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Purchasing Programs (AAA, Costco, BJ's, etc.)



  • I get whatever rebate is coming to me. I apply that rebate to the down payment, which is of course my choice. Of course, there may be manufacturer to dealer rebates which most of the public doesn't see. So, the dealer may be making money that way. But, that's not my business.

  • valleyvalley Posts: 12
    Agreed. Also beware if your program is an employee program - even an affiliate employee program. Chances are that IRS is after you. One guy was very excited about a $6,000 off MSRP on a GMC truck he bought. But the program actually entitles IRS to add that full $6,000 to his regular income and tax at the marginal rate with elevated income. If he was in 30% bracket, the $6,000 is now worth less than $4,000. Could he have negotiated more than $4,000 below MSRP?

    In fact, when GM did that "everybody gets employee price" campaign, his employer issued a blunt memo saying that employees would be better off going on the street and take the dealer offer :P That company takes the position that an affiliate program should not be treated the same as employee program and has contested (publicly but unsuccessfully) IRS rules.
  • peetertpeetert Posts: 124
    We are just starting to investigate a replacement for the family minivan, the hope is as soon as my 2yo starts outgrowing our need to tote around the stroller all the time, we will have chosen a suitable replacement. One of the contenders is the Freestyle. Friends of ours have one and I was given a demo of it while visting them this past winter. It seems to have alot of what we are looking for, 3rd row seating (we have 3 kids), based off the Volvo (big pluses for the Mrs. there) and since its a Ford, it has the optional keypad entry. believe it or not, this little "feature" is a must of for my wife.

    Enough of the background, now to the questions. I have Ford X-Plan pricing through work. I also am a member of Costco & BJ's. Assuming we are looking to purchase a Freestyle, which would give me the better price? I've looked at the Ford X-Plan prices and they seem to be just below invoice plus incentives. Haven't investigated the club benefits yet since we are not ready to buy yet.

    Now, to add something else to the mix.

    Over the weekend my wife got an offer from Ford to test drive the new Escape and get a $50 Target Card, as well as a coupon for $500 off the purchase. In lurking here for quite some time, and occasionally posting, I told her go down to the dealership midweek during the day and see if she can get someone to just sign the card as we are not really interested in the Escape anyway as it is too small for our needs. Also, while the other two will be in school, she'll have our little 2yo monster in tow so I don't want to wish him upon any salesman, just yet.

    Since we are "interested" in the Freestyle, I told her to see if she can test drive that (assuming they won't just sign her card). Is that an option?


  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Since we are "interested" in the Freestyle, I told her to see if she can test drive that (assuming they won't just sign her card). Is that an option?


    I don't see why it would be a problem. We do it all the time here. Have her test drive the van first then when she is done have her ask the Salesperson for a "favor" and ask him to get the other signed. Is the $500 just good on the Escape or any models? If you are not sure tell me the program # and your zip code and I will find out for you.

    Also allot of times there are rebates for plan customers that regular retail don't get.
  • peetertpeetert Posts: 124
    thanks for the reply. I looked at the card, and it is actually the Edge, not the Escape (too many similar names). The Coupon says the $500 discount is for a 2007 Edge only.

    Anyway, my Zip is 07869.

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    OK, for your Region there X-plan will probably work better because there is an additional $500 A/X/Z/D planners. Your incentive break down is as follows

    $3000 Rebate
    $500 Bonus cash
    $500 X-plan Money

    $500 Bonus Cash
    $500 X-plan
    0.00%-5.9% rate on 60 months depending on your credit. With a little bit better then average credit you can usually qualify for 0%. If you hav had Credit problems then up to 5.9% is still a great rate
  • peetertpeetert Posts: 124
    Thanks for the info. My wife went yesterday mid-day with our 2 yr old. The place was empty so I guess the salesman was looking for something to do.

    She was upfront about why she was there, to get the coupon for the Edge signed, but, since we are interested the Freestyle, she wondered if they could test that instead. They drove the car and she seemed to feel it was an adequet replacement.

    We still have to look at what else is out there, so I'll probably be posting those questions to the relevant threads.

    Also, I now have to do the math to see if we can do this now or wait. If we wait, the X-Plan may *not* be an option as I don't know how long I plan to stay at this position. That is the reason for the original question as to if the Costco, et. al. plans are similar to the X-Plan

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    If we wait, the X-Plan may *not* be an option as I don't know how long I plan to stay at this position.

    I am not sure about X plan but I know A/Z/D plans are good for the entire calender year. Meaning if you get it on Jan 1 you can use it up till Dec 31. I know I have had folks leave the plant and get a PIN # for a purchase before they leave and use it 6 months later. Something worth checking into. Call 1-800-348-7709 and ask, that is the A/X/Z/D plan HQ. If that don't work let me know and I will dig up a web address for you.
  • peetertpeetert Posts: 124
    Thanks for the info. I did read where you would need to provide "proof of employment" with a "recent" paystub, etc. I guess "recent" may be a subjective term. I did generate a PIN last night so I do have 12 months to use it.
  • I already know that unless a miracle occurs, this summer when I'm in the market for my next vehicle, no dealer for 200 miles is going to have one that is exactly what I want. Has anyone ever had any experience with ordering vehicles through one of these programs? Would I probably be able to get at least as good a deal by contacting a dealer's fleet manager directly?

    On another note- my wife has access to a special buying program through her work. ( Has anyone ever used this service?
  • A few years back I was in the market for a small car, and being eligible for the X-Plan I was considering a Ford Focus. It being the end of the model year at the time, Ford was offering a $2K or $3K (I can't remember which) incentive on top of the X Plan pricing, so I decided to pull the trigger on the Focus.

    I went into the dealer expecting to just take the X Plan price without any serious negotiating. However, when I got there, the vehicle that I wanted wasn't there, so the salesperson tried to put me into a higher trim vehicle which had stuff that I really wasn't interested in.

    Anyway, I, of course, asked him if he could "check around" to see if there was a dealer swap that he could do. He made a big show of pretending to call around to other dealers, but I am fairly certain that he was probably just talking to a dial tone. Anyway, this charade went on for awhile and he said that there was no cars available with the feature that I wanted.

    At this point, I thanked him for his time and "effort" (it WAS an entertaining show on his part) and I was about to walk. At this point, he asked me to wait while he keeps looking. He leave for about 5 minutes and comes back with another person in tow.

    This, of course, is the sales manager. The sales manager introduces himself and explains that it being the end of the model year, supplies are limited, so I pretty much have to take what's on the lot. I told him that what they have on the lot doesn't meet my needs, and I am just going to go elsewhere.

    The SM replies that he has a car on the lot that has everything that I want. I reply that I told the salesman that it also has features that I am not interested in, and I really don't want to pay for these extras. So the SM replies with that famous question "So what can I do to get you into that car today?"

    Like I said before I was pretty much done with this dealership, so I figured I'd throw out a ridiculous offer to see if they would bite. "Well, if you gave me that car for the same X-Plan price that I would have paid for a car that has only the features and I want AND you beat the interest rate that I am getting with my bank, then you have a deal."

    Much to my surprise, the SM immediately agreed!

    To make a long story short, I ended up with a deal that was better than X-Plan pricing, although that was never my intention. They did "get" me for VIN etching since it was pre-printed on the contract and I didn't notice it, so I suppose I didn't get the _best_ deal. Still it ended up being a good deal.

    Anyway, my perspective now is that X Plan pricing is good (usually around invoice price minus rebates), but I think you can do better if you are smart (or in my case, lucky).

    In retrospect, though, I kind of wish that I HAD walked since the salesman and the SM were your typical sleazy car salesman types. The fake phone calls to the other dealers really amused me, and the VIN etching was annoying (although it was my fault for not paying attention - I won't make that mistake again).

    I did start to go to them for servicing since they gave me a bunch of coupons for free oil changes and tire rotations. However, the quality of their service department was lacking (a story for another day perhaps), so I have been going to another dealership where I have had a much better service experience. I am thinking that if I am in the market for another Ford, I might just go to them.

    Two things to be aware of when it comes to X Plan pricing:

    1. According to the terms of X Plan pricing, the dealer is not allowed to charge any sort of documentation fee.

    2. The X Plan price includes the destination charge, so they shouldn't be adding that back in.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 11,469
    Very good spam, but spam never the less. Hosts?

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • Apparently AAA just recently revamped their Auto Buying service. Their site allowed me to do the research I needed to ID the car I wanted. The dealer I worked with was great, if you can believe it, there was no haggling at all and the discount pricing was great.
  • You did not mention what type of vehicle you are looking for.
    AAA did not find the best price and while AAA does not charge a fee the company that provides the service for them tacks 15% onto the cost of the vehicle. A bit misleading of AAA. Costco tries to give the best price but the dealers think the buyer will not check around and don't offer the best price. i checked Edmunds first had the paper in hand as well as contacting 3 dealers who had signed up with Costco there was as much as $1000 difference between them. In the end I went to the next city and purchased the same vehicle for $1000less, no hassles and lots of benefits, free oil change for a year, free car wash, free car rental.

    Hope this helps.
  • We haven't nailed down the deal yet (waiting for the car to come in, *should* be there tomorrow), but we went through's service (through Bank of America's site) and we were quoted a price that was about $3,700 off invoice. We were looking at Corollas and originally wanted the base model in manual; since that car doesn't exist (Zag's system will still let you configure cars and tells you that they're available even when they aren't) the dealer offered to give us the same discount off of a manual Corolla S.

    Maybe we just got lucky - maybe they are blowing out the 2010 Corollas, since we tried searching lots of other models on (Jetta, Sentra, Altima, Civic, Elantra) and couldn't get the same discount - YMMV. Even searching in a different zip code (still the same region, just a different city) produced different results. Also as noted above Zag will let you configure cars that aren't available, and the dealer might tell you that they have it in stock (when they don't, or even if the car isn't available with certain options) just to get you to come in.
This discussion has been closed.