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Choosing a Dealer - What to Look For



  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    But we only deal with WHOLE people.

    Well then you obviously have not read some of the HALF cocked post I have :shades: ;) :D

    btw, you all really need a better lol ha ha ha i am just kidding smiley. :)
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    99.99999999% of the people here would be on this site cranking up the worst experience ever thread talking about how they went to a dealer they bought a car from 6 months ago and the salesmen blew him off blah, blah, all dealers are terrible, blah blah blah, I will never go there again.

    Consumers talk big but rarely do what they say. Of course they will go there again, all they have to do is sell the car for $50 cheaper than the next dealer. For most consumers its all about price. How else would some of the junk on the market get sold?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    It had been there for awhile, yes. The price had been dropped a few times and was already below what I've seen many others pay. I got a good, but not Top International Haggler price.

    I had all day to shop originally. Hadn't found anything I wanted, and that place was my last stop. I could've come back the next day, but that was a Saturday, and the dealership was ~20 miles from my house, and I was tired of being in a rental car (after vehicle totalling). So... it was my decision to say hey, why not - just see if they can wrap the whole thing up in an hour and let me be done with it.


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  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Nothing wrong with that Kirstie, its not like you are going to be put in the Haggler Hall Of Shame or anything. You are just a person who values there time.

    Hey I will admit it. Before I got into sales I was the an easy mark. And now I am as easy as they come. I have not negotiated the price on one thing in the last 13 years. After a couple of years in this business I just couldn't do it. I told my wife, "how can I come home on Monday and complain about all the tight asses buying cars and then go on Tuesday and negotiate the price of a TV?"

    So any of you folks on Commission who sell anything but cars might want to give me a card. If you look up Lay Down in the dictionary there is a picture of me. :D
  • drewbadrewba Posts: 154
    I'd say that having a pleasant purchase experience where I don't need to spend a weekend driving from store to store is worth an extra 1-2% of the purchase price to me.

    However, $1,000 is a bit extreme. I'd probably try e-mailing dealer C. :-)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,112
    I value dealer service very highly and I do in fact pay extra for it. Case in point---I take my car into the dealer for its services. Do I pay more? Yeah, probably $50 to $75 a visit every $5,000 miles. And what do I get for that?

    Washed car, call on my cell phone when it's done (on time, always), name of service person I can call up for questions, and, one time---a new bumper for the one they scratched while the car was on their premises.

    Not only do I pay extra for these services, I actually tip the service manager $10-$20 bucks.

    As for that well-dressed young kid with shining eyes, just learning his business, who sold me the car, I've sent him two customers, and so when I call HIM up to help me, he helps me locate a part or answer a question on extended warranty or figure out a deal for a friend on the phone.

    Of course, this kind of mutually beneficial relationship requires TWO cooperating parties. Yes, you can sometimes be caught casting pearls before swine and so you have to use common sense in dispensing your generosity and trust. Some dealerships are unrehabilitatible and will always go back to the Big House. You cannot cure larceny or laziness just by being nice, but if there is goodwill to be reaped, by all means put in your half and get it done.

    The dealer is, in fact, your portal to the factory. The dealer is your intermediary. You slam that door shut, or if you contract with a dealer who doesn't accept his responsbility as trusted doorman to your satisfaction, you are essentially screwed for 5 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first in its agonizing slowness.

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  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    Do I pay more? Yeah, probably $50 to $75 a visit every 5,000 miles... I actually tip the service manager $10-$20 bucks

    Edmunds must pay you guys fairly well. :)

    So, roughly every 5,000 miles, when you go in for an oil change, you're out of pocket expense is about $90. That's kind of high for an oil change and wash. I suppose if it helps with a borderline call on warranty repair, it may be worth it.

    But, how do you know you wouldn't get these "extras" anyhow .... without having to pay more and tip?

    I go into my dealership about every 4 or 5 months, unless the service advisor is taking notes, I doubt that he remembers me. So, for most people I don't think this building a repore with dealership will be beneficial. $$$
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,112
    Well your math is fine and there's no argument from me about it BUT---it also depends on what your time is worth I guess. If you and I went to the same doctor and I was ushered in right away and got 45 minutes with him by paying an extra "concierge fee" (which I do, to my doctor) and you sat and read magazines for 45 minutes and 10 minutes with the doctor, who's to say who got the best deal? It's not just about dollars, in other words.

    Or let's look at it another way. If my engine blows up 1,000 miles out of warranty, I have oil change receipts with the dealer's name on them, while Mr. X has no receipts, or receipts from Jiffy Lube.

    Can you guess what happens next? I have an idea.

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  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    I pay for services all the time. There are a couple of Restaraunts that my wife and I frequent. When there is an 1 1/2 wait for a table we are usually seated in about 15 minutes. Why? Because when we come in we don't get out the tip calculator and figure a tip. We reward for good service and they remember us. Thats just one example of many. I tipped the ADT guy who put my alarm in and he called a week later to check in and I commented that all was fine, just wish I would have put an additional control pad in. He was there in an hour and put another one in Gratis.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    Can you guess what happens next?

    The dealership calls the manufacturer to get approval on out of warranty work I suppose. At only 1,000 miles out of warranty, I would think the dealership would do this irreguardless of whether your receipts are from Jiffy Lube or dealership... as long as you bought your car from said dealership.

    But, if it works for you guys great. Anyhow, I always figured you to be a DIY'er Shifty. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,112
    Nah, I look under the hood of a new car and just scratch my....head....

    Some dealers have discretionary monies to pay for goodwill out of warranty but this depends on the dealer's reputation with the factory. A dealer who sells a lot and wins awards is going to get more from the factory than some surly backwater dealer who just creates grief for factory and customer, that's for sure.

    Well of course we reward good service. I wasn't passing out bribes---these are rewards for missions accomplished.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    There are people reading your words that are slowly shaking their heads. For those people it's all about paying the LEAST for anything they buy.

    For me, that would be a tough way to go through life.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    For those people it's all about paying the LEAST for anything they buy.

    And for some of them, the act of negotiating the "best deal" is a reward in itself though many would view it as painful.

    I prefer to keep the whole process as brief as possible. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • teamyonexteamyonex Posts: 42
    For me, the sales department means nothing. It's all about the service department, because after the couple of hours it takes to buy the car, you'll never see the sales people again, and the relationship with the service people is most critical. I've called the service dept. and said, "My vehicle is spitting blue smoke and shudders and weaves... I need to get it right away." If they say, "Certainly. Our next available appointment is in 5 weeks," then I know what I can expect. The bigger and better the service department the better.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    That's an excellent point. Interestingly, I have had the good fortune of dealing with great salespeople who have been most helpful after a purchase. That may be an advantage of living in a small town?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • mazda6iguymazda6iguy Posts: 365
    I am turned off by showrooms that are filled with sales desks, instead of cars on display. We have a Chevy dealer like that here. All desks are separated by partitions. Other dealers have cars on display.
  • maddmikemaddmike Posts: 12
    teamyonex, you're 100% dead on. You only deal with the sales folks once. You spend the rest of your relationship at that dealer with the service department.

    Thanks for the reminder on the appointment backlog. I'll make sure to call a few of the dealers I'm looking to buy from.

    I was trying to come up with a list of things one would look to evaluate a dealer's service department if they've never been there before. Here's just a few items:

    Does my purchase include the first service for free?
    Does your service department wash my car when it comes in for service?
    Do you provide a free loaner car if my repair takes more than a day?
    Do you provide any additional services to your purchasing customer that bring their cars into your service department?

    Feel free to add to the list.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Is that FREE car wash brushless or one that will leave swirl marks in the paint. My dealership uses the brush system and has my account annotated NOT to wash my vehicles.
  • I was told by a local dealer that the manufacturer (Toyota) doesn't make the model (Tacoma) in the trim (V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M)) that I'm looking for in my area, and that they'd have to bring one in from elsewhere.

    Well, do I stick with that dealer or plan a road trip? Is it worth it to find out where I can get one, and how would I do that? All of the automated "Get a Quote" webbies default to local dealers.

  • esteezeesteeze Posts: 102

    Check with as many dealers as you can, even if they are out of your area. For example, one of the primary dealers I'm working with currently is about 2 hours from where I live.

    Generally speaking, the more dealers you get involved with, the more options you will have as far as options, prices, etc.

    Good luck!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    If you can use the yellow pages (try to locate Toyota dealers in surrounding areas, you might be able to find their dealership websites using Google. Several that I've visited list their new and used inventory on-line. While it's not likely to be up-to-the-minute accurate, it's a good place to start before calling to see if they've got your preferred trim level in stock.


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  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Find out the zip codes of the zones that handle the unit you want and then go to the manufacture web site and search for dealers that are related to that zip code
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    Actually, you PAY for all of these FREE things.

    Nothing is free. They will have to roll these costs into the price of the car or their labor rates.

    Sounds good though...
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    hey isell...long time no see. Where ya been?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    Oh, I'm around, just busy lately.
  • geffengeffen Posts: 278
    I can relate to a few of the postings on sales and service depts. a few years ago I bought a car from a dealership whom has great sales people, I was impressed with the way my car purchase went and when it came time for me to get my car serviced of when i pointed out a something wrong with my car the service dept. acted as if I had purchased my car someplace else, I was even asked the first time I went into service, "Did you buy your car here" on the back my car it has the dealers plate frame which is easily visible they had not even looked up the VIN #. besides the salesman who sold me the car was just down the hall from the service dept. i was not impressed with their service as they could never duplicate my issues and never offered me a loaner car when my car had to stay there overnight. I took my business elsewhere, they've lost me as a customer. the amazing part to this is I found another dealership across town that diagnosed my issue and actually fixed it, and on top of it they gave me a loaner car and I did not even purchase from their dealership, what a difference from one dealer to another.
  • ilaveoilaveo Posts: 26
    When I've talked to people who run dealerships they've told me that service, sales, bodyshop and parts are to a large extent run as separate businesses (the accountants track them as separate profit centers with different managers responsible.) You may need to evaluate the different departments separately. I've heard that service is where the most profit is.

    My personal experience with dealerships has been that if the bodyshop and parts departments are rude or dishonest, then service and sales have the same problems, but the opposite is not necessarily true (e.g. bodyshop might be great, but service dishonest.)

    I try to get personal recommendations for the particular department I need to use, but if I got a good coupon with my vehicle I might use it to give my dealer's service department a try. The items on maddmike's list are all very nice, but IMHO are all secondary to honest and respectful treatment which may not be available at some dealerships.
  • :mad: Went looking for a Kia at Keifer Kia in Eugene, Or. last fall. Spent 28 minutes wandering through their new car lot. During that time there were 6 to 7 salespeople milling around the showroom entrance. I kept an eye on them as I looked in windows and scanned stickers, and only noticed three glances in my direction. Apparently they are making enough money off of the buyers who don't care how they are treated. I won't be going there again, or their Mazda dealership either!
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    So what's your problem?

    If you needed help from a sales person, you could have asked one.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    They probably thought you were, what they call in the business, an "ice cream licker". Still ice cream or not... inexcusable behavior. You did right in taking your business elsewhere. Though I probably would have hollered at one of them to get their lazy butt over here, but that's just me.
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