Car Buying - Negotiating Apples vs. Oranges?

triumph65triumph65 Member Posts: 5
edited September 2016 in General
It's been a long time since I've bought a new car but seem to remember negotiating off of invoice not MSRP.
There is no way to find two of the exact same cars at 2 different dealerships with the multitude of packages and options. The best I could do is find two cars that are an 85-95% match to what I want.
Would I be better off negotiating the price as a % off of MSRP or a % over invoice.
We also may have to order our exact config to get what we want (2016 Highlander, AWD, tech package, body molding, crossbars, 2nd row captains, tow) as none of the local offerings are an exact match.
What about coming up with the exact car I want to order and shopping it to all the dealers?

Best Answers


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited August 2016
    I do it your way. Some people (especially BMW buyers?) work off MSRP.

    Not that it matters all that much anymore since invoice isn't a real number these days. There's a lot more manufacturer to dealer money and bonuses and spiffs that we don't know about and those payments have really lessened the value of invoice pricing.

    What I would suggest is a bit of a twist - work off a % under invoice. :)

    That doesn't work as well for Toyotas as it does for Hondas though.

    You may have better luck getting a dealer to swap for your perfect Highlander.
  • triumph65triumph65 Member Posts: 5
    Stever - thanks you very much for the answer.
    Whether buying one off a lot, where you are dealing with multiple different configurations, or ordering one new couldn't you just use the % off MSRP as a comparative negotiating tool.
    So if dealership A is giving you 8.5% off MSRP and Dealership B is only giving you 7% off.......
    If that will work it may be easier as its very easy for me to see the MSRP on each sticker.
    Let me know. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    kyfdx said:

    The problem with negotiating from "invoice" is you and the dealer agreeing on that number. MSRP is easy, and it's right on the window.

    I may have to start working from that angle since invoice is such a "fake" number anyway, even if everyone agrees on what it is.
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