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?