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Got a Quick Question for a Car Dealer?



  • celenacelena Posts: 7
    edited March 2013
    Thanks for the reply! I have no idea about the tax. So many people around here buy cars from Virginia because they say it's cheaper--I just assumed it was because of the sales tax. But I am guessing that he also needed to know what state it would be registered in, as that would make a difference in costs.

    You may be right, but why does he keep saying "if we are the closest dealer"? Why does that matter? If it's because people buy the cars there and then take it somewhere else for service (which I would not), then shouldn't their customer service be better to encourage people to come back? Or maybe their customer service is awful and that's why people do that to them.

    That's why I was asking other people's opinion on the matter. I wasn't sure what to make of his methods, as I am so new to this. But from his email, it sounds like he will most likely only match it, and I would have to go down there for him just to do that. I don't know that it's worth the trouble. If he did quote a price significantly lower than anyone else, I would consider it. Otherwise, I'm not so sure. If it were marginally lower, it would depend on how I felt about dealing with him outside of the emails.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    From what I've seen, that salesperson just might have the best writing skills of anyone in that store.

    Seriously.. Stores are losing good people.

    I was with my son last summer when he was shopping for a new Jeep Wrangler and one store was like a third world country.

    A lot of places turn over their staff constantly.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    I don't understand why they even bother with internet sales features on their website, like "request a quote." That's a bit misleading.

    But you did get a quote, just not one you were hoping for.

    I will agree that the response you received lacked basic grammar and courtesy, but having done the internet sales manager position, from experience, sending out rock bottom quotes to someone unknown rarely results in sales. The price is taken and then shopped in person at a local dealer. Hence most dealers use the net as a communication tool to get people to come in. After all, after you get your quotes you'll still have to come in to the dealership in person to get the car.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    It's hard to win. If you are foolish enough to give out a number, that number will be shopped. If you don't give out hard numbers this will anger some shoppers and you'll never see them.

    The internet attracts flakes, non buyers and non serious shoppers.

    It's frustrating to dig through a pile of garbage "leads" hoping to find a good one. This is where phone and writing skills come into play.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Well, some of those "skills" should come from the serious consumer, too. Having been around here for awhile, when I requested an internet quote I did my best to show the dealership that I was a serious consumer. I stated in my email that:
    1. I am very interested in specific vehicle x in your inventory.
    2. I am 100% going to be purchasing a vehicle this week.
    3. I want this year, make, model and options. Color not critical, but everything else is.
    4. Please send me a good faith price on this vehicle and I will follow up with an appointment to meet and test drive.

    While I still could be a tire-kicker, I feel like adding more specifics so it didn't look like a "blast" email would at least give the impression that I'm a serious buyer and ready to talk.
    (in the end, specific vehicle x was sold before they responded, but at least they took the time to tell me that.)

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  • billy3554billy3554 Posts: 147
    Having bought many, many vehicles I think I know a thing or two about the process. The internet is a great way to identify those dealers who will sell at a fair price without much pain and those who prefer to grind the buyer into submission. My advice is to avoid any dealer who sends a generic email response.

    The simple fact is some dealers have embraced the internet and some have not. Experience has shown me the dealers who have embraced the internet, those you give a personalized response complete with a price, represent the best choice for the buyer. A smart dealer will respond to an email inquiry with the exact information the emailer requested. Any dealer who does not provide the exact information requested simply wants the buyer to visit at which time the dealer can resort to the grind process.

    Since you live in Virginia, you should to to the Fitzgerald Auto web site. They sell Hyundai and post a no haggle price on line. If you have not already, you should go to True Car and see their price. The thing to remember is both Fitzgerald and True Car prices are not the lowest. They will however give you a maximum you would have to pay.

    To price the vehicle, I have found this process works well. All information is available at the Edmund's site. First, get the invoice price. Then reduce that price by any incentive, both to the buyer and to the dealer. Then futher reduce the price by the holdback. Add a few hundred to the invoice less incentive and less holdback.

    When you negotiate work up from that number not down from the MSRP, which is what the dealer wants you to do.
  • tommister2tommister2 Mechanicsville, VAPosts: 131
    I'm a big fan of Fitzgerald. They were one of the first on the Internet and they have their no haggle price. The Wall Street Journal did a big write up on them, probably back in 1999. I think it's a great business model. Could you get a better price somewhere else? Probably, but if you just want an easy deal at a fair price Fitzgerald is a great place to start.

    (I don't work for them or any dealer, I'm just a big fan and a chronic car buyer)
  • karhill1karhill1 Posts: 101
    Also, it is always good to remember:

    The sales person is not your friend, regardless of how freindly he or she may seem. Not your enemy but not your freind.The sales person has one objective which is to sell you a vehicle at the highest possible price. Diametrically opposite or your goal which is to buy the vehicle at the lowest possible cost.

    You, the buyer, are in control of the process not the sales person. Your best asset in negotiation is your feet. You can always leave and there is always another dealer ready to sell you the vehicle. The sales person knows this and you can use it to your advantage.

    Do not believe anything a sales person tells you. A healthy skepticism is always best.

    If you have done your research, you know approximately how much the dealer paid for the vehicle. Though in reality, the dealer probably paid less. Keeping that in mind, you should always be able to achieve a fair price.

    And finally, just say NO to anything offered in the dealer's F&I office. Every product is vastly overpriced and most are essentially useless. For example, that $2,000 extended warranty they offer might have cost them $800. Do you think giving the dealer $1,200 makes financial sense?
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Although you have some good points, an extended warranty is not always a bad bet as long as you can negotiate a price you're happy with and think you'll actually use it especially when it comes to European luxury cars.

    Regardless of how much a $2000 warranty cost the dealer, if it can cover your $5000 transmission repair that's out of factory warranty then you're ahead.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    The only trouble is, the more troublesome the car is, the more expensive the extended warranty will be.

    On a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla those warranties aren't expensive and will more than likely never be used.

    Buy one for an Audi or a Volvo and the cost will be through the roof and for good reason.

    Heck, the biggest warranty company in the country wont even sell one on Land Rovers after getting burned so many times.

    Still, some people need the peace of mind and there is nothing better than having that 5000.00 transmission rebuild cost nothing.

    The question is...How risk adverse are you?
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,987
    Although you have some good points, an extended warranty is not always a bad bet as long as you can negotiate a price you're happy with

    Another point is that you don't have to buy the warranty at the dealership when buying the car.

    You can buy it at anytime before the original warranty period is over. You can shop around the internet.

    (This is only for the brand's own warranty. Never get a 3rd party warranty)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    There are some excellent third party warranty companies such as Universal Underwriters that have a proven track recorn and have been in business for many years.

    Most are flaky and they come and go.

    Find out how long they have been around and what their track record is.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 189
    Certainly with a $5,000 bill for a covered repair, paying $2,000 for an extended service contract would be a good deal. However, the small print on the contract can be designed to minimize the repairs covered. Additionally, the contracts are priced for profit, to both the dealer and company providing the contract. Therefore, most who buy such a contract will not come out ahead.

    If a person believes an extended service contract is needed, I think it best to only buy from the OEM. And only buy after the sale. During the sale the dealer is counting on the fact the buyer having just said yes will spend too much. For the contract.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,987
    Most are flaky and they come and go.

    Find out how long they have been around and what their track record is.

    Why take the chance? Stick to the manufacturer's warranty.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Whether you buy during or after the sale is irrelevant. If you buy it after the fact, most likely you will have to get you vehicle inspected at your cost to make sure there are no current issues with it. As long as you negotiate a price you're happy is all that matters.

    I bought an extended 3rd party warranty from the place I worked at where I bought my BMW. The warranty paid for itself within 1 year.

    When that expired I bought another one. If I'd be driving a Corolla or Camry I probably wouldn't. But since my car is past the 4 year factory coverage I just don't want to take the chance.

    I just find it irresponsible when people make a blanket statement telling car buyers not to buy "anything" in the finance office. They're not the ones that will be stuck with an expensive repair bill should something go wrong. The carbuyer will. And sometimes the cheapest plan found on the net may not cover everything, may have a cap on repair amounts, or company may not be around when it's time to make a claim.

    Case in point. I sold an out of warranty 5 year old Mercedes S Class to a family. We had the car on the lot for a month, with the manager driving it almost daily. No issues. A family buys it, declines extended warranty, and after a few months the car starts to develop stalling and electronic problems. Our shop could not replicate the issue, and no codes popped up.

    We sent it to MB and they found the car needs a torque converter and possibly a new transmission at a cost of between $5000-$10000. Although the car was past our used car guarantee period, our management decided to help out somehow and cover some of the costs.

    As cars get more complicated these days, it's just good to have that protection in case you need it.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    " Why take the chance?"To save a lot of money in most cases BUT you have to go with a long established trusted warranty company!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    I kinda agree with you.

    All you are buying is an expensive insurance policy. If you end up using it you will thank your lucky stars that you bought it.

    People with limited resources are often the same people who buy cars they really shouldn't buy such as that Mercedes. They just HAVE to drive a fancy
    european car when they should be buying something that makes more sense.

    They pay top dollar for these extended warranties and they are expensive for a very good reason.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Extended warranties are nothing more than a bet.

    The insurance/warranty company is betting that your car won't break down, and you're betting that it will.

    It's ironic, in a way---it's like when you have good medical insurance and you get diagnosed with a horrible disease---you get to jump up and down with joy and say "Hurray! I'm covered!" :P

    Or, just buy a Toyota.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,602
    Yes, a bet with the odds heavilly weighted against the people who buy extended warranties.

    Back when I was a manager for Sears, we really pushed the salespeople to sell what they called Maintenance Agreements. Sometimes we made more profit on these than on the actual product!
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,987
    To save a lot of money in most cases BUT you have to go with a long established trusted warranty company!

    If you shop around, you can (should?) get a the manufacturer's warranty for a very good price.

    Maybe it will be a bit more, but that's the cost of piece of mind.

    Again, it's up to each buyer to determine what is a priority for them.

    With my last Jeep, I looked at buying a Jeep warranty from a dealer via the internet. Price was very similar to what 3rd party ones cost.

    I decided not to buy one after all.
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