: List Price versus Sale Price (used cars)



Loose
06-18-13, 11:14 PM
I must be delusional. I'm trying to negotiate on used cars in the states (I'm in Canada). I'm telling the dealers that I'm looking in to fly in and buy a car at the end of next week. I'm offering $3-5k less than list and am being told:
- Sorry, we are a fixed price dealer (who happens to have pretty high asking prices)
- The best we can do is $1,000 off, we don't mark them up that high (x3)
- We can take $600 off, but then have a 299 admin fee that everyone has to pay (this car has been on the market for 120 days at the same price)

Where I live, cars must be marked up way more because it is pretty typical to get at least 10% off the asking price of a used car.

What am I missing here? Am I not being realistic with my expectations? Please enlighten me.

(BTW, trying to find the best car I can for less than $46k, auto, sedan, recaros)

IBMike
06-19-13, 12:54 AM
The range of asking prices is pretty wide... amazed at how many dealers have their used ones listed at the same price you can get a new one for. I've been a lookie lou since Oct but am about to get serious to get a car lined up for when I come home in Aug, so I suspect I'll be feeling your frustration shortly. THere are good deals out there, but they go quick. Good luck!

Dogbreath
06-19-13, 07:08 AM
Dealers make more money on used cars than new ones since dealer cost of new cars is easy to find. Dealers also either turn around trades that they pay well market for or auction purchases again at well below market.

The best plan is to show up at the dealership with your checkbook and be prepared to walk away if you don't get the price that you want. This has worked for me many times.

MacBuster
06-19-13, 10:34 AM
The problem for a buyer (and a dealer) is V's are relatively low volume, and as a result it is very difficult to get a fix on the market value of a car (not the asking price).

I saw a strangely wide variability in the amount dealers paid when I was looking at the auction prices last year. Ultimately, I got a great deal (below market) on a V from a ford dealer that had just taken it in on trade. They probably accepted my offer because it was more than they would have gotten flipping it out of their used car lot to a GM dealer...being a Ford dealer.

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The discount is far less important than the actual sales price, too. Maybe these guys aren't all that far off.

I tend to not reveal any details about myself until we are well down the road (I'm canadian also). I usually just send them an offer. Basically one number. Maybe a line or two of justification, but often not even that. Many dealer website allow you to make an offer on a car this way automatically.

Arca500
06-19-13, 03:21 PM
Hello, I worked at a Cadillac/GM Dealer for years. The first thing is you are trying to negotiate over the phone. I suggest going to the dealership where the car is. Phone negotiations are never fruitful. Your best deal will be cut at the dealership because, then they know you are for real. IMO, that's the way to go about it. Find a car that you want and then go and negotiate. Be prepared to walk if you don't get your price. The Price will vary from car to car due to the fact that dealers pay different amounts for trades. Some, they pay top dollar for and some, they make a good profit on and can therefore discount it for you. Good luck with your search. I hope you get one. I love mine!

ptrd
06-19-13, 05:03 PM
^doesn't work when all of the cars are 1000 miles + from your location and you can't just fly into every possible V wagon location. I did all mine through the phone and worked out relatively well for me.

dennych
06-19-13, 05:24 PM
remember, if you're not being a dick you're not doing it right. Knowledge is power. If you can get a cost estimate on how much they paid for the vehicle you can strike a deal that earns them money without you getting ripped off.

Also in general negotiation you want to make them feel good about the vehicle and try to make it seem like the price you can pay max is out of your control.

Most importantly do not RUSH in to any purchase. These cars aren't going anywhere...

wyndzer
06-19-13, 06:38 PM
When I bought mine I was getting the same thing as the OP. I found one that I thought looked good (ie: the color, options, year and mileage that I wanted). Called them and made an offer contingent on inspection ($4k less than asking). Told them up front that I was ready to put a down payment over the phone and would fly in 2 days later. They called me back 2 hours later wanting the down payment and accepting my offer. 2011 with 17k miles fully loaded. $45k back in Dec.

IBMike
06-20-13, 02:40 AM
When I bought mine I was getting the same thing as the OP. I found one that I thought looked good (ie: the color, options, year and mileage that I wanted). Called them and made an offer contingent on inspection ($4k less than asking). Told them up front that I was ready to put a down payment over the phone and would fly in 2 days later. They called me back 2 hours later wanting the down payment and accepting my offer. 2011 with 17k miles fully loaded. $45k back in Dec.

Very nice!

I've found one I like, sent them a message asking what their bottom line is and got a canned response quoting the same price as they've got listed on their website. I sent a reply detailing what I thought the car was worth with comparable cars as evidence. They've had it listed for 2.5 months. Told them I was a motivated buyer with approved financing. No respone, so I guess they're holding out for someone who will pay what they're asking. It is a nice car, so they'll get whet they're asking... just not from me.

ptrd
06-20-13, 11:41 AM
^I got that from a few dealerships, then the actual one I bought it from gave me a decent deal.

IBMike
06-20-13, 12:09 PM
^I got that from a few dealerships, then the actual one I bought it from gave me a decent deal.

The one I'm looking at is nicely blacked out (from the pics; haven't found anyone to go lay eyes on it yet) and has aftermarket wheels (which I could care less about, but they'll use it as a selling point), so I'm sure they think they've got a hot car on their hands... you'd think after 2.5 months they'd be looking to move it, but not knowing how much they have it in, who knows how low they can go and still make a buck. Even though I like the look it's pretty easy to walk away, since it doesn't have Recaros (or yellow calipers).

I've got a few weeks before I really need to get serious if I want one waiting on me when I get home!

Loose
06-21-13, 12:13 AM
Some of the dealers are coming back now wanting to talk some more, calling and emailing every day. Too late... Think I found a local car. Pretty annoying process.

IBMike
06-21-13, 03:33 AM
Some of the dealers are coming back now wanting to talk some more, calling and emailing every day. Too late... Think I found a local car. Pretty annoying process.

Glad you might have found a local ride... makes things much easier.

Might be an annoying process, but having access to information on cars nationwide does both make it easier to find what you want, but influence the price. Back in the day you were left to search the classifieds or cruise dealer lots. Now you have thousands of cars at your fingertips... just gotta find a good deal and work out the details. A little more of a pain to work out transfering between states and transportation, but if you find a deal worth the hassle, it all works out!