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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why do Honda dealers treat their customers like they are doing them a favor selling them a car?

I want to buy an Element but I can't find anyone who will go below sticker on it. Pardon me, but I refuse to pay sticker price. I can get a GM employee discount through my dad but they don't have a car like the Element.

I guess my question is this: Has anyone found a Honda dealer that is willing to make a deal?
 

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[quote:aabed9b142="getmygoat"]Why do Honda dealers treat their customers like they are doing them a favor selling them a car? I want to buy an Element but I can't find anyone who will go below sticker on it. Pardon me, but I refuse to pay sticker price. [/quote:aabed9b142]

Don't get mad at the dealers. Get mad at the customers who will pay sticker or above. Can you answer this question: why would any intelligent car dealer (or any other business person) sell something for less than the market will bear?

On GM: The price of the typical GM car includes $1,400 to pay for the retirement benefits of GM employees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jonathan

I live in Michigan where (practically) everyone drives GM, Ford or Chrysler. I have only seen 1 Element on the road and I am on the road about half of every day. I don't think the demand for Hondas in Michigan is the same as it is in California or practically any other state.

I guess I just get the feeling that, instead of making a fair deal on a car they are holding out in hopes that some dummy will come in and pay over-sticker. (there's a sucker born every minute)

I work in sales and would have no luck if I treated my customers in this fashion. I read somewhere that Honda was putting it's salespeople through trainging to eliminate the "If you don't buy it someone else will." attitude... Hasn't worked so far.
 

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Well, unofficially, HONDA stands for "Highly Overpriced Never Discounted Auto" :)

But, my Element EX is my 6th Honda. I never got a deal on any of them but bought them anyway, and still got my money's worth. The dealer I bought the E from was very nice (probably because he had buyers lined up for my Odyssey I was trading in). I agree that they could benefit from losing the "someone else will buy it" attitude.

Regards,
SOL
 

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[quote:bf85adab45="getmygoat"]Why do Honda dealers treat their customers like they are doing them a favor selling them a car?

I want to buy an Element but I can't find anyone who will go below sticker on it. Pardon me, but I refuse to pay sticker price. I can get a GM employee discount through my dad but they don't have a car like the Element.

I guess my question is this: Has anyone found a Honda dealer that is willing to make a deal?[/quote:bf85adab45]

You can find a dealer that will discount E's...it's not that hard to do. You might go out of your area to do it.
 

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I bought my E from Motorworld in Wilkes-Barre, PA. They were excellent and admitted that they had no reason to sell them below sticker price. However, I timed my purchase during the last week of the month. They get incentives for the number of cars they sell and want to pack them in before the first of the next month. They were flexible and gave me a more than a few hundred off sticker price and accessories at cost. Timing is everything with a vehicle like this. :lol:

Goofyfoot
Black EX 4WD
 

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I think paid under list.
The dealer's starting price for my DX with ONLY AC was $19800. It actually would list for $17775 (plus AC install charges).
After a long afternoon of pretending to walk out of the negotiation, I traded in a car worth $3000(Kelley Blue Book price, in good condition) with a non-functional driver door.
I financed $14500. My old car is really worth $2500, especially here in truckland. They claimed they gave me $4500 for my car....
So how ever you want to figure it, it's got to be less than MSRP.
 

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Until yesterday, I'd never driven anything but a Ford. I grew up within walking distance of Ford national headquarters. I come from a Ford family. I even got the Ford employee family discount on my previous two vehicles, both of them Rangers. So when I decided that I wanted to even consider the possibility of maybe looking at a Honda, I was informed that I'd have to negotiate for it myself.

Now, that might not sound bad to most people. I mean, most people do end up doing their own negotiating for a new car. However, I'm a 27-year-old female who had absolutely no experience in even negotiating at a garage sale or flea market, who has a soft squeaky voice, who giggles a lot and who just got braces a few days ago so looks about 14.

I knew I was going to have a hellish time with this purchase.

All I knew is that I wanted this vehicle trim with these options (I had two lists, the ones I absolutely NEEDED and the ones I just really wanted) and this was the absolute most I could possibly spend on it each month. I already knew I was going to end up with another lease because of the cheaper payments. At least, until the braces are paid off I can't afford the purchase price of it.

I tried avoidance tactics, like using the online quote and going through email. Eventually though I realized I was going to have to set foot in the dealership.

Now at the time I first went to the dealership (Fischer Honda in Ypsilanti, MI on Michigan Ave), I was just going to take a peek at the CRVs and I wanted to see the Element in person. Honestly, the first time I saw a picture of the Element, I didn't care for it. But the picture was really nothing like the Element in person and the moment I turned the corner and saw the Element, I knew that was The Car. I knew I was going to get one, even if I had to sell my husband for it.

I hadn't planned on test driving anything that day. I had taken the day off work to go to a follow up dental appointment. I could barely talk because of the new braces. I was wearing scrubby jeans, a T-shirt and a long knit sweater with fringe on it (being Michigan, it was like 60 degrees out. Of course, it snowed the next day). I had my hair in a ponytail. In short, I looked like a scrubby teenager. I wasn't expecting to deal with sales people and thought a polite 'Just looking' would work at a dealership, just like it does in the mall. However, a nice woman passing by asked if I wanted to see inside anything and I couldn't resist.

She ended up allowing me to take the Element to my appointment, despite knowing that it was almost 30 miles away (one way) and that I'd be gone for at least a couple of hours. By the time I got halfway to my appointment, I knew I was going to get one. The problem was, the dealing part of it had me wanting to run in fear.

So I got back and didn't have time to discuss price and things because I had to get to class. So she gave me her card and a ballpark figure of what kind of payments we'd be talking for the Element and I filled out a form with my contact information, just dreading it all the while that every time my phone rang at work, it might be her wanting to know when I wanted to negotiate price.

She called me once a few days later to let me know that they were going to get a gold (shoreline mist) one in in a couple of days just in case I wanted dibs on it. That was it. No pressure, just a polite FYI and a mention that she hopes my mouth's feeling better from the braces and I sound a lot better when I talk.

I came in a few days later when I had another day off work and sat down with her. This was it. This was The Deal. It ended up being smooth sailing. I had a quote from someone else and they beat it. I now pay less each month than my original quote with all the options on both my NEED list and my WANT list. Plus I got free scented soap.
 

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So far in my attempts at negotiatin for a new vehicle, I have found that Honda dealers aren't really willing to budge much from their little comfort zone. I will be buying my Element first thing on a Saturday morning in less than 2 weeks. There are 4 dealers in my area and I plan on using that to my advantage. Walking away from the table will definitely get me the deal I want.

thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe you can try to pit them against each other to get a better deal but then you probably wouldn't get any scented soap! I guess you could buy some with the hundreds of dollars that you save.
 

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Just for the record, my dealer (MotorCars Honda/Pontiac/Toyota - Cleveland Hts. OH) was friendly, helpful and gave me a very nice deal.

Drew
 

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We got a fairly nice deal ($700 below sticker).....but it took some shopping around and some patience.

I am a very impulsive person...and as soon as I test drove the E I wanted to bring it home, but for this very reason we drove the car that we weren't trading in to the dealership.

We shopped around for two weeks, hitting all the Honda dealerships in the St. Louis area and getting internet quotes from several dealers in Chicago...we went with the dealership that not only had the best price, but also treated us with the most respect. In my mind they were deserving of our business, and we will be going back to them next year to buy my husband's new car.

I think what it really comes down to is service and comfort with the interaction between the dealership and the consumer. To be honest I would have bought from the dealer that we did end up going with even if they didn't have the lowest price.....because they put me at ease and realized that the overall satisfaction of the consumer is more important than the pace of the sale.
 

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i totally agree. I have chosen my dealership who already told me they will give me the best price and knock out my paperwork fees ($299.50) It was the first dealership who contacted me via email and the ONLY dealership who has been consistent with their customer service. As this is my first NEW car, I look at this as to where I will be buying future cars.
 

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A Honda dealership in Paramus, New Jersey, offered an EX element for $500 below sticker price, but then tried to totally jerk me around on the trade in ($8,000 for a Toyota Corolla that was listed for $9,500 on Edmunds as a trade-in). They wouldn't budge on that, so ultimately I got my E through a broker in South Jersey who charged me sticker price for the car, but gave me a whopping $10,000 for the Corolla.

Looking back, though, I would shop around at actual dealers more the next time before going through a broker. You have zero customer support from a broker (once the deal is done, this guy cannot do anything for you in terms of service), and no dealership really feels all that loyal to you. I added some things back at the Paramus dealership (fog lamps and step rails), and I don't think it was the same level of service you would get if I had purchased the truck there. (I had always received excellent service when I would take my Chevy Blazer back to the dealership where I bought the car.) The Honda dealership sort of botched the fog lamp installation, and wouldn't rectify things, so I ended up fixing it myself.

It's all supply and demand, though. The first Honda place I checked out wouldn't budge on the sticker price and only had a couple of Elements in stock. The Paramus location had 12 Elements on their lot, and so they were willing to bargain a bit more.

Keep looking. You'll get your price. :D
 

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GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!!

So the dealer I had decided to go with is changing their minds about the price quoted. Which is fine since I have a different dealer, who happens to be about 10 miles closer, to give me an even better price.

I am getting a 2WD EX Automatic for $18910. That's a $1000 below sticker and I am pretty satisfied with that. The're doc. fee is only $98.50, but I think I can get that taken off when I go in next thursday to make my purchase.
 

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Average mark up from invoice to msrp is only 1500, and about 400 in holdback. So even if we sell them for MSRP, we still don't make very much money.

I have sold a couple of the people on here their elements and they all received a no hassle, fair price.

500 Under MSRP, including window tint, door guards, keyless entry, alarm system, tire pressure monitors, and automate paint protection at no additional cost.

Any questions,
Austin Kunz
Fleet/Internet Manager
Showcase Honda
Phoenix, AZ
602-604-6522
800-541-8810 ext 7311
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[quote:871a416d4e="akunz"]Average mark up from invoice to msrp is only 1500, and about 400 in holdback. So even if we sell them for MSRP, we still don't make very much money.[/quote:871a416d4e]

Hey, nice going Akunz! It's great to hear of a Honda dealer/salesperson willing to make a deal.

I am aware that the invoice price is not what the dealer actually pays for the car.

Does anybody know how much below invoice the dealer actually pays?

And why all this subversion? Tell us, how much the car really is costing you and what it will cost us. The dealer deserves to make a fair profit but I think that they are making such a huge profit that they are afraid to let us see the real numbers.

I guess I'm just a little upset with the Honda dealers because I want to get a new honda but everytime I turn on the TV I see all the amazing deals & discounts on vehicle after vehicle but none of them hondas. I know honda makes great cars but the competition has been making rapid advances and they're offering 0% financing, cash back, blah, blah, blah.

Maybe it's just that I don't get the feeling that I've gotten a good deal.
Maybe I'm crazy.
Maybe honda dealers are doing us such a great service by allowing us to buy from them that they deserve all that they can get.
 

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[quote:4e2d74f81e="getmygoat"]
Maybe it's just that I don't get the feeling that I've gotten a good deal.
Maybe I'm crazy.
Maybe honda dealers are doing us such a great service by allowing us to buy from them that they deserve all that they can get.[/quote:4e2d74f81e]

Great, great point, getmygoat. Now that I have a little distance from the very unpleasant transaction I had with my dealer, I know I got a very good deal (on the base price of the vehicle). Too bad for them that I got a great car, a decent deal, and yet they scored an average under 2 on my survey.

THe attitude makes all the difference, and theirs was really really poor. I doubt this is unique to Honda, but the attitude I encountered was very retro.
 

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Me and the wife walked in with a trade-in and one thousand cash. Then told the dealer all the stuff we wanted on TWO Elements. The salesman's eyes bugged out of his head. They wound up giving us the keyless entry on both trucks, giving the big armrest, giving us the CD stereo, giving us the window tint, and giving us the 16" mag wheels. Of course, we were the very first ones in our town to buy them (back in Feb). I have since seen about 6 others in this area. I think the keys to getting what you want from any dealer are: waiting until the end of the month to buy because they are anxious to make quota: and being very specific about what you want before you even take the test drive. Our dealer had to do some fancy financing for us admittedly, but the point is we got two brand new Elements for below sticker and with all the must haves we required thrown in.
 

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Here is what a dealer actually pays for the car.

Example: EX 4wd Automatic: MSRP $21,310

Invoice: $19,722

Holdback = 3% of MSRP - Destination 460

21,310-$460 = 20,850 * 3% = $625.50

True Cost = 19,722 - $625.50 = $19,096.50
 
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