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Toyota Venza Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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  • Just wondering, those of you who got the JBL stereo, did an amplifier come with this ? Is there a amplifier under the front seat ?
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    Thanks for posting that article. I knew SET was gouging customers but it'd the first time I've seen it in writing other than third party. I've bought 3 Toyotas in the NE but now that I live in Florida I'll be dammed if I'm going to pay extra for the same vehicle in other parts of the country. I also doubt I will go the Fitzmall way. I'm am now seriously looking at all non Toyota options for a new vehicle. I will not pay for Toyaguard , SET's biggest rip off.
  • vestirsevestirse Posts: 7
    Warning: LONG and DETAILED!

    I live in the Bay Area and was looking for a new car because I'm pregnant. My husband and I own an '06 Honda Hybrid. We wanted something bigger, but not a behemoth. Weird as this might sound, we don't own a TV, so we went to the dealerships with only the commonplace Rav4 and CR-V in mind. At the Toyota dealership, my husband fell in love with the Venza. However, at that time I wasn't in the mindset to look at it as I thought we could upgrade to the space we needed with something less pricey.

    However, after looking at both the Rav4 and CR-V, I just couldn't justify a car that would only give me only about 4 more inches in the back as I wanted this car to carry a lot - take long trips/vacations with the baby and maybe even last through another child (another carseat)! I decided to consider the Venza. We went to the dealer that day and test drove a 4 cyl base model. I was impressed - a big boost in room and engine power plus luxurious styling but with a lower price than I'd assumed. I thought the price would be higher because of the looks!

    4 Cyl:

    The dealership I first test drove the car at got the first whack. At that point, we thought we'd trade-in our Civic Hybrid and they gave us a good price - pretty much KBB! However, the Venza they quoted at $69 over MSRP, plus throw in the special paint charge for the Blizzard Pearl color we liked for an overall savings of $150 off MSRP. We told them we'd think about it.

    We went to another dealership and decided we'd say nothing about our trade-in as we wondered if it was holding us back from getting a good price. We weren't 100% about trading it anyway. The salespeople that helped us there were awful. First they told us they could go lower if we'd buy tonight. I was not keen on that, but said maybe, depending on price. Then they didn't want to give us a price until they'd run our credit! When I declined, our salesguy handed us over to someone more forceful.

    This guy gave us a price that was $2,000 over the first one. When we asked him how that was price matching, he clarified that they wanted us to buy their Bronze floor model despite the fact that we'd said we wanted the Blizzard Pearl, Black or Red! Their Bronze floor model came with what they call the Z1 package. It's really just the Preferred Accessories Package (floor mats, cargo net, cargo mat, bumper guard and first aid kit). The MSRP is $432 and they were charging us $2,000 extra! I was really pissed. So he lowered the price again by $44 and expected me to jump for joy. We walked out.

    When we got home, we decided we'd had enough of going in person. I started emailing dealerships for price quotes. The prices that came in were shockingly lower than what we'd previously gotten and no pressure! Everyone quoted invoice and how much above it they were (avg $2000 over invoice, $750 off MSRP). I even accidentally asked for a quote from the first dealership and the quote that came back was $400 cheaper for the same exact car!

    V6:

    My husband had been pestering me about the V6. I balked because the V6 usually comes with extra packages that inflate MSRP whereas the 4 cyl comes pretty bare. I grew up with a car dealer for an Uncle and basically he said factory installed added inflated markup. I made a deal - if we could get within a couple hundred of base MSRP ($27,800 before TTL) on a FWD V6, we'd buy it. I never thought in a million years it would happen with all the added packages and markup.

    We first tried carsdirect as he'd heard about them. Meanwhile I was still getting emails/calls for the 4 cyl. I told them we had changed our preference to a FWD V6 and the guaranteed low price I had gotten from carsdirect. If they could compete, then we'd play ball. And play ball we did!

    I started getting email quotes $1100-1500 over invoice. This came as a surprise as they would not go below $2000 over invoice on the 4 cyl. One dealership in particular caught my eye. The salesguy also happened to be the fleet manager and when I told him about the change to a V6, he immediately offered us a Black V6 at only $300 over invoice. This car came with Convenience, Safety and Z1 packages and he would throw in his dealership's protection package (door and rim guards) which normally cost $358. Something to consider though the added package meant a higher price. Two other dealerships with Blizzard Pearl V6's also made our list.

    The best discount I had was $573 below invoice. However it was more car than I wanted to buy as it included JBL so the price was actually the highest. Another was about $650 over invoice, but it was the dealership where they gave us a good price on our trade and if we were going to trade, it would be the best overall. There was still carsdirect, cheaper at their guaranteed low price, but they still hadn't given me a firm offer.

    We debated. We still hadn't decided on the trade, but I was leaning towards keeping it. Thus the dealership who wanted the trade gave the worst deal, though still lower than the Venza with the JBL offer, but more than the carsdirect guaranteed low price The rep at carsdirect was aware of the pricing I had been getting and said he could do better, just give him more time.

    The dealership with the Black Venza had asked me to get in touch, so I called. They asked me what I had and I started to tell them that I'd gotten an offer for about $500 off invoice. As soon as I said that they immediately offered their Black Venza for $500 off invoice, dealer installed protection package still thrown in. They didn't even give me a chance to finish my sentence as the car I had been talking about included JBL and thus had a higher price tag! This brought their car to the cheapest - yet with more options.

    I immediately said it was a contender, but would need to think about it. Not 10 minutes after I hung up, carsdirect got back to me - he'd found the lowest price he said he could get, but guess what? With the new offer, the Black Venza was still lower priced with more options! Winner, Black Venza!

    Finale:

    We went to pick it up that very night. All in all I saved $3226 off MSRP of $30,382. My OTD price was also less than the MSRP of the car and the price before TTL was about $650 lower than base V6 MSRP. I did promise my husband that if we could get within a couple of hundred of that, we'd buy it - well we did even better and I aim to keep my promises :) We are now the proud owners of a Black V6 Venza. Not only do I have a new car that I love, I have the memory of a buying experience I won't soon forget. I am never, ever going to the dealership again except for a test drive. And then only that dealership gets the first crack at us. After that, it's internet quotes all the way!

    PS - They didn't care that we paid in cash. I think they actually even prefer financing - more money for them.
  • jkl99jkl99 Posts: 11
    Hi Vestirse,

    Thanks for sharing this LONG buying experience with us. I am living in the Bay Area and looking for the V6 Venza as well. Could you share me the dealer's name so it will save me the time to go through the same long buying process?

    Thanks.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 440
    WHOA!..this is some story and you are some woman...congrats to the lucky guy. This is, in my opinion, the best piece I have seen written anywhere. Besides informative,it was enteratining (you should try writting a novel).
    Your story showed me that in the car business anything is possible, specially if one approaches it in a despassionate manner like you did.
    My experience is that Carsdirect is not such a good deal since their above invoice prices (what I checked) are not difficult to get with minimum negotiations. Your advantage with dealing over internet for pricing was your flexibility on vehicle (4 or 6) and I guess in color also, so when one car is in stock it becomes easier to negotiate.I am in NJ and the Venzas are begining to flow now in numbers that allows for different choices.
    Congratulations again on a job well done..
  • vestirsevestirse Posts: 7
    Jkl99, email City Toyota in Daly City for an internet quote ;)

    And thanks for all the compliments, svofan2. Yes, being flexible is good. It probably would have been harder if I wanted one specific set of packages. My husband really wanted the Safety package (for the backup camera) and the Convenience package (for the smart key), but that was easy as most of the V6's out here in the Bay Area come with both of these packages anyway. No such thing as a base model, except at maybe 3 dealerships (I think Salinas has a Red V6 that's pretty base).
  • Just wondering, those of you who got the JBL stereo, did an amplifier come with this ? Is there a amplifier under the front seat ?
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 440
    vestirse....if I lived in your area in CA I would probably treat you and the husband to dinner so I could squeeze all the good stuff out of your expirience..incidentally did you know that vestirse in Spanish means to get dressed?...just a little language humor here...lol
  • vestirsevestirse Posts: 7
    Sì, señor (o señorita)! I am originally from Miami. When I was a little girl, I picked this as my screename randomly out of my Spanish language dictionary. Not sure it was such a good idea, but it works for me ;)
  • Just wondering, those of you who got the JBL stereo, did an amplifier come with this ? Is there a amplifier under the front seat ?

    There must be 1 of you guy's out there that got thr JBL. I just want to know if there is a amplifier in the venza.
  • md_outbackmd_outback Posts: 185
    Hey toyotaslast,
    I cannot say with 100% certainty, but it is very likely the JBL Synthesis system has an amp that is separate from the head unit. Other Toyotas with the upgraded JBL systems have a separate amp, often found under the seats or in the trunk areas. I looked all around my Venza and could not find the amp, so my guess is that it is mounted somewhere within the dash, possibly near the glove box (sorry, I did not feel like ripping the dash apart to confirm this). ;)

    This link leads to a more detailed description of the Venza's JBL Synthesis system:
    http://www.jbltoyota.com/toyota_venza/default.asp

    Hope this helps.

    MD
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 440
    Senor y cubano....y ud?....where you borned here?...I came when I was 15 now I am 65 could be grandfather...lol...I know host sorry for getting of the subject...it wont happened again...good luck to you and stay out ofr the Sun,,I am NJ...
  • vestirsevestirse Posts: 7
    No soy cubana, pero nací y me críe en Miami ;)

    I'm wondering a few things about my buying experience. I've come to some conclusions that perhaps are incorrect.

    1. I've heard that dealerships have quotas and if they haven't filled them yet, buying at the end of the month may save you a lot since they are trying to meet their quota. I bought at the end of the month...

    2. I've also heard that dealerships have a certain time in which to sell the car before the manufacturer keeps the holdback. It's usually about 3 months, according to a few sources I've read on the web. I've checked the manufacture date on the door jam on my Venza and it was indeed manufactured 3 months ago...

    Either of these true?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,186
    The dealer gets the same holdback on every unit (assuming they are identical).

    The dealer has to pay a bank to finance his inventory. Assuming he is paying 8% interest (not likely that high), then in three months, he would pay the equivalent of the 2% holdback on an individual unit.. But, Toyota doesn't take away any of the holdback.. the dealer still gets the full amount.

    It used to be that the manufacturers provided financing for all of the inventory at their dealerships... but, that just isn't the case today. The banking industry is very competitive (okay, maybe not in the last year), and dealers can choose to go wherever they get the best deal.

    So... the idea that an older unit doesn't have any holdback left, just doesn't wash... Each unit that sits on the lot is an expense... If the dealer has paid interest to keep the car on his lot for 9 months, that won't make him any less likely to cut you a deal to get rid of it.. It isn't like he can raise the price each month to recoup his expenses.

    Any unit that the dealer sells is one less unit that he has to finance the next month.... He gets paid an equal amount for holdback, on all identical units, no matter how long they have been on the lot..

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • vestirsevestirse Posts: 7
    Thank you for the very informative post!

    From my experience, he seemed very anxious to get it off his lot, but the dealership is huge with many many cars and maybe it was just eating up space. From the time I called him, he was really pushing that particular one and it made me wonder why. Suited me since I liked the black and he was willing to deal on the price but maybe it was just one of those times when the equation fit and equaled a purchase and I am trying to read too much into it :).
  • Anyone have any recommendations on any dealers in the Orlando, FL area...I'm willing to drive a little ways. The reason I ask, all the dealers here are really starting to piss me off. They won't go anymore than $1500 msrp (and this is with a lot of banter) on a 4 cycl 2wd venza. This is even with options I don't want and me being very lenient on my color choices...pretty much picking from what they have on lot. I am doing all my negotiations via e-mail also. Thanks.
  • jkl99jkl99 Posts: 11
    Thanks, vertirse. I have contacted City Toyota as well as some other Toyota dealers near where I live. I will let you know once I have bought my Venza.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    Good Luck. Do a search on Southeast Toyota here, known as SET. They make it very difficult compared to other regions. Being a new Florida resident myself I have resigned myself to either going out of State or not to buy a Toyota at all.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 440
    I feel sorry for those of you who live in the Southeast...Toyotas are not sold directly to dealers but to a distributor (middle man..) that adds items to the cars to increase their price (profits) and the dealers are very limited on what they can do when oit comes time to sell, since they also have to make money..the same happens in the Southwest. These are the only 2 areas in the country where Toyota has a "distributor" and for what I read this is a practice going back many years..about the time Toyota started selling cars in the USA..good luck
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Like the Southeast and Gulf State regions, Toyota uses a distributor in Hawaii (Servco). We rarely share in the same customer rebates or other incentive offers that are common elsewhere.

    Servco also owns most of the retail dealer network in Hawaii, so on the plus side, they are pretty good about limiting distributor add-ons. They make their money on the retail side.

    The downside is that they have pretty good control over pricing within the state. It's also much more difficult to buy out-of-state logistically, and Legislative changes to the way excise tax is applied to out-of-state new vehicle purchases sapped a lot of the potential savings.
  • katylin1katylin1 Posts: 18
    I'm glad there's someone else just as irritated as I am with the GulfState (Texas, Louisana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, ??) and SouthEast (Florida, Georgia, North & South Carolina, ?? forgot :P ) Toyota Distributors.

    Svofan2 has helped alot with the frustration level and providing me with some insight. If nothing else I'm alittle better prepared for the second round coming. If you really don't care about (or for some indifferent or with a fat wallet) it's relatively easy to get a really nice internet quote. Of course the price of the vehicle is very very bloated but hey for many people that's still a good deal to get something you don't want but at a discount.

    Anyway, enough with the griping, but if anyone who is dealing with a Toyota dealership NOTin the Distributors areas please post and let me know if they're more flexible. I'm going to try in a few more months.
  • katylin1katylin1 Posts: 18
    You are quite right in your info. One dealership finally found the options I wanted on the car, but had the leather package included. So I ask $$ he quoted $29.625 MSRP but when I said it was more than what I wanted to pay for he said he did his very best for me and wish me luck. I was so surprised I said thanks and goodbye. I mean he didn't even want to negotiate. Here I am with bank check and loan check all ready and he didn't even care. I mean like wow...must be nice for Toyota to afford to pick & choose their customer.

    I'm thinking about Fitzmall and also neighboring states like Kansas -- in a few more months. If you know of any reputable non-GulfState area...pass the great info on!
    :shades:
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    ...must be nice for Toyota to afford to pick & choose their customer.

    The difference is that Toyota has been able to sell on aspects other than price. They've also been able to really control (at least in the case of the Venza) the supply such that they aren't in a situation where they have to resort to massive discounts below invoice to keep the inventory moving.

    That's why any hint of quality slippage or even just the domestics getting that much better (the 2010 Buick Lacrosse is a good example) is a threat to Toyota and, specifically, the distributors that have relied on low-value, high-margin tack-ons. On the plus side, that should level the playing field a bit when it comes to pricing.

    Not trying to defend it, but the distributors and dealers definitely know exactly what they are doing and what they can do to maximize profit while satisfying customer demand.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    ......Not trying to defend it, but the distributors and dealers definitely know exactly what they are doing and what they can do to maximize profit while satisfying customer demand..................

    Not buying it. For those us of from from other regions, we know better and the word is finally getting out. Justify Toyo guard please, how satisfying is it to overpay for that?
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 440
    Your point is well taken, but you failed to addresses is that the "distributors" in those regions are inflating..and controlling the Toyota pricing thus forcing the dealers to charge or sell the vehicles sccordingly. I am in the Nort east (NJ) and here the dealers get their vehicles directly from Toyota thus allowing them to sell at what the market will bear or better yet according to their own business needs rather than having to sell based on the additional charges tacked on by the distributors.
    I always heard from friends of ours that cars in North were cheaper than in the South and I thought that that was just a perception..now I know why..
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Will reemphasize that I'm not trying to defend the practices of SET or GST. I'm just amazed that folks seem surprised that the distributor does things to -- gasp -- increase their profit.

    As long as there enough buyers in those regions who purchase on 1) impulse; 2) lack of information; and 3) a determination that the value of buying a Toyota exceeds the pain of paying for Toyoguard, SET and GST will continue to push high-margin add-ons because they know the vehicles will still sell.

    With all the education that's out there (Edmunds, these types of forums, etc.) and the relative ease of purchasing vehicles by email from a dealer hundreds of miles away, combined with a general improvement in other manufacturer's vehicles relative to Toyota, market forces will eventually drive down the selling power of SET and GST. That will lead to them to rethink their strategy.
  • ravelsbenravelsben Posts: 1
    Hello,

    To be honest, I've been holding off buying a Toyota because I've heard so much stories about horrifying salesmen at Colonial Toyota in Milford, CT and the non haggle pricing of some dealerships(they include lifetime tires, oil changes,etc). I really love the Venza, but getting the best price is so much hassle and the internet sales managers were not willing to negotiate. They quoted me $4450 above Edmunds price and when I told him, he said he doesn't know how I got that figure and Edmunds don't even sell cars. I wonder if Toyota Corp. knows that they are loosing some customers because of their dealerships.
    How much did you pay for yours?

    Edmunds TMV: $27,750 (Dealer $32200)
    Navigation System
    CQ Convenience Package
    SA Security Package
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    It certainly does sound like your defending their practices. I don't begrudge any business from making a profit, that's what business is all about. When a middle man is allowed by Toyota to gouge it's customers with mindless options then that's when I draw the line.
    I hope your right that the real word gets out to more Toyota customers about these extra add ons and they will decide to say no.
    I recall the days when dealers would tack on a sheet next to the sticker price with all kind of add ons like dealer prep for $200-500, twenty five cent stripes for $250, undercarrage rust proofing for $500 and on and on until customers finally said no. Actually some still try to get away with it and probably do. As Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    It certainly does sound like your defending their practices.

    Fine. I really don't care what it sounds like. I'm not going to debate that point any further.

    Let me ask you this: what do you think needs to be done to address what's happening? Do you think Toyota should step in and buy out their distributors? Do you think the government should step in to protect the consumers, like they did with the Monroney Act?
  • 313313 Posts: 7
    I am looking for Venza V6 AWD with LX, NV, PC, SR, TO in Blizzard Pearl/gray leather, the best quote I can get in bay area is $35100 ($500 over invoice, $3594 off MSRP) including carpet set, cargo net, and rear bumper protector, but since this combination is out of stock in whole bay area and need to wait for 1.5 months to get the car. Do you think is it a good deal?

    I can find the car in LA area, but don't know if it worth to fly to LA to get the car or not. Can anyone let me know your best deal in LA area? Then I can have the rough idea how to make offer to LA dealership. Usually, people can get around 1K cheaper from LA area than bay area, but don't know how Venza will be due to not a lot of inventory in CA currently. It's hard to negotiate with dealership now.

    Need your kindly advise. Thanks.
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