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2013 and Earlier - Toyota Sienna Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    It really sounds to me like the dealers are blowing smoke. I don't know whether Toyota charges the dealers on a per car basis, or whether this is just an estimate.

    Also, I thought "Holdback" was a credit to the dealers, not an extra charge. So I don't know what they're talking about.

    I suspect they're inflating the invoice to make you feel good about the deal you're getting.

    This is substantiated by one initial quote we've gotten that is very close (within $200) of our target price of 3% over invoice, less 2% holdback, plus destination charge, which comes to a profit of $700, which is not bad for filing paperwork.

    The best solution is to forget about costs and prices and just make it competitive. Develop your target price and keep on playing one dealer against another until they bottom out. When they do, you have your best price, and it's independent of what the car cost.

    We have just begun this process for ourselves. We are emailing dealers within about a hundred mile radius (we're in San Jose), have received about five replies so far, and are beginning the process of negotiating from there.

    Just ignore all the talk of their invoice and the MSRP, and open it up to bidding. Our approach will be to tell each bidder about all the bids that are better than theirs, but not the bids that are worse.
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    Does anyone know if the CA invoice prices are different from the other states?

    CA has different smog requirements, so I'm wondering whether perhaps the invoice prices are different. The Toyota dealers I've talked to so far are telling me the invoice prices are higher than my estimate, but I haven't drilled into what they're claiming is on the invoice.

    The Toyota web site shows the same MSRPs as the ones published by Edmund's, but I don't know if that tells me anything.

    Any help along these lines, thanks.
  • eckn994eckn994 Posts: 3
    Don't fall for that. If you did he knows that you are an uneducated buyer. He'll make you think that you're ahead by saying you're only paying $100 over invoice. But, in reality, you're paying way over $1,000 invoice. All those items you mentioned above are all bogus items. This so called 'Internet Sales Manager' is nothing but a spineless worm. This guy has no morales.

    Only pay for the following:

    1) Dealer invoice + negotiated profit to dealer (approx. up to 3%),
    2) Destination charge ($480),
    3) Tax + title and registration, and
    4) Nothing else

    Never pay for all the other non-sense stuff. If you don't feel that you're ready to negotiate, I suggest for you to read-up on 'How to buy a new car' from the library. I know because I did. Because of all the books I've read, I only paid $535 over invoice for my Sienna XLE with no Advertisement fees and all those fees you mentioned. Good luck
  • linda963linda963 Posts: 7
    Do you have the number for that dealer in N.O. or the internet address? And if you don't mind sharing, what great deal were you able to get and on what model? I am interested in the LE with UN. Thanks for any feedback.
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    Did you pay $535 over net invoice (less the 2% dealer holdback), or $535 over gross invoice (without the holdback)?

    I ask this because, as I mention in another post, I've gotten an opening quote that's 4% over net invoice. Seems pretty good to me, but then again, $535 for transferring a car from the delivery truck to you is also pretty easy money.
  • m3838m3838 Posts: 3
    I got my papers in front of me and clearly saw my mistake. The numbers were from different estimate.
    Here are my real numbers:
    Berkeley Toyota offered $23000 for CE with EV, Towing and bumper cover.
    If to break it down:
    base invoice 20602
    EPV 847
    Tow 128
    bumber cover 40 all together 21617
    included are:
    delivery 460
    TDA 247(?) all together 22324
    So I paid 3% over their "invoice" price.
    My mistake was paying those 3% profit AND 8.5% CA tax on destination charge and their TDA, which account to $1167, otherwords I overpaid about $130-135.
    All and all I paid $676 plus $130 -- $800 profit,
    you are right. Considering dealer has 2% hold back
    - they made awsome profit.
    Still, I don't consider myself robbed, because 3%, and even 3.5% above the invoice is pretty good price, and it's almost $2000 less than carOrder's.
    Besides, I was able to change car AFTER the deal was sealed!
    Hint. When you get your new car, don't rush to call your insurance. Wait for a day. If anything wrong will accure - you have the chance of going back to dealer and swapping cars, otherwise your car will be considered used.
  • zoltyzolty Posts: 1
    Does anyone recommend getting the extended warranty?
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    Extended warranties are a huge profit center for the dealership.

    It's not a warranty, it's an insurance policy, and a pretty expensive one at that, and one which is difficult to collect from.

    You're better off taking the money and investing it for the three years till your factory warranty runs out.
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    Stings, don't it, to know the dealer makes that much money?

    We're going to buy a car and basically drive it off the delivery truck. For shuffling paperwork and handling our check the dealership will probably make anywhere from $1000 to $1500, counting holdback and everything else.

    Sure seems like easy money to me. But something's got to pay for all those spiffy showrooms and sales managers that sit on their rears.
  • eckn994eckn994 Posts: 3
    I paid exactly 1.98% over invoice. I did not bother to negotiate with the 2% holdback they get from the manufacturer. I know Toyota and Honda consider their 2% holdbacks non-negotiatble. Other dealers that sells american made cars deal with their 2 or 3% holdbacks. I supposed I just got lucky getting that deal. It was a rough negotiating for five weeks but I managed to get what I wanted.
  • mslynnmslynn Posts: 2
    The website is and they normally offer 2% above invoice plus TT&L - that's it! I believe the guys name that I spoke to was Ben - he was very nice about it! One thing that I learned when I bought my last car: I figured exactly what I wanted, and the price I wanted to pay. I called the dealership that I wanted to buy from. I told them that if they would accept my offer with no other fees attached, I would be over to pick up the car. They guy checked with his SM and called me back within 15 minutes. It was a great way to buy a car. They held up their end of the bargain too! Good luck Linda - please let me know what happens!
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    The dealer holdback is funny. I think the dealers have it in their minds that the holdback corresponds to a direct cost (the cost of capital), and so is not part of the cost. But the fact of the matter remains that the amount they pay on the invoice is 2% less than the gross invoice amount, and how fast they turn over the inventory is up to them.

    In fact, we are offering to place a factory order. In this case, they would get our money thirty days ahead of when they finally pay the invoice, assuming they pay their bills in thirty days, so they're earning interest on our money for thirty days, on top of the 2% they're already getting from Toyota.

    The dealer cost is, in the final analysis, irrelevant. What counts is that you get the lowest price in a competitive situation, and it sure sounds like that's what you did. So you know you got the best deal you could, and the cost doesn't matter.

    For this forum's information, we are looking for a 2000 Sienna with UN UP TO EF. We have collected about ten initial bids and are proceeding from there. We will keep posting to this forum with our progress. Wish us luck!
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    Excellent price! Congratulations!

    Was there a tradein involved that made them more willing to do this deal?
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    In San Francisco Bay Area, we seem to be reaching bottom at 24,500 cash (excl $45 doc and TTL) for this vehicle. Maybe that's the price of living in sunny CA :-(
  • tzstzs Posts: 17
    We've poured over these for weeks, so went really prepared. There was no trade, just two people who got a lot of help from all of you out there. Our gut instinct after numerous stops and e-mails was to deal with only two dealers at the end. We were ASTOUNDED at how wonderful the process was at Don Jacobs Toyota in Milwaukee, can't recommend them highly enuf. Good luck and good shopping to everyone else.
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    You didn't finance through the dealer, did you?

    Looks like we've hit bottom at 24,500. Even the Costco (Sam's Club to you?) price is 24,700. Only some of the dealers will get to that price, and nobody will beat it. Heck, one of the dealers stopped at 25,000. Let's see if any of the dealers has a change of heart overnight.
  • tzstzs Posts: 17
    No, we financed through our credit union. What area are you dealing in? After reading all these postings (again) we find that the midwest seems to have the best prices. We actually had several dealers near this price. We went with the dealer/salesperson we felt most comfortable with. No pressure, knowledgeable, friendly, one of the few lots where a salesman didn't come running out when we looked at the van. We did follow advice from other postings, told them immediately that we've used Edmunds, actually knew more than some sales people, (see GAMES DEALERS PLAY here in Edmunds), spent about two weeks preparing, calling and saying, we'll get back to you. When we went to the dealers yesterday, we knew EXACTLY what we were willing to pay and what we wanted. Told everybody up front "we know you need a profit, but we'll go with whomever meets our price and treats us well." Two dealers, actually asked almost $1,000.00 more than what we paid. We didn't waste their time or ours.
  • tzstzs Posts: 17
    We are trying to decide on extended service contract (extending to 6yr/75,000). We are planning on keeping vehicle, last new car purchase was in 1993. Realize that this is insurance and would probably do better investing the money and Toyota's reliability is pretty good, but right now in this region, the "Toyota Tent sale" is on and they are offering 'Platinum plan' (No deductible-covers most everything) for $590. The normal price is $890. Interested in hearing from others on extended service contracts. P.S. we are Chrysler owners (enough said).. OH yeah, still don't know what TOYO guard is??? from previous postings/ sounds like T.urn O.ver Y.en O.nce !!!
  • lakebreezelakebreeze Posts: 2
    A brief history of Toyota cars I've or a family member has owned.
    1985 Corolla 108,000 mi. 1 oil sensor replaced. Car totaled after another car ran a red light in 1993. (Body was in excellent condition- no rust- despite Wisconsin winters and parking outside.)

    1994 Camry 88,000 mi. Still running, no rust. 1 wheel alignment early on to correct bad tire wear.

    1985 Cressida 140,000 The power sun roof
    failed at approx. 40,000. Got rid of car when it became a 3rd car in a two car family and the right rear wheel needed replacing.

    1995 Avalon 40,000 My dad's car. No problems, rides like a dream.

    2000 Sienna 1,076 mi. Yeah, it's early, but what do think I can expect?

    The only maintenance done is brakes, belts, oil, and in the case of the Corolla and Cressida, mufflers too.

    All cars are in Wisconsin winters. Never bought an extended warranty. Keep your money. :)
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    That price you got is amazing -- to me at least. We've been bidding dealers against one another and have really hit a wall at 24,500. One of the out-of-town dealers grudgingly went down to 24,650 but then refused to go further. We have had several dealers match the price but none go further.

    We are in the San Francisco bay area. I suspect it's part of the price of living here as I got an immediate quote significantly more favorable from a Los Angeles dealer. I'm almost tempted to fly down to LA to pick up the car there.

    Regarding the extended warranty: No way would I purchase one ever again. I have once had one, and my wife has too, and they're not very useful, particularly for a car as reliable as the Toyota.

    Don't think of it as an extended warranty, think of it as an insurance policy. Do you really need to insure yourself against mechanical trouble in your new Toyota? Save the money, buy Toyota stock instead, and use it to pay for the repairs yourself should the vehicle ever break down.
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