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You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Nissan Maxima, Sedan
May 17, 2005 (5:10 am)
Want to thank everyone here, especially Thenebean. Picked up my 2005 Maxima SL last Friday for $500 below invoice. Only additional costs paid were $149 document fee, $59 for title & transferring registration, $8 tire fee, and tax. That's it. Then got the $1,250 rebate applied.
As a 25-year IBM sales veteran and current executive, I buy the way I sell – considering more than just the lowest price, valuing service and support, and appreciating how fair business dealings lead to long-term relationships and repeat business. After researching cars for almost three months and deciding on the Maxima, a couple of weeks ago I faxed my interest in purchasing one to almost a dozen Nissan dealers in the central New Jersey area. I was quite specific, pointing out the exact configuration I was looking for and pronouncing myself ready to buy immediately. I shared with them that I had no trade-in and based on market pricing learned through Edmunds, expected to get the car for hundreds below invoice. Having never owned a Nissan, I had no dealer bias other than distance. My preference – assuming everything else being close to equal – would have been to buy from the dealer closest to my home. However, not all of course was equal. First off, some of the dealers eliminated themselves by their lack of timely response. Others refused to quote me a true “out-the-door” price in writing. And some who did padded their cost with items I didn’t request or want but they touted as “non-negotiable” -- such as $200 for VIN etching I found it somewhat ironic that the area’s only dealerships with totally clean records with both the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and Better Business Bureau of NJ were the two who were offering both competitive out-the-door prices in writing and treated me in a professional way. I knew $500 below invoice was the best deal available because I walked out after they both put their final offer in writing, and both said even though they knew I might be buying elsewhere, they said that was the best they could do. I believed it. In the end, I chose my dealer because of three things: One, their complimentary loaner car program for appropriate scheduled maintenance; Two, the warm and “small-town” atmosphere of their store; and lastly, the professionalism and responsiveness of the salesman.
All in all, it was a great buying experience and I believe a great car. Thanks again to all of you who helped make it so.
May 17, 2005 (5:15 am)
glad everything worked out - and happy i was able to help! enjoy your new car - it certainly is a great one!
#275 of 859 $149 document fee
May 18, 2005 (6:27 am)
Is that standard? I remember paying like a $25 notary fee with the last car I purchased but "thenebean" what is up with the $149 document fee? Is that a Nissan thing?
sschumer since you are in NJ only a state away from Pa and you seemed to have worked on it pretty hard I feel comfortable that $400 to $600 under invoice is a good deal.
My experience so far:
nicest thing about it: the Maxima is simply a great looking car and visiting a dealership and seeing 10 Maximas lined up one after another makes your heart race.
worst thing about it: these dumb video clip/ power point emails that every dealer who has my email address sends to me that provide no information but claim to be an "on line dealership." They are sent out automatically and when you are waiting for a specific answer by email from a dealer you receive 2 or 3 of these that of course provide no real information and surely don't answer the specific questions I asked.
how it has been different from shopping for a Maxima in 2002: real reluctance from dealers in person and even by email to put their price in writing. Instead, I have gotten pricing verbally most of the time.
how it has been the same from shopping for a Maxima in 2002: I had one dealer email me how I was cheapening the brand by price shopping. Of course, this is the same dealer who has slogans like "we will not be undersold" and "we buy in volume so that you can save." In 2002, I had a similar email response from a dealer saying I was depleting the resale value of Maximas by buying under invoice.
most disappointing thing this time: I had a dealer email me a price on the exact car I wanted in the exact color combination with a price $750 under invoice. After I used that price with other dealers for a few hours, he retracted it as a mistake. I think he truly did make a mistake so I didn't make a big deal about it.
strangest dealer move: A dealer about an hour away responded to my price quote request by saying "spend a week getting your best price bring it to me and I will beat it by $500 or give you $500 check." I am now $600 south of invoice (plus $1250 cash back). So do I call him on this one? I assume there is no way he is going to sell it to me for $1100 under invoice. I know thenebean is going to say I should leave him off the hook because he probably expected me to come back to him with invoice or a little under but not $600 under.
I expect to buy by the end of the week. Visited three dealerships; emailed about 25. Worked with about 10 of those. Three salesperson have stood out as most professional and those are the three still in the running.
#276 of 859 Re: Maxima [jmirav]
May 18, 2005 (7:01 am)
Can you indicate where in Eastern Pa your are getting this quote, I'm also in the market for a like Maxima, and live in the Lehigh Valley area.
#277 of 859 Re: Maxima [tmp0404]
May 18, 2005 (8:23 am)
not sure if we are allowed to identify dealer names here; you can email me at jmiravaol.com and I will give information
#278 of 859 Re: $149 document fee [jmirav]
May 18, 2005 (11:14 am)
funny thing is i've never heard of a notary fee, but dealer conveyance fees are charged by the individual dealership. it essentially helps cover the cost of DMV, paperwork, overhead, etc. I guess you could call it profit - though it isnt really. It goes to the operating costs of the business. Some states regulate how much a dealer can charge, others do not. CT (where I am) does not, and you will find those fees to range from $199 up to $499 and higher.
as far as that dealer who told you he'd beat the price by $500 or give you the check for $500, why not take him up on it? He offered it, see what happens! If he is going to guarantee something like that, let him eat his own words and deal with the loss. Hey, worst that could happen is they say no, right?
enjoy your maxima!
#279 of 859 Re: $149 document fee [thenebean]
May 18, 2005 (11:40 am)
Interestingly, the dealer that is 600 under promises with the exception of tax and tags there are no other fees. I agree with you that there are real costs associated with the paper work. However, there are real costs associated with the keeping the car clean, heating the showroom etc. but i wouldn't expect them on the bill.
Regarding the I will beat it by 500 bucks guy, i did call him and he said he knows i am 600 under and will still do it. The downside: I would take at least 2 hours out of my day to get up there.
#280 of 859 considering the 1100 under invoice a real deal
May 18, 2005 (1:26 pm)
I thought you previously posted that the holdback is only $650 on Maximas; if that is correct then how can I take a $1100 under invoice offer serious? A friend who has been with another brand said the actual holdback and incentives on Maximas is in excess of 4% of MSRP. Can that be correct?
#281 of 859 Re: considering the 1100 under invoice a real deal [jmirav]
May 18, 2005 (1:34 pm)
holdback depends on every vehicle, and every company does it differently. Currently there is a special program for dealers who hit their target for Maximas/Altimas that gives a bonus $250 per car sold. It may be why he may be able to give you that deal at this time. Had that program not been in place, he may not have - or he figures if he promised to beat it by $500 or give you a check for $500 - its better to at least get the sale if its gonna be $500 either way, right?
good luck whichever way you choose!
#282 of 859 Re: considering the 1100 under invoice a real deal [thenebean]
May 18, 2005 (6:41 pm)
well I went an hour out of my way. Salesman said we said we would do the deal so we will do the deal but we need the owner's approval and he is not here. So I am suppose to hear tomorrow. I now spent the time going up there and now i want the deal or my 500 buck check.
i will keep you posted.