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Toyota Avalon Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • greg521greg521 Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone shed light on best deal in Dallas/Ft Worth area on an 06 Limited? MSRP on vehicle I'm looking at is $34,869, so how much are the dealers "dealing" on these?
  • charliern9charliern9 Member Posts: 22
    I haven't received that informaton yet? The salesman emailed me the information I listed and the understanding we have is that I will get back with him after Christmas. When I do I will ask about residual and money factor. Is that information you would need before you could comment more on the deal? Thanks.
  • johnj3johnj3 Member Posts: 5
    Has anyone used the Consumers Checkbook CarBargains service? Wondering if it is worth the cost or can I do just as well on my own? :confuse:
  • voiceguyvoiceguy Member Posts: 6
    You have to know what the resid is. If they throw artificially low monthly payments at you, your resid is going to be impossibly high. Leasing is just putting the 'down payment/cash part' at the end of the deal instead of the beginning. If you lease, you will be paying 'interest' on the TOTAL price of the car rather than the price-less down payment if you were buying the car. Buying is 'pay me now'; leasing is 'pay me later'. The operative phrase in both cases is....'pay me'.
  • myomamanmyomaman Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I purchased a new Limited today fully loaded with a sticker of $38 and got it for $34 from Rohrich in Pittsburgh. We got quotes from local dealers and theirs was the lowest. It was easy when we went to the dealer -- no hassles, just confirmation of the car and a sale with only tax and tags added. The sales people there are very low pressure and nice. My wife is looking forward to her new Avalon.
  • atlavalonatlavalon Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone gotten a good deal in the Atlanta, GA area. I got some quotes but most are 2-3 thousand above invoice.
  • bobr321bobr321 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2006 Avalon LTD, on 12/24/05, at Boch Toyota in Norwood, MA and agree they are willing to deal on the car. The MSRP was $35,703 ($33,815 + $650 Veh Stability Control, + $199 Carpet Floor Mats, + $499 Remote Start, + $540 Delivery/Processing Fee. Invoice was $31,200. My out-the-door price before Tax/Title/License was $31,350, which was $150 over invoice. It was a no hasssle deal. One of my best ever car buying experiences.

    Love the car.
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    Here is a list of the dealers I went thru in the Atlanta area when I leased my Avalon, together with my comments:

    Atlanta Toyota - will negotiate price over phone/internet. Competitive price and lease rates. NON EXISTENT customer service & don't care about you once you sign the deal. I won't buy from them again.

    Cobb County Toyota - Did not have any Avalons when I was looking. We had an OK (but not great) previous experience leasing my wife's Sienna in 2002. Just make sure that the numbers don't mysteriously change from those quoted by email or phone.

    Conyers Toyota - Assume customer is dumb, Advertise a very low selling price on their website but try to write the deal at MSRP and try to confuse with numbers. Don't waste your time.

    Sandy Springs Toyota - Did not return calls for quote. Don't have many Avalons on the lot. Good service department. I had a very good purchasing experience in 1998.

    Stone Mountain Toyota - EXTREMLEY helpful, will negotiate price over phone/internet. Will not negotiate lease rates. I would suggest talking to the internet dept.

    Toyota Mall of Georgia - Competitive price and lease rates, but will not locate a specific car/color. You have to buy what they have in inventory.

    Toyota of Roswell - Assume customer is dumb, don't want to deal over phone/internet and don't want to budge off MSRP. Previous purchasing experience was not great and service is terrible. Not worth the time.

    Toyota South - Very helpful, competitive pricing, will negotiate over phone/internet. I would suggest talking to them.

    If I were in the market for a Toyota again I would probably try to do a deal with either Stone Mountain Toyota or Toyota South.
  • toyodlrtoyodlr Member Posts: 12
    Just a little FYI.
    Toyota dealers in the Southeast (AL,GA,SC,NC,FL) have to pay an additional admin fee on their cars. This fee now varies per car from $380 to $750. This used to be $635 across the board on all cars but now it is based on the price of the car. Dealers do not get this money, it goes to SET, the distributor. As far as pricing on Avalons - $800 over invoice is a good deal on most of the Avalons. Expect to pay $1,300 over or more for a Limited especially the Blizzard Pearl cars as the are very tight in supply right now.
  • rviradiarviradia Member Posts: 44
    Notice you didn't metion World Toyota on Peachtree Industrial & 285, I just put a deposit down on an XL (Blue Mirage Metallic) with 6-disc In-Dash CD Changer, Anti-theft System and Carpet Mats for $25K even, and the service was excellent.
  • blane31blane31 Member Posts: 8
    Today I took delivery of our 06 Avalon XLS with only the VSC/heated seats option. The price was $30,693 + $159 processing fee (incl. transportation). Extra was taxes and tags for OTD of $31898. Dealer was McGeorge Toyota of Richmond, from whom I purchased an identical 2000 XLS for only $693 less than this 2006. I find this dealer to be straightforward, no hassle, no pressure, responsive and meticulous in detail. I am not a sharp negotiator, and judged their price on several internet quotes. It is no steal, but seems in the ballpark. The only other quote I got was from Brown Toyota in Charlottesville, who quoted a different car, color, and extras that I had not asked for, and who charged extra for pinstriping and mudgaurds that McGeorge threw in for free. McGeorge quoted me $705 for the 7 yr, 75K, 0 deductible extended warranty. Maybe some of you will find this useful. This is a great car.
  • usaid98usaid98 Member Posts: 10
    I read with interest your purchase of a 06 Avalon XLS. My bottom line price including tax, doc profit was $30,410.95. As follows: Invoice on XLS $27,360.06,del - 635.00, South East Admin fee - 555.00, fuel sc - 21.23, doc fee - 69.00, set up - 29.00,vsc - 872.00, window tint - 150.00, mud guards - 136.40, tax - 229.67. Bottom line price $30,410.95. My car is being purchase in NC. Most dealers will not break out the car as I have. Good luck.

    FYI - buying a car out of state can caused you problems if you every have to used the lemon law. Be carefull.
  • mikamylaumikamylau Member Posts: 3
    Anyone have advice on recent dealings in the Phila, PA area? We're willing to look at reputable dealers in PA/NJ/DE and the NYC and Baltimore areas. We've been shopping around for several weeks now, and the best quote we've had on an '06 XLS (Blue Mirage w/ivory interior, VSC/Heated seats, floor mats, and JBL) is $29,900 plus tax and tags = 31,830. Sticker is 34057.00. We were really looking for the Blizzard White w/ivory, VSC/Heated seats package, and nothing else.


    I think the deal quoted above may have died with Toyotathon ending yesterday, but don't know.
  • mikamylaumikamylau Member Posts: 3
    ......also, any strong feelings one way or another on the '05 vs. '06 Avalon?

    Thanks again.
  • duffnerduffner Member Posts: 15
    Hi Medic401
    Couldnt answer you sooner as the site wouldnt take my message.
    I have shopped L.A. My experiences are this:
    Keyes, Van Nuys has some nice salesmen. I bought my Camry from them 8 years ago thru the auto club. They told me they would not accept Auto Club for the Avalon.
    Miller Toyota in Culver City has about a dozen hungry-looking dudes in front at all times- very predetory looking. didnt even go in.
    Santa Monica Toyota has very nice sales people but they are small and dont have many cars in stock. they said it is MSRP only. They will call me if things change.
    Marina Del Rey Toyota is in the dark ages. They have nice salesmen who will take you on long test drives, but the Closer is Darth Vader who quoted me $700 a month for a 3 year lease which would buy me a Lexus LS or a BMW.
    Cerritos seems to have the most inventory and maybe would give you a price like some of the East Coast dealers have given some Posters. North Hollywood has bad word-of-mouth. Longo sounds like Cerritos-Big and maybe ready to deal.
  • usaid98usaid98 Member Posts: 10

  • henryat1140henryat1140 Member Posts: 13
    While shopping for a 2006 Limited in my choice of color, I saw that this dealer had one in stock. I called and inquired, providing the stock number. The salesman - who sounded about 17 years old wasn't willing to look up the car while I waited - he wanted my phone number (Ploy #1).

    I finally convinced him to check to see if they actually had the car in inventory, but he wasn't willing to quote a price, insisting I come in.

    I got the impression they deal with a lot of uninformed buyers, or people who 'have' to buy a car, and the idea of speaking with someone who was fully informed about the car and it's accessories, and was qualified and ready to buy the car was a rare experience for them.

    He still kept giving me a runaround so I terminated the call and phoned back and asked for the sales manager. While speaking to him, evidently the salesman was in the background listening and said to the manager I was a smarta**.

    I did get a price from the sales manager, but forgot to ask what color the interior was. When I called back the sales manager was in a meeting, so I left a message. When he called me back the first words out of his mouth were "this better be good, it's a long distance call".

    I can't recall ever being treated more rudely by a car dealer.

    In my opinion, this dealer is a fast-buck type, ready to pull any shenangans necessary to even get a customer in the showroom.

    I would suggest anyone contacting them be very cautious - and be prepared for the worst kind of tactics.
  • mikamylaumikamylau Member Posts: 3
    Do you mean Darcars? I emailed them, because they had what appeared to be an '03 or '04 Avalon listed as '05. Emailed them 3 times because the deal seemed pretty good, but you couldn't tell from the angle of the photo what year it really was. Never heard back.

    As an update, though, tonite I just purchased a demo '05 XLS/Blizzard/Ivory/VSC/JBL/Mats/Wheel locks/Remote start with 5,350 miles on it for 29K even here in suburban Philly at Thompson Toyota. The salesman was a great guy. The sales mgr played the part of The Heavy to the max. He didn't want to give an inch on our trade-in, but after finding out what day he was off, I called the salesman that day and asked him to talk to the Genl Sales Mgr, who had never previously returned my calls. Within hours, they closed the gap more than halfway on the $600 we were apart, and the deal was done.

    What I learned for future reference was to try to pick out and talk to the salesman who is least experienced or really seems to need a deal, and use that to your advantage. The sales mgrs seem to want to build those folks up, and letting them make deals at lower profit is better than letting them fail.
  • atleyatley Member Posts: 3
    My new 2006 Avalon had some problems and surprises. Mine is an XLS as was my 2001. The'06 has no side molding which makes me nervous when I have to park in a parking lot. Also, it has no automatic driver seat setting for two different drivers as my '01 had. That feature is on the Limited Model now but not the Avalon. I REALLY miss that too! Also, since I have had it for about a month I've notice that there is a hesitation in the foot feed which the Toyota service manager tells me can't be adjusted because it it controlled by the computer as opposed to the old wire system. He told me there was more of a hesitation in the '05 but that they have informed him they won't be adjusting it again for pollution reasons. Another problem I've noticed is that the molding on the top of the car is coming loose. They said it was held down by a clip which must have been broken so they will replace that. Sounds cheap to me! But the worst problem has been spots in the paint on the hood. They blamed them on the coating that comes on new cars. Said the glue from the coating got in the paint. They sent me to the body shop to have a heat gun applied to it to melt the glue and said it would just disappear. Well, it didn't. The spots are still there so now they want me to take it back to the body shop and have it put in a baking chamber. I'm wondering how wise it is to put a new car in a baking chamber? Ouch! That sounds like it could damage the paint finish. Does anyone have any suggestions about that?
  • aleksandrbelaleksandrbel Member Posts: 1
    Please provide more info about this "fantastic" deal
    ( phone or ... ).

  • mevandemevande Member Posts: 190
    Target a price at or a little below invoice. The dealer holdback on an Avalon LTD is $676 and when you add any other incentive, ie end of month/quarter the dealer has over 1200.00 BELOW invoice to work with.
  • gotthawantzgotthawantz Member Posts: 6
    I am in the Memphis area also, and went to Lander's Toyota in Little Rock, and they are AWESOM!! had many, XLS and limited's to cloose from and would order me anything that i wanted,. their service was far, far better than ANYOTHER dealer I've ever used on the past, they are truely there for the customers, no hassle, and sold me my $39,000 car for $34,000, and I found that to be a great deal!! Call them today, and YES my 06 is FABULOUS!!
  • gotthawantzgotthawantz Member Posts: 6
    I think you did fine, my MSRP was $38,ooo and I walked out the door paying $33,000 for my 06 limited, with all the fancy stuff!! I think I did good too!
  • mneuliepmneuliep Member Posts: 3
    I'm not much of a negotiator but this is the deal I got at Dunning Toyota, Ann Arbor MI:
    2006 Touring with JBL stereo, stability control w/ heated seats, mats, and Sirius. MSRP is $32,033. I paid $30,170 plus $170 doc fee, tax and tags.
  • slonieckisloniecki Member Posts: 2
    Did you get any other options beside vsc and window tint. I've been quoted $30,600 for '06 XLS with remote starter, rear spoiler, vsc, heated front seats, and front end road protector.
  • usaid98usaid98 Member Posts: 10
    The only options I purchased was window tint, mudguards, carpets/mats and vsc with heated front seats. My bottom line price with sales taxs/profit/fuel surcharges/filing fee/ was $30,690.01. This price also included such items built in like del charge/SE Toyota Admin fee/Fuel surcharge (6 gals) and set-up. Hope answers your question. If not keep asking and I will do my best to answer any other question.
    I just pick up the car today. Working my way thru the owner's manual. One thing I did not know prior to buying the car is how the event data recorder is being used. I think everybody needs to read this section. It is on page iv @ v. I am sure I will have some more questions on the my car after reading the manual. :)
  • tbirdtbird Member Posts: 19
    I'm in rural Georgia with Southeast Toyota as distributer and my local paper is offering a $1,000 "Customer Loyality" which brings their ad car to $24,214. I asked internet manager if this was just dealer hype or a promotion from SE Toyota. Any clue? This dealer is alway willing to go close to invoice so was hoping to get an added break. :P

    BTW is there anyone out there that would love to see the Touring with a 6 speed manual or is that just me? :D
  • vandydudevandydude Member Posts: 2
    Hello all,

    I am planning to buy an Avalon 2006 LTD. What worries me is that having seen all the changes interior, exterior, hybrid ETC ETC done to the Camry due in late 2006 (07 model from the Auto Show).... DO YOU THINK the Avalon will suffer such drastic changes interior? Exterior? Design?
    Not a Rockefeller here, so wouldn't like to buy the 2006 Avalon Ltd to see a few months later that there is the 2007 model totally redesigned, or with the bells and whistles from the 2006 coming standard in 2007...what do you all think?

    Thanks for the feedback!
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    Toyota usually work on a 5 year model cycle with a "refresh" in the 4th year. The 2005, 2006 and 2007 Avalons will be cosmetically the same, perhaps with some package and option changes in between. There will be subtle body changes for the 2008 and 2009 model year, probably color pallete, grill, rear lights and minor interior changes. Based on this cycle, there will be an all-new Avalon in 2010.
    Toyota do introduce running mechanical changes over the model cycle, even though the bodywork continues to remain the same.
    The mechanical change I anticipate, probably for the 2007 model year, is Toyota replacing the current horrible 5-speed transmission, the obvious weak link in the current Avalon, with the new 6-speed currently used in the IS350 and to be used in the 2007 Camry.
  • irvine_avalonirvine_avalon Member Posts: 3
    Would anyone please provide recent purchase price on Avalon Ltd. or XLS in Los Angeles/Orange County area? Thank you.
  • tstrick320tstrick320 Member Posts: 64
    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 Member 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?
  • tstrick320tstrick320 Member Posts: 64
    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 Member 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
  • tstrick320tstrick320 Member Posts: 64
    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.
  • ederzawiecederzawiec Member Posts: 61
    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 atlantaMember Posts: 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..... :)
  • vandydudevandydude Member Posts: 2
    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!)

  • easttexaseasttexas Member Posts: 23
    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.
  • jcooper1jcooper1 Member Posts: 3
    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
  • ibentmywookieibentmywookie Member Posts: 3
    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!
  • voiceguyvoiceguy Member Posts: 6
    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!!!!
  • luckytxluckytx Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • drqualitydrquality Member Posts: 7
    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.)
  • drqualitydrquality Member Posts: 7
    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.
  • drqualitydrquality Member Posts: 7
    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 Member 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 Member 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!:) :)
  • easttexaseasttexas Member Posts: 23
    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 Member 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!!
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