car-Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 07:55 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Do they really save money over traditional negotiations?
No facts to back it up, just my opinion - I suspect you'd have to be an above average negotiator to do better, and you'd have to be willing to put in the time, effort, and hassle of driving a hard bargain.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 08:04 AM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 728
1st of all you have to decide on a car after you drive it......different options can make the same make and model feel different......then after you find the car you like, get a price from the dealer, ask whichever buying service your working with for a price on a comparably equipped car and if it is lower take it back to the dealer....my bet is he'll match it if he/she hasn't already beat it. And......I would ask the dealer for his manufacturer's customer satisfaction scores......you're going to own it for quite a while and you'll want to have loaner cars.....you'll want the dealer to have a large parts department or you'll wait an extra day or two for most warranty repairs.....I own my 1st Kia....dealer service department is rated best in his Regional area.....his price was about $300 cheaper than Costco......and, I'm not sure, however, that they have an arrangement with Kia and that they even wanted my business. I've never tried any other buying service. I'd try one, however, if I was looking for a true luxury car....like BMW....it's been tough to get those guys to budge on price.
__________________
jerome len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 09:41 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
It all comes down to your personal makeup IMO. I always start with an online car buying service, it's a good place to start, but I almost always get a lower price after negotiating. A few relatives have taken me along to negotiate for them because they know I like doing it.

BUT then I understand and enjoy negotiating on cars (and most purchases). As I understand it, most people do not enjoy it, and for them a car buying service is probably a good idea. If you don't understand the other (dealer) side of the negotiations, you probably won't do that well on your own. Car dealers do this every day, they know all the different ways to hook customers, it's their job.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 2,093
Every car dealership now has an online auto sales department. It makes it so easy to shop at every dealership within reasonable distance from your home without hassle. If you shoot them straight, the internet sales department will shoot you straight.

The trick is to find THAT dealer who's willing to compete for your business with a fair or low price. Don't forget to get the complete bottom line price--including add on's, taxes, etc. I warn you about dealers' Documentation Fees that are just a profit they're not paying a salesman commission.

I try to avoid dealerships that are part of National Chains. They often put unreasonable pressures on their salesmen and local management--and I call'em Slam and Jam operations. They're the type that has a non-negotiable $699 Doc Fee.

And as a 24 year automotive professional, I can do better on my own buying virtually any brand of car.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 10:08 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,019
I tested a car buying service about 20 years ago but was able to negotiate a better deal myself. I think they are aimed at people who don't want to kick tires and do the research and are afraid of getting screwed on negotiations. The buyer can be much better informed nowadays with all the information available online.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 10:09 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Big_Hitter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the fairway
Posts: 4,099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
Every car dealership now has an online auto sales department. It makes it so easy to shop at every dealership within reasonable distance from your home without hassle. If you shoot them straight, the internet sales department will shoot you straight.

agreed - just get a few internet quotes and have them get in a bidding war for your business
__________________
Swing hard, look up
Big_Hitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 11:30 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,896
There is a large dealership "cluster" 2 miles from where I live. I guess we could test-drive their cars, then do the internet bidding war thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
agreed - just get a few internet quotes and have them get in a bidding war for your business
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 11:33 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Big_Hitter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the fairway
Posts: 4,099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
There is a large dealership "cluster" 2 miles from where I live. I guess we could test-drive their cars, then do the internet bidding war thing.
that's what I would do - it's funny to watch them flip out when you show them the e-mail with the quote
__________________
Swing hard, look up
Big_Hitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 11:35 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
robnplunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 2,124
I used Truecar.com service for buying the last car. It found a dealer with a price tag that is $1000 cheaper than others for the car I was interested in. I printed out the quote and went to the dealer thinking it was going to be a short buying experience. Present the quote, pay the dealer, and drive it out - that's how Truecar.com supposed to work and others users have done exactly that. But this dealer did everything to recoup the $1000 "discount" and I ended up stuck in the dealership for 4+ hours. They tried all the old car dealer tricks - bait and switch, taking turns at sending different salesman -> manager -> other salesman in the midst of the deal, trying to sell options that I didn't need, .... Multiple times, I've got mad at them and lost patience. I still bought the car at the Truecar.com quoted price but it was an horrific experience (the exact one that I was trying to avoid by using Truecar.com).
__________________
Pura Vida
robnplunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 11:42 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,897
If you go to Truecar, you can see the actual prices paid for a specific model in your zip code. They present you with a bell curve of actual prices paid, so you can compare an offer to see if it is actually a low one.

I sent an email to a half dozen dealers and took the lowest offer. Alternatively you can get a fixed price from Costco, AAA, Consumer Reports or others and use that as your initial negotiating price. The dealer pays a third party a cut, so you are basically negotiating against that cut.

Getting an out the door price is essential or they will try to claw back profit with phoney document fees, paint and interior treatments and anything else they can get away with.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 11:58 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I tested a car buying service about 20 years ago but was able to negotiate a better deal myself.
My experience with a car buying service a couple of years ago (USAA) and one 20+ years ago was strikingly different. I may have been able to negotiate a slightly better deal than the USAA service got me but the aggravation (aka 'The Dealership Dance') would not have been worth it.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 12:14 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,896
If you have a personality that likes to negotiate and bargain, then go for it. Otherwise, a car buying service could be well worth the non stress.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 12:18 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
There is a large dealership "cluster" 2 miles from where I live. I guess we could test-drive their cars, then do the internet bidding war thing.
When I got my previous car (many years ago), I used a car buying service called "Car Bargains". I just chose the make, model, options I wanted in the car and the service let local dealers do the lowest bidder thing.

Overall, worked put pretty well.

Now I don't mind just getting used at Carmax and avoid the "Let's negotiate" dance .
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 12:32 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
timo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rio Rancho
Posts: 1,438
I used the USAA car buying service twice now, and I was happy enough with it to use a car buying service again.
__________________
"We live the lives we lead because of the thoughts we think" Michael O’Neill
timo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 12:45 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lakewood90712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I you have a personality that likes to negotiate and bargain, then go for it. Otherwise, a car buying service could be well worth the non stress.
+ 1.

I have gotten better prices by negotiating online and in person, but it takes effort and time. Often it depends on the class of vehicle and potential profit. The thinner the margin, the less likely to get a better deal.

On doing the dance, the first time the salesman says " How much per mo. can you afford " I bluntly say " If you ask that again, I'm walking off the lot " . Sets the tempo
__________________
Lakewood90712 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 01:05 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,933
I second the notion of getting internet quotes from dealers. Often the website for the manufacturer will have an easy way of finding out the location and e-mail addresses of the dealers in your area and then actually sending an e-mail to the ones you are interested in.....e.g. within xxx mile radius. You can do that for any many as you can stand.....generate a form letter with your request, copy and paste and send, and then within 2-3 days you should have a bunch of replies that you can compare. No eyeball contact needed. As mentioned , you should be sure to ask for the out-the-door price so you don't get surprised by miscellaneous added fees later. It is an ideal technique if you don't like face-to-face negotiations. They know they have one chance or they're out.

The hard part is specifying exactly what you want. When we did this about 10 yrs ago, it wasn't too bad for Japanese cars since there were only a limited number of option packages. Not sure about the status today.

I have never compared w/ a buying service so I don't know how they really compare. My theory is that since the buying service gets a cut, the dealer is going to have less room to maneuver than if you dealt directly w/o the middleman.

Also when you do a test drive at the dealer, be sure to deal w/ the internet dept. If you deal w/ the regular folks, somehow that includes them in the final deal even if you then go thru the internet dept and the price will be higher, or perhaps the internet dept will not even deal w/ you if they know the other folks are involved.
__________________
kaneohe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 02:03 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
If you go to Truecar, you can see the actual prices paid on a specific model in your zip code. They present you with a bell curve of actual prices paid, so you can compare an offer to see if it is actually low one. ... .
Here's what I think is a problem with the TrueCar prices - it says these are the prices people paid before including any dealer add-ons.

So what if one person reports they paid $23,000, but agreed to accept $2,000 of dealer add-ons that are really worth next to nothing? And another person reports they paid $24,000, but avoided all the dealer add-ons? The dealer is happy to 'negotiate' the 'car price' down to the $23,000 if they know they get the added $2,000. But maybe $24,000 is as far as they will go w/o the add-ons?


Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
... Now I don't mind just getting used at Carmax and avoid the "Let's negotiate" dance .
I used CarMax once, and it was a pretty smooth experience. But I do think their prices are high, and I let their multi-point check and good reputation (at least my impression from a lot of on-line searches) lull me into a little false security and faith. We looked at three of the same model, and I forgot to check things like tire wear on the one we picked. Later realized that I really wanted to replace at least two tires before winter. And then I'm thinking ' OK, they 'check' the brakes - but are they OK now, but worn to the point that you'll need a brake job in three months (fortunately not in this case).

Add some tires and brakes to an already high price, and it's not a great deal. But it was a good experience and I don't think you will get 'ripped off', but you will pay for the privilege (and it might be worth it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
...
On doing the dance, the first time the salesman says " How much per mo. can you afford " I bluntly say " If you ask that again, I'm walking off the lot " . Sets the tempo
I basically did that, it didn't seem to make a difference. The guy still played the game. I should have walked, but the price was OK, and just wanted to get it over with. I don't like this 'game', give me a fixed sticker price please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
... As mentioned , you should be sure to ask for the out-the-door price so you don't get surprised by miscellaneous added fees later. It is an ideal technique if you don't like face-to-face negotiations. They know they have one chance or they're out.

...


Also when you do a test drive at the dealer, be sure to deal w/ the internet dept. If you deal w/ the regular folks, somehow that includes them in the final deal even if you then go thru the internet dept and the price will be higher, or perhaps the internet dept will not even deal w/ you if they know the other folks are involved.
How exactly do you do this?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 02:36 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I you have a personality that likes to negotiate and bargain, then go for it. Otherwise, a car buying service could be well worth the non stress.
+1. I don't like to bargain personally, so I used the USAA car buying service for the last 2 cars we purchased and I was happy with the service. There was still some negotiating to be done on the trade-in but, overall, it was a better buying experience.
__________________

__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
auto buying, buying a car, car-buying service, united buyers service


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Used car buying services from AAA or Costco? fidler4 Other topics 7 06-23-2014 06:48 AM
Thoughts on buying Penfed 3% CDs aja8888 FIRE and Money 29 12-28-2013 06:37 PM
How much does car color play a part in your car purchase decision? easysurfer Other topics 37 05-14-2011 10:10 AM
New car, old car, same car? cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 74 06-15-2006 05:27 PM
Financing a car/car buying advice usc_et Young Dreamers 14 11-01-2005 11:59 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:09 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.