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How To Get an Internet Price Quote for a Car

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited April 2017 in Editorial
imageHow To Get an Internet Price Quote for a Car

Free Internet price quotes will save you money while car shopping — if you know how to work the system.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • I work in the internet department for a large metropolitan dealership. The article makes some good points, but there is so much more to this process than what you see above. Let me just make a few suggestions that will help get your request handled in a professional and expeditious manner.

    1. As mentioned in the article, DON'T MAKE UP A PHONE NUMBER. If I get a wrong number (and upset someone who is not interested in a car), or if I get a fax machine or a disconnected or otherwise non-working number, my interest in helping you takes a serious dip. I'm a professional, and I've bought cars before. I don't like being bombarded with calls and I won't do that to you. If you don't want me to call, just say so in the commenst section and I promise you that I will not call.

    2. Be responsive. Answer my e-mail or call, even if it's just to tell me that you were only browsing and aren't interested. I can take rejection but I can't read your mind. I get paid to follow up with you, but as soon as you tell me to stop, I will. In my case, it's just polite to do so, and it's also the law.

    3. Tell me what you want. Again, I can't read your mind. Don't just tell me that you're looking for a Mercedes C-Class. MSRP's on those vehicles can vary as much as $15,000, so I need more info to get you that price. Tell me that you want a Black C300 with tan interior and the Premium 1 Package. Tell me options or colors that you don't want, but give me something to go on.

    4. If you're just looking to find out how much a car costs, or want more information, this is not the way to go about. If you want to find out how much a Mercedes S-Class costs, go to the website. That will show you the MSRP (which will get you in the ballpark) and you can probably download a brochure as well. If you're browsing WITH NO INTENT TO BUY, there are a multitude of ways to get that information without starting a chain of e-mails and phone calls that you don't want.

    I know that you want to be treated well and have your questions answered, and honestly I'm happy to do so. Just remember the golden rule -- do unto others...
  • I used this for my wife's Jeep in January of this year, 2013, and it worked well. I tried it again, with both EDMUNDS and the two
    manufacturers this month. I got prices from one brand, and several, we need more information, come in and see us. Looking at what they had on their lots, they all seemed to be heavy with dealer installed options and just options in general. I did not like the response and was blunt about it. I told, I would send them all the exact specifications and options that I had filled out in the EDMUNDS build and price and the Brand's build it and submit for an online quote. Maybe it is my fault and maybe they just did not have enough information. Either way, all I am doing, as a last attempt, is writing down in an email and submitting the two versions of the vehicle I was interested in, with the options I filled out on both internet sites.
    We shall see.
  • Dear Edmunds,
    After using your service at the end of last year, 2013, I received the responses from the dealers I asked for and that all but one were on your list; I added it.

    All of them, all of them, either responded with something not close to my request, and/or the famous, "come on down, we can talk and you can answer some questions as to your preferences that were not on the quote request. Everything I wanted was on the quote request.

    You see, the problem is exactly like your number two complaint, you commonly mentioned by customers trying to do business with an online quote. They all wanted me to come on down and fill the in on the things that were not on the quote request. You basics like color, listed, and options requested, listed, and comments, listed, that they said they did not have. So, cut the speal.

    You have started doing business with dealerships. For one, the Antwerpen dealerships, they have a are notoriously bad, and very deserved, reputation for crooked sales tactics. I sold cars for a year when I was younger. Any salesman that lasts more than six months, has what it takes to sell. They used every trick I ever heard of or read about. I was warned a few years ago, but thought I would get by, and went in with my wife anyway. Nine hours and hundreds of lies and dozens of cheap tricks and we walked out at 1:30am, with a car that should have, could have, taken less than an hour.

    With me, you lose all of your credit and reputation by listing any Antwerpen dealership, as one of your Premier Dealerships. It is like recommending Wiillie Sutton to manage your bank. I tried very hard to locate Mr. Antwerpen, without luck. He has several levels of buffer between him and any customer, and you cannot even pay those online locate them sites to get his address. Finally, in frustration, a senior official I knew that had moved to another dealership told me, "Nothing happens at any Antwerpen dealership, without his hands on direction. I have purchased 21 vehicles in my life, 17 new, and, of all of them, Antwerpen Dodge, was the most dishonest, and it was not close. They even had to move from their Charksville, Maryland Auto Park site, because they had destroyed their reputation in the area. How can you make them a Premier Dealer? Shame. You sold out any reputation you had with me by doing that. You should ask me, I will tell you all the tricks they pulled. They only stopped then I said, from now on every time one of your salesman walks by and says this, or says that, or you again, misprint the agreed on price, "accidentally, "I lower my offer by $50. In about five minutes, and $150 salesman walk by lies later, they stopped. Worst buying experience of my life. Before we really got started, the initial salesman offered me $100 to send in a recommendation and high marks on him and his work. He had a secretary call to see if I was still interested in filling out the sheet. Normally everyone buying a car gets one from a dealership. Apparently, my tone of how I would just love to fill it out, and that I had great experience, was enough that I never got one. I did go in a ask for one, filled it out. Came back two hours later and found it in her, receptionist's trash basket. I guess all bad ones go there.

    Kevin Wethington
  • This is a comment response to Interstate One. I understand the not giving a correct phone number is a terrible hassle. Please understand my side. When I filled out the request for quotes with Edmunds and Ford and Chevrolet for a Mustang or a Camaro. I specifically stated in the comments box, that we had a very ill family member and it was very difficult to take phone calls. Still, of the 10 or so dealerships that were forwarded my quote request, I received calls from five. I crossed them off the list immediately.

    Further, there are a couple of online quote sites that do not have a box where you can ask not to be called or emailed. Finally, one Chevy Sales Manager showed me what he got from the Chevrolet, ONLINE QUOTE REQUEST, it was missing some of the data I had input. I should not have to explain my reasoning for not wanting to be called, but knowing how insistent Sales Managers can be to the staff, I included it as a courtesy.

    That is all. Your point is well taken.
  • sueswiftsueswift Posts: 1
    I e-mailed a dealership yesterday about a BMW CPO and the first thing they want is to call me. When I replied that I really didn't want to talk, that I just wanted the "out the door" price, I got an e-mail back saying they have the figures but aren't allowed to provide them in an e-mail. Why????
  • JubJubJubJub Posts: 1
    My job requires me to travel a lot. When not traveling I’m on the phone 4-6 hours a day for work. I need to get quotes and be able to negotiate via email.

    This does not work anymore.

    I am in the market for a new car. I’ve tried to email (when I can get an email) and price quote forms multiple times.

    5 times out of 10 they will call you like you never provided any details. “What are you looking for?” they will ask. Um, I already specified everything down to stock #. Or they will ask me to come in. If I wanted to come in I would have. Please respond to my needs. After going through this circus a couple times, I stopped answering or responding to phone calls. You did not read my email, you did not meet my need, so I have no obligation to continue engaging with you.

    3 times out 10, I will get a generic email back saying they’d love to help me. Let them know what car I’m interested in, they’ll schedule a test drive, and I can come in. I’ve already test drove the vehicle which is why I requested your asking price. Again, if you do not listen to me, if you do not meet my expectation, I have no obligation to respond or engage.

    These emails almost always have a “sender” name (aka from) that does not match the name listed in the body of the email. For example the email says from “Mindy,” but you open it and the message starts “Hi I’m Angelica your internet sales specialist. So who are you exactly? Trust was lost immediately and I won’t even engage with that dealership again.

    2 times out of 10, I will get a text saying call them with a phone number. About half the time the number they wrote in the text doesn’t match the number the text came from. Trust gone. Not going to engage with them. Also, can they at least acknowledge one tiny small minute detail I provided to them? Nothing. No acknowledgement of car model I’m interested in. No acknowledgement that I requested asking price. Just a “call us.” Not going to engage if you don’t acknowledge my need or meet expectations.

    1 time out of 10 I will actually get an email back with a detailed quote including all fees. Wow, someone actually listened to me! They met my expectations! Wait, the quote they wrote up is either MSRP, the price listed on the website, or $400-$500 below.

    Then you think God, I HATE buying a car. I HATE car dealerships. I’ll just keep my eight year old car and my money.
  • JubJub said:

    My job requires me to travel a lot. When not traveling I’m on the phone 4-6 hours a day for work. I need to get quotes and be able to negotiate via email.

    This does not work anymore.

    I am in the market for a new car. I’ve tried to email (when I can get an email) and price quote forms multiple times.

    5 times out of 10 they will call you like you never provided any details. “What are you looking for?” they will ask. Um, I already specified everything down to stock #. Or they will ask me to come in. If I wanted to come in I would have. Please respond to my needs. After going through this circus a couple times, I stopped answering or responding to phone calls. You did not read my email, you did not meet my need, so I have no obligation to continue engaging with you.

    3 times out 10, I will get a generic email back saying they’d love to help me. Let them know what car I’m interested in, they’ll schedule a test drive, and I can come in. I’ve already test drove the vehicle which is why I requested your asking price. Again, if you do not listen to me, if you do not meet my expectation, I have no obligation to respond or engage.

    These emails almost always have a “sender” name (aka from) that does not match the name listed in the body of the email. For example the email says from “Mindy,” but you open it and the message starts “Hi I’m Angelica your internet sales specialist. So who are you exactly? Trust was lost immediately and I won’t even engage with that dealership again.

    2 times out of 10, I will get a text saying call them with a phone number. About half the time the number they wrote in the text doesn’t match the number the text came from. Trust gone. Not going to engage with them. Also, can they at least acknowledge one tiny small minute detail I provided to them? Nothing. No acknowledgement of car model I’m interested in. No acknowledgement that I requested asking price. Just a “call us.” Not going to engage if you don’t acknowledge my need or meet expectations.

    1 time out of 10 I will actually get an email back with a detailed quote including all fees. Wow, someone actually listened to me! They met my expectations! Wait, the quote they wrote up is either MSRP, the price listed on the website, or $400-$500 below.

    Then you think God, I HATE buying a car. I HATE car dealerships. I’ll just keep my eight year old car and my money.


    This is exactly what I’ve been through 3 different times in the last year trying to buy 3 different cars. Each time, I just said to heck with it and didn’t buy. I guess it’s how the dealers are reacting to the informed consumer over the internet. They just all say we arent quoting real prices with people that aren’t in front of us and you’re sol. I don’t want to spend my day in the dealership. I want to work it out over email or even the phone before I come down there. Even when I’ve done that I am still there several hours. Seems those days are gone!
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