Does Autobytel really work to buy a Pick Up?

manuelbmanuelb Member Posts: 4
I am in the market to buy a Dodge Dakota Reg 6sb
with a V6. I am working with autobytel to try and
get the best truck deal and financing deal. I have
done so muchhh research on the web that my eyes are
spinning (Intellichoice, Edmunds, AutoSite,
CarPoint, AutoConnect). I have gotten preapproved
by Autobytel's CarNation and I am doing my best to
get affordable insurance.

My question and plea is to anyone out there in the
townhall who has used Autobytel to purchase their
vehicle and or gotten financing using Car Nation.

1. Did you get a good deal using the AutobyTel
2. Did you feel like the Dealers really honored
the Autobytel promises of a 2-300: 00 dollar over
invoice price?
3. Did the financing really work out for you?
4. Are there some great deals to purchase that
truck that were made with AutobyTel?
5. are there some horror stories about being
treated with the same old disrespect by some
disrespectful car salespeople?
6. Can you give me some advice on how to
sucessfully use AutobyTel to make the truck

I am trying my best to inform myself with the help
of all you here in this wonderful truck driving
community of Edmund's Townhall.

Please help me to make the best decision and in
doing so help many other novices such as myself on
matter of using Autobytel to buy the truck of my

Thanks in advance!



  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    My experience with AutoBuyTel was not pleasant. I started last January trying to order a '99 F-250 SD. I tried AutoBuyTel twice. The second attempt was to get a different dealer. The first started pitching $1500 over invoice with a song and dance about how scarce these vehicles were. The second dealer quoted $1600 over invoice and was outraged that I had the audacity to have another dealer's quote.

    I walked into another dealership and stumbled across the salesman who had sold me my '92. On a hand shake he ordered and quoted $1200 over. When I picked up the truck it was about $1050 over and had a Line-X installed (at my request) for $325. We sat down at the Ford computer terminal and priced it out. I got a print out of the dealer invoice should be at the time of order and the prices were EXACTLY the same as Edmunds quoted.

    Good luck,
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    There is another thing that you could try. Edmunds publishes the vehicle price guides. In the back of these guides there are usually instructions for a buying service. It might cost $10-25 to start the process but you're supposed to be able to order a new vehicle at VERY reasonable prices. Unfortunately, by the time these books are available at Crown or B & N about half of the model year is gone. So you only have a month to 6 weeks to get your order placed. About 20 years ago I knew someone who used this service and was very pleased. It may be worth considering. (You can't go too far wrong for $25.)

    Let us know how things work out.
  • manuelbmanuelb Member Posts: 4
    Dear Rich,Thank you for your advice. I will be aware of your experience. Anyone else out there who wouldn't mind sharing your experiences?
  • cobra98cobra98 Member Posts: 76
    Sorry, but I haven't bought a new truck by auto-by-tel, but I did recently buy a new car. I originally tried to go with them for a '98 Mustang GT, and they wanted a minumum of 5% over invoice. I told them "thanks, but no thanks", and then went into the dealership and got a Cobra for 3% over invoice.

    Just my $.02.
  • dennis4dennis4 Member Posts: 47
    Got my financing through Peoplefirst Finance. QUICK,easy, no hassle and great rates. Only catch is they require very good credit. Check out their site.... As for autobytel, well I tried them and other online referal services and was disappointed in the "give a care" attitude that the dealers had. Tried to check on Ford,Dodge,Chevy trucks but the only dealer to respond (through ABT)was a Dodge dealer,who called a few weeks AFTER I ordered my 99 F250. IMHO,you should use Edmunds and Carprices and work your own deal. Good Luck
  • GischpelGischpel Member Posts: 133
    Hopefully you've checked the FWI (Finance, Warrant and Insurace) area for more on Auto-by-tel, but I too have had similar experiences as the others. "Sure we have the vehicle you want". Yes, we are an authorized Auto-by-tel representative dealership". And then when I pushed further for a firm price quote "What do you think about $1000 over invoice?". I thought it was too high and said good-bye.

    Your best bet is to do you homework (as you mentioned) and shop around yourself to get your best deal. No one else has you best interests at heart like you do.

    Good luck,

  • longhairlonghair Member Posts: 72
    I tried autobytel, but all I kept getting back was the same local dealer that I didn't want to deal with anymore. Each time I got a different salesman, and they all agreed to very reasonable [invoice + $x prices], so maybe it wouldn't be such a bad deal elsewhere.
    (I had an order with this same dealer - dealing straight with truck fleet manager, for 6 months and want to go elsewhere. That's the reason I went to the net in the first place.)
  • miner991miner991 Member Posts: 11
    Don't know if you figured out what you are doing yet, but for a dodge I would go to this site:

    It is a dodge dealer who will sell any car or truck for $99 over dealer invoice. I'm looking at a dakota also and will be buying through him.

  • DirltonDirlton Member Posts: 30
    Unless you live in Egypt or are buying something hard to find/ exotic, you can ALWAYS find a dealer to write a $100.00 over deal on a factory order. They don't fawn all over you (since you are not spending thousands too much) but they will do it. Make it clear that they two options: sell a vehicle for "mini" profit or don't sell a vehicle. Writing the order takes little time and the vehicle is a "sold unit" i.e. it doesn't figure in to their floor plan. They still get their holdback, finance incentives, and whatever else they can cajole you out of. They are aware of the internet and some even participate in it. It's essentially extra (albeit low margin) business that they will take in addition to the mindless twits who still think the sticker is the price. They are out there and not that hard to find. Go get one!
  • tungletungle Member Posts: 56
    Originally I was considering to buy a Dodge
    Dakota, and Autobytel sent my request to a local
    dealer who clearly stated that he wanted $200.00
    over invoice for the Dakota and $300.00 over
    invoice for a Ram 1500. I did not go further on
    the purchase because I changed my mind to order
    a GMC '99 Sierra thru option 1.
    By the way, I'm living in Mass and it seems that
    the dealer associated with Autobytel treats their
    customer pretty nice.

  • whiteyemwhiteyem Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 99 tacoma with the help of autobytel. I saved big!!!
    I was contacted by the dealer's fleet manager. I returned his call after researching at edmonds. Over the phone, I was offered $500 over invoice.
    After going in and talking to him, I received an offer for $100 over invoice. I mentoined the Toyota $150 voucher that I received ( which is good for another $150 off the price). The fleet manager dropped the price down to $50 BELOW invoice, but told me the voucher was only good on the retail side and I could keep it for extras in the parts department.
    Keeping in mind that this voucher cost me $50 to purchase, I just drove off with a loaded 99 Tacoma extra-cab 4x4 for $150 BELOW invoice!!!
    BOTTOM LINE: You can get a GREAT deal If you use common sense( either talk to the Fleet Manager or use Autobytel to get in contact with him) and do your homework at Edmonds.
  • sluggo1sluggo1 Member Posts: 1
    Glad you guys had good luck. It was my understanding that they would contact you within 24 hours. 5 days later, I got a call, but I had already purchased a truck. Apparently they didn't believe I was really going to buy when I said I was.
  • jxyoungjxyoung Member Posts: 156
    Yes I tried autobytel and it was a waste of time. The dealer called back timely but wanted $1500 over invoice on the new 99 Silverado. Went to my local dealer and got $445 over ACTUAL INVOICE.
    Saw the dealer cost and it was to the penny with the internet info!

    Will never waste my time on autobytel again.
  • moe7moe7 Member Posts: 24
    It seems to me so far that when you are contacted by the dealer through autobytel the initial feeling is good.Even after going down to the dealership and ordering a truck at 250.00 over invoice and walking out my wife and i felt good about this deal, BUT we have now been waiting for a little over three months and called to see how everything was going,we started talking about the cost and how he would not be able to gaurantee the original number.My wife and i both told the salesman that we have heard of the price mysteriously going up when the vehicle arrives and told him that we did not want to see this happen.Well by all indications it is happening and im affraid that what i have learnt long ago was still true SALES "SUB" MEN still lie!!

    That would be the same thing as me telling my boss one thing and doing another just to get more money in my check at the end of the week i would be a crook!!! It seems that in some cases this autobytel thing is just a more subtle way of doing the same dirty dealings,you wait and grow impatiant and then finally when the vehicle comes in they try to shaft you. Maybe someday everyone world wide will stop buying vehicles for about three years, that would put them all on the street looking for a differant line of work,hopefully never to shaft anyone again.

  • stanfordstanford Member Posts: 606
    Did you get a signed contract? If so, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. If not, well, why not? I'm afraid that if you didn't get anything in writing you have only yourself to blame if they change the deal.
  • moe7moe7 Member Posts: 24
    We signed a Retail Order Form that itemized everything and was signed by ourselves as well as the dealership, and included a price. We would have been more than happy to sign a Purchase and Sales, but that can't be done until the vehicle actually has a VIN.
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    I, too, only have a signed order form, but I made the dealer write on the form that the quoted price would not increase upon delivery. The only exception he wrote down was if the truck came in before my old lease was paid off, since I would have to include the payoff in my new lease.

    Maybe you need to sit down with your salesman and see if he would be willing to put something in writing like mine did for me.
  • moe7moe7 Member Posts: 24
    We asked him to do just that but said he could'nt, I will put up a stink if they try to stick it to us.I f worse comes to worse we will go to another dealer perhaps they will want our money!!

    Thanks Ladyblue!!

  • stanfordstanford Member Posts: 606
    moe7: From what you've described, you won't have a problem. Some people walk away having made a deal with nothing in writing. Make a couple of copies and leave the original at home when you go to pick up the vehicle, but I doubt they'll even try to change the price on you. Was it stated as an absolute, or as '$XXX above invoice'? If the former, its firm; if the latter, it may go up if GM ups its prices (fair enough IMO).
  • shoozshooz Member Posts: 27

    I think you make a good point. But, still, most of us will start from the current dealer invoice to reach an agreement. Then, there usually is a 'Deal Review' document printed out that spells out an agreed upon purchase dollar amount. I'm not sure if that is a binding contract in the event of a factory originated price increase, but as mo7 says you need the VIN number to draw up a binding sales agreement, as I understand it.
  • tc14374tc14374 Member Posts: 22
    My experience with autobytel was not pleasant. I don't think I ever experienced as much pressure from a salesman. The guy asked if we were ready to buy today and we said of course if the price is right. He went through the motions, walked in and out of the office several times and finally came back. He had all of the paperwork ready even the credit application all we had to do was sign. We never even talked numbers. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him that I didn't agree with the price. His remark was,"but I've already had them clean the truck up and wash it".
    I guess he thought money wasn't an issue.
  • moe7moe7 Member Posts: 24
    tc14374- These people get pissed off when you try to save a little bit of money!! It's the smart thing to do,i try not to through my money out the door without a little bit of a fight,i work to hard for it!!! And it sounds like you do too! I say good for you!

  • moe7moe7 Member Posts: 24
    Hello N.G.!
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    I guess that all you are saying a resounding and Unequivocal NO, to the opening question.

    That was my experience also.
  • william217william217 Member Posts: 1
    1. I have asked A B T to find a Ranger XLT for me and the "local" dealer keeps calling back with in- consequential questions such as what colour do I want, 2 door or 4 door (99's are 4 door), etc. This has been 2 weeks now and I still don't have a price on a new truck that I want to order. I'm wondering if they really have their stuff together.
    2. Edmunds is the best thing on the screen for anyone trying to buy a vehicule, but is there anyone that can give me a Canadian site that is anywhere as good as Edmunds?
  • br1br1 Member Posts: 22
    I agree with all of the above. I made out better just calling throughout the area and asking for prices based on a given model... Some didn't want to dela but others did. Also, some were down right dirty and did what ever to get you in and then the salesman tricks came through.... Winner Ford Newark DE - will never deal with them again!
  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    Sounds like how well autobytel works for you depends a lot on what type of truck you want to buy. After many months of shopping around and reasearch on the internet, I decided to buy a Dodge Ram and give autobytel a shot. I couldn't be happier; the dealer called me back the next day and said they'd sell for invoice. I test drove it yesterday. Everything checks out and hopefully I'll pick it up on Monday after all the financing jazz goes through.

    I realize that Rams aren't in short supply like the Silverados or Ford SD's, so that's probably why I got such a good price. I am definately pleased with autobytel and think it is a great way to buy a car. At the very least, it's a good way and easy way to start shopping and get a realistic price. If the dealer told me $500 over invoice, I would have gone to different dealers and see who could do better. But in my case, it's hard to find a dealer who will go lower than invoice, so I'm happy.
  • jlee1jlee1 Member Posts: 4
    Forget A B T. My local dealers (Chevy & Dodge) were way out of line. Just use the Edmunds data
    and go to any dealer. The most you should have to
    pay is $500 over invoice for 99% of vehicles. If
    they quote you more than that go elsewhere.
  • dtraceydtracey Member Posts: 3
    I live in Ontario and asked for a quote through there Canadian site on a Honda van and a Ford F250 Super Duty and they say they don't even have a dealership in all of southern Ontario for either. You call them on there customer service line and they don't even return your call.
    big waste of time
  • lowerkeeneylowerkeeney Member Posts: 4
    I agree, the services are only as good as the dealers that are on them. However I do agree that you can save time IF you can get a quote over the internet versus taking the time and effort to drive around time and find out if someone will "deal" with a 500 over invoice. The telephone still seems too scripted and you can pick up the tricks. If you can get a black and white quote, what do you hae to loose over the internet. My suggestion would be to try a service like to get your quote. If they give you a quote, what do you have to lose?
  • trenttrent Member Posts: 86
    Tried Ford Direct service, no response!
  • robertthrobertth Member Posts: 7
    Im in the research phase to get a truck and also had less the impressive response for autobytel. On the otherhand, carpoint has seemed more aggressive in their followup, so maybe they should be given a try. It is
  • trenttrent Member Posts: 86
    I did hear from Ford Direct after a few days with an apology for responding so late. The closest dealer was to far away to make it worthwhile though.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Member Posts: 231
    You have to suspect that some of us might not be in your area code.
  • hteiguehteigue Member Posts: 1
    As much as it's worth, I tried autobytel for a chevy 1500, serria and the new Toyota Tundra and really didn't have much success. The GMC dealer my info was sent to never called me, I called after a couple of days and did not get any help what so ever and was told that if they found me a truck it would be $750 over their cost. Chevy was a little better with $400 over cost but wanted my credit card # and a $100 to do a search. Toyota must have been on drugs (or they thought I was)because they still wanted MSRP. This is my first real experience in buying a new vehicle in almost 10 years and started out to be a real nightmare. Finally, I followed Edmund's advice and called a number of dealerships still without any luck. (most wanted at least $600 over cost) Made a call to a Joel Crews (new trucks sales manager) at the GMC dealership in Lancaster, Pa and he offered to find what I wanted for $100 over his cost. When all said and done the final cost to me was only $90 over invoice and he made my buying experience a real pleasure and I am now driving a black SLT sportside (exactly the truck I wanted). My suggestion to anyone within driving distance of Lancaster is to give him a call and I'll bet he'll make you an offer you can't refuse. Happy hunting!
  • fanggfangg Member Posts: 11
    I tried Microsoft Carpoint, and Autobytel, none of them really works.

    I was trying to get a "hassle free" quote for a Toyota Tundra SR5 Access Cab v8. The Autobytel dealer called me and quoted me a price of $200 off sticker. I told him that I was expecting a lower price but still asked him to detail the quote with the options that I wanted. He said he would call me back in about 15 minutes and that 15 minutes turned into more than 3 days and I doubt he will ever call.

    The thing is, no matter how good the Autobytel people are, if the dealer doesn't take your request seriously, it's still gonna be a bad experience.
  • eric16eric16 Member Posts: 38
    Give a try it may work for you it did for me.

  • chica2chica2 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a pickup in mid 1996 using Auto-by-Tel and was very pleased. They beat the best price I could come up with by $2000 to $3000.
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    Y'all may not be aware but AutoByTel was started (and may still be run) by Pete Ellis.

    'nuf said.
  • brucec35brucec35 Member Posts: 246
    I tried autobytel on a tacoma. Got a couple of emails sayign they would contact me by phone within 24 hours. A week later, I got a message from some grumpy guy on my machine, with no price, none of the details I asked for, etc. I'll just go buy from a dealer I know.
  • mccloskeymccloskey Member Posts: 8
    Honestly, I was surprised to see the varied responses to this original question. When I received a call from the dealer (through Autobytel), it was within 24 hrs, and he told me that they have "a standard contract through Autobytel" that they charge $200.00 over factory invoice. I did extensive research on the invoice price of the 2000 Chevy Silverado and all of the options. I brought in my printouts to reference during our meeting. His invoice prices matched mine and the price he quoted me was indeed $200.00 over.

    I think $200.00 over invoice is fair, but I went to many other dealers to get quotes anyway. Almost all of them were way out of line. I'm sick of the "old way" of buying vehicles - fighting with unscrupulous dealers and listening to lies.

    I have to say, I am very happy with the dealer who contacted me through Autobytel, but I don't think that says anything about Autobytel per se.
  • bill18bill18 Member Posts: 1
    My experience with Autobytel also left much to be desired. After clicking exactly what I was interested in for both Ford F-150 and Chevy 1500, I received calls in a few days, asking what I was interested in so they could locate the vehicles. You may as well call any dealer and talk to any salesman.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    The problem with Autobytel is that it relies on its dealers. This can make it great or lousy. I contacted them for a quote on a 99 Dakota and got the standard 24 hours reply. I waited 4 business days and chased autobytel (Canada by the way). They replied promptly and got the dealer to contact me.

    He badmouthed autobytel saying it was their fault that I hadn't been contacted earlier. He was far from helpful and lost the deal. Incidentally the price was C$500 over invoice - not wonderful for an end of line 99. I went through a regular dealer who beat that, and when he couldn't find a 99 that fitted my spec, matched the margin on a 2000. Now that's service.

    Of course if everyone went to a no haggle model then this all becomes irrelevant - after all, the current system exists only to line the pockets of the dealers.
  • jmcclure1jmcclure1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a good experience using the Web service in St Louis, MO The person was polite. helpful and presented an interest in finding the vehicle I wanted. Utlimately, I ordered a 2000 because the area did not have the features I wanted.
  • tuckyboy1tuckyboy1 Member Posts: 36
    I tried Autobytel to purchase a Chevrolet in Cincinnati. The dealer quoted me $1000 over invoice in e-mail, then $1049 over the phone, then $1349 in the showroom. I could see where this was going.... I went down the road and got $150 over invoice. I'll try Autobytel again in future (they provide a quick comparison point) but they didn't do it for me this time.
  • mccloskeymccloskey Member Posts: 8
    Here's a hot one! I stopped into a place called "AutoMall" at the local mall. I saw some cool-looking touch-screens on which I thought I might be able to do a bit of shopping (BTW,I have already ordered my 2000). Immediately, the clerk comes over and says, "Can I help you"? I replied, "No thanks, I can just use this computer, right"? "No", he says, "You have to come over to the desk. I said, "Well, I'm not really too interested in spending time in here, what's the advantage of using your system"?
    He says, "We have pre-arranged prices on cars so you don't have to haggle with dealers". "Oh what's your standard markup over invoice, then". He says, "It's different on every car".
    Now, I shoot him a puzzled look and say, "Why is that"? He tells me, "For instance, on a new Dodge Omni (I think that was the car), I can get you three thousand dollars over MSRP".
    I am not making this up! I looked at him in shock and said, "You actually get people to pay that? That's robbery. Can you sleep at night"? He replies, "It's not my fault, that's what they go for - I wouldn't pay it, but people do".
    To make a long story short, they call the dealer and say they have a fish nibbling at the bait and get a (no-haggle)price. Then you get to pay whatever the dealer wants or you can take a hike. Might as well put the car dealer on the list of United Way charities and get a payroll deduction.
  • dunnerdunner Member Posts: 1
    "Carsdirect" was fairly worthless. The info and screen set-up are handy but it took me nine insistent, unanswered calls till I got a response and the response was basically they didn't find any dealers willing to sell at the price they had quoted (about $500 over invoice).
  • cr3cr3 Member Posts: 42
    tried um all no luck.
  • jmkroll1jmkroll1 Member Posts: 1
    Check out

    You build your car and price it right on the internet. It shows MSRP, invoice, and carorder's price for easy comparison. You can configure several cars and store them in a "virtual garage" until you've made a decision. I've shopped it quite a bit and like what I see. Still haven't bought yet.
  • fike1fike1 Member Posts: 2
    I used autobytel and got great results. They were one of the few sites that would price me on a 2000 silverado. I ordered a 2000 silverado LS with 4.3,alloy wheels, sliding rear window,deep tint,and automatic.I sent my request in they e-mailed me back with a price quote of $274 over invoice.I was so pleased with the price i did not even ask for a for a reduce in the price.When I talked to the salesman he was very nice and answered all my questions.They did not add any extra cost only taxes and tags.I did not buy at that time ,but decided to check around told a couple of the other dealers on the net and in my area dealerships. I told them i could get for $274 over invoice. They said "Buy it that's a great deal".So I called back a week later talked to the same salesman ,he brought up my file went over all the options again.It was still $274 over invoice so I bought it.I felt like I took him,but I Know he is getting the dealers HOLDBACK at 3% so he is getting his share of profit. Regardless I think I got a Great deal. I expected to pay more.

    I am sure it does go from dealer to dealer for how good a deal you get.the HOLDBACK made a difference too.
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