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Just Say No to High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by KieferSkunk, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. KieferSkunk

    KieferSkunk Technogeek

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    Thought I'd share an email I just sent to the sales manager at one of the dealerships I was talking to about buying a new 2016 Prius. For context, this dealer (Dealer B) was where I bought my current '07 Prius when it was new, and they were competing with another dealer (Dealer A) where I bought my original '05 (the one I sold to my father-in-law). Was working with both in email to negotiate on price, using KBB and NADA to guide the bargaining process. Dealer B had given me a decent price on the car I wanted earlier in the day, but the quote sheet was confusing as all heck, so I had a lot of questions. Meanwhile, Dealer A gave me a better price with a much more straightforward explanation, and I chose to accept that bid.

    So, how to decline politely? When the long-delayed answer to a question I'd asked much earlier in the day finally arrived, it included a poorly-worded offer to throw in floor mats and keep the price below the original (higher) price, and then: "So, when are you thinking of delivery?"

    Sent him this response:

    In case you're curious, between an in-person visit to just look at one of the cars on Sunday, then the phone and email follow-ups, they threw just about every sales tactic in the book at me. Among other things:

    * Gave me a song and dance about their rebates and referral bonuses.
    * Another song and dance about how they are the largest volume dealer in the state, and they come out with their best price the first time.
    * "We'll give you a great value for your trade-in! We love your car and want to sell it for a good price!"
    * Took my car key and registration so they could test-drive it for appraisal, then held on to them until I was ready to leave.
    * Drove the new car up to the front of the building and had me sit in it to see if it was what I wanted. (It had the wrong interior.)
    * Tried to convince me that car really WAS what I wanted.
    * Gave me an initial quote that included a $600 "dashboard protection" accessory charge.
    * Left multiple times to "see what he could do".
    * Had the sales manager come out with his "best offer", which was actually worse than earlier ones.
    * Tried to tell me they couldn't make any money on the car if they went lower than that.
    * Offered to follow up in a day or two. (They did).
    * Put me through an email chain for negotiations, where EVERY message ended with some form of "When are you coming in?"

    In a way, the guy was right when he said that price WILL NOT be the reason they're not earning my business. :p
     
    bisco, GaryD1, Merkey and 1 other person like this.
  2. GaryD1

    GaryD1 Active Member

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    This sounds familiar, a dealer close to me will never give me a good deal. I've tried going to them the last 4 times I've bought Toyota. I told them last time I went in to buy my 2015 Prius that I had always gave them first chance to sell me a car but I could not deal with them. The sales person told me " that is going to change this time". They brought their little print out, the manager also came in with his pitch. I drove over 70 miles and saved $2800 minus floor mats on exact same car and bought it. It pays to shop around and get 2 or 3 quotes. I told the dealer where I bought my 2015 that the dealer close to me had gave me a pretty good price, they know you mean business then. It sounds like you saved yourself some money.
     
  3. ATHiker

    ATHiker Senior Member

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    I sort of have fun with all this, but this time around I really needed a new car (I had been anxiously awaiting their arrival for a year) and by chance ended up at a so-called "No Haggle Dealership" about the time the very first ones were delivered.

    I fell in love and went back the next day to buy at the price they had it listed for. I didn't get the best deal, I am sure. I also had to swallow hard and accept some extra fees beyond tags and registration (500 or so) I knew were coming but were not disclosed on their website.

    They did offer some extras like a 2nd year of free maintenance and extended warrantee at no charge (but with some fine print, like having to have all one's service appointment at that dealer for the first 60,000 miles).

    It was almost too easy. If anyone is interested in getting an idea of what one "no haggle" dealership asks for cars in my part of the world, just google up Westborough Toyota, in Westborough, MA. They have about 6 to 10 2016s on their lot, I think.

    Anyway, it was a fun process-- even though we didn't do battle.
     
    Bay Stater likes this.
  4. vince22

    vince22 Active Member

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    I went Costco route, no hassle got $23,600 (costco $500 below invoice)before tax/lic for Two Eco model, dealer did try to include TDA (Toyota dealer advertising) in dealers invoice, I said that's bull and they took it out.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    taking the key and not giving it back are always a no brainer for me. i wouldn't buy from that kind of dealer, even if they had the best price.
    i prefer a relaxed sales experience, with a confident dealership that knows they will do well, even if they don't use high pressure tactics or the lowest prices.
     
    Bay Stater and rcsting like this.
  6. Caniac

    Caniac Active Member

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    When we bought our gen3 in December we had the best experience we could have asked for. We had never even been to this dealership before but they had the specific car I wanted and their reviews online were really good so we rolled the dice.

    We told them what we wanted OTD to be and that I wanted the 0% financing. If I didn't qualify for that we weren't buying. They gave us everything we wanted and threw in a couple of accessories.

    We had a Toyota salesman once take our keys and not give them back and ever since then we have used a different tactic going in and it works for us. Done the last 3 cars that way.
     
  7. KieferSkunk

    KieferSkunk Technogeek

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    Just wanted to let everyone know that I played hardball today, and I won. :)

    I drove a brand-new blue 2016 Prius Three home tonight after about 5 hours of wrangling and another hour of signing paperwork. The salesperson at Dealership A had given me the number I was looking for earlier in the week via email, so I set up to go in at 1pm to finalize things. Thinking it would be simple, we went in right on time and got started.

    First off, salesperson asked me if I would consider trading in my old Prius after all, and gave me a MUCH better trade-in offer than before. Originally, it would have been around $2500, which is at the high end of the KBB trade-in value for that car's year, miles, options and condition. However, today, he inexplicably wanted to pay me $4625 for it IF I would trade it in as part of today's transaction. My wife and I looked at each other and said "Okay, sure, we can do that". (I was looking to get around $5K for it in private sale, so with the tax savings on the transaction here, that worked out.) However, we hadn't actually brought that car with us, so we were going to have to go back home and get it up to the dealership later. No problem.

    Salesperson then goes through all the numbers. He had originally said earlier in the week that there would be a $500 "Prius Loyalty" rebate because I was a current Prius owner upgrading to a new one. When he went over the numbers today, the rebate was $1000 - there was an additional sales rebate on my car! Cool! So we were going to be entitled to a pretty sizeable refund check since we hadn't anticipated the trade-in and the extra rebate.

    The trouble started when the sales guy left to print up the paperwork, then rushed back and apologized for missing one critical fee - the government doc fee ($150). Because it was his error, he docked an extra $25 off the total price, but this raised the price by $125. I asked if we could make up the difference in the trade-in value. He left again and asked for that, then came back and said the trade-in manager agreed to it. Score one for me. ;)

    The second point of trouble was when he left the desk for more than half an hour (with my wife getting antsy because she had work she needed to get back to at home and this was taking longer than expected), then came back and said that the price would be another $500 because the sales rebate he had mentioned earlier turned out not to apply to the Prius Liftback - only to the C, V and 2015 models. At this point, we were quite frustrated. He rushed off somewhere, then came back and said they knocked off another $250 from the base price of the car ($275 net drop), so now I was going to be paying about $225 more than we'd agreed overall. That was "the best" they could do.

    My wife and I decided to tell him we needed some time to think about it and had to get back to get her work done (she's a voice actor and she had an audiobook deadline - for real), but that I would be back later. The guy was visibly upset by this but shook my hand and said he'd be there until 6.

    On the way home, I decided to buy the car anyway - the net total was still below where I originally wanted to be, AND I was getting an excellent trade-in price for my old car. I supposed the salesperson could afford to sweat just a little bit for the discrepancies in the price - that was either due to some BS or just plain mistakes or incompetence. When we got home, my wife got back to work, I cleaned out my old car and drove it back, and the rest of the process went smoothly. Both the sales guy and the finance guy explained that both of the discrepancies were honest mistakes on their part - the sales guy was extraordinarily busy and had just sold three Prius Cs in a row, so he got his own numbers mixed up and someone else had to correct him. I'm willing to believe that - the dealership was a ZOO when we got there.

    All in all, the base price for my Prius Three was $24,750. It doesn't have the Advanced Tech Package, but it did come with the all-weather floor mats and cargo mat AND the black applique, for free. The only fees were the required government fees - no TDA, no mark-up, nothing. When all was said and done, I paid about $22,500, and I paid cash. :)

    I happened to notice the finance manager's screen, which mentioned the dealer's net profit on the sale. They genuinely sold this car to me for a considerable loss. I have to imagine that they bent over this far backwards for me because I'd done business with them before and it was more important to keep me as a loyal customer - not to mention that my father-in-law is choosing his dealership based on my experience.

    But yeah. In the end, I got the car I wanted for better than the price I wanted, I offloaded my old car and don't have to hassle with a private sale, and I have the satisfaction of having won this particular round.
     
    #7 KieferSkunk, Mar 6, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
    bisco likes this.
  8. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    They'll be making snow cones in Hell before dealers sell cars at a "considerable loss". What you don't see on the screen is Toyota's kickback to the dealer.
     
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  9. KieferSkunk

    KieferSkunk Technogeek

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    Well, true. But I'm given to understand dealers really will sell at a loss sometimes to meet quotas, retain or win customers, or (plausibly in this case) help a new brand or model get on the road.

    (Shrug) I'm not a car salesperson, and frankly I'm glad not to be one. I couldn't do that job.
     
  10. imlkrsfn2

    imlkrsfn2 Junior Member

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    They may lose money intially on the car, but they get incentives from Toyota for selling cars. i.e $500 per prius sold, an aditional 5k if 100 are sold in a month, etc. In the end, even if they sell a car for 2-3k under invoice, they are still ahead in the long run if they meet their sales quotas. They also make a huge profits on warranties and upgrades which make up for lost sales elsewhere.
     
  11. ATHiker

    ATHiker Senior Member

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    Since the MSRP for a Prius 3 is starts at $26,250 that means they took $1500 off the gave you $2250 for your trade?
     
  12. cjecpa

    cjecpa Member

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    I think the $22,500 includes fees and sales tax.
     
  13. Yeahoo Whoyah

    Yeahoo Whoyah Duct Tape Advocate

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    $2,250 off MSRP for a 2016 model seems fantastic, we'll done!
     
  14. Cactuscoug

    Cactuscoug CactusCoug

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    I learned a couple of years ago, that not all Costco deals are the same. The closest dealer offered $500 below invoice, while a dealer 150-miles away offered $1200 below invoice. I ended up emailing all dealers within 200-miles, and found one willing to go $2700 below invoice. It was a non-Costco dealer!
     
  15. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Try Australia - I've tried 3 dealers in the last 5 weeks, looking for a price on Gen3 - the Gen 4 is being released today. First dealer had 2 base models listed in their website - "Sorry sir, haven't got any, but can I interest you in a PriusC?" No, thanks.

    2nd dealer, also had 2 base models listed "No, we never have them, they don't sell enough, it'd be special order" But you've listed VIN numbers on your website. "NO, must be a mistake - but I've got a PriusC". Uggh. Funny thing - 3 weeks later, they're still on the website, and one is reduced price "FOR QUICK SALE".

    3rd dealer, just last week had one base model in showroom. I asked the receptionist to speak to someone who actually knew something about Prius. I started off asking the salesman when the Gen4 was being released "Oh, I think in about 2 months". Oh, are you sure, the motoring press was talking about it being imminent? "I'll talk to the boss". 2 minutes later "Next Tuesday, I'll take your phone number and ring you". No, you give me yours, and maybe I'll come back then.

    Talk about not being interested. Dealer 4 this week.
     
  16. KieferSkunk

    KieferSkunk Technogeek

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    MSRP here was above $27K. They took $1000 off invoice, AND gave me $4750 for the trade in. The $22500 is what I paid out of pocket after fees, taxes, and the trade were all figured in. Without the trade, I would have paid between $27500 and $28000
     
    ATHiker likes this.
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    in business, you don't sell anything at a true loss that hits the books, until you have resigned yourself to never selling it otherwise. the consumer never knows the true cost to the business owner.
     
  18. ATHiker

    ATHiker Senior Member

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    [QUOTE="bisco, post: 2313515, member: 5889]the consumer never knows the true cost to the business owner.[/QUOTE]

    Neither do most (any?) automobile sales people -- or many (most?) sales managers.

    As an aside, I noticed that the exact same I purchased 6 weeks ago at $1100 under MSRP at a "no haggle dealer" in Westboro MA (it was $1500 less on thier website, but they charged $375 for dealer something or other) is now being advertised for about $3000 under MSRP (which would really be $2625 under).

    I bet the dealers are getting significant incentives to move these-- at least in my part of the country.

    Car dealers should make a profit-- I do wish they made a bit less on me!
     
  19. cjecpa

    cjecpa Member

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    I hope you are right. I would love to get a great deal
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. the owners and a few key financial people are the only ones in on the bottom line. if you tell a salesman the actual cost, that's what they'll try to sell it for. and you can't let employees know the bottom line, they'll never be happy until you go bankrupt.:cool: