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Toyota Avalon Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • I just want to follow up about my experience using I used them to shop for a lease while I was shopping for a car. They were outstanding. The terms they quoted were substantially better than the dealer and their customer service throughout the process was excellent.

    Executing this kind of transaction long distance is somewheat of a challenge and you need to be prepared to be patient. It will take 3-4 days to close your purchase and your dealership may not understand this process unless they've dealt with an outside leasing company before. However, I saved $3000-4000 over the dealer's terms so patience pays very well.
  • driekdriek Posts: 12
    I have been looking at the 2006 limited for a couple weeks now and came across a dealer in the Tampa Bay area with a limited Special Edition. The Special Edition adds 18" wheels, head-turning ground affects, and the rear spoiler. MSRP for the package is $3395.

    I am looking to have a 2006 Limited built with the following options:
    Special Edition Package
    Voice activated DVD Navigation
    Carpet Mats
    Window Tinting

    Current quote I have from the dealer is for $36,987 + tax, tag, title. MSRP for the vehicle is $40,223.

    What do you all think about the price? Has anyone seen an Avalon outfitted with the special edition package?

    I have noticed that some people have been posting prices $5000 below MSRP for their purchases. How normal is this?
  • I took delivery last night on a new 2006 Avalon Limited with:

    (NV) Navigation
    (VS) Vehicle stability control
    (CL) Dynamic laser cruise
    (V4) Remote start
    (CL) Carpeted floor mats

    My out the door price was $33,598 ($33,300 for the car + $298 doc fee). Separately, I purchased a Toyota Platinum 7yr/100k warranty with $0 deductible for $1,425.

    My approach was to send a FAX to every dealer within 60 miles of my home (19) specifying exactly the car, color, and equipment I wanted. I explained that I was ready to make the purchase immediately for cash (had already arranged outside financing) or would wait for a factory order. I offered that I would pay a slight premium to do business with the dealers closest to my home but that I was essentially looking for the best deal. I also explained that while I had arranged outside financing, I would be interested in discussing loan and lease terms with their internal finance department after the cash price had been agreed upon. I requested that responses be by FAX or email so that I would have written quotes for comparison.

    This FAX went out late Friday afternoon before the MLK holiday weekend. In retrospect, this timing was not ideal and I think my responses would have been quicker had I sent the FAX before noon, mid-week, and later in the month.

    My first response came within an hour. By the following Tuesday I had 8 quotes. The quotes I received and my notes about the dealerships are listed below. (In order to make better comparisons, I have listed these quotes without the doc fees since most quotes did not specify if the fees were included.) Also note that except for 1 trip to Boch Toyota where I purchased the car, I did not visit any of these dealerships. This information is based solely on telephone, FAX, and email.

    $33,300 Boch Toyota, Norwood, MA - did not respond to my FAX so I called to prompt for a quote. Got this great price over the phone in 5 minutes with no haggling. Confirmed by FAX a few minutes later. No nonsense here just a great deal but be prepared to be patient and frustrated getting the deal closed. This is a large, high volume dealership and they suffer from having too many people involved and no single person responsible for your deal. In the end, my salesman was good to deal with.
    $33,554 Ira Toyota, Manchester, NH - the only dealership with the car I wanted in stock but it was a demo with 3200 miles on it.
    $34,500 Westboro Toyota, Westboro, MA - high pressure, refused to send a FAXed quote, I didn't get the feeling this deal was real, salesman just wanted to bad-mouth other dealers -- AVOID
    $34,620 Toyota of Nashua, Nashua, NH - no real contact here other than their FAX so no comments good or bad
    $34,710 Toyota of Keene, Keene, NH - decent on the phone. This is where I hoped to buy the car and would have if the difference had been smaller.
    $34,941 Durand Toyota, Bellows Falls, VT - nice salesman, seemed decent & trustworthy, would have felt good doing business there.

    The remaining quotes ranged up to $35,254.

    All in all, I was very pleased with buying a car this way. I feel that I got an excellent price and, more importantly, had the information I needed to recognize that price when it was offered. I also strongly recommend lining up your financing ahead of time. In my case, I had arranged a lease through I gave the dealership an opportunity to meet those lease terms but they couldn't really come close. So, I ended up with a great deal on the car AND a great deal on the financing.
  • janlynjanlyn Posts: 3
    I am trying to buy an Avalon XL with 2 options, a 6 cd radio and floormats. Edmunds and Kelly have The Invoice price at about $24669. However, three dealers around Fort Worth tell me this is incorrect - they say the invoice price is
    $25475. Are there different invoices are am I doing something wrong.

    Thank for any help
  • Keep looking for a dealer who quotes the Edmunds / KBB / Consumer Reports invoice price. I ran into the same thing on my recent purchase of a Limited. Consumer Reports put the dealer cost for my car at $32,901 but 7 dealers tried to tell me that the REAL invoice was $34,061. Some even FAXed me a copy of the "invoice" showing that price. I was about to believe them until the 8th quote came in at $33,300.

    Stick to your guns and you'll find a dealer who will be honest about their cost. See my post above for an easy way to get a lot of quotes to choose from.
  • In New england, Dealer invoices include Regional advertising Fees which is not in the Edmunds Invoice. I have not been able to get dealers to exclude this from Invoice+ Pricing negotiations.

    I haven't seen it as high as $800
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 594
    Congratulations on doing extensive research before buying a car. Knowledge is power... or actually cash, in this case. But you are trying to hit a "moving target" with the invoice price.

    The actual price a dealer pays for a car is known only to the dealer. But you can sure figure it close if you use and price info in addition to the many comments on these forums. The biggest thing different will be geographic prices changes from a distributor that the dealership can do nothing about. Again, do the homework, save big bucks.... most who post here do just that. Good luck shopping..... :)
  • This is AWESOME Tstrick!! Thanks for such a helpful post! I did the same thing with my current car (Camry) and I plan to do the same thing once I am ready for the Avalon.

    I only did it through email and some sales dept. did not get the point, since some of them replied "come on in, we'll make a deal!" But I am sure by now they are more aware of this type of "lendingtree" strategy.

    Thank you all for your info/posts and also thank you very much for the replies about how many years desing fo on the avalon (I got it clear, 5 sounds good!)

  • Been following this site for about a month and from what I've seen (comments and so on)it's a great place to do your homework before signing the paper work. I just now got on board so this is my 1st. post.
    Three weeks ago I ordered a 06 Avalon XLS w/ PC (Blizzard Pearl) SS (Side Signal mirror Upgrade) MG (Mud Guards) and M5 (Carpet Floor Mats). The price was $29,780.00 and out the door price is $32,096.40. After seeing what some others have paid for the XLS and LTD I'm not so sure I got such a good deal. The car should be in on 02/10 and I'm under no obligation to accept it. The up side is the salesperson I worked with seems to be a stand up guy. The down side is the dealership (Silsbee Toyota of Silsbee Texas). Sleazy, for lack of a better word at this time...but that's another story...and oh yeah, the out the door price did include a $200.00 Dealer Prep fee (double dipping).
    Any thoughts or comments would be welcomed.
  • I took delivery for my XL on the 19th of January from Stone Mountain Toyota with the following options:
    Blizzard Pearl
    6 disc cd player
    Mats including trunk
    Lip spoiler
    Anti-theft system
    Cloth interior

    The MSRP was 28431.35
    Bottom line I paid:
    25,200 for the car
    599.95 dealer fee
    1,806.00 taxes (7%) in my county
    41.00 title

    27,647 total

    All negotiations over the internet, no hassel. Good luck
  • Hi everyone -- longtime lurker, first-time poster.

    I'm probably going to pull the trigger on a 2006 Avalon Limited. My biggest qualifications are that I want one in a darker color (no "Phantom Pearl", please) and no nav system. (It seems nice but I hate the idea of having to drag the car back to a dealership just because my GPS is acting funny... besides I don't want to pay the premium for one.) I was planning on using USAA's price negotiation service -- what experiences have people had with that? Do they do a good job of tracking down *exactly* the options that are asked for, or just so-so? Do they help with factory orders? Speaking of which, does anyone have a rough timeframe idea of how long it would take (and if there's any cost premium) if I were to order a factory-built Avalon? Are we talking 2 weeks or 8 weeks or more? Thanks guys!
  • Here in Seattle it took 3 months for my "special order" Ltd to arrive. I ordered it with NO Nav and NO remote start. Have driven it 600 miles so far and absolutely love the car!!!!
  • This answers a lot of previous posts. I emailed 22 dealers in mid-Texas, NE Oklahoma, Eastern Arkansas, SW and mid-west Missouri and mid-east Kansas telling them exactly what I wanted. A 2006 Black with Ivory interior, Avalon Limited, with only trunk and floor mats, XM radio, and Vehicle Stability. I sent the emails a couple of days before Thanksgiving. I told them that I was in no hurry since I was still driving my 2000 Avalon, which I was going to keep.

    Two days later-
    Two never replied.
    Nine said, "come on in, we will make you a deal on what you want". ( I had already checked inventory and knew there were none in the US that met my requirements.)

    Ten replied that they had similar Limited and XLS's in stock that they would be happy to push on me with GPS, or remote starter, and/or wow!-DYNAMIC LASER CRUISE CONTROL. Just what everyone needs. Also thrown in were dealer provided options.

    One dealer came back and said they could not find one in stock anywhere in the US, but they could factory order one for...ready.....
    $31237.00 out the door. No tax or title cost included. (They were in a differentt state than me.) I had to pick it up at their dealership. I figured MSRP was about $35,843.

    I told them to get started They told me that they thought they could have it ready by 12/31/05, but it was not a promise. I picked up the car on 12/29/05. Only additional hidden cost was a hokey $41.00 tire disposal and tire excise tax that I caved in for. But I was able to neutralize that by getting a free dealer detail at 15K and 30K.

    My wife now has 2,500 miles on the car. Yea. The old 2000 Avalon is my car now. I agree with an earlier comment that the car needs a six speed to be perfect. I think part of the problem is that the car is so much more responsive (fast) than the 1999-2004's that Toyota overlooked the need for a better transmission. But believe me, you will still love it!

    Because I have provided so much detail I feel a duty to the dealer to not divulge its name. So don't ask. But I will tell you that if you live in approximatly the middle of the mainland US, you can probably work a great deal if you search around.
  • I spent about six weeks, off and on, working my deal. I took delivery of an black Avalon Limited in mid-January in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill-RTP area. No NAV, no dynamic cruise, no stability. The physical sticker reflected only the base price, destination, mats and a $25 fuel surcharge … the physical sticker had no fluff or right-hand side junk such as sealant/undercoating … all too common in the Southeast region, stickered as ToyoGuard (as if it came from the factory that way! … the SE region re-generates its own stickers) for $700. This car was ‘on the asphalt’ and it sat pretty much the way I wanted to buy one, other than the fact that it was not my first choice for exterior color.

    I added a number of PPOs (post-production options such as mudguards, sat radio, that sort of thing). Were the PPOs to appear on the sticker, the MSRP would be $35,873.35 (based on and Add a $399 doc fee and $9.30 inspection fee, total $36,281.65. The invoice would be (w/out doc & inspection fees) $31,513.62.

    My initial offer was $31,500 “delivered price” (meaning to include all monies except TTT – sales Tax, Title and Tag transfer fees). That number tied to the number I had in place for a Limited sitting on a ultra-high-volume lot on the Maryland side of the DC beltway (when comparing apples-to-apples that is … I had to adjust out items it had … and really didn’t want … such as DCC and stability) … tied, that is, BEFORE the PPO items. What I DID forget, though I am reasonably certain about it, is that SET (SouthEast Toyota), the regional distributor (NC/SC/GA/AL/FL), skims about $700 or so off the top of each Limited sold by dealers in the region (see, for example, ddent01’s post on 11/28/2005 or toyodlr’s post on 12/30/2005). I neglected to add that number into my initial offer, having whipped up the number on the quick … the car was not on their on-line inventory (a deal was pending but gone stale) but when I spotted it on the lot after hours, I quickly … maybe a wee bit too quickly … worked up my number just before stepping onto the lot during business hours). So looking back, I would have intended a $32,200 initial offer ... and to hold pretty firm ground from there on up. Then again, leaving out the $700 wasn’t so bad an error, it doesn’t exactly hurt your position to lowball a bit.

    Notwithstanding my $700 omission, I walked into the dealership believing (based on all the numbers I had found on the web such as at this site and the numbers I was picking up working other dealers over the phone/email) that, in leaving out all monies for the PPO items … and considering the fact that PPOs usually have almost pure fluff in the pricing, that the initial offer was hitting just a wee bit south of the dealer’s walkaway price … and that that would force the true cost of the PPO items out into the open.

    It really only took about 20 minutes to get the handshake, most of that not in haggling, but rather from them working to pull PPO info from the parts dept and the service dept so they could make the counter-offer. While I waited for that, they fetched me a Starbucks.

    The final deal was $32,531.53 + $399.00 (doc) + $9.30 (inspection) = $32,939.83 delivered price (plus TTT)

    So I calculate that to be “invoice plus” $1,426.21 … or “invoice plus” 4.525%. Again, pretty durn close to toyodlr’s 12/30/2005 posted number for a Limited.

    I looked back again at other numbers posted to see how much money I might have left on the table. For instance, I did a rough comparison to tstrick320’s 01/29/2006 deal to get a feel for that. (His approach, btw, is often a very highly recommended car buying strategy in books, websites, etc. But I had also been taking other quotes by phone, email and by walk-ins prior to this walk-in, so I sort I wasn’t a ‘pure’ walk-in guy but took more of a “mixed” approach, in that sense.) And the comparison can’t be entirely exact … for instance, there are differences in destination charges, a sticker/invoice number for Blizzard White if he got that color … and if he tipped them in advance that he was considering the extended warranty … well, that has a good bit of profit built in (in the Southeast region you are apparently buying your warranty from SET, who not only gets a cut of the profit on the sale, but supplies parts at their wholesale cost and dictates the labor costs to the dealer). It is possible they gave up some of that possible profit in his car deal. (And hinting at loans, leases and such, btw, may also have tempted them to go tight on the car, again looking at the possibility of making some it up in the F&I office). But, based on the NADA website, it seems he gave about “invoice plus” $150 (even including the doc fee). That jives out with other numbers I found (see, for example, bobr321’s post on 12/27/2005.)

    Add on the SE region fee (again, I am reasonably certain that the SET fee is in excess of any such fees in other regions) and what I appear to have “left on the table” is about $575.

    But I did get some things FOR that $575:

    1) The handshake came within 20 minutes.

    2) The car was on the lot—no waiting. No driving to pick the car up hundreds of miles away. And no snafus when I get there.

    3) Except for exterior color, I did not have to compromise in any way on the actual vehicle. (Again, the Maryland car had options I didn’t want … and when it came to “locating” something closer to what I wanted, they started dropping the ball.)

    4) I was out the door, paperworked, car prepped, within two hours. Much of that time was spent queued up for the F&I man … who was doing brisk business.

    5) I was given $300 over KBB “excellent” trade for my vehicle, without a moment’s haggle. Naturally, I would have liked to sold it someone on the street for more, but for a trade, this price seemed reasonable. (I am pretty sure the dealer swapped it … instead of running it down the lane … so, in that sense, he made little on the trade, though he’ll retail what he took in. The used fleet strategy at the lot seems to be 3 to 5 year old Toyotas, so I knew he wouldn’t want it and that there was no money for me to pick up out of that end of the deal. My car looked sharp with new tires, brakes, no dings, a nice sound system – easy to swap.) For all I knoew, introducing the trade into the any of the other deals I had been working elsewhere – which I had not attempted -- might well have deep-sixed any cost advantage. Here, the trade didn’t put any drag on the deal whatsoever. (Of course, your dealing/haggling will generally go better with no trade.)
  • 6) They had clear and complete PPO knowledge and skills. Many of my other negotiations resulted in all sorts of confusion regarding the installation of the sat radio, for instance. (In the Southeast, if you see an Avalon on a dealer lot already loaded with sat radio, it is most likely a SET add-on done at their consolidation/”port” location (Commerce GA, outside Atlanta) … it’s probably NOT work that was done by the dealership. So a lot of dealerships are unfamiliar with how to do the work.) This dealership routinely does PPO work in their own “make-ready” environment—no farming it out to third parties … whose product/process knowledge (and probably quality) clearly varied considerably from one dealership to another.

    7) The dealership is reasonably proximate. You’ll usually get treated a little bit better on service, parts, etc. if you go where you buy. You’ve given them some money already and they’re going to treat you better, in the hopes that you will stick with them and buy again.

    8) This was a high-volume lot … but not a ULTRA-high-volume lot (The Maryland dealership is in the top ten in America in terms of volume), so it would be expected I would have to give up a wee bit more. The higher the volume, the less a dealership has to make “per car” to cover fixed costs.

    9) My “invoice” included some dealership labor and effort (that being the PPO work), a bit more involved deal, a bit more cost for them … than an invoice number based totally on a “stocked” vehicle.

    10) This dealership seems to be extremely customer & customer-service oriented. In a way, almost like a Saturn lot sort of culture. There’s not a sweat box on the property. I never saw a four-box pad laying anywhere. And come service time, it should turn out that it was advantageous to have bought there.

    11) I did get some minor concessions regarding future service/business when I objected to the doc fee (that I originally intended to be included in my offer number).

    12) As I said, I raised some minor objections more than once after the handshake. At some dealerships, doing so would be a deal-breaker (the more work to close the deal, the higher the price). The key man stepped into the deal in each time, addressed/resolved the objection and the deal moved forward.

    I think it is fair to say that, from the dealer’s perspective, having to go through the basic motions of pushing a trade out the door and doing a swap (#5), having to make a wee bit more per car (#8) and having to use up some of the dealership’s staff, direct labor and other resources toward the PPOs (#9) … well all that accounts for a lot of that $575.

    And the number sort of jives out with the Maryland lot as well. That was a fixed price, no haggle dealership similar to Carmax, Saturn, etc. Generally it seemed they wanted invoice plus $700 for any Limited sitting on the lot plus $99 doc fee, delivered/OTD price. Conventional wisdom is that customers pay a premium for the convenience of not haggling -- that the best haggle price will be a better price. So the difference between tstrick320’s deal and the Maryland price ($799-$150=$649) could be seen as the “convenience” cost for not haggling. (While this seems, at first blush, to be cheaper than my final deal, the fact is that when we got into “locating” my car, the PPO pricing and such the difference between the Maryland deal and the deal I DID DO seemed to shrink to almost nothing).

    AND all of my numbers & assumptions seem to tie right up to the toyodlr’s 12/30/2005 post as well (Just as he said, I even had trouble finding the first exterior color choice, Blizzard/Pearl White in the config. I wanted.)

    So, what I get out of all this that … to me … my experience & numbers confirm tstrick320’s strategy did cut to the bone, he found the dealer’s walkaway price … about invoice plus $150 (or so) for a Limited … IF you hit a ultra-high-volume dealership outside the SouthEast region. If you are in the Southeast region, the dealer’s walkaway price at a ultra-high-volume lot (such as Atlanta Toyota) is probably closer to invoice plus $850. (Again, just as toyodlr’s 12/30/2005 post suggests.)

    I can certainly recommend, of course, the dealership where I bought, Marc Jacobson Toyota, not only for (what I think to be) a good, quick deal, but also for the product knowledge and the general straight-forward, customer-orientation that seems to permeate the property (… versus any wiggly, what’ll ya gimme tactics). That culture seems to carry over into service, parts, and so on. They, just in September, opened this high-volume lot and they are trying to quickly steal the pole position as the area’s high-volume dealer … meaning they are, at this moment, apparently much more ready to deal than other lots in the immediate RDU area. It’s not fixed pricing, but in many other ways, I picked up a very positive, Saturn-lot-like vibe off of the place.

    The Maryland dealership is Fitzgerald Auto Mall, just off the Beltway. My sense of it is that IF

    * you are willing to pick from what is on the lot as it sits, and
    * you have financing in place, no trade, and
    * you are willing to cut a deal, take delivery and head out the door immediately, and
    * you are willing to pay a little bit at a fixed pricing lot since you are not a strong haggler

    … then this might be a very, very good place for you to buy a car. (Otherwise, you’re going to find it not so different from other well-worked deals.)

    Fitz (as well as Atlanta Toyota) is listed at the Toyota website (under the dealer locator menu choice) as having the President’s Cabinet Award (not JUST the President’s Award) … for being among the top 60 US dealerships in volume and also being among the top 12 based on the customer Sales Satisfaction Survey. Based on past deal attempts over the years (both on the lot and off) as well as this attempt, I do understand the reservations some expressed on this board about Atlanta Toyota … the ultra-high-volume dealers like Atlanta Toyota are typically going to offer a good price … but if the deal is for something not on the lot, not a immediate close, or if it become labor-intensive or time-intensive, well, they are not going to be very supportive. They usually have “qualified” (ready-and-able-to-buy) customers queued up on the asphalt all day long … so why bother? They niche themselves more as a lower-cost, higher-volume new car lot … much more so than as a fuller, customer-supportive, total experience/ownership dealership. A emphasis on a “production-line approach” to new car sales.
  • And the Fitz experience confirmed it -- when the deal got messier, so to speak – locating the car, PPOs, hinting at a trade, etc. -- the sales force (er, the “consultants”) lost interest and the deal started to unravel. But if you are willing to buy a car under the conditions I listed above then I expect you will be pretty “satisfied” by a dealership on the “Cabinet” list. At minimum, consider getting a quote from them … it is probably not going to get too awfully much cheaper than what those lots will offer via phone/email on a cash basis. I called a number of them (across the US, not identifying my location) to help me get a fix on what the initial offer and dealer walkaway price might ought to be. They were good numbers for a place to start figuring from.

    Here’s the Cabinet’s List from the Toyota website, in ranked order:

    * Longo Toyota -- El Monte CA (LA metro area)
    * Toyota of Riverside -- Riverside CA (LA metro area)
    * Molle Toyota -- Kansas City KS
    * Ft. Myers Toyota -- Ft. Myers FL (Naples / Southwest Coast area)
    * Atlanta Toyota -- Duluth GA
    * Miller Toyota -- Manassas VA (DC metro area)
    * Beaman Toyota -- Nashville TN
    * Toyota of Puyallup -- Puyallup WA (Seattle-Tacoma metro area)
    * Libertyville Toyota -- Libertyville IL (North Chicagoland)
    * Maroone Toyota -- Davie FL (Ft. Lauderdale/Miami metro area)
    * Fitzgerald's Lakeforest Toyota -- Gaithersburg, MD (DC metro area)
    * Toyota of San Bernardino -- San Bernardino CA (LA metro area)

    I also took a stab at a number of the smaller, more rural dealerships in the area (on and off lot), but, generally speaking, I ran into a lot of highballing, sweatboxing, “come on down,” “bait and switch” attempts (there is a gob of markup/margin in the Southeast region Special Edition vehicle and one dealer tried to switch me into it at delivery … I walked) … and other such tactics that just wasted a lot of my time.

    So, looking back, I would recommend following tstrick320’s distance-bidding approach … after first checking ultra-high volume lots to make sure you have an idea of where the low bid ought be … and be sure to include some high and ultra-high volume dealerships if possible. Expect the best Limited deal to be about invoice plus $150 … unless it is the SE region, in which case it would be closer to invoice plus $850. If it is not an ultra-high volume lot … and the deal becomes more than a quick cash turnover (as with mine) your going to end up closer to invoice plus $1400 … the number toyodlr’s post suggests.

    Some other advice: If you cut a deal off-lot, and they don’t stick to the deal when you hit the lot, save yourself some time and frustration and just walk—the deal you thought you had was never there. Also, be clear that you are negotiating total delivered/OTD price, less only TTT, throughout your phoning/emailing/dealing/negotiating.

    It IS possible I left some money on the table along the way [Perhaps I might have priced in the SET fee when it was already built in elsewhere (though I think not, based on the digging I did) … or perhaps I shouldn’t be letting the dealer “off the hook” for the last $575 so easily and logically.] But I ended up with a dealership that could handle the PPOs hassle-free, and if I ended up with a dealership that I can trust in day-to-day dealings, that knows what it is doing in the shop and that remains customer-oriented throughout the ownership experience … well, it’s probably still a very good deal … for me.

    If you follow tstrick320’s distance bidding approach, and do some homework in advance to double-check the low bidder, you’ll probably “flush out of the brush” any extra monies I might have left behind and get your best deal.

    I dumped a lot of info in this post ... some of it took me a while to discover during the dealing ... in the hope that it shortens your learning curve and snags you your best deal.

    Happy hunting !!
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    I got my Avalon from Atlanta Toyota. The salesman offered me a free tank of gas if I gave him the Toyota satisfaction survey to complete. I asked him why I would do that and he said "To make sure Toyota received the survey and it didn't get lost." Sure it was.
    I guess many customers take the bribe which explains why Atlanta Toyota are "among the top 12 based on the customer Sales Satisfaction Survey."
    I had a problem with my car after picking it up, but the salesman and sales manager refused to return my repeated phone calls or emails. The salesman did have the nerve to call me a month later to complain about my less than complimentary, but factual response to Toyota's Sales Satisfaction Survey! Those President Awards are worth nothing. Every dealer posts "Dealership of The Year" award plaques for the past 20 years all over their showrooms.
    I know of 2 other people who had a negative experience with these guys. Atlanta Toyota get a zero out of ten from me. :lemon:
    I previously bought 2 Toyotas from Sandy Springs Toyota and they were professional and courteous all the way. The salesman followed up after each sale and attended to a couple of post-sales issues without complaint. Unfortunately they didn't have the car I wanted when I was shopping for the Avalon.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    When making a purchase, every deal should be at invoice or below. Why? Every Avalon gets $$ holdback that enables the dealer to make money even below invoice and this DOES not count any additional incentives ie dealer volume, end of month/quarter promotions.

    One example is an XLS 'base' model:

    MSRP= $34,395

    Base Invoice= $30,337

    Real Dealer Invoice = $29,661 (including a holdback of $676)

    Knowledge is power!:) :)
  • Concerning #824 jcooper1
    That was some good information and good numbers. With a price difference of $4,450.00 (XLS vs. XL) I'm starting to think it might be wise to loose the "S" on the trunk. I'm not sure if there is enough real difference between the two to justify the cost difference...but I guess it's an individual thing. It gives me something to think about.
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378
    About 2 weeks ago I purchased the above car with the following: Rear spoiler (with LED light)
    Color matched mud guards
    Carpet Floor mats/Trunk/Cargo mats
    All season floor mats
    Toyoguard plus protection plan (SE region only)

    Invoice on this car is $32,306.90 (not to include the all season mats).....I purchased it for 32,000.00 before tax and tag. Plus since I am active duty military I got an additional $500 all in all not a bad deal.
    They had to do a search and find the white color with ivory interior we wanted....had to wait a additional charge for this by the way.....if they try to charge you for this......tell them that's bs......
    My purchase was made in Tampa.....and to add what the other poster stated is that SE Toyota does add in an additional charge on their invoice for these cars.....I think that is complete BS, BUT if you want a Toyota in this part of the country be prepared to pay it.....try and get below invoice like I did....$300 below I got an additional $500 off for being active duty these deals are out there.....just do your homework.....come up with a REALISTIC price before going to the dealership......stick to your guns.....and everything will work out.....BUT be prepared to walk if you don't get what you want.....within reason of course.....
    Happy Motoring!!
  • If there is anyone in the state of Texas that has bought, or is buying, an Avalon in the ball park of invoice I would appreciate a response to this post.

    I have been doing the research, mainly on this site and have seen many buying experiences that have been pleasant, at invoice and on very rare occasions, below invoice. I have not seen this in Texas and with 74 Toyota dealers in this state you would think it's at least possible.

    I've done the same many others on this site have done: e-mailed dealers (not all 74 of course) and the ones that require a phone number I avoid. I don't need that headache right now and I don't understand why some dealers require a phone number, but I suspect it's so they can do the lip action (deception) to get you in without having to back it up (hard copy).

    If I were to find such a deal I would jump on it like a chicken on a June bug and would be willing to drive anywhere in the Lone Star state to pick it up (with the exception of the panhandle). It's time for a little vacation anyway.

    One other note: I noticed that in most cases when the Avalon was bought at invoice it was from high volume dealers. Does anyone know how to determine if a dealership is high volume?

    Thanks in advance for any response.
  • mldj98,
    Got a question for ya. Did you make a mistake on the invoice of 32,306.90 or did the spoiler and toyoguard plus combined invoice at $1,450.90?
  • I can't give you any insight into Texas dealers. However, I bought an Avalon Limited 2 weeks ago here in New England (see my post above) and had good success by sending a FAX to all of the dealers (19) that were close enough to do business with.

    I think the key to getting a response is to be very clear about what you want and what you are going to do. The dealers are going to focus their energy on "live" prospects. Traditionally, that's a warm, emotionally charged body on the lot. Doing this long distance requires some extra effort to convince them you're for real and that they should take the time to respond.

    Get your financing lined up so that you can ask for, and close on, a cash deal. Be ready to purchase the car NOW. Be willing to wait for a factory order. Make it clear you will only consider written quotes. Include ALL of your contact information -- you want these people to respond, make it easy for them. And, yes, I know you'll get calls from high-pressure salesmen who want just want you to "come in to talk" (refer to warm, emotional body above). Tell them you'll call them back just as soon as you get their quote by FAX.

    Buying a car this way takes some work but it saved me a bundle. You won't do this every day so you can afford to spend some time on it.

    Good luck!
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378

    No that is the invoice....what you have to remember is that the invoice for the Avalon is different in the SE region of the country......if you go to edmunds, or Kelly Blue Book website and punch in a Tampa zip code you will see that there is an additional $700 added to the invoice price for cars in this region. For people that live in this region it is a big pain in the [non-permissible content removed].....but we have no other choice but pay it or buy a different make of car. How I came up with the invoice price is I went to KBB and punched in the car and it's options and came up with that price which include destination of course. If your in Texas your invoice price will be different......
    Did that answer your question? Hope so....
    Good luck in your search.....
  • My thoughts on SET Toyoguard is that it "doesn't count" on the invoice or the sticker ... I count is as "no value" in the deal. (My sticker did not have it, but most in the SE do). I see it as just "fluff" for the dealer to toss away in the wheeling-dealing to make your deal look a little better. At one "what'll ya gimme" session (I don't buy that way, but I gather info that way), the first thing I said was "can the Toyoguard" and the dealer drew a pencil line through it without a moment's hesitation.

    On the Avalon Limited ToyoGuard Plus invoices (according to at $231 and lists for $699. Here is what you get:

    First oil change free -- ok, I'll give ya that's worth $20 at Quick-e-lube. Some dealers will throw that into the deal just to get you started on using their service bays.

    Towing, Roadside assistance -- free or very minimal costs (say $10/yr) with most auto insurance policies. It is no extra charge on my policy.

    Rental car assistance -- Not a rental car, rental car ASSISTANCE. I am guessing (maybe I am wrong here) that this means the service rep will walk you over to the window where they rent Corollas. Many, many Toyota dealerships run a Rent-A-Car operation ... (and I find it to be a good deal, btw, I toggle between Toyota RAC and Avis.)

    Exterior paint sealant -- a quick spray of poly wax and a buff. These days, "paint sealant" means "poly wax."

    Sealant cleaner -- guessing this is a spray of spot-free rinse solution or some other minimal treatment.

    Undercoating & sound seal -- a quick spray of liquid that deters rusting ... on top of the already protected underbelly ... that is already covered as rust-free in your warranty. Unless I am mistaken they don't put on the gooey tar-like stuff that used to be put on as undercoating long ago.

    Interior protectant -- Spritz carpets and fabric with Scotchguard. $6 a can at the supermarket.

    Vehicle VIN etch protection -- Print out your VIN number on strips of acid-coated paper and rub one of them on an edge of each of your windows. It might deter a thief ... who wants to steal your car just to part out the windows. I have seen this offered online (they send you the printed tapes for you to rub on) for as little as $19.

    Again, when I worked my numbers I just ignored it.
  • When you are trying to work a deal in the SE (versus the other regions), you'll have to figure on paying an additional $800 or so, all other things equal. This is not only what others said (like toyodlr, 12/30/05), but it jived out with all the offers I looked at (and the deal I did do) ... AND it says so at as well.

    Here is exactly what it says at the KBB.Com website if you "build your own" Avalon Limited. One of the options to check is:

    "Southeast Toyota Administration Charge. Touring, XLS & Limited. Invoice--750.00, MSRP--No charge. (Req'd in AL, FL, GA, NC & SC) (Cost Will Be Automatically Included in Dealer Invoice Model Price)"

    When I was working my deal numbers, all the major websites (kbb, nada, edmunds) showed the base Avalon Limited invoiced at 29,757. Southeast, northeast, whatever (unless you checked the box). What this means is that when A SOUTHEAST DEALER shows you HIS invoice price for a base Avalon Limited (the invoice THEY gets from SET) ... THAT lil' piece of paper will show ... $29,757 + $750 = $30,507. That is $750 that is in the deal (somewhere) that they can't "give up" ... because SET is going to take it away from them, so to speak.

    btw, the destination charge is $55 higher in SE (I just doublechecked vs. NYC, but I believe I recall it being the same for all regions, $635 in the SE, $580 all other regions). That's surely another SET slice o' the pie.

    In the SE, the sticker calls it (not a destination/delivery fee but) a "delivery, processing and handling fee." My guess is that is because (I am pretty sure) that a law was once passed ... way back when ... requiring manufacturers to nationally standardize the delivery fee amount, that is, to not have a different delivery fee in different parts of the country. (That was because individual dealers took to the practice of tacking any number it felt like onto the RHS (right-hand-side) sticker and calling it a "destination/delivery fee.")

    But there's no law in America that says you can't charge a customer a $55 "processing/handling fee" if you feel like it ...

    So, again, when you are trying to work a deal in the SE region(versus the other regions), you'll have to figure on paying an additional $800 or so, all other things equal. :mad:

    btw, the numbers I posted about my deal ... the invoice price I quoted did NOT include the $750 charge--I used the NON-SET invoice # in my dealings/calcuating. In my posted calculations the SET $750 number is included in the amount I paid ABOVE invoice. If I include the # as part of the invoice #, then it could be said that I paid "invoice plus" $676.21. If you accept my argument for "giving up" the $575 that I discussed (or even if you feel I just gave it away), what is left is "invoice plus" $101.21.
  • Yes, that did answer my question.

    When things get a little fuzzy to me concerning Avalon price issues ( even small) I ask..and hope it's never taken as abrasive.

  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378

    It was in no way fact it was a real good question....some people around the country do not know about the added fee that SET puts on its autos. I sure didn't know about it until I moved here. Like mention above in some of the other is pure profit...
    Why is it that SET charges extra for there cars....yet, let's say the midwest dealers or the west coast dealers do not? The simple answer is because "they can".....bottom line as I mentioned before.....the only way not to pay it is to buy somewhere out of the SET region.....which would put you either way up north or in the midwest.....
    And oh by the way......there is no such thing as a stupid question as you know......knowledge is power....especially when you share it in this forum......I simply read and learn....but be careful and not take everything you read here as something that is set in stone.....if it sounds like bs then do a little research....ask questions.....the answer will be clear...eventually....
    Happy Motoring!
  • 2002 avalon xl, basic model with leather seats [ 1t luxury car but I believe it has just the basic accesories..pretty good for a civic/echo owner!!], tinted aftermarket, certified,23000 miles, good tires..17 inch
    Dealer = toyota of roswell, 18,995 original price down to 17, hassle deal with excellent service...
    good deal or not??
    Car runs like a spaceship cruicing at mach1...great car!!
  • Recently purchased 06 Avalon/Ltd/Black with Nav/Vehicle stability/Dynamic laser cruise control; I HAD to pay for a few add-on ripoffs like (fabric protection, pin stripe etc)

    The dealer also added up the approximately extra $950 that apparently Gulf States Toyota charges for regional advertising. Toyota buyers in TX have to put up with this; I dont know if ordering a vehicle with only the options you want would save the money on unwanted ripoffs; Or do the dealers find another way to get you?

    Final Deal at $35,500 + TTL (which in Texas is almost $2900); I would have felt better if I had the same car for $34,500; Comments welcome
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