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Let the dealers fight for my business?

1734 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  yelapa
I want to buy one of these. I also want to get the best deal possible and the most for my trade in (of course). Is there any advantage to working with multiple dealers in my area? Any tips you guys can give me?
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I hate car dealers. They are sleazy and greedy. Every new truck I bought I got a bad deal. As they say if you bought the car you got ripped off. In 1999 my girlfriend and I went to test drive the Rav 4 and the CRV. She did not like the Rav4 so we went next do to the honda dealer. As soon as walked in a salesman came up to us. We explianed that we wanted to test drive a crv to compare it to the Rav 4. He started asking us about financing. We explianed that we were not buying tonight, just test driving. He said, and I quote, "I don't have time for this" and walked away.

Needless to say, I lost my s**t. (typically if I do this in public my girlfriend get ticked, this time she cheered me on.) I went up one side of the sale manager and down the other. He turned us over to their top salesman. We test drove the crv but had no intention of buying from them. She liked the crv and we talked a little to the saleman. He was a great guy, no preasure. I think he knew that his dealership had lost the sale but we wanted a honda. We thought about it over the weekend and decided to give him a chance. Long story short. We bought the car off of him because he treated us well. The deal was good but the treatment was great.

So when it came time to buy the Element, actually 2, I went to him. He remembered me after 2 years and agian no preasure. Both my parents and I felt that if we had to buy a car we would like to buy from him. The salesman got two sales and my girlfriend got two referals.

My long winded advice is to find a salesman you like, and build a relationship. There are good ones out there.
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I'd already made up my mind (after visiting two auto shows and multiple test drives) that I wanted an Element. I live in a fairly large metro area (Cleveland), so I have mulitple Honda dealers to play off one another, which is what I did.

I called five of them, asked who handled fleet sales, and told the guy/gal who answered the phone what I wanted -- 4WD EX, Shoreline Mist, $2,000 in options, a 48 month lease, 15,000 mile/year allowance, gap insurance and zero down payment. I told them I wanted a simple quote.

Within an hour I had a quote from all of them.

I called the lowest one back and told him he'd have to do better, and that I was now going to buy it without any options. The price dropped accordingly and we made a deal that I'm guessing was based on a capitalized cost that is about $800-900 off sticker price.

It took about two hours of my time.
[quote:3c897e91e2="boneheadz"]I hate car dealers. They are sleazy and greedy.
My long winded advice is to find a salesman you like, and build a relationship.

There are good ones out there.[/quote:3c897e91e2]

I'm glad you finally put that little blurb at the bottom about the good ones. Auto sales is like anything in life: there are good ones and bad ones. The beauty of it is that you can pick a different salesperson or even a different dealership if you want. You're not obligated to buy from someone you don't like or trust or at a price you don't agree to.

What we have done the last few times is simply visit with several dealerships and explain that we will buy a car in the next 2-3 weeks from whoever gives us the best deal. Someone always comes out on top and they almost always work their best deal at the very end. You can't blame them for not showing their cards until you're finally ready. It's their job to make profit.

I'm still quite amazed by the lack of enthusiasm and marketing from our area Honda dealers. They are selling Elements, but they don't hype them up much. Our local dealer acts like we are wasting their time for even coming in to look at an Element. No problem, I'll just go somewhere else.
The piont of my post was that I have always generalized dealers as bad guys until I built a relationship with a good salesman. I would rather pay a little more for a good experience than less money more hassel. I am actually looking forward to buying my next element from the same salesman.
Here is the plan which has already been started.

1. Get a price on the same Element from all the dealers in my area (Compare apples to apples).
2. Take my trade into Car Max and see what they will give me.
3. Take my trade into the two dealers with the lowest prices and see what they will give me.
4. Do the math and buy the car from the best priced dealership.

Sound good?
Sounds just right to me.
boneheadz, three cheers for you. I work in sales (not car sales but sales is sales) and yes, there will always be some one with a better price but, price is not always the bottom line. Value is where it is at. Value consisists of price and service both during and after the sale. Definately check out prices and the competition to make sure you are getting fair quotes. Also remember if you have to take your vehicle back in to where you purchased it if you get teated right in the first place, you know that you will be treated right then, so it was worth paying a few extra dollars if you have to.

I did just that. I was on this forum for a long time before I purchased my E. I knew what I wanted to pay and also checked out of town dealerships to find out what was available and what everyone was offering. When it came time to buy, I went back to my local dealer (this was my 3rd Honda from them) as an informed buyer and it worked out great.

Another note to anyone who cares, please try to purchase locally if you can becuase you keep the money in your own community instead of stimulating someone else's economy. Just my two cents.
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Out of 5 dealers 2 have submitted prices to me.

I wish to issue a boycott on Don Carlton Honda In Tulsa Oklahoma. My friends And I went to look at a new Element and the salesman refused to show the Element to us unless "You have the twenty-thousand dollars to buy it." so we went to another honda dealer Joe Marina. and they were very kind to us. So When I purchase my Element I'm going to Go to Don Carlton And say That the lost my "twenty-thousand and I'm giving it to Joe Marina"
Dont forget there is more to buying a car than just the initial purchase. I bought a SOP Element from the dealer with the lowest price. But just recently I had to get the dash repaired and the service department from the dealer were I bought it was terrible, rude and unfriendly. I then went to the other dealer I had been dealing with and the service has been great, heck they even gave me a rental car for free when I had to get my oil changed and had an important meeting. Now that is servcie and will get my repeat business.

Moral: buying a car and the service behind it are both part of the new car buying equation. "spelling"? Or should be.
We had been talking to a couple of dealers around Portland, OR after rejecting three or four that were completely fixated on those goofy $1500 to $2500 dealer markups with the undercoating assorted worthless mandatory options. At the same time, when the EX's are sitting on the lot for only hours or at most a day or two before sale, you cannot expect swingin' deals on the price.

We ended up getting the deal we wanted from a small dealer in McMiinneville, which is 30 miles west of Portland in Oregon's wine country. They just happened to have had a single EX in stock and it just happened to be the exact color/option package we wanted. It didn't hurt that the salesman just flipped us the keys after a brief conversation, saying we looked honest and to take it for a spin as long as we wanted (around here, they usually ride along and are often required to drive the car off the lot themselves). We came back in a half hour and made the deal at MSRP and a trade-in on our previous vehicle that was $750 better than our objective. We also got 2.9% financing instead of paying the balance in cash.

I think that in the near future the Toyota Xb will offer Element shoppers an excellent negotiating initiative. It will be interesting to how the pricing will work out after the Toyota mahcines are fully rolled out.

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