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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I am expecting my 5spd AWD EX to be in any day now, but the dealer and I had not settled on a price. I gave them a $500 deposit based on an assumed price, and had them write into the contract that I have right of first refusal. The salesman told me I would still be able to haggle, and I was going to offer them $400 over invoice.

I know that this is a highly sought after car, but with car sales dragging like they are, doesn't this seem to be a reasonable offer? And how likely do you think it is that they'll give me the price I want, considering the situation?

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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I say, make them a reasonable offer. Talk to every dealer in the area.

I am waiting for my exs awd 5spd sop to arrive in early july, yet I have the price down to about $360 over invoice. In VA this come to $20200 out the door (taxes included).

I think the key is the size of the dealer. Sorry to say, but the local honda dealer in town could not come close- the fellow said that they need to sell at msrp since the car is in such demand. I went to one of the largest dealers in the area and got them down (over the phone) quite easily. I let it be known that I knew the numbers, and made an offer that woudl yield them some profit.

Dealer invoice for ex 4wd auto is 19262. Add 460 destination charge. Add $200 or $250 (depends who ya talk to) for side bags. Subtract $800 for 5 spd. This is the dealer cost. Find out what the other charges are for your state. Make an offer based on that, and they won't be insulted.

I don't have mine yet, but it is reserved, and I think i'm getting a pretty good deal at that price.
 

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400 over invoice is quite reasonable; I had a couple dealers at 300 over plus 120 doc fee. Remember, they also get about 650 in "holdback" from Honda for each AWD sold. I ended up at 400 over plus a stupid 189 doc fee; would have gone with another dealer but these guys have an awd mt ex coming in two weeks, so decided to skip the sideairbags, swallow the extra Benjamins and go for it.

Is your deposit refundable? If they won't deal with you at a good price, have them throw in some goodies like keyless, roof rack, mats, etc. I think you should make the deal you want or get your $ back and walk. Good luck!
Steve
 

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I'm a little baffled at all the replies and the way this deal has gone so far. I have never taken a deposit on a vehicle without first agreeing on what the price will be. When we didn't have pricing yet on some of the Elements is was MSRP and no adds.

If I agree on a price and someone tries to negotiate after the fact, it isn't going to be pretty for the one trying to re-negotiate. I wouldn't re-negotiate and raise the price on the customer once we had agreed on something and would expect the same from them. Now, if they didn't give you a price yet, then IMO they are opening themselves up to just that. If the salesperson told you that would still negotiate, then you certainly should.

The main thing you want to avoid is placing a deposit on a vehicle and taking that vehicle off the market to any other potential buyers. The dealer won't be screwed in any case, because they will sell the Element to someone else, if you can't reach an agreement, but what about the other potential buyers that might have to drive miles and miles to get one from another dealer, because you locked up the one and only at your dealership? There is a very, very limited number of 5spd 4WD's out there, so this is quite realistic.

At any rate, best of luck to you.
 

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Have some honor, man.

If you build a good relationship with the right dealer you'll get a lot more than a few hundred dollars in return.

My last car was a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero, and as everyone knows the Mitsu 0% financing has KILLED the resale value.

Luckily, the dealer I bought it from carries many brands including Honda and thanks to the long standing relationship I have with them I was able to break even on my trade (I would have been WAY upside down) and I got $900 under sticker on the Element.

I get these kinds of deals because I have bought many cars from them, I do my service with them, I send my friends to them, I keep my promises with them, and they do the same for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm all for being straight with the dealer, but I'm their target market: a 27 year old male who is still living in an apartment, one dog, one cat, and about $100k in school loans that it'll take me till forever to get paid off. If they're unhappy with trying to save a few bucks anywhere I can, then that should stick to making their higher end cars where the rich guys can just pay whatever (yeah, right). The truth is, this is a business transaction and I'm not looking to be all chummy with the sales guys... I'll save that for the guys in parts, since I try to do most of my own routine maintenance.

Its the dealers (well, I guess its the manufacturers) that set up this silly game in the first place. If they aren't going to come to me and say "this is the price everyone pays, and we believe its a fair price to all parties involved" then I am going to try to save a few bucks. If they think my offer is unreasonable, they can keep their car and I'll keep the $$ in the market (where, it now seems, it might grow a bit!)

I hear where you are coming from, but respectfully disagree...
 

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Newbie,

I'm not in any way trying to tell you that you shouldn't still negotiate. I'm only saying that if you and the salesperson did in fact agree on a price, then you should stick to that price and expect the same from them. If you didn't agree on a price yet, and the salesperson told you that they would negotiate, then by all means do so. Give them an offer that you can live with and be 100% happy with and then let them decide if they can live with it. That's perfectly fair and expected in this business. It isn't a perfect system, but you can reach a ground where everyone is happy.

If the dealer has been under the assumption all along that your were paying X price and they won't budge off that price, you should be prepared for this and understanding. If you haven't yet agreed on price you might have to walk away from the deal if you aren't happy with their offer. I would not wait until the Element arrives to do this though. At that point you might be at more of a disadvantage, because there might be 10 other people willing to purchase that specific vehicle at the dealer's asking price. Also, tensions can get high and you don't want that. Even if you don't care about a "chummy" relationship, you still want the dealer to be there for you if you have any troubles in the future.

My advice: settle on a price ASAP. Hope that helps and you understand my reasoning.
 

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Newbie:

This is just what I hear from the grapevine - and the grapevine is right here (and on Brand X forum too) to check for yourself.

(1) The 5SPD AWD is not a huge production run, and the ones made are going to be in demand.

(2) While your dealer seems committed to having you as a customer, they left their options open as to what they'll sell the car at. Demand fluctuates day by day, model by model, and if they get some serious interest in this car, they have no reason at all to discount it deeply for you. If you didn't lock into a price, you gambled that the dealer would want to just move it in/out pretty quick, and at a low price. Your deposit *is* refundable and you agreed on right of first refusal, but I'm pretty sure the first price they put before you won't be deeply discounted. Thus you'll refuse that price and find yourself competing against other interested buyers - if any.

When I decided that I really did want the side airbags and I wanted to get the car in June, not, say, September, I knew that my discounting options were limited. That's when I chose my dealer not on the basis of the deal, because there were not any real rock-bottom deals on what I wanted when I wanted it, but based upon the dealer's professionality.

(3) If I were you, I'd get that price firmed up. If they're going to not budge off MSRP, at least you'll know.

Good luck!!
 

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Honda has a tradition reaching back 20 years of constraining availability of hot new models in order to keep prices up. That is one of the reasons a Honda franchise is so valuable. I understand that former Honda employess as well as several dealers have paid heavy fines and I believe some were given prison time over kickbacks offers, etc. to get allocations of hard to get cars. The most famous of these cases was Rick Hendrick, owner of Jeff Gorden's NASCAR team who, it was said, avoided prision time only because he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Bottom line is that if you think you get a deep discount on a hard to get car from Honda, I suspect you will find yourself looking at someone else driving that 5 speed you ordered. That part of the game is legal and Honda dealers play it like masters. I suppose the decision you need to make is whether the difference between your hoped for purchase price and MSRP is worth a year or so of driving the car you want.

A year from now, I suspect there will be deals because the buzz will have died down some and availability will probably improve--although there is no guarantee on that either. Also, you better hope that the Scion Xb is real popular. That will help keep Honda on its toes!

yelapa
 

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You don't have to make the sales guy your best friend or give up a lot of money - but you'll do far better if you start letting the little things go and work towards developing a sales relationship over the long term instead of dealing with whatever you can get off a dealer this day/week/month.

It seems that people are far less loyal these days. The long term customer-sales relationships seem to be dying. It's too bad - there is so much to gain from this type of approach and to be honest - I'm kinda glad it's uncommon since less people are doing it - it's now that much easier for sales people to give better discounts to loyal customers.

I hear people raving about the deals they think they are getting when they go to WalMart or Target or Circuit City and the like - and it's dissapointing for a few reasons.

1. They are typically buying low priced junk.
2. They are killing their own local economy!
3. These stores will not support you if you have a problem

Meanwhile, people who build relationships with local businesses get great discounts, give back to the community, and get great service and support.

OK - I know I must sound like a rambling 89 year old preacher but I just wanted to extol the virtues of the "old school" values. Thanks for putting up with me! :D
 

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[quote:6f642df8ea="eMass"]Meanwhile, people who build relationships with local businesses get great discounts, give back to the community, and get great service and support. :D[/quote:6f642df8ea]

I agree wholeheartedly. In our area, Portland, Oregon, there was NO correlation bewteen dealer size and the quality of the deal available to us. We ended up buying from a semi-rural dealer in the Yamhill County wine country because he had what we wanted and put a decent deal together. I am sure we could chiseled and nibbled and wasted our time and gotten a better deal somewhere else, but I doubt the savings would have been worth our while. Notably, the big advertisers are almost always "systems operations" which in my view are detestable and should be boycotted.

yelapa
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I see where you are coming from. I would really like to establish a relationship with a dealer, but in reality, I can't see myself even being in this geographical area in the next 5 or 10 years, so I can't see where its to my advantage to begin a relationship... however, the question is, do I really want this car.

Of course I do, and this whole excercise probably isn't really worth the $1000 that I am looking to save.

I am calling to dealer tomorrow to try to firm up a price, but I figure that if they throw in some extras (I didn't really want to install those fog lights myself, anyway), I'd be more than willing to give them sticker. Of course, I'll still try to haggle :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I settled on a price with the dealer. I figured on an invoice price of around 18,990 for my silver 5 spd AWD EX, and the sticker was 20,510 (both prices including dest. and handl.), and I felt that 4% was a more resonable markup, bring my offer to 19,744... well, the dealer wanted 19,995, which I was willing to give them if they threw in fog lights, but they decided to give it to me for my price without the foglights (guess they don't like putting them in either!)

This dealer so far has been awesome, and I go in Tuesday to fill out all the paperwork!

Thanks to everyone for their input!
 

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Newbie:

Good deal! Sounds like it all came out really well.

Soon it'll be Element driving time. Enjoy!
 
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