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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: 12,726
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 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?
    : )
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
  • 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: 12,726
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 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: 12,726
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 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.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    that a good deal is when no one else can buy it for less. Everything else is a rippoff.

    Just kidding. No knickers in a twist please. :^)
  • I *did* buy a Sienna over an Odyssey. :)

    I compared features on them very carefully, and an Odyssey LX (at MSRP +) was a lot more expensive than the Sienna at invoice + 2% - rebate, even though they were almost identically equipped.

    In my area (Boston suburbs) it was impossible to even find an Odyssey to test-drive. And I needed a van *right away* as my old van had gotten totalled by a bus. I couldn't wait 8-12 weeks for an Odyssey to come in.
  • Mack:
    How about explaining what a good deal is from a salesperson's point of view? At the end of the day when the SM slaps your back and says "Mack, you made a lot of good deals today", what does he mean?
  • Get rid of the 1 to 2 percent over invoice theory because every dealer has hidden profits and they get to keep all there holdback which is 2-5% of the total or base MRSP. But otherwise you hit it very close. You did you homework and it shows.

    I am a auto broker!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    far, except a little dealer bashing, but this:

    "every dealer has hidden profits and they get to keep all there holdback which is 2-5% of the total or base MRSP."

    "Hidden profits" means they're lying or cheating - neither is a very nice thing to say, especially when you mean ALL dealers.
  • caramocaramo Posts: 93
    Please stop trying to dip into holdback :-)
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I agree with the others that stated that a good deal is one that you are satisfied with the price you paid and that the buying experience was a pleasant one. Of course others have stated that more eloquently than I could.

    I did purchase two vehicles from the same dealer last year, both PT Cruisers. The first one I purchased, I got 3 weeks before Chrysler instituted the 7 year/100,000 mile powertrain pledge. That, and the unpleasant experience I had with the F&I man, soured the experience somewhat. It didn't change the deal I got and the very pleasant experience I had with the salesperson, however it left me feeling a bit cheated.

    A few months later, I decided to replace my other vehicle with a second PT Cruiser. My wife loved hers so much I seldom got to drive it. :-D The same dealer showed exactly what I was looking for on their online inventory so I called my salesperson again to ask about it. In the course of the conversation, I indicated my displeasure with the F&I man and the salesperson promised me it would not be a factor this time. He was right, I didn't deal with F&I at all. Any papers I needed to sign were brought to me at the salespersons desk, he knew that I had already arranged financing and would not be adding additional items.

    I found that transaction to be very satisfactory.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    I bought the Odyssey over the Sienna two years ago. The Odyssey EX @MSRP was less expensive than the Sienna XLE @MSRP by $1.5K and had many features that the Sienna totally lacked or cost extra. Even with a discount, the Toyota fell short in VALUE, however fine a vehicle it is.

    I must point out that I didn't pay ADM on the Ody (dealer offered it at straight MSRP + fees) -a "one-pencil" deal, no fuss or bother. There are advantages for building strong business relationships with car dealerships and their personnel.
  • But there is profits that the average consumer can not see. The invoice IS NEVER the true cost to a dealer. All I am saying is this...a good deal is invoice not over minus all the rebates and if there is any factory to dealer incentives that the dealer wants to share with us that is just a plus. They don't have to...but if you take the time to shop dealer to dealer one of them eventually will! Not trying to keep holdback...but in reality anything over it in my opinion is just a bonus pure profit for the dealer. I am not willing to pay a dealer 2-3 G's in profit!
  • I like you zueslewis! :) Let me apologize I will not use the term hidden profit no more.
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