Have dealers adjusted their tactics for the internet age? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Have dealers adjusted their tactics for the internet age?

The last time I bought a new car was in 2012. Back then the prevalent wisdom was to do research on the invoice price of the car and email the Internet Sales Managers from several dealerships with your offer and stating youíll go with the closest bid. And you made sure that everyoneís email addresses were displayed so they knew they were in a bidding war. I did that with some success and I got several quotes back from the dealers. I also employed the tactic when my sister wanted to buy herself a car a couple years later and again got quotes back.

Fast forward to 2018. First, because of impatience and maybe some arrogance, I went straight into the dealership armed with my invoice numbers and made an offer. Of course, my offer out the door was pretty low, expecting some back and forth, but the sales guy didnít even try. Then the manager came out and he did the ďIíll lose money if I sell at that priceĒ and then just restated MSRP. This was for a Subaru CrossTrek, which is a popular model, but I still expected some negotiation. The. I resorted to the next tactic of walking out. But I never received any kind of follow up call asking to work something out.

Demoralized, I tried the TrueCar route on the Subaru and also the Nissan Kicks. The quotes I got for the Subaru were no deals at all. The Kicksí prices were better and one of the sales guys called me and I made my offer and he did the same thing as the Subaru manager and said he canít sell it at that price but didnít make a counter offer. When I told him another TrueCar dealers had a lower price, he said the other dealer was playing games and if I got him an official price quote then heíd beat it.

Then I came upon the Niro. Again, I did the TrueCar thing and got some quotes back, but they were still high. I gathered the emails of the dealers that responded and a couple others and sent my lowball offer to them. I got one reply just including the TrueCar info. Now this the end of the month when sales people are supposed to be desperate to get the one last sale to meet their quota. Nothing. One dealer wrote back that they did not have any 2018s left and we were too far apart on 2019s. Another just said that my offer was too low. Good luck.

Finally one dealer replied with a halfway decent quote. It was higher than my offer but lower than the TrueCar initial price. I went there last night and test drove it and will buy it today.

So after this long winded set up, it seems to me that dealers are no longer eager to send quotes over email because hey have figured out that buyers are just taking them to other dealers to try and get a better deal at the other place. I even emailed the quote to the other dealer, asking them to beat it, but received no response.

Maybe I didnít play the long game, and maybe the vehicles I am interested in are hot sellers so the dealers arenít desperate to get them off the lot.

What were your experiences getting your Niro?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 11:01 AM
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Dealers adjust to new conditions. Now they might give you a low quote, answering your email, true car ect. but then add in a dealer fee when you go there. You have to adjust also. I let my guard down when I bought my Niro, instead of using a big area I just emailed a couple of dealers close by and then visited the one I wanted to buy from. It all worked out ok though. I got it for close to what I thought and got treated good so I'm not going to be upset if I paid a few dollars more. If I were you I would go back to emailing the SALES MANAGER or phone call and ask them how much over invoice they will sell you a car for and how much they're dealer fee is, because you know they are going to slip that in at the end. Tell them your ready to buy today so they now they're not wasting their time and go with the lowest. Try to make it simple. Invoice plus dealer fee that's it, nothing else except tax and tags. If you get the response you want with email I'd call the winner to confirm everything before you actually go there.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 01:43 PM
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It's one of the reasons why I haven't bought my Niro yet (well that and the fact that I don't really need a new car right again, my old one is working just fine so far).
We have a Kia dealer within 5 minutes and went there on two separate occasions, threw some numbers their way for an EX trim and they came back with "just OK" numbers. We walked away both times and they never bothered calling back so I guess they were not that hungry to sell the car (these were 2017s leftovers).

On another occasion we went to a different dealer to enquire about the PHEV model they had in stock; it was a bit late (they were within 30 minutes of closing for the day) and the salesman didn't even bother showing us the PHEV, instead he brought a regular hybrid citing the PHEV was way in the back lol
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 01:46 PM
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Also forgot to add that I read somewhere that the Hyundai Ioniq (which is a sister car with the Kia Niro) makes a very small profit margin when sold at MSRP (something like $700) so that probably also applies to the Niro and hence why it might be a bit more difficult negotiating these cars. Not sure if it's true or not but that's what I read.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 03:08 PM
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In my opinion, the "lnvoice price" is worthless- it means nothing. What the nominal price is on an invoice is not the dealer cost- because there's all types of incentives, kick-backs always in effect. The 'invoice price' or discount from, has been used in dealer ads for decades. If this didn't help the dealer, this price would not be displayed. Also I think the 'end-of-month desperate salesman' old myth is a dealer gimmick- because it's played up by them. In my experience, the TrueCar price was higher than what I negotiated with dealer. It was also true for another car I got a quote for. Also dealer fees are markups, they are not required by law. I always take that out of the equation and get total price.

So I don't think it's a good idea to bid up or ask the dealer how much over a price they can go, especially a floating number like invoice. The only numbers that are varifiable and the same everywhere, is MSRP. Take out the shipping fee, tags/title, and state taxes(within a few bucks). They are fixed amounts that can't be negotiated. Zero in on the discount the dealer will give you off the MSRP.That is the only variable in the price. I go for a % off that price. The reason dealers won't work strictly from an email quote is they need the face time to 'negotiate' it up.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FlNiro View Post
If I were you I would go back to emailing the SALES MANAGER or phone call and ask them how much over invoice they will sell you a car for and how much they're dealer fee is,
How much over invoice is the wrong question. If you must ask such a question then how much BELOW invoice is better.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hereís a question. I know destination charge, sales tax and title & tag are not controlled by the dealer, but when people say they got a deal for Invoice +/- x amount, is that including those costs?

For instance if a carís msrp is $26,000 and the invoice is $24,000, and the dealer makes an offer of $23,500 + dc + t&t&t for the out the door price close to msrp, is that considered a good deal? Or should that $23,500 price be the out the door price?

Also I read an article somewhere (perhaps it was linked here) that the manufacturers have raised the invoice price closer to msrp because the dealers were complaining that since that amount was so readily available on the internet, and people were expecting deals based on that amount. Obviously, even though invoice is higher, the dealers are not paying that inflated price, so they can bargain using invoice and still come out ahead.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 11:42 AM
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Does anyone have a picture of their window sticker?
Does is have the destination charge on the sticker? If so they are trying to charge you twice.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark Helmandollar View Post
Does anyone have a picture of their window sticker?
Does is have the destination charge on the sticker? If so they are trying to charge you twice.
It does have the destination charge on the sticker. But when you look at prices on the internet, some sites include it and some donít. Or at least not in the initial display of the discounted price.

Last edited by Nouseformonkeys; 09-30-2018 at 04:45 PM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Helmandollar View Post
Does anyone have a picture of their window sticker?
Does is have the destination charge on the sticker? If so they are trying to charge you twice.
It does have the destination charge on the sticker. But when you look at prices on the internet, some sites include it and some don’t. Or at least not in the initial display of the discounted price.

So if it says it in the sticker it’s included in the MSRP.
It shouldn’t be added anywhere else in your paperwork otherwise they just jacked the price up 900+ dollars
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