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2013 and earlier - BMW 5 Series Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 203
    Would a national agreement to fix prices not violate the spirit of Anti-Trust laws. Unlike Saturn where the price is fixed by the factory, in case of BMW, it is the dealer who determines the final price. If the dealers have an agreement that they will not budge on the MSRP, they are in effect fixing the price.

    Yesterday I saw the E60 on the road for the first time in my commute from the mid-peninsula to the South Bay (SF Bay Area) . The only good look I got was from the rear-view mirror. The car looks bean shaped from the front and the overall appearance is very rounded. Reminds me more of a roadster or the Beetle than a mid-size sedan. It looks much smaller than it actually is.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    your dealer sold you a BS story. vsaxena is right. collusion among bmw dealers to keep prices fixed for 12 months would definitely constitute a violation of anti-trust.

    also, how could the bmw dealers enforce such an agreement? if all the other bmw dealers are holding at msrp, and dealer A decides to sell for $100 under, dealer A will get all the business, and then the other dealers are forced to follow suit and then dealer A lower prices again and the wheel keeps turning. economic theory refers to this as the "free rider" problem.

    unless there was a BMW price czar out there who cut dealers off for selling below MSRP, any national agreement would fall apart under market pressures.
  • As a practical matter, it looks like a dealer (or much more likely, a salesrep) lied to you. If you have a witness (or better yet, if it's in writing), you might be able to apply some leverage in exchange for not informing BMW USA and your state attorney's general or consumer fraud protection unit about this clearly deceptive praactice. At the least, the rep might lose his job. Of course, if it's your word against the reps, you're out of luck. Good luck.
  • And an agreement to fix prices, yeah that could be a problem. If there is any evidence of an agreement (good luck trying to find it) it's probably a pretty good case, although I don't know what the damages are, though.

    Put in a phone call to your state AG or DOJ antitrust division.
  • >>You say, "What I heard from the dealers is that there is a national agreement among BMW dealers that no less than MSRP for 12 months. That's why I was happy to order my 545i at $500 off the MSRP".

    Ok, this salesman is a dope who is pulling your chain. There's an agreement (illegal worth millions in damages) but he is opting out and giving $500 off?
  • choidschoids Posts: 16
    I live in Los Angeles area where there are at least half dozen BMW dealers within 40 minutes driving distance. I've checked with 5 dealers and all insisted on MSRP. Some dealer has waiting list of upto 6 months. That's why I was happy to order one from this dealer at $500 of the MSRP where I will be getting the car at the end of January. Now, they didn't show me any proof on price fixing but at least all dealers seemed to be consistant on the price.
  • ndmdndmd Posts: 27
    I just spoke with a dealer in SW Florida about a future order on a 530i. He claimed no real room to negotiate on the price, but he stated that there is a special money factor for leases right now. Of course, his next question was what monthly payment I was looking for. I love when they do that. Anyway, I will not order for another few months, but found this interesting. I wonder if the money factor is because the car is not selling, or because its the end of the year.
  • choidschoids Posts: 16
    Believe me, I tried just about every tactic to reduce the price of the car. Because of their hard nose attitude, yet very polite, I even tried to buy Lexus LS430 instead. The Lexus dealer was willing to knock off $6000 off the MSRP, and I tried this deal to persuade the BMW dealers to negotiate. No Luck! They just simply smiled and said good luck with your Lexus and didn't call me what so ever. After I checked around 4 other dealers, I finally gave up and took their $500 off MSRP price. Let's see if anybody can do better...
  • Some of the discussion regarding your $500 off MSRP makes me this of a story. A guy was offered an elephant for $1000. He said no way he didn't need an elephant and didn't want an elephant and would never use an elephant. The elephant guy then said ok I'll give you 2 for $1500. Immediate response, I'll take them.

    Some (many?) people will not buy anything unless they think they are getting a great deal. Personally I more buy what I like and can afford, and put some effort into not overpaying but the "deal" is not the most important thing. In the past we got 2 Saturns for my wife, great cars for the money. Many people I know would rather pay $17k for a $20k sticker car than pay $16k for an equivalent Saturn.

    Neither way it right or wrong we're just all different.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I'm not sure I understand the point of the elephant story vis a vis Choids.

    Choids is purchasing a great car, and if he got a deal so that he purchased 2 great cars, he could then turn around and sell the other one at a profit.

    I think Houstonmerc is trying to say don't get so caught up in a deal that you buy a junker instead of the car you really want.

    But I don't think that's the problem here. Choids clearly wanted the BMW 545 since he turned down $6k off MSRP on a Lexus LS430. Choids was either going to get his car at $500 off MSRP or for significantly less.

    Either way, Choids was going to get his dream machine so it comes down to how much he paid for it.

    Regardless how much Choids paid, he's getting a great car and is going to have a lot of fun driving it and will probably attract lots of attention from some fine suntanned CA ladies so I'm jealous.
  • Your situation on 545's can be very appropriate to the demand for the model.

    I don't want to step up to the extra $15-20K for one, so have not negotiated for it. For the 525 I'm looking at, I'm at $2.2K off MSRP and one month of my lease paid off (two months left), no disposition fee (typical) and my security deposit refunded (typical on recurring lease). Also inspection and approval of my current lease before I sign up for the new one.

    Different cars, different demand profile. So, you may in fact have gotten the best deal available for that car.

    For those looking for 525's, you may have a much better negotiating position and you definitely shouldn't pay MSRP. 530's might also be negotiable, but $5K for 50 extra HP isn't worth it to me.

  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 203
    Yesterday I heard an offer for $399 leases on the 2004 525 on the radio in the South Bay (SFO). I am surprised that the dealers have to advertise these leases on a brand new car. I guess the 525 does not move as well as the 530.
  • A friend (actually a client) recently bought a 2000 528i from one of the local dealers. The car is pretty loaded. Sports package, sun shades all around, 2004 wheels, brand new tires, 6 disc CD changer, moon roof, etc. 38,000 miles and certified pre-owned. He paid right at $30,000.

    About a month later, he got canned from his job so he had to sell it. He came to me and gave me the rundown and said I could have it for the same. I really like the car and have driven it for a couple of hundred miles on a golf trip we made together. For $30,000 I was not interested. Eventually I got wind that the price had been dropped to $26,500. Now I was interested. However, it was too late for him since he already agreed to sell it back to the same dealer for that price. As it turns out, he was better off selling it to them than to me because his payoff was lower. Something about extended warranties being refunded.

    So I tell him to have the dealer call me. They call the same day he drops the car off, Friday, and I make an appt to go see them on Monday. Of course, the price to me is now $29,900. About what I thought it would be. I start to walk and I get the "what does it take to earn your business today?" line. Kind of pissed me off coming from a BMW sales guy, but I tell him $26,500. He says OK I'll take it back to the manager. Of course they say no. I meet a couple more people and then I talk with a woman who explains the rational for the increase. The paper work, the recertification, and so on.

    I know they have costs associated with this deal so I tell her I understand. My question is, what would be a fair offer from me? I know they had not had time to recertify the car. No cost there. Although they probably have to recertify when the ownership changes. If I offer $2000 over what they paid ($26,500 for a total of $28500) would that cover their costs? It appears as though at that price it would still be a good buy price also.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    They already made 4k+ on your poor friend and then you are offering them another 2k profit. The dealer must love you because this would be over 6k they made from one car. I would offer them 27k take it or leave it. 500 is reasonable if you really want to give away 2k my email address is in my profile :)
  • Too bad. That would have been worth more than the Starship Enterprise. PS Cars direct has the car w premiom, step, sport for $1k off MSRP using a NY zip code, but "submit request for pricing" in 90210.

    So you may only have a state-wide class action.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    Bear in mind that the dealer bought the car back with the intention of retailing it. As a used car they will have a minimum they will accept for it (retail). The original profit made on the car at $30k is no longer relevant to the dealer. From their perspective the car can probably be retailed at close to $30k. After all, someone just paid that much for it about a month ago...So, there is no reason to sell it for thousands less unless they feel for whatever reason it will no longer command the higher price.

    This car was sold at a profit when new, and also when the friend bought it for $30k. It may have even been sold for a profit in between those two transactions for all we know. But everytime it's sold it most likely will be for a satisfactory profit if a dealer is selling it (and dealers do not buy used cars planning to retail them for a $500 profit) The problem here is that the one owner did not give his buddy another chance to buy the car after the dealer offered $26.5k.

  • I plan on ordering my 530 via European Delivery. Does anyone know how that works as far as price negotiation prior to the euro delivery discount? Also, any experiences to share on euro delivery?
  • I agree with sysabd. Well stated. The dealer had to buy and sell the car twice, and it doesn't seem to matter much to me that it's the same car. Recycling a car in that way is of course unusual. When the dealer bought it a second time, they had pretty much the same costs and risk (ie no one wanting to buy it) that they had the first time, other than maybe "knowing" the car.
  • I was able to negotiate $1,800 above ED invoice pricing on a 2004 525i for pick up in Munich, which is about 10% off US MSRP pricing. I could have save a few hundred $$ dollars more by going outside my local market, but I didn't think the trade-off was worth it. Also, keep in mind that the BMW dealers have about the same spread between ED MSRP and ED Invoice as they do between US MSRP and Invoice.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    i am in the process of deciding on this car versus a lexus ls 430 and mb 500.,also tried the Q45, M45 , vw phaeton ,

    the 500 is out because i have seen ,actually seen them broken down by the side of the road approx. 4 times in the last 4 weeks.and consumer reports nailed it.

    the bmw ------some of you have stated that you cannot get euro they are for you.

    bmw 530 i euro usa diplomatic

                  41.2 44.3 41.2
    dest. .695

    i am thinking of getting the sport package with zpp package and the prmiun sound.

     list at ed 49.395 and usa at 52.495.

    my discount as offered by my dealer is $1,500 off list on the usa delivery.
    and,this is only the discretionary discount that the dealership has allowed to the go beyond that he has to bring the offer to the sales mgr.......who has another 1,000 to grant ...
    and beyond that the owner.....

    so my deal as is now sits at $ 2,500 off.......i will not press for more until i have the order in front of me.

    my problem and my question for you guys is this.......
    my last bmw was a 6 series and i spent a lot of money fixing it..........i keep my cars over 250,000 miles .
    is the latest batch of 5 series as bad ????
    i am referring to pre 2004 cars......
    i know that there is no experience out there with the new 04.

    also on pricing ,try offering the dealer the same price as the euro deilvery............

    by the way ,which car will you guys go for ......

    the fantastic handling 530 or the ultra reliable lexus......this is my dilema now.......
    i have test driven the following......

    vw phaeton but at 70 g,s ,no way ......nice car and i enjoyed it but 55oo lbs.......needs over 500 hp to make it go.
    but,one hell of a nice riding car.......and the feel inside the cabin is like nothing else,not even a bentley.

    infinity m45 ---good ,reminds me of a 60,s hot rod ,but tight inside and not very comfortable and my head touches the roof.

    Q45----------very nice and wife hates the lack of styling.......i fopund the seat somewhat lean . and at a price similar to lexus /??????????????

    bmw 530i great handling of the finest handling 4 seaters out there ...but,reliability is a concern......i loved the active steering........just held the line on a curved road full of esses like a porsche or vette.......but holding 4 people......and quieter ,more refined than those above.........

    lexus ---with the sports package and 18 inch do feel every ripple on the road .apparently lexus just firms up the ride and 18 inchers and that is it ........
    the price here is 61,957 with the nav and the premiun package..........the discount is 3,500............i am shooting for 4,000 off but i doubt i will get it.
    they cannot copy bmw with a nice ride and great handling......
    by thw way,the vw phaeton has 2 settings for suspension and 5 for ride height.........but 70 g,s???????

    if the phaeton came in at is a buy......

    so,which cars will you guys go for ????
    i am going now for a 4 hout test ride on the 530i ,again.........
    and on monday for a repeat 4 hour on the lexus 430............
    by the way,all of the above cars are being discounted....... as i pointed out ......
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi ffb13 - have you had a chance to review our individual discussions on all the vehicles you mention? You can find them by using the Make/Model search on the left side of the page.

    Also, you can find what the editors have to say about each by following the links under the blue "New Cars" tab at the top of the page.

    If you'd like to set up a specific comparo between those vehicles, you could open a new discussion on our Sedans Comparisons board. That could prove very helpful for you. If you want, you could just copy your message here and use it for the opening post.

    This particular discussion is limited to folks sharing the prices they have paid and the experiences they had in their purchase of a 5-Series, so it isn't really the best place to get opinions on which of all of those vehicles would be the one to choose.

    Hope this helps - feel free to drop me an email if I can help you find any resources here!
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I don't think there is any right answer. If you get the BMW you'll get the best driving/handling car but it'll cost more to buy and maintain and it's probably not as reliable as a Lexus. If the driving fun is worth it to you, go for it.

    If you've had bad experiences with BMW reliability or value reliability #1 or need to cart people around who like soft rides, get the Lexus.

    Since you keep your cars for 250,000 miles the initial price differences depreciated over 10 years will translate to a minimal amount per year so I think you should not worry about price and get the car you want.

    In any case, you're picking amongst several fine cars and can't go wrong. Also, do you know there is a new 6-series out? Maybe you should get that.
  • Purchased 2000 BMW 528i February 2003 from returned lease. Cetfified PO. 39,555 miles. It is a sport/premium model. I fell on the ice and dislocated my shoulder and other injuries and cannot drive the sport model without great pain.
    Tried to sell $3,000 under what I paid for it ($34,434) Now has 42,000 miles. Is there a way to adjust the steering to make it much easier to steer?
  • I'm assuming it's a standard or you'd be able to drive with only one arm.

    It may not help much, but check with your orthopedist on shoulder braces you could use to help keep your upper arm braced against your side as you shift. Awkward, though. Still, even with that I can't imagine how to shift and drive at the same time with one arm.

    Never heard of a way to easily change the steering ratio on a 528; also not clear on what good it would do.

    Only other solution I can think of is to rent an automatic for a couple of months until you arm heals.

    Good luck.
  • Hi Guys, there seems to be some confusion about what this web site is all about. Some of us in a non-competitive BMW area, needs to hear what people are paying and location of dealers in competitive areas. I know I would drive 300 or 400 miles if I knew of a dealer that what give you a substantial discount.
  • Hi all! I live in Va. Beach and ended up buying my 04 530i from Illinois. Local dealer would not budge at all. Titanium Silver, Sport, Premium and Cold Weather Packages, Xenon Headlamps $1k under sticker. Having read the various posts to get educated, I think I've done ok on the deal. Of course, I had to pay for shipping, but so what...also, I'm a repeat customer.

    I've had an 02 330i and space is the main concern with 2 kids. considering that the 530i is about 200 lbs heavier than the 330i - with the same motor, I think power is just right. It's not like I'm going racing or anything like that, but when I step on the gas, it delivers what I want to accomplish.

    The I-drive, it was a nuisance at first, fumble through to change radio stations, it's ok, I guess, since it came with the car.

    Complaints - $55k car with no floormats! The trunk release - stay clear when you activate! No full service spare tire - it's got nothing to do with the 50-50 weight distribution I read in some post.

    I've got about 200 miles on it now.
  • You can probably get about $1-1.2 over invoice here in NJ. JMK and BMW Manhatttan will negotiate lower (Manhattan was by far the most aggressive, IMHO). Hoffman and Morristown will stop negotiating at a somewhat higher price than the other two.

    Use the dealer quote function and zip 07090 or something near it, and the outfits I mentioned will quote you a deal. Invest time on the phone and you'll do OK.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    weldone99 and all of you buyers who are willing to travel a bit to get a good deal... Do yourselves a favor and go back to June/July in this thread and follow posts by hoopsref. He used the method with, apparently, great results. He also motivated others who reported their successes here. Of course, there was a different buying dynamic back then but I believe this method can be very effective in helping you get the best deal.

    BTW, bentleyfam25, good luck with your new ride!
  • I'm looking forward to it.

    Actually, I've looked into directly selling my old one for a few K above the residual value. I've always sold off my old cars directly, with success. But, I've never done so with a BMW, and with a much smaller buying audience that the average Honda, Toyota etc, is it worth the hassle? Residual is $24K, and dealer retail for my car/miles is $30-31. Tax can be bypassed if I don't do an interim registration. So, I walk out with say, $3-4K at the end of the day. But is the money worth the hassle for a BMW curb sale? Anyone had success with selling off 525's? Maybe I'm being cheap and should just turn it in....

    Read some of hoops messages. Great technique, though it seems to apply most effectively to the "get the end of life E39's off the inventory before the E60's come in". Something I'd expect BMW to do at that point, and I'm glad that folks took the opportunity to get a truly great car at a great price.

    I'm still surprized that BMW is negotiating as much as they are on the E60's. Oh, well -- I'll smile and take the savings...
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