Last post on Nov 24, 2007 at 1:24 PM
You are in the Smart Shopper
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#192 of 232 Re: Dealer bait and switch - sort of [raybear]
Jun 29, 2006 (8:15 am)
I found another dealer (Zimbrick Honda of Madison), and sold the car private party. Zimbrick provided a better price and were forthright with what they could and could not do, as opposed to Bergstrom of Oshkosh.
I have found from commiserating sessions with others that Bergstrom is in general engaged in a somewhat systematic program of subterfuge.
Count on Bergstrom Motors of Oshkosh to quote high and fabricate fairy-tales when the customer is in the showroom. /rant
Sep 06, 2006 (5:49 pm)
I want to buy a used car and would like to do the negotiations on line but I am not sure what steps I need to follow. Should I visit the dealer and test drive the vehicle and then come home to do the negotiations on line? Or should I negotiate first and then visit the dealer for a test drive when I am satisfied with the price? Thanks in advance.
#194 of 232 Re: Sequence [berthawunbun]
Sep 07, 2006 (2:28 am)
I am not a professional when it comes to cars, new or used....but it seems to me if you have your mind set on a particular USED CAR...how can you negotiate..... without first looking at it, having it checked out, Carfax and driving it??? You would have no idea what to negotiate!!!!!
#195 of 232 Re: Sequence [nortsr1]
Sep 07, 2006 (11:25 am)
A lot of people don't look at the car first, but I sure would,especially on a used car. It would also show the dealership you are serious about buying, having looked at the vehicle first. Get the vehicles vin number, and write down any noticeable scratches, dents, etc. and the mileage...as the mileage is sometimes rounded down.
#196 of 232 Re: Sequence [berthawunbun]
Sep 07, 2006 (2:14 pm)
I'm not a car salesperson or work for any dealership...
Used car - you MUST check-out and/or drive the car before you negotiate via internet, fax, phone, or in person. There's no need to negotiate and then find out that you don't want the car.
New car - you MUST know that this is the car you're ready to buy. You must have already completed your reserach which should include a test drive (doesn't have to be the exact car you're negotiating, but should be darn similar).
Negotiating while not knowing what you want thus not really ready to buy hurts the marketplace. A salesperson and a dealership could be cold to fax or internet negotiations if people are wasting their time.
#197 of 232 Re: Sequence [gasman1]
Sep 08, 2006 (1:09 am)
Very good advice and I totally agree.
#198 of 232 Evaluations of Internet Car Dealerships
Sep 08, 2006 (12:29 pm)
After using some of these "get a free quote" links (and giving all make/model/option/trade/finance/etc. info, leaving nothing out), I can categorize these "internet" dealers in the following manner by the caliber of their responses and/or willingness to negotiate online (or lack thereof):
Level 0 – DNS (Did Not Start)
This dealer has a website but it is very limited (not updated often and with few functions). Even the canned responses are poorly worded, and the "come on down" ploys are very thinly masked.
Level 1 – Beginner
This dealership has a nice web site, including an updated online inventory list and possibly even an online trade-in appraisal form. The “internet” sales guys respond to inquiries quickly and try to sound helpful, but do not provide the info requested.
SALESPERSON: ”I have your online trade-in evaluation form; thanks! When can you come in so that we can look at your trade?”
CUSTOMER: “What? You acknowledged that I sent the ‘online trade-in evaluation’ form. Where is my actual online appraisal? Why did I take the time to fill all of that info in if it won’t get me a number?”
CUSTOMER: “Hello, I’d like a lease quote on a new 2007 CamCord DX manual transmission with no options. What colors do you have in stock? I have excellent credit but don’t want to put any money down. Please quote for 12K miles/year, 42 months. Thanks!”
SALESPERSON: “Depending on the model and options you choose your payments will be around $300. When can you come in?”
CUSTOMER: “Huh? When I clicked on ‘Get an online quote’ I specified the model and options I wanted. Where is my actual online quote? Also, what about the availability of the model I asked for?”
This dealer is only interested in the Internet as a marketing tool and a lead generator. They fall short very quickly when compared to the next two levels.
Level 2 – Advanced
An “Internet Showroom.” Knowledgeable and understanding sales staff will provide a direct and specific answer to any question. Sales/Finance managers and used car appraisers assist behind the scenes providing book values on trade-ins and payment estimations.
INTERNET SPECIALIST: “I got your online trade-in evaluation form; thanks. Also, you specified a new 2007 Toyonda CamCord SE-V6 with no options. We have two SE-V6s, one Blue and one Silver (the silver car has a sunroof). We can get other colors if necessary.
CUSTOMER: “Edmunds TMV for trade-in is $13,450 and I owe $12,200. Also, I like the silver SE-V6 and will pay for a sunroof. What would my loan payments be based on a credit score of 750, no money down for 60 months, including all fees?
INTERNET SPECIALIST: “I’m glad we’ve found your new Toyonda. Assuming your trade is as described, we’ll give $13K. Based on your credit, trade equity and our Internet price, with our best rate of 4.75% your payments will be $384.55 per month, out-the-door.”
Once all information has been exchanged between both parties, negotiations are completed, and the salesman has started the paperwork, the buyer can come in to the dealership and just sign and drive. They still had to go in at some point, but they are more comfortable than going someplace blind. Plus, they spend much less time there, down from well over an hour to under 30 minutes.
Level 3 – Professional
These guys are the real deal; they represent a true “Internet Dealership.” Any or all stages of the car buying process can be completed online. They’ll even come to you to look at your car. You can even fax back the signed papers and they will deliver the new car to your door. This is the easiest for the customer and takes the least amount of their time. According to an online article, Edmunds.com first bought a car in this manner a few years ago; however, needless to say these dealers are still hard to find.
#199 of 232 Re: Evaluations of Internet Car Dealerships [benderofbows]
Sep 08, 2006 (1:40 pm)
Excellent post! Wouldn't it be great if dealerships had to earn their internet rating? Of course it woould have to be an independent source providing that rating. What could be used to identify the best internet dealerships? Stars wouldn't be good due to the 5-Star manufacturer ratings. Diamonds? What about something digital like G-Gigs or M-Megs? Again, nice post.
#200 of 232 Re: Evaluations of Internet Car Dealerships [benderofbows]
Sep 08, 2006 (3:27 pm)
Good investigative reporting there benderbows.
#201 of 232 Re: Sequence [gasman1]
Sep 08, 2006 (3:31 pm)
Thanks a lot guys! Yeah I agree it doesn't make much sense to negotiate before I see and test the car. I was just worried that once the salesmen have seen me they know they can rip me off and I wouldn't be much better off negotiating on-line. Thank you.