OT: I hate buying and haggling for a new car...And why Edmunds, TrueCar,etc is worthless imho

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Submitted by flu on March 22, 2017 - 6:08am

So, I'm in the process of haggling for a new Miata RF after I cancelled my order for a regular Miata at $5000 off....

I was told since the RF was a new 2017 model with limited stock, there was no room for negotiation....MSRP (or in some cases above MSRP). I was like, no thanks I'll wait....

Then I started to get some dealers to respond... First it was a few hundred below MSRP...And where I am at is now at "invoice"...

Then I'm doing some more research... I figured out "invoice" price is most likely bullshit in today's modern car buying... Why? Most of the dealership incentives I believe has to do with meeting monthly sales targets, in the form of manufacturer rebates AFTER hitting sales targets...So I suspect if you try to buy a car at the end of the month, AND a dealership is trying to hit a sales target, that might be why they might be willing to sell the car significantly below invoice....since if the hit the sales target, the manufacturer rebate applies to all cars sold that month, not just yours....

If that's the case, the concept of "invoice" price really doesn't mean squat anymore, and places likes TrueCar are only there to make you feel better that you didn't get completely ripped off... You see, when I go to TrueCar I always see a nice bell curve in what people pay... However, every single time I've talked to multiple dealers on every car purchase, I've always hit well below what the lowest price TrueCar "claimed" people have paid.....

This miata RF is no different. I'm currently sitting on offers from many dealer now below invoice, on a 2017 model that just came out a few months ago, (no 2016 model)....And it's close to the end of the month. The other thing that I learned is that TrueCar charges roughly $200-300 to the dealer if someone ends up buying a car through their referral service....So if you end up contacting a competing dealer, you should probably be able to knock an additional $200-300 off the price versus someone that goes through TrueCar...That's assuming both dealers are both trying to hit their monthly sales targets and both have the same incentive to clear inventory to meet that target, if they haven't already met that target (in which case, they don't care about trying to sell you a car until the next month, hence less negotiable)....

So the only way you can really get a good price, is if you play each dealership off of each other, because you have no visibility into which dealership has incentive to sell a car, even if it's significantly below "invoice" just to hit a monthly sales target. I hate this..It's like flying blind. You have very little visibility into exactly what those manufacturer incentives are to each dealership, and hence why prices can vary from dealership to dealership.

Off to the haggling table I go... If I can get a RF at $28-9k, or roughly $1k below "invoice", I'll pull the trigger and "pay" for being one of the firsts to get one....

Submitted by flu on March 22, 2017 - 6:25am.

Funny....Someone actually wrote an article about too.....

http://www.clark.com/its-time-to-jettiso...

Submitted by no_such_reality on March 22, 2017 - 6:47am.

I have a purchase coming up. Do me a favor, track your hours and tell me how much total time you spend to get the deal over the two gimme deal of some discounts off Msrp and few hundred over "invoice"

Submitted by moneymaker on March 22, 2017 - 6:55am.

Last car I bought (on impulse) was $500 below sticker. That was a Miata MX-5 Grand Touring. My older Ford F-150 Lariat 4X4 had a sticker price of around $43k, if I remember correctly, and I got it for $29k (brand new) with the 35 gallon gas tank that I wanted. I hate haggling with car salesmen but in both these cases it went pretty smooth. The truck I bought online and I was literally in the dealership for less than 15 minutes, it was the most painless (fun) vehicle buying experience I've had to date.

Submitted by flu on March 22, 2017 - 7:30am.

it doesn't take that much time to do things over email or text. I don't take phone calls. What i have noticed is that the dealers are very reluctant to give quotes over email these days because they know you'll take the number and shop it among other dealers over email....So getting 1 dealer to name a below MSRP price is always the biggest time consumption. Once you get one dealer to name a price however, then using that price to shop it around helps and then prices start to get to more reasonable levels...The trick is that you don't try to lowball between prices because then that just shuts down the entire negotiation with you being perceived as being unreasonable....

It's a just a shitty experience. I made it already clear I'm not willing to pay MSRP and i'll wait...and it was like bending teeth to negotiate.....

First I just try to negotiate, and places drop the price $200 each time...And then when the price is still above invoice, I finally have to pull out the "I have the mazdaspeed discount", which then causes the price to more some more.... It's like every single little game and thing to get people to nudge.....

I do agree, that if you are prepared to walk and come back next month, it might help since it appears to depend on trying to meet some internal sales goals...

Submitted by no_such_reality on March 22, 2017 - 8:41am.

There's two forms of time involved. The time doing the actual negotiations and shopping around the dealers and the time just churning the asynchronous email game.

Granted some of that time might be time you otherwise piddle away reading internet gossip, but part of it is actually checking dealers to verify they have the car, contacting fleet, ping ponging emails etc.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on March 22, 2017 - 9:24am.

I don't think I will ever buy a new car or any car from a dealer again.

Just my personal experience, I never seem to be able to get a deal at a dealer.

and no, no F-150 is ever worth 60-70K LOL.

Seriously that was what I was quoted.

Submitted by outtamojo on March 22, 2017 - 9:33am.

Get to know the sales manager. Better yet, a few of them since they tend to move around a lot. Refer family and friends to that sales manager. Once you have brought enough business and get to know each other a little bit they will always give you the best price, 5 minutes tops.

Submitted by SD Transplant on March 22, 2017 - 10:39am.

my last purchase, in 2013, via TrueCar was deemed "unusually low price". FLU's point about invoice price is spot on.......I don't believe it when the majority of buyers are able to purchase at stated truecar/edmunds invoice prices that somehow it is the rock bottom price. This is now the new e-marketing strategy with manufacturers advertising/paying/influencing these online car buying services/sites.

Also, I purchased 4 cars via Edmunds about 10-11 years ago, and I did purchase below stated invoice.

There is room to get a better deal when you are patient and informed.

Submitted by bibsoconner on March 22, 2017 - 11:36am.

Flu,

I believe you are a member of Costco? They give car quotes for members. When I was looking the Costco quote was NOT the cheapest, but was a useful data point. I believe TrueCar was the cheapest quote I got. Like you, I then played several dealers off of one another. I agree with another poster that pointed out that at some point, it's not worth your time to save a couple of hundred. I'd also add another point. Some dealers throw in free/discounted service for 60000 miles or whatever. This might be worthwhile but at that point, having a dealer that's easy to get to becomes a consideration. I.e., paying a few hundred more and having the dealer close to you might be a good decision. Good luck!

Submitted by mixxalot on March 22, 2017 - 12:20pm.

I never buy new it is waste of money. Buying used saves TONS of money due to depreciation. My car is better than most new cars in spite of being 10 years old.

Submitted by sdsurfer on March 22, 2017 - 3:26pm.

I think the dealers tend to have an internet sales rep a lot of the time these days and I negotiated with that person via e-mail using both TrueCar and CarGurus for leverage. It still takes time though with the various dealers.

The best piece of advice I can offer is that whole rodeo of spending hours at the dealership on the day you finally buy the thing because they want you to talk to the finance manager yada yada. Last time around after arriving at the fair price I asked what time they closed. They said 9pm so I made an appt for 8:30pm and was outta there by 8:50.

Good luck!

Submitted by harvey on March 22, 2017 - 8:39pm.

Most car buyers don't even consider price and only consider payments. For this reason it's very plausible that TrueCar buyers typically get a better price than average.

If TrueCar solicits bids from several dealers they have to compete unless they are price fixing, and I doubt they go there. Sure there's always a theoretically lower price obtainable but any system that solicits bids from multiple dealers is likely to give a good price relative to the effort involved.

Don't over think it.

Submitted by millennial on March 22, 2017 - 9:09pm.

If you have some time I would listen to this episode of This American Life from NPR. It's a pretty good depiction of how the whole sales process works at dealerships from a salesman. https://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-arc...

Submitted by flu on March 22, 2017 - 10:05pm.

Well, i think the deal fell apart...That's alright. my wallet isn't going to burn as much....I told them I needed an OTD price so I can cut a check today/tomorrow and pick up over the weekend.

I didn't get anything to late this evening, and the numbers don't look correct. I asked about them and haven't heard back. It could be a clerical error, but frankly maybe this is a mixed blessing.

Submitted by Hobie on March 23, 2017 - 8:22am.

Price fixing is the 'invoice' price.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on March 23, 2017 - 9:54am.

You're in a good position as it sounds like you don't need to buy a car tomorrow. You know the market, it's probably time to set your price, make the offer to multiple dealers and see who bites. You're right that there are perverse incentives that either make dealerships super willing to negotiate at the end of the month, or totally ambivalent if they have hit their numbers already.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on March 23, 2017 - 9:55am.

harvey wrote:
Most car buyers don't even consider price and only consider payments. For this reason it's very plausible that TrueCar buyers typically get a better price than average.

This explains why the last time I bought a car I basically had to yell at the guy to stop trying to manipulate the payment and give me the bottom line figure. It's fun being good at math and being able to spot a shell game on the spot.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on March 23, 2017 - 9:57am.

The-Shoveler wrote:
I don't think I will ever buy a new car or any car from a dealer again.

Just my personal experience, I never seem to be able to get a deal at a dealer.

Both of our cars were of the 6,000 mile "used" variety. One was a car that was purchased, driven around for a while, and returned when they didn't like it. The other I believe had been a loaner.

I've encountered way more flexibility on the price of used cars vs. new, as they are often happy to unload it for $500 more than the discounted price they paid.

Submitted by flu on March 23, 2017 - 10:31am.

You know maybe it's just mazda, but I really don't have any problems with the internet sales folks that I've been talking to. They don't strike me people trying to pull a fast one on me or anything. Most of them have been pretty upfront about things...

They do try to get people to pay the most, but when I confront them with other offers, they don't try to make excuses and don't try to dangle these useless payment options in front of me.

Maybe because from the start I asked if they had any 0% offers, and when they said no, I said I'll be paying cash.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on March 23, 2017 - 10:41am.

If you are paying cash you are much better off getting a used car from a private party.

Not many people these days have many thousands of dollars to hand out for a Car so you have less competition for anything over a say 2 or 3 thousand.

Submitted by flu on March 23, 2017 - 11:10am.

The-Shoveler wrote:
If you are paying cash you are much better off getting a used car from a private party.

Not many people these days have many thousands of dollars to hand out for a Car so you have less competition for anything over a say 2 or 3 thousand.

If I were getting a utility car, that's what I would do. Unfortunately, this is the first production year of the RF and I don't feel like waiting.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on March 23, 2017 - 12:18pm.

flu wrote:
The-Shoveler wrote:
If you are paying cash you are much better off getting a used car from a private party.

Not many people these days have many thousands of dollars to hand out for a Car so you have less competition for anything over a say 2 or 3 thousand.

If I were getting a utility car, that's what I would do. Unfortunately, this is the first production year of the RF and I don't feel like waiting.

The fact it's the first production year means you probably won't be able to get the sort of deals that will be floating around next year.

Submitted by moneymaker on March 23, 2017 - 12:41pm.

I tried a couple of months ago to get an OTD price for last years model motorcycle (2015). I could tell they were wanting it gone because the quoted price was already heavily discounted, unfortunately they were unwilling/unable to quote an OTD price which is all i was looking for. My strategy was to buy it with a credit card that was offering a special deal and then pay it off. The card had a limit which I needed to make sure the bike didn't exceed. Unfortunately/or not, the deal fell through. The bike had a top speed that was 40 mph faster than my current bike, so maybe I would not be here had the deal gone through. There's always next year!

Submitted by flu on March 23, 2017 - 1:15pm.

poorgradstudent wrote:
flu wrote:
The-Shoveler wrote:
If you are paying cash you are much better off getting a used car from a private party.

Not many people these days have many thousands of dollars to hand out for a Car so you have less competition for anything over a say 2 or 3 thousand.

If I were getting a utility car, that's what I would do. Unfortunately, this is the first production year of the RF and I don't feel like waiting.

The fact it's the first production year means you probably won't be able to get the sort of deals that will be floating around next year.

I know. That's fine. Since I usually keep my cars until I drive them into the ground, the way I look at it is slightly more for slightly up front enjoyment amortizes into noise over 15-20 years. lol...

Submitted by millennial on March 23, 2017 - 4:48pm.

flu wrote:

I know. That's fine. Since I usually keep my cars until I drive them into the ground, the way I look at it is slightly more for slightly up front enjoyment amortizes into noise over 15-20 years. lol...

Just buy it already, you only live once and you won't remember the $1k or $2k you overpaid or underpaid on it.

Submitted by spdrun on March 23, 2017 - 6:09pm.

Real question is, you're in Southern California. Why in the purple tap-dancing fawk would you choose a hardtop over a convertible?

Fraidy-cat? Mrrrraaaaaooww!

Submitted by flu on March 23, 2017 - 6:18pm.

spdrun wrote:
Real question is, you're in Southern California. Why in the purple tap-dancing fawk would you choose a hardtop over a convertible?

Fraidy-cat? Mrrrraaaaaooww!

Avoid getting a rollbar if on a track. Well at least on some tracks that are looser in rules.

Submitted by matula on March 24, 2017 - 6:01am.

Which used car did you get?

Submitted by matula on March 24, 2017 - 6:07am.

mixxalot wrote:
I never buy new it is waste of money. Buying used saves TONS of money due to depreciation. My car is better than most new cars in spite of being 10 years old.

Which used car did you get?

Submitted by spdrun on March 24, 2017 - 7:13am.

Most > 10 year old cars are better than new cr@p. No fuckin' spyware like Generic Morons On*Star, or at least the On*Star is broken due to cell network updates.

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