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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a few lasts words of wisdom! We're about to finally get a new Acadia. I've done a ton of research and I think I have most of my "ammunition", but I'm still a little concerned about the "approach".

So here are my questions:

When I contact the internet manager, do I just ask for a bottom-line price? Should I really expect that to be the lowest offer, or just consider it a starting point for negotiations?

How do I find out what the dealer actually paid for the car? A few websites I've read say that is not the same as invoice, but are the dealers willing to really give you that info if you ask? Anyway to find it out ahead of time?

As for financing, we have a really good rate through a credit union of 5.5%, but for a few reasons, getting a loan through them will be pretty inconvenient. I know the dealerships want to finance you, so should we give them a chance to find us an equally good deal? I've called a bunch of banks and the rates aren't competitive with 5.5, but are the dealerships able to get special rates through various banks that may not be available to the "public"?

Thanks for any advice! I'm really trying to be a smart consumer, but there's so much info, and it seems like there are so many tricks. Thanks again...
 

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I ordered mine through the internet manager. Easiest experience ever. They were asking $45-$50K for Acadias on the lot. I knew from Edmunds and other sites wht the approximate invoice was. I asked for the internet manager and was told they would charge me $11 over the invoice price which was as I remember pretty close if not slightly below Edmunds. I also got conquest cash offer as I own a Jap car.There was no haggling as the Acadia is brand new and I figured I would not get below invoice. I left my financing options open but ended up taking GMC financing at 4.9%. Then just waited 8 weeks for the car. When it arrived I went in signed papers and was out in 30 minutes.

Good luck!

PS- I love the Acadia. 10,000 miles with no issues
 

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Keith said:
I ordered mine through the internet manager. Easiest experience ever. They were asking $45-$50K for Acadias on the lot. I knew from Edmunds and other sites wht the approximate invoice was. I asked for the internet manager and was told they would charge me $11 over the invoice price which was as I remember pretty close if not slightly below Edmunds. I also got conquest cash offer as I own a Jap car.There was no haggling as the Acadia is brand new and I figured I would not get below invoice. I left my financing options open but ended up taking GMC financing at 4.9%. Then just waited 8 weeks for the car. When it arrived I went in signed papers and was out in 30 minutes.

Good luck!

PS- I love the Acadia. 10,000 miles with no issues
Keith, thanks for the response. So did you end up paying $11 over invoice PLUS get the Conquest Cash? How is the CC "delivered" - does it come off the price of the car or a rebate check from GMC or what?

Thanks again for the help :thumb:
 

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HeatherL said:
Keith said:
I ordered mine through the internet manager. Easiest experience ever. They were asking $45-$50K for Acadias on the lot. I knew from Edmunds and other sites wht the approximate invoice was. I asked for the internet manager and was told they would charge me $11 over the invoice price which was as I remember pretty close if not slightly below Edmunds. I also got conquest cash offer as I own a Jap car.There was no haggling as the Acadia is brand new and I figured I would not get below invoice. I left my financing options open but ended up taking GMC financing at 4.9%. Then just waited 8 weeks for the car. When it arrived I went in signed papers and was out in 30 minutes.

Good luck!

PS- I love the Acadia. 10,000 miles with no issues
Keith, thanks for the response. So did you end up paying $11 over invoice PLUS get the Conquest Cash? How is the CC "delivered" - does it come off the price of the car or a rebate check from GMC or what?

Thanks again for the help :thumb:
The car price with options I wanted was based on invoice price. they then added $11 and they did add a $700 advertising fee which I guess everyone else is paying. They then took $1000 CC off of that price. In addition, I had a GM credit card with accumulated discout of $3700. So, my $37,000 invoice Acadia which would have sold on the lot for over $40,000 I got for $31,000.
 

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Heather,

Most, but not all, dealerships charge the advertising fee. This is a fee that most dealerships have to pay into a regional advertising collective for television and radio ads that benefit a groups of dealerships (say a group of GM dealerships in a metropolitan area). I paid $400 over invoice for my Acadia, but my dealership does not participate in the advertising program so I did not have to pay the advertising fee.

The invoice price is what the dealership initally has to pay the manufacturer for the vehicle. However, they get a "holdback" (3% of the MSRP for GM vehicles) for each vehicle they sell that helps the dealer pay for the financing that they have to get to buy the vehicles, and it usually come in a quarterly check from the manufacturer. Most dealers do not have a couple million dollars to tie up in their inventory so they finance it. The holdbacks help pay for the interest they have to pay for this financing. Then the quicker they sell a car off the lot, the more of the holdback they get to keep instead of sending it off for the financing. Some dealerships will consider the holdback as part of their gross profit and sell the vehicle close to invoice while others will want the invoice price plus some money. Stay away from dealers that want MSRP unless it is a very limited supply vehicle (Acadia is not).

If you are dealing with a internet sales person, I'd ask right up front for their bottom dollar price. Any other incentives like the conquest cash, GM Card dollars, etc. should come off after you settle on the bottom dollar price. Consider these items as cash down payments.

My dealership made about $1,400 gross profit (holdback + $400 over invoice) on my Acadia, since I ordered it. This $1,400 has to pay for their advertising (since they are not in a advertising group and didn't charge me this specific fee), salespersons and detailers salaries, and other overhead costs like building payments, utilities, property taxes, etc.

My Acadia for example:

Negotiated selling price (Invoice + $400) $36,400
Minus Conquest Cash - $500
Minus GM Card Dollars - $1000
Minus Trade-In - $12,100
Amount Financed - $22,800

I found the best deal I could for financing myself @ 4.9% for 60 mos. from the internet. The dealership was able to match it through one of their lenders so we went that route. Dealers can usually do this if your credit is good enough.

Good luck.
 

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Here are my thoughts...

1. Internet pricing from what I have seen around here is nothing special. You need to do it in person. Keep it all separate- Agree on the price of the car first. Don't even talk about a trade until you agree on the purchase price. Then discuss the trade. Use NADA, kbb, etc. as a guide but don't be surprised if you can't get those numbers. Talk financing last. They will likely try to sell you the whole thing based on a payment alone. Forget that and ask for all things separately- the price of the vehicle, the value of the trade and the rate and terms of the loan (also pin down any fees and don't agree to documentation/processing fees (above what is allowed by law ($50 around here)),
and other stupid high profit dealer add ons like pinstriping, security plans, paint treatments, etc.

2. For the invoice price go Edmunds.com. Your dealer may also pay an advertising fee so his invoice and yours may vary by $700 or so. There is also a holdback that the dealer gets so selling at or below invoice is still a profit for him.

3. A credit union will likely give you the best rate but allow them to show you other options. If the rate and terms are better, then go with that. A credit union can also probably get you a preapproved check, which makes you a more serious buyer and they may be more willing to negotiate if you have cash in hand and are ready to buy.

Good luck.
 

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jseck2 said:
They will likely try to sell you the whole thing based on a payment alone. Forget that and ask for all things separately- the price of the vehicle, the value of the trade and the rate and terms of the loan ...
Excellent point. NEVER buy a vehicle based upon "payments". This is the quickest way to get hosed and not even know it until it's too late.
 

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www.carbuyingtips.com has a worksheet you can do that figures the holdback fee in and all options. When you have worked out your absolute lowest price on there, then contact area dealers with your offer via fax or email. They will contact you and you can deal right from your house. Send to sales managers if possible and if you are pre qualified with CU I would stick with that, unless you are able to enter dealer's finance office and steadfastly stick to just the car purchase and none of the extras they will try to throw at you. Yes, they get special rates and can match your rate sometimes, but not always.
 

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The main thing to remember is that you can get up and walk out if the deal is not to your satisfaction. Don't get caught up in the idea that you have to have this exact vehicle. There will always be a dealer that is willing to work for your business. As stated above, keep the trade and any 'extras' as a seperate transaction.

Best of luck!!
 

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jseck2 said:
Here are my thoughts...

1. Internet pricing from what I have seen around here is nothing special. You need to do it in person. Keep it all separate- Agree on the price of the car first. Don't even talk about a trade until you agree on the purchase price. Then discuss the trade. Use NADA, kbb, etc. as a guide but don't be surprised if you can't get those numbers. Talk financing last. They will likely try to sell you the whole thing based on a payment alone. Forget that and ask for all things separately- the price of the vehicle, the value of the trade and the rate and terms of the loan (also pin down any fees and don't agree to documentation/processing fees (above what is allowed by law ($50 around here)),
and other stupid high profit dealer add ons like pinstriping, security plans, paint treatments, etc.

2. For the invoice price go Edmunds.com. Your dealer may also pay an advertising fee so his invoice and yours may vary by $700 or so. There is also a holdback that the dealer gets so selling at or below invoice is still a profit for him.

3. A credit union will likely give you the best rate but allow them to show you other options. If the rate and terms are better, then go with that. A credit union can also probably get you a preapproved check, which makes you a more serious buyer and they may be more willing to negotiate if you have cash in hand and are ready to buy.

Good luck.
1. I disagree with the doing it in person part. One of the games dealerships play is to wear you down. They drag it on (for hours, sometimes) purposely, in the hope you will be more receptive to meeting their price (rather than yours) just to get the deal done and over with. Sometimes this backfires on them as it can have the opposite effect (i.e. the buyer walks) however, seeing as they ALL seem to employ this trick, it's likely it works more often than not.

2. Agreed

3. Agreed.

I've been buying cars for years. It has usually been an exhausting experience with the exception of the last couple of vehicles I've purchased. The difference? All the information that is available via the Internet.

In my opinion, the best strategy for buying a car these days is to gather all the information on a vehicle you are interested in buying. Figure a price (based on the info obtained) you are comfortable with, then visit your nearest dealership for a hands on with the vehicle. DO NOT talk numbers (i.e. walk). Time spent? About a half hour.

Once you are satisfied the car meets/exceeds your expectations, get a list of dealerships (from the Internet) within a 50 mile radius that have the vehicle equipped (color, options, etc.) like you want, then start calling. Inform the salesman of the vehicle on his lot you are interested in. Quote him the MSRP (all obtainable from the Internet) then tell him what you want to pay. If he says he can't meet the price, tell him to have a nice day and move on to the next guy. If your number is reasonable (within plus or minus $500 of invoice) you WILL find a dealership that will meet your price. Once you do, have them email it to you (this is very important). Give them the necessary info so they can run your credit and start the paperwork rolling. Once you arrive, test drive/examine the vehicle to make sure it doesn't vary from what you are expecting. If you are satisfied, sign the paperwork and be done with it. Time spent? About 30 to 45 minutes, with a majority of that time spent waiting for them to wash the vehicle and fill it with gas.

A couple of things to remember with regard to this method. First and foremost you must have patience!!! Do not even think about buying a vehicle until the hype/popularity has died down a bit. Dealerships are known to sell a vehicle at MSRP (or higher) when it's hot. Second, make your purchase at the right time (i.e. towards the end of the month or the end of the year). Dealerships are more receptive to meeting prices close to invoice when sales quotas need to be hit or inventory needs to be reduced to make room for the next year's model.
 

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Information is your most important asset. The dealer always knows more than you do about their costs and incentives--your job is to "even the playing field" by obtaining as much information as you possibly can before you buy. All of the techniques suggested could work well for you--just use the ones that best fit your style and personality. For me, it was going into the dealer with the "bottom line" amount I was willing to pay (I printed out the information from edmunds.com and carried it with me) and telling them to beat my price with their offer or I was moving on to the next dealer. I specifically told them I would not engage in any "back and forth" negotiations--either they would meet my "bottom line" price or not with their one and only offer (they did). Good luck! :thumb:
 

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dragonjo8 said:
jseck2 said:
Here are my thoughts...

1. Internet pricing from what I have seen around here is nothing special. You need to do it in person. Keep it all separate- Agree on the price of the car first. Don't even talk about a trade until you agree on the purchase price. Then discuss the trade. Use NADA, kbb, etc. as a guide but don't be surprised if you can't get those numbers. Talk financing last. They will likely try to sell you the whole thing based on a payment alone. Forget that and ask for all things separately- the price of the vehicle, the value of the trade and the rate and terms of the loan (also pin down any fees and don't agree to documentation/processing fees (above what is allowed by law ($50 around here)),
and other stupid high profit dealer add ons like pinstriping, security plans, paint treatments, etc.

2. For the invoice price go Edmunds.com. Your dealer may also pay an advertising fee so his invoice and yours may vary by $700 or so. There is also a holdback that the dealer gets so selling at or below invoice is still a profit for him.

3. A credit union will likely give you the best rate but allow them to show you other options. If the rate and terms are better, then go with that. A credit union can also probably get you a preapproved check, which makes you a more serious buyer and they may be more willing to negotiate if you have cash in hand and are ready to buy.

Good luck.
1. I disagree with the doing it in person part. One of the games dealerships play is to wear you down. They drag it on (for hours, sometimes) purposely, in the hope you will be more receptive to meeting their price (rather than yours) just to get the deal done and over with. Sometimes this backfires on them as it can have the opposite effect (i.e. the buyer walks) however, seeing as they ALL seem to employ this trick, it's likely it works more often than not.

2. Agreed

3. Agreed.

I've been buying cars for years. It has usually been an exhausting experience with the exception of the last couple of vehicles I've purchased. The difference? All the information that is available via the Internet.

In my opinion, the best strategy for buying a car these days is to gather all the information on a vehicle you are interested in buying. Figure a price (based on the info obtained) you are comfortable with, then visit your nearest dealership for a hands on with the vehicle. DO NOT talk numbers (i.e. walk). Time spent? About a half hour.

Once you are satisfied the car meets/exceeds your expectations, get a list of dealerships (from the Internet) within a 50 mile radius that have the vehicle equipped (color, options, etc.) like you want, then start calling. Inform the salesman of the vehicle on his lot you are interested in. Quote him the MSRP (all obtainable from the Internet) then tell him what you want to pay. If he says he can't meet the price, tell him to have a nice day and move on to the next guy. If your number is reasonable (within plus or minus $500 of invoice) you WILL find a dealership that will meet your price. Once you do, have them email it to you (this is very important). Give them the necessary info so they can run your credit and start the paperwork rolling. Once you arrive, test drive/examine the vehicle to make sure it doesn't vary from what you are expecting. If you are satisfied, sign the paperwork and be done with it. Time spent? About 30 to 45 minutes, with a majority of that time spent waiting for them to wash the vehicle and fill it with gas.

A couple of things to remember with regard to this method. First and foremost you must have patience!!! Do not even think about buying a vehicle until the hype/popularity has died down a bit. Dealerships are known to sell a vehicle at MSRP (or higher) when it's hot. Second, make your purchase at the right time (i.e. towards the end of the month or the end of the year). Dealerships are more receptive to meeting prices close to invoice when sales quotas need to be hit or inventory needs to be reduced to make room for the next year's model.
just what i been through after 6 dealership and almost 6mos of wait, to add some more info, use the selling price you have from 1 dealer againts another and let them fought in between, someone will offer you the lowest price and if your lucky maybe much lower than your expectations.

Everybody likes to have the closest dealer as possible from your area, if your offer is not met by that dealer... give them something to think about like updating your salesguy with lower offers from another dealer as a bait after you walk out, "call me up if your still ready to make a deal with my $$$$$ offfer.... as so so so have offered me this at invoice"[/color] -- although its a gamble it sometimes work (just make sure he/she had your # and email add). The internet is the best place to deal, its impersonal minus all the traditional tactics of being in a dealership like what drgonjo8 stated, and you really go straight down to the numbers and only set an appointment when the offer is right. Although at times you do have to travel and visit some dealership personally. --- the pain of shopping for a car.....
 
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