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Any Questions for a Car Dealer?



  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    Local dealer (in St. Louis) has two new S2000's in inventory, same color, equipment, etc. One is a 2004 and one is an '05. According to Edmund's, there are no changes between the model years. So the question is, do you think there is incentive money to move the '04?

    Thanks for your help!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 5,284
    Do you work in the Seattle area? My dear old Mom who lives in Seattle is thinking of finally ditching her old Buick to get a Toyota or Honda. She'd like a Prius, but as you know demand for those is beyond crazy right now, and I've advised against it because of the price. Is demand the same for the Civic hybrid? I've mentioned to her that for the price of a hybrid she could probably get a Camry or Accord, and that it would take quite a while (maybe the life of the car) to earn back the premium you pay for the car in fuel savings. She realizes that, and is halfway convinced, but is still a save the planet type.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • Scott:

    Are you the same Scott Canty that used to play Williams Trivia?

    Ignore this message if it's not you.

    Just curious,
  • dbauerdbauer Posts: 416
    the dealership is in clarksville. they just built a huge used car store, and they have a mazda franchise over here as well. i am at the used car store. i hope its ok to mention it...i will post the dealership name in the next post so if they delete it, you can still read this
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    No incentive money on such a low production car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    My e-mail is in my profile.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    I'm not that Scott. Apparently, there are a few of us out there. One is an art curator out in CA, another is an attorney for the Hopi tribe. It's a fairly uncommon name, so it's always interesting to hear about another one.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    I thought there might be some help to move a leftover '04 now that we are 2/3 of the way through the '05 model year. I guess it's part of the counter intuitiveness of the car business where it's better to one that just rolled off the transport truck than one that has been sitting for six months.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    If you get the Bobst Special Edition, you get 5 keys - 4 regular keys plus one valet key.

    If you get the Bobst Super AMG Tuner Edition, you get 2 regular keys and 3 valet keys.

    Other than that, you can get as many keys as you want. You want 10? No problem. When you make your offer, just tell the salesman that you want a certain number of keys and, if your offer is accepted, he will give them to you.
  • bobd5bobd5 Posts: 3
    What does 'LAM Dealer Contribution' and 'LAM Group contribution' stand for and will dealers knock off the price for them. They were both added to the invoice cost at the end for a total additional cost of $675.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    If you do a Yahoo or Google search on those, you'll find that they are just extra profit items.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 6,044
    Well, there goes the neighborhood. ;) Welcome to the greater Kentuckiana area dbauer. I live just across the river in Louisville. I bought my Mazda MPV from the Craig & Landreth Mazda in Clarksville. Now I know where I can get a good used vehicle at...what, $50 over invoice?
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I'll no longer be a part of the Edmunds "family" - I wish everyone the best, as I've made several good friends here - those good friends have contact info for me. I've enjoyed what Edmunds has done for me through very trying personal times, including my son's cancer diagnosis, the loss of both my parents, and my sister's recent death. That, and putting up with 42 lawyers on a daily basis.

    Good luck, friends, and Godspeed.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Good luck.....I wish you nothing but the best......You'll be missed.
  • brood1213brood1213 Posts: 27
    LAM stands for Local Marketing Group. These fees are advertising fees that vary from certain areas. If you live in the Buffalo region for example all the dealers are CHARGED these fees in that region on each car. This money goes to advertising that you see on newspapers, TV ads etc. When you see a full page ad in your Sunday paper from GM that is what the money goes to. This is not a profit item because the dealership never sees this money it goes directly to the local marketing fund to pay for these advertisements. Every Car Maker has a different way of putting this charge on invoices. I know Hyundai is a flat $500 per car. GM is usually a certain percentage on the MSRP.
  • Take care

    Now we're never going learn what drift racing is!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,822
    A real good way to wear out your rear tires.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531

    Best wishes. I'll miss your comments.

    Condolences on your family illness.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 25,403
    Did I miss something about driftracer's leaving Edmunds? Is there a reason?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • brood1213 was right about Local Area Marketing Group Advertising money. That is money billed by the manufacturer that goes into a pool to advertise in certain markets. I am outside of Chicago where we are charged 2% of MSRP before destination. On a $50000 Suburban that is $1000 in advertising fees. The frustrating thing about advertising fees are that they vary per market so when you look up invoice cost on the internet, they never include any advertising costs. You have to read the small fine print to read that disclamer. People do their research online and come in with an invoice cost that is wrong and I have to raise them the advertising before I get into our profit. Not easy, but everytime you watch a football game that is sponsored by Chevrolet, you know where the money comes from.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    My take on LAM costs is it just an attempt to make more money. Why nit pick and break out individual cost items? Advertising costs have been around for decades. When did this start and is this done all over the US?
  • Advertising is not money for the dealership, it is for the manufacturer. That is why it is billed on the invoice. All products charge advertising but the car business is one of the few where the customers have access to the invoice information. When you buy a 12 pk or Coke there is advertising built into that cost, you just don't ask the store to see their invoice on it. Advertising is based on where you live. Advertising costs in Chicago are higher than say Topeka Kansas. This is the reason that web sites never include that in their invoice cost. Once again. THIS IS NOT DEALER PROFIT.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882

    No reason to scream. Who paid for the advertising before LAM costs started showing up? Probably the manufacturer or the dealer. Now that cost is broken out. Why not do it the way it was before? Every dealer has an invoice cost that is paid to the manufacturer, then there overhead costs.

    Maybe we'll soon see payroll costs, their electic bill, property taxes, etc. etc. broken out.

    No reason to break advertising costs out other than to confuse the customer. That's my point.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 180,035
    It gets broken out because buyers insist on "$XXX over invoice" or "$XXX over cost"... If that is the way you negotiate, expect everything plus the kitchen sink thrown into your quote.. Because... you asked for it...

    Knowing those numbers is great... using them in your negotiations is pointless.. The dealer knows what he will sell the car for... telling him his invoice price or costs will only serve to confuse the situation.. Figure out the dollar number you want to buy the car for and use that.. forget "invoice up" or "cost up" negotiations..

    Then, if they try to add crap onto your offer, you can say.. "I made my offer.. it is $XX,XXX, and that is it."


    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Good post kyfdx, I agree 110%. Negotiating $X plus invoice is pointless and not how I do it. Simply do the research on what the going price is in your area and offer that, not including state ttl fees.

    I tried the final out-the-door price approach and ran in to a dealer that "forgot" to include sales tax, which he asked for a few days later. It got ugly.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Exactly. Whenever I see an "I paid $XXX over invoice" post on the Prices Paid forums, I ignore it because it doesn't tell me anything about what they really paid.
  • I've been selling cars for 9 years and this business has changed so much from when I started. I wish people would come in and make a price offer but the first words out their mouth is "Will you sell me this for invoice". Right away you are sucked in to the invoice trap, even when you try to build value and quality, most people are invoice, invoice, invoice. This is what people are taught to do through many web sites.

    As for what people really pay for a vehicle is subjective. Most vehicles with different option packages and options can have as much as a $10,000 cost difference. It is hard to compare the same options on vehicles because so few are equipped identically. Even with manufacturer price increases during the year and rebates changing so often, a car built in March will cost more than the identical car built in September.

    People need to realize that 95% of the people on the New Car side of the Car business are honest hard working people. There are very few are shysters left. Like I said the business has changed so much. One of the problems I think is the way new cars depreciate, often quicker than people pay down their loans, it gives people the impressions they were taken advantage of when they try to buy another car 2 years later when they took a 6 year loan and they put no money down and they are 10k upside down. Just my opinion.

    The only way to succeed in sales is to build repeat and referral business. If you bury someone in a car, you will never see them again or any of their friends. Just not a smart way to do business and most serious car salesmen know this.
  • par69par69 Posts: 3
    I drove a 2004 A8L yesterdaywith 80 miles on the vehicle(never titled). The car has been at the dealership unsold for 13 months. The MSRP was $74670. The invoice is $69756. They offered the car at $66756. I think this is too high considering that in 3 months the 2006 model will be out. I'd be interested in your opinion. Thank you.
  • I sell Chevrolets not Audi's but certain things remain the same. The dealer is selling this car to you at tripple net meaning they are giving you everything, buydown money from the manufacturer and holdback. They are not looking to turn a profit on this one. My question is what would a 2006 cost? List? Did they change anything from 04-06? Since it was never titled, you still get the full factory warranty. Audi sold the car to them for X amount of dollars. If they sell it for less, they are losing money.They may lower their price a little more but probably not much. They have had it this long, they may opt to keep it a little longer instead of taking a huge loss. If you want a 2006 for 8k more buy it, the 04 is their problem not yours.
  • dbauerdbauer Posts: 416
    a good reply that i teach to my salespeople is to reply this way:

    "its a possibility. lets pick out the car you want, and i'll show you the invoice. that way, you can determine how much of a profit i've earned"

    this answers the question in an affirmative, and also lets them know subtlely that you expect some profit. if you still have to sell it for invoice, so be it, but you have at least made an effort to instill some value in the transaction.

    i can think of more effective ways to hold gross, but they can be pretty
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Typhoon, if you "wish people would come in and make a price offer", you would love to have my wife and I as customers.

    When we bought our last car, I had the model of car, the options we wanted, and the OTD price written on paper. When I first met our salesman, I said, "Hi. Here is our offer. Do you accept?"

    I'm glad to hear there are sales people who like the way we do business.
  • Customers tend to be very paranoid about purchasing a car. They bring alot of their anguish upon themselves. Do your research. Go to the dealership. See if you like the atmosphere of the store and do you like your salesperson. Most people reach that decision in the first couple of minutes. If you feel uncomfortable leave and go somewhere else. Dealerships trade inventory all the time. No need to be hostile to your salespeople, we are just people trying to make a decent living and raise our families just like you. Doing this will make the process quicker, easier, and more enjoyable. :)
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    " the OTD price written on paper. When I first met our salesman, I said, "Hi. Here is our offer. Do you accept?"

    Long story

    I also did exactly that with an '01 Accord, got my price, and traded in a vehicle I was leasing. Because it was a leased trade-in and I got more for the trade-in than the remaining residual, I actually purchased it from the leasing company and I should have been charged sales tax.

    I even questioned that fact and the dealer said no.

    I get a phone call a couple days later and they said you owe us $1100 in sales tax. I told them, no I don't, we agreed on an OTD price. He said "read your purchase contract". Which I did and legally he had me. The contract fine print says "no other oral agreements have been made" AND "dealer has the right to come back and ask for ttl fees if they were incorrectly estimated."

    I had to go in and sit down with the salesman, F&I guy, and some other manager and luckily the salesman was an older fella who was on my side. So they ate the $1100.

    The moral of the story is "whatever is agreed upon verbally, make sure it's in the contract"
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    You still don't think that you owed the money?
  • erlingmmerlingmm Posts: 1
    I will stay in the US (CA) for 1 year from the coming summer with my family. I am prepared to pay cash around 30.000 on a fairly new used car, may be a SUV (not too large).
    Since I am both buying and selling witihin 1 year, the loss of value is more important than the price itself. I have some very basic questions that I would appreciate if someone could advise me on:
    - Do you pay tax on used cars (in California)?
    - If a car lists for 30.000, what do you actually pay?
    - What could I expect to get back after 1 year?
    - Can you lease for less than 1 year?
    - You you do a deal with a car dealer on taking it back at a pre-determined price after 1 year (provided you treat it well, of course)
    - How much should I be prepared to pay in insurance?
    - What are the most common ways to cheat inexperienced people like me?
    - Other advise/things to watch out for?

    - ErlingMM
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ........ It depends on what you like ..

    And your not going to know what you like until you drive em' ... some folks like an Explorer, some prefer a Pilot, some will live or die for a 4-runner and some would rather have a Jeep - it's personal taste, period ..... you need to get out and drive the different sedans and the SUV's and get a handle on em' .....

    Taxes.? everyone has to pay taxes, so thats a given .. insurance.? you gotta have it .... what's a good deal.? drop the info over at "Real-World Trade-In Values" and I can tell ya ... don't get too carried away over there, cuz' we get a little busy .......................... ;)

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 25,403
    He negotiated an "out-the-door" price. That included taxes in most people's thinking. He missed the contract exclusion.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Heck no. Why would I? I did my homework and knew what the going price was, added state ttl fees on top and that was my OTD price. They agreed to it. And like I said originally, I even questioned them about paying sales tax.

    Granted I should have asked for a rider that said something like "negotiated OTD price was $X" and maybe strike the clause about "dealer can come back for add'l fees if estimated ttl was wrong"

    Needless to say, people do make mistakes, so I never negotiate like that any more. Just final dealer price plus state ttl fees.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Isell, of course Mike didn't owe them the $1100.

    He offered an OTD price. They accepted. He gave them a check. That's all there is to it.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Well, you have a lot of questions.

    Do you have a good idea what kind of car you want to buy?

    If so, go to the DG where people discuss that type of car and ask people if they know a good dealer in CA that you can work with. If you find a decent person to work with, you might be treated fairly. You may not get the absolute rock-bottom price, but you might not do too bad.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    I was raised to believe that a man's word means something.

    If I offer an OTD price for a car and the dealer accepts my offer, then I figure we have made a deal. After I give them my check and they give me the car, I figure things are done.

    For the dealer to come back later and whine that they need an extra $1100 is pretty poor.
  • buck0086buck0086 Posts: 52
    I've seen a lot of prices listed on this discussion board with TTL and I know those are set by the state, but I'd like to find out specifically what document fees would be considered average or acceptable. I'd also like to know what exactly a document fee is. I have a pretty good idea of what price price I am looking for regarding the vehicle + destination charge, but I'm still struggling with the document fee. Thanks.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,105
    I was thinking that a lease might be best for this situation - it would sure cost less than $30K, and the cost of owning the vehicle would be pre-determined... unlike with a purchase. If you purchase a $30K car today, there's no exact way to determine what it will be worth when you sell it later. If you lease a $30K vehicle, there are no surprises.


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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    I was brought up the same way and I agree with you.

    I went back and re-read the post and I'm in full agreement that (stupid) dealer should be responsible for the 1100.00 mistake they made.

    BTW, I have met many a customer whose word and handshake proved to be worthless.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,105
    BTW, I have met many a customer whose word and handshake proved to be worthless.

    Of course, and that's shoddy as well. But you can't control the behavior of another person. You can only control your own and hope that others learn by example.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    One thing I learned long ago and this has been proven to me over and over again.

    The people I deal with who are the most distrustful and leary of everything are usually the ones that can't be trusted themselves.

    Easy to get cynical, especially in this business.
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    ErlingMM--you might also want to consider looking at one of the websites that allows you to swap a lease. Look for one in CA that's ending around the time of your scheduled departure. Then, you could assume the lease on or before your arrival and walk away at the end.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 180,035
    Good advice... probably the cheapest way to drive a luxury car for only one year..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    He's only going to be here for a year. I would forget a hard to sell, fast depreciating SUV or luxury car. I think I would look for a less expensive car that holds it value well. Maybe an Accord or a Camry...something like that.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    Isellhondas, can a person lease a new car for just a year? If so, have you ever sold one like that?

    In a hypothetical situation, generally, what would an Accord EX 4 cylinder cost to lease for a year? These list for about $24K right?

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
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