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Discussion Starter #1
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 you’ll go with the closest bid. And you made sure that everyone’s 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 didn’t even try. Then the manager came out and he did the “I’ll lose money if I sell at that price” 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 Kicks’ 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 can’t sell it at that price but didn’t 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 he’d 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 didn’t play the long game, and maybe the vehicles I am interested in are hot sellers so the dealers aren’t desperate to get them off the lot.

What were your experiences getting your Niro?
 

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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
Here’s 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 car’s 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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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
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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Well, we live at a time were most people don't really shop anymore. Most people go with the insurance offered by the bank in which they deposit their paycheck, same with their mortgage, loan and retirement. It's all the same place. That's what why advertising is such a big deal: trying to lure people to look outside their line of sight.


In my case, I ended up looking at 3 dealerships at the same day, one in person, one over the phone, and one by email. It was end of the month, they had some promotion, they were pretty much all willing to double down on that, but the one in person ended up being a bit more willing. None of them knew, or at least I didn't tell them that I was shopping a 3 places. Overall, I was happy with the deal.



But it takes a full day (or two), so I feel like I would just buy one on Amazon delivered at my door, with all the paper work done from a simple online template.
 

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Buying a car (new) still seems like a huge waste of time and very painful. It feels like alot of dealerships, they will not quote you a price until you spend hours in the dealership. Then after you decide on price and all, its another 4 hours to get out. I am with you, just fix the price and advertise the actual price and let us buy online. "We will get you the best deal possible" um ya, why don't I believe that?
 

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it was tried. GM and the Satern devision. The dealerships were there to help the customer and the price on the car was the price you paid. no haggle. Where are the Satern dealerships now?
 

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A victim of the great recession and the (second) GM bailout. I believe it was successful before downsizing was forced financially. Just too many brands. The shopping experience was popular, especially the younger crowd.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I worked for EDS and we got the GM Employee pricing on their cars so it was kind of nice to see the set price to pay and very little haggling. The bad part is you had to buy a GM car. ;)

I did own a Saturn and it wasn’t the best car, but I loved the plastic side panels. Didn’t have to worry about door dings and the ensuing rust.

Saturn was created to address the desire for small, fuel efficient cars. I think GM, initially, gave an honest effort to create a new type of car and a new type of buying experience. But gas prices stayed low and people wanted trucks, SUVs and minivans.
 

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I did a technique similar to the OP on my last car in 2007 and my new Niro in 2017. Both times I had similar results. About half of dealers play, half don’t.

This time I emailed about 20 dealers and got about 10 offers. Both cars I got for moderately under invoice (to answer another question on here, no I’m not including t, t, & dest when I compare to invoice - also I do realize invoice isn’t a particularly meaningful number, but just using it at a reference point).

The only meaningful difference I see between my strategy and what the OP suggested is I don’t offer my own target price. I just say “I want car X, give me your best offer.” I could see offering your own number backfiring in multiple ways. If you set it too high, you may get higher offers than you could have gotten. If you set it too low, they may think you’re not serious, or not realistic, and decide it’s not worth their time.

If I had to hazard a guess, I wonder if the latter may have happened here. If you aimed way too low, you could have scared them off. Esp if this was for a PHEV, there are low in stock so they may have no interest in chasing a price they felt was way out in left field. Even for another car I could see a low ball price backfiring. Maybe next time see what happens if you don’t name a price at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I did a technique similar to the OP on my last car in 2007 and my new Niro in 2017. Both times I had similar results. About half of dealers play, half don’t.

This time I emailed about 20 dealers and got about 10 offers. Both cars I got for moderately under invoice (to answer another question on here, no I’m not including t, t, & dest when I compare to invoice - also I do realize invoice isn’t a particularly meaningful number, but just using it at a reference point).

The only meaningful difference I see between my strategy and what the OP suggested is I don’t offer my own target price. I just say “I want car X, give me your best offer.” I could see offering your own number backfiring in multiple ways. If you set it too high, you may get higher offers than you could have gotten. If you set it too low, they may think you’re not serious, or not realistic, and decide it’s not worth their time.

If I had to hazard a guess, I wonder if the latter may have happened here. If you aimed way too low, you could have scared them off. Esp if this was for a PHEV, there are low in stock so they may have no interest in chasing a price they felt was way out in left field. Even for another car I could see a low ball price backfiring. Maybe next time see what happens if you don’t name a price at all.
All the car buying advice tells you to start at your low price (based on your research of what an acceptable price should be) and work up versus starting at the dealer’s price and try to squeeze concessions from him.

In the past, it was a lot easier to compile a list of emails so that I could send my mass mailing with my offer and have the dealers send their best offer knowing that they are in competition with the others on the email. Admittedly, I was in a rush this time and didn’t follow my process fully and didn’t do my full research to formulate my offer. I basically pulled my price from my ass but I expected some counter offers. And this happened with Subaru, Nissan and Kia. I also went the TrueCar route and I think that was a mistake because the participating dealers were now locked into paying TrueCar their cut.

Hopefully by the time I’m in the market for another car, I’ll be able to order it from Amazon with free two day shipping.
 

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Truecar has several dealer participation scheme, not just a pay per car sold one. The dealers I talked to switch among them depending on their own internal calculations for best way to market.
 
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