Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Sedan
#5743 of 12737 riez, SergeyM, shipo
Feb 28, 2003 (2:14 am)
You don't want to know what my hourly rate is for doing something that is "work". I happily pay my company attorneys $350/hr to cover some of those items. I guess I just don't consider a hop over to Europe to pick up a BMW and have a Heinekin or two with the Motorsport guys that much work. On the other hand, if you only discount your time at $30/hour, you probably should be looking at ED for your next BMW, even if it is painful "work". You should also pay shipo about $60 for his detailed analysis in response to your request for more than anectdotal evidence. I didn't keep as detailed records from my 1999 trip.
The bottom line of this is simple, if you (or others) don't think the "hassles" of getting a passport, etc. are worth the savings, that's fine. But you should refrain from suggesting to others that it isn't a great deal. Not only was my assistant able to upgrade from a 330i to a 530i for nearly the same price by going ED, she brought back some great photos and memories that she will enjoy for many years to come.
I don't see anywhere in the above posts in which it was suggested that you could get a 540i 6-speed for $35k. Re-read.
Excellent accounting. I wish my CFO was as meticulous. Oops, I am the interim CFO. Want a job?
#5744 of 12737 ED Not Always Best
Feb 28, 2003 (5:15 am)
epn2... I would suggest that it is you and some others who are the ED fanatics, making it seem as if those of us who don't do ED are out of our minds. Using your own words, you should refrain from suggesting to others that it is such a good deal.
shipo... Again, you don't account for all expenses nor describe the amount of time it takes to do the negotiating with the dealer, trip planning, getting passports, exchanging currency, waiting in airports, meals & miscellaneous expenses, etc. (After your whirlwind little trip, think I'd need a couple days to recover from the jet lag, waiting in airports, and, in some cases, discomfort of cramped flying.) As for your price, was your dealer willing to negotiate ED list price down? Not all dealers will do that. Certainly not out here in the sticks where there aren't that many BMW dealers.
ED may or may not be such a good deal. Depends on each person's circumstances. Depends on all costs. Depends on time factors. Depends on hassle factors. There is no one right or wrong answer.
#5745 of 12737 Discounting Time
Feb 28, 2003 (6:43 am)
epn2... I was trying to be conservative. You are right, a more accurate discount rate might include benefit costs and all taxes. My $30/hr figure excluded benefits (add another 40%) and was done after all taxes (add another 44% for federal & state income taxes and social security & medicare taxes). So that $30/hr might actually be closer to $55/hr ($30 plus $12 plus $13). [But doing that bolsters my position on the opportunity cost of ED.]
#5746 of 12737 hnn, software update
Feb 28, 2003 (7:29 am)
Yesterday I had the dealer perform the ECU software upgrade. Have I noticed a difference since the upgrade? Yes, but only a minor change in the throttle response (for the better). My car was built in December 01. Not sure what software version I had nor what version I now have. My dealer, being Tulley BMW, performed this service, at no cost. I must comment that their service department has been excellent for the times that I have used them. I also took a chance and had them switch my winter tires for the summer/all season ones. It is nice to have my handling back. That is as along as it doesn’t snow again.
I have made the statement before that I regret not specifying my car to have the Sport Pkg and 5-speed. While it is still a great car, it could have been better. Anyway the dealer had a 03 525i Sterling Gray/Black with Sport & 5-speed on their showroom floor. Except that I have the 530i it was my exact car. Hmm, what could have been?
Feb 28, 2003 (7:30 am)
Sorry, my mistake.
#5748 of 12737 riez, epn2, habitat1
Feb 28, 2003 (8:15 am)
Thanks for the responses. For reasons of family harmony I probably won't pursue the matter. But I'd like to respond to some of the specifics:
epn -- Your 30% differential between a new 540i6 and the '00 I drove is spot on, assuming similar equipment and a $1,500 dealer profit (but not trip costs). That said, the $52,335 for the ED vehicle, bargain that it may be, is well beyond the realm of possibility. I'm curious about your misgivings regarding a "high performance, manual transmission car." I thought it was the BMW automatics that run the risk of failure above 100K miles. With a stick, under normal use you may replace a clutch once (pen101's screwing by BMWUSA notwithstanding), and that's about it.
riez -- Though a well-equipped 525i obtained via ED might be comparably priced, I'm not interested. Even with a stick, I would want more engine. I find even the 530i/Step combo to be wanting at times. As for ED, it seems that your main objections fall into the "time-is-money" category. If you're an entrepeneur or a commissioned salesman, where no work = no income, then the opportunity costs of a trip to Europe are indeed steep. For a salaryman like me who accrues vacation time (in fact, I have to forfeit unused hours above a certain cap), however, the only expenses that count are out-of-pocket, netted against costs such as meals that would be incurred at some level anyway. Assuming habitat's employee truly paid no more than $875 total for her trip, her cost was still $1,900 less than for a stateside deal at a similar $1,400 markup. And I'm not so jaded that I wouldn't consider even a short visit to Munich a plus, even given the hassles of travel nowadays.
Feb 28, 2003 (8:41 am)
The "gross" savings of ED are real and anyone can do that math. But I will concede that, depending upon your situation and perspective, there may be some actual and imputed costs that will result in differences in our respective "net" savings.
You seem to want to subtract every conceivable minute of your time including a "recovery" period from the trip. And I don't fault you for looking at it that way, if for you, this would all be a significant no-enjoyment hassle. I racked up 750,000 United frequent flier miles back in 1988-1995, so I'm used to exchanging currency and getting my passport stamped. On the other hand, if I had to use time off from work that would infinge upon my ability to take a separate vacation with my wife and kids, I wouldn't do ED either.
It reminds me of the golf analogy: First question, What would someone have to pay you to carry a 40lb bag 5+ miles over 5+ hours on a hot summer day? Second question: How much would you pay to play Augusta National just once, even if it meant carrying your own bag in 90 degree weather?
P.S. The most convenient BMW dealer to me is notoriously very difficult to negotiate with on any car in high demand. I know of several people who have come away exhausted and / or empty handed when the 530i was a hot ticket. Even though they sell in excess of 1,500 BMW's a year, they wanted to maximize profit on their precious US delivery allocation. But as soon as I contacted their ED specialist with the $1,300 over ED invoice deal I could get elsewhere, his response was "no problem, we'll match it." It doesn't come out of their US allocation, but does count towards their sales bonuses. So, in my case, the dealer negotiations would be a lot cleaner and easier going the ED route.
#5750 of 12737 ED Part II
Feb 28, 2003 (8:43 am)
Regarding negotiations with the dealer:
I got on the BMWUSA web site, obtained the name and phone number of the four closest dealers (all within 15 miles), that took 10 minutes, tops. I then called the first dealer, got a salesman on the phone and said, "Will you sell me a 530i via the BMW European Delivery Program for $1,500 over ED Invoice?"
His response was, "Hmmm, we don't usually do that kind of deal. Can I call you back in 10 minutes?"
"Yes, my phone number is..."
Eight minutes later, he called me back and asked me, "If I agree to this deal, are you ready to buy right now?"
"If you agree, I will be there in less than an hour to sign the paperwork and pay you a deposit."
The entire transaction was over in less than two hours from the time when I first looked up the list of the dealerships.
In my case, this is less of an issue as we were going to Europe anyway; however, using Expedia.com, it took me about 20 minutes to make the plane reservations R/T to Munich and the hotel reservations in Paris. As we were going in April, I didn't figure on having too much of a problem finding hotel rooms while we were touring, and I didn't.
I do not count this as a valid expense. Passports are good for 10 years, and can be renewed by mail. A new Passport costs $85 (regardless of whether it is a new issue or a renewal) to process. In addition, you need two "Passport Photographs" of yourself, so when I include my time to have the pictures taken, the time to print out the application (http://travel.state.gov/DS-0011.pdf), fill it out, lick the envelope, stamp it and mail it, we are still talking less than $200, which works out to $20 per year. Given that I used my Passport twice last year, the cost that can be allocated for my ED trip is $10.
IMHO, expenses for meals and such are not valid as one must eat anyway, that and you are fed two meals (dinner and breakfast over, and lunch and a snack on the way back) each way. In Europe many hotels include a breakfast or offer one for a very nominal charge (the Hotel Uhland is no exception). Basically that means that you need to provide for your own dinner Friday and Saturday nights and you Lunch on Saturday, everything else is covered. Once again, you will need to eat anyway, will it cost you more to eat in Munich than here in the States? Probably not by much, if at all.
We now live in the era of the ATM, I haven't "Exchanged Currency" since 1991. These days, you simply walk up to the nearest ATM, stick in your card, and out pops local currency, debited directly to your account, and with no "Exchange Fees" associated, you get the EXACT prevailing exchange rate.
Waiting around in airports:
Hmmm, nobody can "Bill" all of the time, we all need some "Down time". I use airport and airplane time as the time to catch up on reading the latest Tom Clancy or Nelson Demille. Maybe I'm just wierd, however I actually look foreward to this time just so that I can relax. Needless to say, in my mind, this is "No Charge".
Riez, you must understand, you and I sing from the same page of the BMW Hymnal on most things BMW. I know that I can count on you being my "Loyal Opposition" regarding the ED thing, as you can count upon me being the same for you. In the end, we are both right, it just depends upon what one's priorities are.
#5751 of 12737 Shipo-Euro
Feb 28, 2003 (8:54 am)
Shipo, Thanks for the great euro summary. One Q: I'm remembering from a local dealer (?) that when leasing a euro delivery car one must pay one pmt when ordering it & another pmt before picking it up, to cover cost while using it in Europe & shipping back. Thus 2 pmt before getting it here. Did I misunderstand something or was that a crafty tactic on the salesman's part to get me to buy out of his inventory?? What he said sounds like a rip off.
#5752 of 12737 Habitat1
Feb 28, 2003 (8:54 am)
According to my salesman: Not only do ED cars not come out of the dealership allocations, and not only do they count toward bonuses and commisions, they also count in the calculations for what the dealership gets allocated in future years.
It is certainly in a dealerships' best interest to sell as many ED cars as possible, even at a minimal profit.