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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I mentioned in another thread I thought there could be some good reading, good laughs, and some good head shaking stories. I guess those of us that have purchased more vehicles in the past will have more stories, I know I’ve got severa.

Years ago my wife and I owned a Toyota Sequoia, right around the time fuel prices were over $4 per gallon up here in the over taxed state of Washington. I refused to dump a hundred dollars a week in fuel so we decided to trade it in on a new Toyota Avalon at 38 mpg.

In previous years I had bought a Tundra from the same dealer, then traded it for the Sequoia at the same dealer, so I thought that dealer would be the best place to get a “3peat” customer deal, not without a fight of course.

So we decided on the model and color, then came the deal. We sat down and he asked where we needed the price to be and I said well we are a 3peat customer so we expect a better price then someone right off the street. So I told him $500 over Invoice (not MSRP) and after some dickering they agreed to it, but then he came back a piece of paper with handwritten “State mandated charges” that we can’t avoid, we have to charge you for them. What he didn’t know is that a few hours earlier I went to Edmunds.com and read “10 things to know before purchasing a new car” and wouldn’t you know it that everyone of those “State Mandated charges” was listed in the article as “DO NOT PAY THESE FEES”.

So I mentioned that I had read the article and that everyone of your charges is B.S., so he reached over for the paper then wrinkled it up and tossed it in the trash. I asked him “you can just throw state mandated charges in the garbage ?”. He wasn’t to happy but hey quit lying to me a 3peat customer remember.

In the end we got the car for $500 over Invoice, which believe it or not was a $7000 savings and on top of that without me even asking for it, they threw in a extended warranty.
 

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Cars look the same, when they're painted alike and have the same accessory packages. I wanted a 350 v8 and test drove a car with a 350 v8, negotiated a deal, and drove off with a 267 v8, from Bill Branch in Ft Myers.
Even though I though I was getting a fair deal, the salesman still knew how to get those few hundred dollars back, by writing up a contract for a 267 and handing me the keys to said car.
When I brought it in for its 1st oil change, the Service Mngr asked me how the 267 HP was and that's when I found out. The General Mngr said that the VIN on the contract that I signed matched my 267 and that's that.
 

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Had a Ford F-150 with the auto start stop. These engines have baffles to keep oil pre charged in the engine for rapid restart. Says right on the engine 30 minutes to drain, 30 to refill.
Since oil never hit the dip stick kid at the dealer kept adding oil. They drained 11 quarts out. Morons
 

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Daimyo
2021 Honda Passport Elite - Tonbo-Giri⛩️
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Arguably the most popular thread I ever started over at SubaruOutback.org was one entitled "Tales from the Dealership" in which I primarily shared stories about my job and dealings working in the car business as a salesman for Subaru. Despite its popularity and incredible amount of participation from site membership I ultimately had to shut it down because it got out of hand.

That being said I could literally write for days on experiences I have had just working at my current Honda dealership over the past two months. I'll think about what I can share and get back with you all.

...but then he came back a piece of paper with handwritten “State mandated charges” that we can’t avoid, we have to charge you for them. What he didn’t know is that a few hours earlier I went to Edmunds.com and read “10 things to know before purchasing a new car” and wouldn’t you know it that everyone of those “State Mandated charges” was listed in the article as “DO NOT PAY THESE FEES”.
The internet is a really good place to get really bad advice from "car buying experts" and I have no problem addressing it when it is brought to my attention. My dealership charges a $399 service fee on every vehicle it sells, I have been involved in 3 car deals as a purchaser since December and I have had to pay that fee three times. No big deal as it is a small amount of money and everyone that buys a vehicle from there pays the same fee.

I don't care what some random website or random person on the internet says when it comes to what they think is or is not necessary in the process of buying a vehicle. In my experience, more often than not consumers get very frustrated because they are given bad advice which leads them to develop unreasonable expectations. Just because some random person claims that they bought a $50,000 vehicle for $40,000 and got a free extended warranty, free touch up paint, free everything else, plus the salesman pleaded with them... that does not amount to jack if you come to buy a car from me or anyone else :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All I know is that random websites dumb information took $7k off my wife’s car.

More recently we bought my wife’s 2020 Acura TLX ASpec for $36,825 down from their $41,825 asking price and guess what I used the same “3pea” customer story with them at Acura because it was also our third Acura purchased from them. I’ve found that if you just hold your ground and question EVERY CHARGE, like the $675 charge on my PP for door edge protection which I refused to pay (and theyjust left it on the vehicle only to get removed as soon as I got home).

They are not your friends and more then likely when you take it in for service that salesman has already moved to a different dealer.
 

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I don't care what some random website or random person on the internet says when it comes to what they think is or is not necessary in the process of buying a vehicle. In my experience, more often than not consumers get very frustrated because they are given bad advice which leads them to develop unreasonable expectations.
That is exactly the attitude that will drive me away to find a better dealer. Customers get frustrated because dealers are always trying to probe them for weaknesses to see how gullible they are, and presume customers are dumb. Good dealers can move lots of cars and still be up front, transparent with fees and profit expectations, and not arrogant or dismissive of customers who attempt to educate themselves before beginning a negotiation for a very expensive purchase.

Car sales is one of the few industries where scummy sales tactics to bilk max profit are still a rule and not an exception. In fact there are almost no other consumer products that are sold this way, unless you stretch to consider real estate a consumer product. In an ethical world, cars should be one price, with standard fees. Of course the industry would not allow this and would lobby and fight tooth and nail for preserving their ability to rip unkowning people off. People are absolutely correct to be wary and try to educate themselves. Car dealers are so often arrogant and greedy that it is an exception to find one who is not.

The difference at a good vs. bad dealer is obvious despite how they all try to hide it- it is the feeling, the non-arrogant and responsive employees, and usually better prices too, with open disclosures of fees and which are really required. If a buyer feels they are getting a show, run around, bad service, arrogance from a dealer, the best thing they can do is leave immediately and shop elsewhere; that type of dealer deserves to lose every sale possible. Dealerships that are ethical and actually respect customers are rare. In my city, about 25% of dealerships, regardless of brand, are not full of corrupt, customer deriding, greedy staff and ownership. Interestingly, the 25% all seem to have the best no pressure experience, better pricing, better service departments, etc. Bad dealers are a culture best avoided but very common, and they will always say the customer is dumb or uninformed before lifting a finger to treat them right.
 

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You can read about the problems I had with purchasing my Passport here.

 

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Daimyo
2021 Honda Passport Elite - Tonbo-Giri⛩️
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That is exactly the attitude that will drive me away to find a better dealer. Customers get frustrated because dealers are always trying to probe them for weaknesses to see how gullible they are, and presume customers are dumb. Good dealers can move lots of cars and still be up front, transparent with fees and profit expectations, and not arrogant or dismissive of customers who attempt to educate themselves before beginning a negotiation for a very expensive purchase.

Car sales is one of the few industries where scummy sales tactics to bilk max profit are still a rule and not an exception. In fact there are almost no other consumer products that are sold this way, unless you stretch to consider real estate a consumer product. In an ethical world, cars should be one price, with standard fees. Of course the industry would not allow this and would lobby and fight tooth and nail for preserving their ability to rip unkowning people off. People are absolutely correct to be wary and try to educate themselves. Car dealers are so often arrogant and greedy that it is an exception to find one who is not.

The difference at a good vs. bad dealer is obvious despite how they all try to hide it- it is the feeling, the non-arrogant and responsive employees, and usually better prices too, with open disclosures of fees and which are really required. If a buyer feels they are getting a show, run around, bad service, arrogance from a dealer, the best thing they can do is leave immediately and shop elsewhere; that type of dealer deserves to lose every sale possible. Dealerships that are ethical and actually respect customers are rare. In my city, about 25% of dealerships, regardless of brand, are not full of corrupt, customer deriding, greedy staff and ownership. Interestingly, the 25% all seem to have the best no pressure experience, better pricing, better service departments, etc. Bad dealers are a culture best avoided but very common, and they will always say the customer is dumb or uninformed before lifting a finger to treat them right.
I think that you have completely missed my point, please re-read the post I quoted and understand the context behind what I am saying and I will even relate to you my perspective as someone who works in the car business and as a independent consumer who has purchased several vehicles throughout my adult lifetime as well as the ill conceived perceptions I have seen it countless consumers conjure up be it on this website or any of the hundreds of other websites I frequented on the internet of the past 20 plus years.

1. Car shopper reads erroneous information online the convinces them that when they go into a dealership they should or should not do something, for if they or do not do something as suggested they are convinced that it is a conspiracy and a dealership is taking advantage of them.

2. There are fees that are perfectly legitimate to pay and it is no unethical or immoral practice for a business to charge said fees. For any entity, be it on the Internet or otherwise, to promote that said fees are illegitimate and somehow part of a conspiracy on behalf of a dealership to take advantage of a customer is not only misinformation it is disinformation.

Having a random website put out an article that is something along the lines of "10 fees that you should not pay at a car dealership" that is based on misinformation and even disinformation to whatever extent is not doing anyone any favors.

For what it's worth, and I think that any potential car shopper that reads this needs to really understand what I'm saying and recognize that it's not some conspiracy theory, right now in the car business the dealerships are in a position of incredible leverage. I am having zero problems selling any vehicle right now and I'm not having to discount anything at all and at most I might bump a trade value a few hundred dollars just to make a customer happy and get a deal done. The problem is having cars to sell, low supply and high demand drive up market prices which is a basic economic reality not a conspiracy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Storm303 you hit the nail right on the head, well said. I’ve also thought what if other places of business were ran like car dealers. We have a local news reporter in owner area that investigates frauds and I’ve always wanted to contact him to investigate auto dealer, there is NO reason in hell one couple should get the SAME car $7000 less then the next coupl.

In 2008 when we bought my wife’s new Acura TL after educating ourselves on buying new cars and we were able to lower the price from $32k to $26k.

After the deal was signed they had to detail the vehicle, while waiting I noticed other couples looking at the exact TL’s we just bought on the lot and I wanted to so badly walk over to them and tell them what I just paid to keep them from getting screwed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great video hondo, as the guy narrating said the salesperson should be sitting in a jail cell and just for shits and grins I’m calling my bank for a copy of my wife’s contract tomorrow.

When I bought the PP the first thing the salesperson did was put an inflated price of the PP on the sheet he was bringing back to the finance guy. After talking to him he said “this is what we can do“, I told him first off why is your vehicle price $333 higher then what’s on the window sticker ? He never answered then went back to the finance guy with my next offer, but still came back with that $333 so I asked my wife for a pen which she didn’t have, so I reached under the plexiglass (covid shield) and took his pen then scratched out the inflated priced and hand wrote the window sticker price on his sheet. In the end I was comfortable with the $36,800 for my AWD EXL.
 

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If a dealer doesn't like your offer, leave. Be thankful if they never contact you again (lol).
Once upon a time ago, Honda/Acura wouldn't negotiate. Times have changed, but the buyer needs to print out or forward their best offers, from various online sites, like Edmunds, TrueCar, AutoNation, Invoice-Pricing, Sams Club, etc.
 

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Kids are back from college and working jobs in which they need cars. The bride has been using my Passport for work so I've been without a car. Decided to get a fourth car last week. I always give my local Honda dealer the first shot but since 2008 I've purchased 7 and they only landed 3. I really didn't want a CRV because of the 1.5t but there are zero RAV4's gas or hybrid around unless you want the stripped LE model. My local dealer has 37 CRV EX-l's on the lot. I make the internet request and get the saleswoman I purchased the Passport from last year. I cut through the chase and make a lowball offer just to see how much movement they had on price. She gives me the whole lecture about the chip shortage and she is doing me a favor by giving me a $300 discount....blah blah blah. Meanwhile I'm thinking to myself yeah there is a chip shortage which effects supply but last year was one of the most profitable ever for dealers with profit per unit going from $1,500 to $3,000. I put numerous online bids for RAV4 hybrids only to be emailed back that they were sold so "do you want to place an order?" Sensing the pattern I started driving to dealerships and checking inventory and there are maybe 1 or 2 gas models at dealerships. Ironically, at some dealerships they may have 2 or 3 RAV4 Primes which at sticker are a good deal when you factor in the tax credit. At that point I just assume just deal with being car less for the summer. Then my daughter was out with a friend and she says 2 rows of RAV4's fresh off the truck at a dealership 25 miles away. I had put in a request to them too a few days earlier. You would think they would reach out to me since they had all my info in their database. Nothing so I emailed and they did have one available that had the option packages that would come close to matching those that the wife currently has on her 15 CRV Touring, just no leather ( I use seat covers so no issue), homelink and navigation. Picked it up Thursday and this is our first Toyota ever. So far I'm thinking and hoping that this RAV4 may be a dependable workhorse that could last a long time. When picking up the car, F&I guy got annoyed that I didn't purchase anything additional but since I paid sticker didn't want to ownership cost to get out of hand on a RAV4. Then he asks me for $6 because they underestimated the registration fee. I get it but really, you can't eat $6. :unsure: I was tempted to get another Passport since there is money on the hood but the bride said there was no need to have 2 big vehicles and the PP is a guzzler so glad they way it turned out. I'm probably done with Honda now because as they move away from gas only engines by 2030 I'd only go with Toyota for a Hybrid since they have been doing them the best the longest.
 

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Daimyo
2021 Honda Passport Elite - Tonbo-Giri⛩️
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If a dealer doesn't like your offer, leave. Be thankful if they never contact you again (lol).
Once upon a time ago, Honda/Acura wouldn't negotiate. Times have changed, but the buyer needs to print out or forward their best offers, from various online sites, like Edmunds, TrueCar, AutoNation, Invoice-Pricing, Sams Club, etc.
You can bring in any price quotes you want, that in no way should suggest to anyone that a dealership should feel compelled to offer any price outside of their own choosing. It needs to be understood that a purchase agreement is a mutual agreement between the business and a customer, if a grocery store is selling a gallon of milk for $1.25 and you want to buy it for $1.20 you probably will not end up getting it for $1.20 and the grocery store is in no way required to sell it to you for any less than $1.25 as that is their advertised price. If you have any issue with that then you are welcome to go buy a gallon of milk elsewhere, it is not unfair it simply is what it is.

My dealership has dozens upon dozens of people contacting us every week about getting a new Ridgeline. We happen to have one Ridgeline Sport on our lot and despite the fact that it is one of the only new Ridgelines sitting on a lot unsold in my state, as well as the states surrounding it, we still have people that want to play the nickel and dime game instead of simply paying our asking price (MSRP) because that is literally the price that we have sold every single Ridgeline for over the past two months without any issue whatsoever. We received a Ridgeline Black Edition and RTLE recently, both sold in less than 24 hours upon arrival to the first customer that put a non-refundable deposit down.

After I sold those two Ridgelines I had several of my customers complaining to me about why they weren't able to have first rights to that vehicle or why they couldn't buy it for a lower price or why whatever. I told every single customer the exact same thing, that they would be paying MSRP for the truck and that they would need to to place a non-refundable deposit on the vehicle to secure it for themselves and everyone had at least 2 months to commit to purchase. I could have jacked up the prices like other dealerships have done and have no problem selling these vehicles for an inflated price, apparently though some people think I'm a bad car salesman for selling a low supply, high demand vehicles at MSRP on a first come first serve basis.
 

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You can bring in any price quotes you want, that in no way should suggest to anyone that a dealership should feel compelled to offer any price outside of their own choosing. It needs to be understood that a purchase agreement is a mutual agreement between the business and a customer, if a grocery store is selling a gallon of milk for $1.25 and you want to buy it for $1.20 you probably will not end up getting it for $1.20 and the grocery store is in no way required to sell it to you for any less than $1.25 as that is their advertised price. If you have any issue with that then you are welcome to go buy a gallon of milk elsewhere, it is not unfair it simply is what it is.

My dealership has dozens upon dozens of people contacting us every week about getting a new Ridgeline. We happen to have one Ridgeline Sport on our lot and despite the fact that it is one of the only new Ridgelines sitting on a lot unsold in my state, as well as the states surrounding it, we still have people that want to play the nickel and dime game instead of simply paying our asking price (MSRP) because that is literally the price that we have sold every single Ridgeline for over the past two months without any issue whatsoever. We received a Ridgeline Black Edition and RTLE recently, both sold in less than 24 hours upon arrival to the first customer that put a non-refundable deposit down.

After I sold those two Ridgelines I had several of my customers complaining to me about why they weren't able to have first rights to that vehicle or why they couldn't buy it for a lower price or why whatever. I told every single customer the exact same thing, that they would be paying MSRP for the truck and that they would need to to place a non-refundable deposit on the vehicle to secure it for themselves and everyone had at least 2 months to commit to purchase. I could have jacked up the prices like other dealerships have done and have no problem selling these vehicles for an inflated price, apparently though some people think I'm a bad car salesman for selling a low supply, high demand vehicles at MSRP on a first come first serve basis.
Why does the deposit have to be non-refundable, the Ridgeline will get sold regardless ASAP.
 

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You can bring in any price quotes you want, that in no way should suggest to anyone that a dealership should feel compelled to offer any price outside of their own choosing. It needs to be understood that a purchase agreement is a mutual agreement between the business and a customer, if a grocery store is selling a gallon of milk for $1.25 and you want to buy it for $1.20 you probably will not end up getting it for $1.20 and the grocery store is in no way required to sell it to you for any less than $1.25 as that is their advertised price. If you have any issue with that then you are welcome to go buy a gallon of milk elsewhere, it is not unfair it simply is what it is.

My dealership has dozens upon dozens of people contacting us every week about getting a new Ridgeline. We happen to have one Ridgeline Sport on our lot and despite the fact that it is one of the only new Ridgelines sitting on a lot unsold in my state, as well as the states surrounding it, we still have people that want to play the nickel and dime game instead of simply paying our asking price (MSRP) because that is literally the price that we have sold every single Ridgeline for over the past two months without any issue whatsoever. We received a Ridgeline Black Edition and RTLE recently, both sold in less than 24 hours upon arrival to the first customer that put a non-refundable deposit down.

After I sold those two Ridgelines I had several of my customers complaining to me about why they weren't able to have first rights to that vehicle or why they couldn't buy it for a lower price or why whatever. I told every single customer the exact same thing, that they would be paying MSRP for the truck and that they would need to to place a non-refundable deposit on the vehicle to secure it for themselves and everyone had at least 2 months to commit to purchase. I could have jacked up the prices like other dealerships have done and have no problem selling these vehicles for an inflated price, apparently though some people think I'm a bad car salesman for selling a low supply, high demand vehicles at MSRP on a first come first serve basis.
The buyer's solution is to walk away, because they can get a firm number online. Buyers are leaving the negotiations to 3rd party apps (TrueCar, Edmunds, etc.) and salespeople are lucky to have a chance to sell accessories and pin-striping.
 

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I was originally looking for a CRV and my first call was to a dealer that I purchased 3 of 7 Hondas from in 13 years. (this could have been my second Honda from them in 8 months or the 4th in 7 years.. They basically held to their "roadster" price and loyalty counted for zip. I get it. So if I am going to buy at sticker price from any dealer I'll go elsewhere and try building a relationship. Sometimes you are the hammer sometimes you are the nail. Difference is that the buyer can choose who the hammer is. It's gravy time for dealers now but when this goes full circle I know that my local Honda dealer lost me forever because they won't be the first contact and there is little price difference between Honda dealers around here.. IMO, it's better to build a relationship with a dealer that sells multi brands because for the first time I'm not exclusive to Hondas. Yeah, I know that this dealer sells 500 Hondas per month so my 7 Hondas isn't going to make a difference to them blah blah blah but they lost a sale and even worse I ventured away from the brand that could have an impact if my next few purchases are with Toyota.
 

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Daimyo
2021 Honda Passport Elite - Tonbo-Giri⛩️
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Why does the deposit have to be non-refundable, the Ridgeline will get sold regardless ASAP.
I'm glad you asked. We have decided to do this after having several customers back out of purchase agreements over the last two months. I mean I literally would have sold twice as many vehicles if the customers actually followed through as expected. If we have to pull a vehicle off the market only to have the intended purchaser back out that can cause issues with other customers who are serious about following through with the purchase as well as compel customers to shop elsewhere in the event that they know that they cannot purchase a desired vehicle from us. Frankly with the vehicle shortage we are viewing any money down as earnest money placed in good faith, if a customer does not want to honor their contract in good faith than they will lose their earnest money. Same rules apply in other businesses such as real estate.

The buyer's solution is to walk away, because they can get a firm number online. Buyers are leaving the negotiations to 3rd party apps (TrueCar, Edmunds, etc.) and salespeople are lucky to have a chance to sell accessories and pin-striping.
Right now there is no incentive for a dealership to negotiate unless they simply want to lose money to sell vehicles that they should have no problem selling otherwise. If someone doesn't want to pay a certain price than it is just a waiting game to have someone else show up who will. I am averaging two new Honda sales per day with all sales at MSRP and until the vehicles run out there is no indication that demand will slow down.

It is like with the example Ridgeline Sport I referred to earlier, I have had two customers (one who recently purchased a new HR-V from me no less) talk me up on buying that truck. One wanted their payments to be $100 lower and the other wanted some "incentive" to purchase it from us. I told them both the same thing I tell everyone, here is your price and either you buy it or you don't. If you don't though someone else will, right now it is literally a matter of time and nothing that I am stressing about whatsoever.
 
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