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R*E*S*P*E*C*T, find out what it means to me......

1310 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Cloak
I'm just a few weeks away from being *done* with this crushing burden of schoolwork, and I'll be walking into a dealership, dealing hard, and driving away.

Let's say that even without a test drive yet, I'm getting that E feeling. I blame you guys for infecting me with your enthusiasm! :wink:

SO, here's my question:

How do you walk into a dealership, get respect, keep that respect, and therefore get a minimum of B#llSh*t while dealing for a car?

I've thought of several things:

(1) Dress: I'm thinking casual but not sloppy? I'm not putting on pantyhose to impress some sales goon. Forget it.

(2) Company - I need to bring my mother to see if she can get in the back seat without too much difficulty. If my father's riding with me, he sits up front, and I'm sure he'll be fine. I just want to see if Mom can get in and out. (Sad to say, my father is up in years, very unwell, and can't get out that much. And he won't be with us that much longer. Mom will be up front most of the time.) But to buy - I'll be alone.

(3) I'm a very informed buyer. How do I make that clear?

(4) I'm a cash buyer. When do I make that clear?

(5) The dealer is competing against other dealers, both in and out of the area. If I have invested the time and energy to get all this data from a variety of dealers, then I should use that to my advantage. How do I make that clear?

(6) Is it to my advantage to NOT mention that I'm relocating this year to a different part of the US? I'm thinking if the dealer thinks they'll see me again for service and maintenance, maybe as a future customer, then they might deal more favorably for me. Thoughts?

(7) "No haggle" dealerships - is that for real? I know Saturn is that way but some others say "Oh we're a no-haggle dealership too" and I am skeptical. I can and will haggle like a camel trader if I want to.

(8) If they start the clearcoat, coating or fabric finish rubbish, I'm going to be hard pressed to keep my temper.

(9) No thank you, I don't want the extended warranty. I know I can buy it for up to 2 years or 24K miles, so if the car starts dollaring me to death, I'll buy it later. Right now I'm keeping the Honda reputation in mind and banking on it.

(10) What else should I say or do?

You know, buying a car should not be such a ridiculous chore. I know that cars are 'worth' what someone will write a check for, but there should be less crap in the process. I'm a smart assertive woman and yet I'm also polite. I don't feel like I should have to snarl or stomp out or whatever to make my point. But I have my limits.

I really feel like I'm going to get sized up poorly too because I'm a single woman, I'm told I look like I'm in my 30s but I'm in my 40s, and SO not the Generation Y X-Treme Sportz D00d that Honda had in mind for this car.

So, dealers, shape me up for a great deal. And owners, tell me your tricks.

I'm dreading the purchase process but so excited about this. I just pray that the test drive feels really good to me. :p

I feel like I'm not only going to buy a Honda, but join a community of individualists. That makes me pretty happy. :D

Thanks and big hugs to all of you.
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Come armed with all the info you have; be polite, but firm. You have all the power and the quicker you get that across to them, the smoother things will go.

If you have quotes from dealers, use them. Tell them you are serious, have cash, and don't want to go through the 4-square process. You want this specific vehicle and you want it for this price and you want to be driving away in an hour and 15 minutes. Tell them you don't want to hear about mark-up, options, extended warrantees, or interior/exterior coating. If they start running any little games on you, just get up and head to another dealer.

If you have any 'in' which gets you to the fleet manager, the above will be much easier. If you have a AAA membership or through an employer, school, credit union, or any other like club memberships, they often have this as a benefit to their members.

Good Luck and keep your eyes on the prize!
1)It's ok to let the dealer know that you are educated and have done your research, just do so in a not so pushy kinda way. If you walk in and start spewing invoice, dealer holdback and all that, only the most patient of all salespeople will remain attentive. Figure out in your mind, what you feel is fair profit on the vehicle and forget about wearing yourself out at 10 dealerships over $100-$200.

2)Find a dealer that you like and can trust. This begins by asking up front if there are any special surprises awaiting you, like "paint and fab protectant", etc. No need to get up in arms about it, just make it clear that you aren't interested in any of those things. Fine if they want to throw them in, so long as it doesn't affect your negotiated price. You need to be informed about the appicable state taxes and normal processing fees. In Texas for example, the state tax is 6.25% of the sale price. You will have to pay title, license, road and bridge (keeping Texas beautiful in theory), inspection and a doc fee. That's where it gets tricky. Our dealership charges a flat $50 doc fee. It isn't negotiable, as the dealer must charge everyone they sell equally. Some dealers may charge more.

3)Don't pay "customer fees", "dealer services" or any other words they might have for their built in profit "fees". If it says fee and it isn't a doc fee, be afraid, lol. It's just like a mortgage. When shopping mortgages you have to compare the total amount you will be spending, so get the drive out price with everything when comparing prices.

4)Request price quotes via the internet and specify the model you want. Also make sure this vehicle is in stock and if you decide you wish to purchase that one, contact the internet manager or salesperson you are working with and request the VIN number. If it is a vehicle on order or not yet at the dealership, it may or may not have a VIN number yet.

5)If a salesperson asks you for a demo drive, and you have already driven 17 just like it, appease him/her and take a quick drive, unless you are short on time. It is sometimes a salesperson's requirement (like at our dealership) that everyone drives every car before they buy it. If they don't want to drive, 90% of the time, they don't want to buy. So, many salespeople will gauge your interest in buying just from that.

6)Don't become frustrated when negotiating. If you are really close to the deal you want, ask to go to lunch and think about your decision a little more. Sleeping on it overnight won't change the price any, but it might gain you the extra little edge to get that last few hundred dollars to make up your mind. Don't get all worked up if a dealer tells you the price is M.S.R.P. or nothing. For many dealerships, ours included, that is what the Elements are bringing. I have discounted a few and I can tell you it was because I met the customer and felt they were deserving of a discount and didn't want to lose their business. I lose no sleep at night over the dork that storms out :evil: saying he/she is buying one at another dealership for X dollars, blah, blah, blah :roll: . Very well then, gooday.

7)Don't worry about the fact that you are a woman. Women are involved in well over 50% of our sales. I forget the exact statistics, but women are not taken lightly or as pushovers in today's age. In fact, when a woman walks on our lot, there is a lot less chance of them having to "check with their spouse" before purchasing.

I'm sure I will think of more, but I hope that helps some.
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I strongly advise you (and anyone else buying a car) go to the following website and study the information given there. Great information on negotiating your deal.
I have found that being a woman car buyer has been either:

a joke
or a pleasure.

It seems there is no middle ground. I have gone to a dealer when I was paying cash and said I have this much money to spend. I am not spending a penny more, will you work with me? And they did!

I have gone to a dealer only for the salesman to say he needed to ask my husband something. I tore up the check and walked out.

I have had salesmen not direct their conversations to me but to the menfolk instead. Their loss.

I don't have time to play games with dealers. This 2 hours in a dealership while they check on "whatever" is a fast way for me to walk. I may not get the best price, but it has always been within what I wanted to pay.

I go prepared with numbers (and a folder of quotes and listings). When I am looking I dress shabby, when I talk money - I dress better.

Don't let them bully you - sales managers especially! I imagine I have a chip on my shoulder - but who put it there?

And may I say I have had some excellent experiences with cooperative dealerships that I have walked in, told them what I would like to see and driven away a very satisfied customer.

I now have 5 grown kids and have bought a lot of cars! Good Luck!
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Id have to agree... When I decided to purchase my E I walked in and told them what I wanted. Ive also found that being honest and friendly with the salesman can go along way! The thing about the Element is that it is EXTREMELY popular and why would they sell it to you for less than they could sell it to the 3 people who have already checked it out since you came inside. When I bought mine the salesman talked the boss into giving me a discount so dont think that its not up to them... and if they tell you they cant sell it below this price in some situations they really cant. A lot of dealerships care more about money than quality.
You're getting some good advice here. Supamann told you pretty much what i was thinking to say and I wholeheartedly recommend, too. Just this weekend I made a deal to get my 2WD EX for Invoice here in the Bay Area (and it's being ordered--build scheduled about 5/12). i sent out a lot of requests to internet sales managers and one dealer came in $900 less than everyone else. No extra options or accessories either--I was quoted an out-the-door price including all taxes and fees. It was nice in that before ever setting foot in the dealership, my deal was already complete (I'd completed seperate test drive visits). That said, it probably helped that I was looking at a EX 2WD manual, I'm not sure I'd be as successful on a 4WD.

Best single advice I can give is to be able to drop the deal and leave if you can't get what you want. I wouldn't mention that you're paying cash until they've printed a contract and start to ask you about financing.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is be prepared to walk away.

We shopped for our E over the course of 3 weeks....when we didn't get respect we walked the end we went with the dealer that gave us the respect and time to make our own decision....and they offered us the best deal....go figure!

Diane :eek:)

PS We walked out of 3 dealerships because they were one of the following...

a) Too Pushy!
b) Tried to act like they knew more about the E than I did....but in reality I was the one that had done my homework
c) Way too over priced and not willing to meet other dealers offers
There are several Honda dealers in this area. I used Autobytel, CarsDirect and StoneAge to request price quotes and then e-mailed each dealership's Internet Manager (info available on Honda's web site) with the specific model and color I was interested in.

From six direct contacts, I got responses from four places. From the online services I got three more - 5 total dealerships, 2 duplications.

One person was very upfront. She said, "Yes, we have that model in stock. The price will be $X as is, or $Y if you add the accessories mentioned."

One person was almost as good. She said that whatever the total MSRP was, she would sell for $800 less than that.

A third said he could deal <duh>, but that I'd need to come in to see what they had. He was closest to my house, so I did do some test driving there and I gave him the chance to match/beat the other deals I was offered.

The rest returned either generic "We will contact you soon" messages (that were never followed up with actual contacts) or with requests for information that made it clear they hadn't really read the e-mail I sent.

In the end, the very upfront saleswoman was who we went with. She had a good price, she didn't play any pressure sales games, and she responded quickly and honestly to our questions.

As we looked at various vehicles, including the Element, over the last month, we walked away from every dealership that seemed to be trying to take advantage or that pushed us to "buy now" even though we made it clear up front that we don't spend this kind of money without a 24 hour waiting period to be sure. If I wasn't completely confident in the dealer and dealership, I walked.

During that month, I spent dozens of hours online making sure I knew as much as possible about any vehicle we were going to look at. New cars cost a lot of money! It's not like running out to buy a book. If you find out you don't like it, you can't just chuck it in the trash and go get a new one! (OK, I suppose technically you could, but it's not as easy to do as with a $6 paperback.)

So I guess my advice is to talk to as many people as possible, make sure you know as much as possible, and walk away from anything that doesn't feel 100% right.
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