Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
#4857 of 6720 Mercedes purchase #4856 Clembo
Apr 21, 2003 (5:40 am)
Mercedes are purchased from dealers not from Mercedes. Every dealer is an independent business and determines its own sales price.
Several months ago I posted my method for purchasing cars which has worked well for me. Last week I bought a new volvo for a friend for $266 over factory cost which is determined by subtracting incentives and holdback from the invoice price. Holdback is 3 percent of MSRP on a mercedes. If your interested in learning more about dealer holdback go to Edmunds dealer holdback in your browser. My method as previously posted is:
I have read with great interest the multitude of posts over the past 2 weeks concerning purchasing new cars. Over the past 47 years I have purchased many new cars and I thought some of you may want to consider the model I use for buying cars.
First, you must determine what car or cars you want to buy. This may seem obvious but it's amazing how many people begin negotiations for a car when they have no idea WHAT car they want! Go to auto shows, search the automakers websites, go to EDMUNDS and other similar sites, determine repair frequencies, resale, safety, and any other factors that are important to you. When you decide what car or cars you're interested in, you can get info on costs.
You should determine the dealer's cost to the factory for the car(s) you are interested in. This includes the invoice price, dealer holdback, and any customer and dealer incentives available. Do not worry about any dealer costs that are not paid to the factory such as advertising, financing the vehicle on the lot, paperwork, sales commission, etc. You will never be able the determine these.
DO NOT include trade-in value of your car as part of the new car deal! If you must trade in your old car, get an offer from the dealer after you have made and sealed the deal on the new car. As far as the old car is concerned you can sell it to a dealer that makes the best offer, sell it yourself, donate it to a charity at high book value for its tax value, or maybe give it away with no tax deduction.
After determining the car you want and its cost to the dealer, you are ready to determine a price you are willing to pay. Add to the dealer's cost to the factory the amount you are willing to pay above that to determine your price goal for the purchase. Bear in mind that sales tax and license is extra on top of your price goal. All other fees of any kind should be included in your price goal. Do not get sidetracked in negotiations by extras such as processing fees, advertising, etc. Do not accept any charges for detailing, paint sealant, fabric sealant, rustproofing, or other nebulous bullcrap. You have your number do not add anything to it except sales tax and license fees.
Call the sales managers of all the dealerships within a reasonable distance of your residence. By talking to sales managers you may be able to avoid paying a commission to a salesman thus reducing your final price. Tell the SM exactly the car you want what exceptions you will accept and ask him to bid on the sale. I expect you will get 1/3 who will tell you to shove it where the sun don't shine, 1/3 who will give you an absurd price, but 1/3 will give you a good price probably better than your 'buy' price.
If no one bids your buy price or better then begin negotiations with the best bidders and try to reach an acceptable deal. I believe this method will result in a price much better that any Internet deal or in-house deal. You are in control in this process. You do everything on the phone and you can hang up the phone if anyone jerks you around. Once you reach agreement, you can get a FAX stating the terms or simply give a credit card deposit of $1000. Remember, only deal for the final number plus tax and license, no other add-ons. Make sure the FAX has that statement. Although if you make a credit card payment (NO DEBIT CARDS-they have no federal cancellation protection) you can stop it if the dealership changes the deal.
The fundamental rule of negotiating a contract is to "LEAVE SOMETHING ON THE TABLE FOR THE OTHER GUY". You have to decide what is fair and reasonable to develop your price. Do not worry about the poor dealer. He will worry about his deal and he won't worry one whit about saving you money. So you should worry about your deal and not one whit about the dealer. The result should be a good deal!
You have to decide what non-cost factors are worth to you. For example, how much more should you pay to deal with a nearby dealer? I have never had a case where a dealer I didn't buy from refused to service my car or gave poor service because I didn't buy from them. My last new car was a 2001 Mercedes E-430 and my local dealer (1 mile away) desperately wants my service business even though I didn't buy the car from him. I purchased the Mercedes for a price well into the dealer holdback with no add-ons.
What is a reasonable 'buy price'? Obviously, it depends on the market for the car you want. the supply of vehicles that meet your needs, your desperation to get the car you want (probably the most decisive factor for many people who will pay anything to satisfy an instant craving), and the need of the dealer to sell some cars! Whatever you do DON'T get in your car and drive to several dealers to negotiate. If you do that they have you by the cajones!! Deal on the PHONE! Make them have everything ready to sign when you arrive. No ombudsman and no finance guy. You should be out of the dealership with your new car in 30 minutes to 1 hour. If they hassle you with any new costs or other changes LEAVE and find a deal somewhere else!!
What percentage markup to pay to get a deal? There are many factors to consider but I'd consider a goal of 2-5 percent above the dealerís factory cost minus any dealer and customer rebates or other savings offered. You would add on tax and license to this but NO other fees of any kind!!
#4858 of 6720 17" Mercedes wheels
Apr 21, 2003 (7:19 pm)
I'm ready to make the jump to 17" wheels on my 2000 E-320, which came with 16" wheels. I like the look of the Mercedes wheels that came with the sport package on the 2001 E-Class models. Does anyone know a dealership that will discount these and ship them to my tire store in Atlanta? Any other thoughts?
#4859 of 6720 rubberized radio knob
Apr 22, 2003 (6:06 pm)
I have a '99 E430 Sport with radio/phone/cd changer/tape player.
I need to replace the rubberized radio knob. Mercedes says they don't make part. That I can only purchase the whole radio!
Does anyone know where I can find just the knob?
Thanks in advance
Apr 22, 2003 (9:43 pm)
tirerack.com has several AMG rims for sale. I don't remember which one's came on the E430 Sport, but these are the essentially the same AMG rims that came on several models, I think including the ones from the E55. They're (almost certainly) cheaper than they would be if from a dealer.
#4861 of 6720 Service B Experience - warning long post
Apr 23, 2003 (6:12 am)
It's been a little quiet around here lately so I figured I'd post my latest service experience. As I've already mentioned, my service is rendered by Holloway Motorcars in Manchester NH. There are essentially no other options.
Also, as I've already posted, the wood trim over my glovebox is cracked in 3 places. So in order to keep from having my car in the shop overnight waiting on parts, about a month ago I was in Manchester and I had the service manager look at it. He states he's "seen this before, must be a weak spot there over the glove box". He takes the order info and places it on file. It will be ordered when I schedule my next maintenance. Perfect. Last week I schedule my Service B. Day before I get my postcard saying the part is in. Everything is going fine.
The waiting room is impeccable though now you have to pay for coffee (you can get tokens from the service desk) since there used to be a neverending stream of employees helping themselves to the coffee. That was pretty amusing...the last office I managed had the same coffee machine and it was over .50 cents a pop for the stuff.
They take a pretty gutsy approach. When your car is ready, they come out and kneel next to you and chat about the service...sort of like ordering from Outback. I think it's supposed to inspire confidence in the others sitting in the room. One problem, if you have a clue they are exposing their had as the charlatains they truely are. Got to hear about how it's normal for continental tires to cup and that tires on trucks (aka SUVs) cup all the time. Didn't get to hear why they just put the tires on the back of the dudes car without mentioning a problem to him. Also never mentioned that improper balance is the most common cause of cupping, oh well.
1.5 hours into my wait, out comes the service rep. She says that they sent her out to give me the bad news. The part they got is wrong. Ordered the right one, but in the box that had the correct part number was the wrong color trim piece. I'm recalling now that she said "it was black and yours is some other color". They have to re-order and install in another visit. Otherwise my car is fine and ready to go.
I've been kicking myself for a day not for not asking to see the part so that I can see if I like it...if so install it till the correct one comes in. I know for a fact they were lying to me about the wrong part in the box. Black wood trim? Is that a Designo thing or what??? Now I'll never know.
<end side note>
My car was beautifully cleaned. Even cleaned in the door jambs and rocker panels. Vacuumed out the winter sand I'd missed. Even sprayed some new car smell. Go to leave and notice that the climate control is off. Odd, I think. I turn it on. I'm greeted by a low pitch whine. Guess it was easier to turn it off than fix it. I take the car back, demonstrate to the service advisor and they get a tech right on it. 20 minutes later it's as good as new. Too bad they didn't taken the 0 minutes it would have taken to do it right hte first time (this was a side effect of changing the charcoal filter apparently).
I can hardly wait for the next trip up there. amost 1.5 hours round trip and it must be done more than once for each service visit (as they NEVER fix anything the first time). Thankfully I'm currently between jobs and if there's one thing I have now is time to go make them miserable and make a scene in front of the others in the waiting room.
Apparently, service to a Mercedes owner is a clean waiting room and a clean car.
#4862 of 6720 03 e320 audio gateway and pricing
Apr 23, 2003 (9:14 am)
deronfergy-My 03 e320 had the audio gateway replaced along with many other trim items.
lmtayl2-you can get an e500 for $ 300-500 over invoice from several southern cal. dealers. let me know if you need contacts in so. cal but you should be able to find comparable deals in your part of town
Apr 23, 2003 (9:26 am)
By the way, that black wood is just the alternative 'bird's eye maple' instead of the more common brown burlwoods.
Apr 23, 2003 (3:33 pm)
There is a parts manager by the name of Tom Hanson at a S. Cal. dealership who supposedly sells MB parts at wholesale to those who have seen his technical discussions on the MBUSA club website. You may be able to get a decent price on rims from him. His phone # is 800-252-6877
#4866 of 6720 2001-2 E55 vs. 2003 E500
Apr 24, 2003 (2:00 pm)
Currently I have an A6 2.7T but I am itching to get an E55. There seems to be some good deals on 2001's out there especially with the new one coming soon. However, I keep wondering should I just get the new E500??? The prices are roughly the same with more HP/torque and options on the E55.
I realize they are different with the E500 being newer, maybe safer, more "touring" than "sport."
But something about the older design is classic and then there is the AMG factor.
Anyone considering the same thing? Input?