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Just what is a good deal?

mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
I would like to hear from all car buyers, and prospective car buyers. Just what do you really mean when you say "I just want a good deal?"

: )


  • I don't think majority of the car buyers out there know what it is if it runs them over and back up over them.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    your boss is mad, your wife is pissed because you brought home another mini, you had to buy the whole buying family lunch, gave your customer's kid your favorite Corvette (or insert favorite car) metal model just to shut him up, bought the 7 sodas and a cup of coffee and put the floor mats, coffee cups, ballcaps and t-shirts on YOUR account in parts, then most people would think it's a good deal.

    That's after you gave away the new car and gave them $1K over retail book for their trade.

    If it's a truck, considering it's a $100 over deal, you also gave them a receiver hitch, bedliner and a bug shield.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    is a good deal.

    Seriously though, to me if I can get a car for less than I actually paid for it then I didn't get the best deal I could.

    For example, if I buy a new Accord for $500 over invoice when they would have let it go for $100 over invoice, I don't see how that is a good deal. I know its only $400 but for that much I could get a cd-changer put into my Miata :)

    Figuring out how much the dealer will actually take for the car is the hard part.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...or perhaps it's because I've never bought a new car, but I'd be happy if:

    1. I found a car I like, equipped the way I like, and...
    2. the price was reasonable; that is, I'm not obsessed with putting the salesperson into a fit of rage or into the poor house. I don't feel like it has to be low enough to brag about, but it should in a range that I'm happy with the cost/value equation.
    3. I got reasonable financing, which given my current credit, would be quite a feat!
    4. In the end, I felt like the whole deal was pleasant; I didn't chisel or get chiseled, I liked the sales and F&I staff, got what I was promised in the time frame that was promised.
  • millspdmillspd Posts: 106
    I'll second what Ghulet said.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    the best deal is one where you got something you liked, and don't feel afterwards like you got ripped off.

    When I buy a car, I usually just go to one of the dealers that participate in the AAA program, which is supposed to be 5% over invoice, no negotiations needed...that usually works out to about 10% under sticker, and I am happy just to not have to dicker with someone who wants to run a sales pitch on me.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Intense negotiations. It's never personal with me. I try to be fair, and I educate myself thouroughly. Usually when I make it clear to the sales person I've done my research, we can get the deal pretty close to what I thought it would be. A couple hundred here or there doesn't bother me.

    The only thing I don't like during a deal is when I get lied to. Like when I was once opening negotiations with a sales person who tried to tell me that the 2K Adjusted Market Value sticker on a Mazda MPV was for Dealer prep. I would have continued to deal with him had he only told me that it was what his dealership felt the market would bear.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    Yeah, that's a fib. Dealers get paid for "dealer prep" by the manufacturer.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Which cars are you talking about? 5% over invoice comes out to 10% under sticker?
    : )
  • Too bad this topic is not getting the posts and discussion it should be getting.

    For me a "good deal" can't be separated from the buying experience. It's not the dollars. It's how I felt about the experience then and afterwards.

    Craig (Isellhondas) and I agree about one thing in particular. A car is worth what it's worth. I have no trouble valuing a vehicle in relation to my wants and needs, so I'm not fixated on invoice or MSRP. If I bargain hard, it's only because the vehicle is not worth anything near MSRP to me. If I bargain easy, it's because I think the manufacturer's price is reasonable or if anything represents a bargain. If we don't get to my number, we don't do the deal. Price per se is a neutral.

    So for me a good deal is one where something happened that "delighted" me. I won't say "exceeded my expectations" because like it or not that bar's not very high when it comes to car buying.

    A bad deal is one where an otherwise good transaction is spoiled by last minute ploys or disappointments. I admit that I'm one of those weak people who will not walk out over a last minute fast one as I've already mentally purchased the vehicle. But while I may go through with the purchase, I do have a long memory.

    Finally, a no-deal is one where the ploys or playing down to type takes place early in the experience.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    that is the way the program is SUPPOSED to work - 5% over invoice. I have never checked the invoice, but the price has always been about 10% under sticker. That was true for both Toyotas and Subarus I bought.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    unless you've been buying Landcruisers, I could see the markup being 15%. Every other Toyota has a mark-up on 8-10%
    : )
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    I think the best way to judge a good deal is after you've owned the vehicle for a good number of years. The questions one would ask: Did the vehicle serve me well? Were the maintenance costs reasonable after x number of years? Etc..etc.. This along with the buying experience would determine whether it was a good deal.
    : )
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    but I have never been much of a bargainer. I am talking about the factory window sticker from Toyota/Subaru, and have never bought a car with a mark-up sticker added by the dealer.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Of course living with the car is important. But now I think we're splitting hairs on the definition of deal. After the ink is dry, it's becomes did I get a good car after the deal.

    I may have totally misjudged the value of the car at the time I cut the deal. But that's MY misjudgement. I have bought new cars that at the time I considered bargains that have significantly underperformed (both Fords BTW). And then I've bought a new car where I felt I had paid "all the money," only to be pleasantly surprised at how much better than that it proved to be in the long run.

    I see and appreciate the point you're trying to make, but for me they're separable. Did I get a good deal, did I get a good car, and the relation between those two - did I get value for my money.

  • hingramhingram Posts: 24
    When I get what I want for my price. If it is a hot car that I really want, sticker is a good price because that is what I am willing to pay.

    And a good deal is the price we settle on, not the price plus some extras.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783

    Determine the absolute lowest price you would accept for a vehicle, and then add 2%. That would give a price that could be called a "good deal".
  • - 1 to 2 percent over invoice OTD (not counting title, tax, and tags), plus I get any rebates
    - no hassles to sell me mop-and-glow or life insurance or whatever
    - 1 hour or less spent in the dealership, which basically means the negotiations cut right to the bottom line.

    My last two cars have met this list, and as a result I never went to more than one dealership for each one.

    Trades haven't really been an issue recently, haven't had one for the last three cars I've bought, so I don't know how that factors in to a good deal.
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    so like me, you would have bought the Sienna over the Oddessey.

    I don't really look at price vs invoice as the definition of a good deal. That is a factor, but some cars are priced correctly, others have an artifically high MSRP.
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