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Old 12-20-2011, 03:11 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,370,462 times
Reputation: 3330

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Not sure if any of you here are familiar with this:

The Art of the Deal [Fool.com: Buying a Car]

The Motley Fool is a financial site and they have a 13 Step process to buying a new car which should allow you to get a good price. Basically it involves spec'ing out every last detail of what you want in a vehicle and then, via fax, soliciting bids from every dealer within a specified (ie: 100 miles) radius. You then take the lowest bid, resend to all of the dealers, and ask them if they can beat it. You purchase from whoever does beat it. This is how large institutional buyers (ie: a business that needs a work truck or a courier van) purchase vehicles. I am thinking of using this process but there's one caveat-I'm not looking for a new car-I'm looking for a certified pre-owned 2009 with a specific set of options. First I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has used this method successfully, and next I'd be interested to hear if folks think it would work as well with a used car.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,240 posts, read 8,074,474 times
Reputation: 5291
Standard rigorous, hardball approach which has been around since most dlrs got a net site...before that we used fax for same purpose.
The Fool did not invent it, ;>)

Yes, I have bought a car with that method, when I lived in NY and had a few dozen dlrs of the brand(s) I was interested within ~an hour drive. Works less well in the boonies, unless one wants to drive a long way.

Haven't bought a used car in decades, so no idea if that process would work as well, though I don't know why it would not be successful; your 'similar' used cars may not be exact, but if there are a few in your ballpark I suspect the process will put some purchase on 'which dlr wants to move a unit'.
GL, mD
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 13,171,292 times
Reputation: 2440
When we got those stupid faxes, we just threw them away.

But not well on a used car because they are unique. It's not something that, typically, a bunch of dealers will have. The more unique it is, the less likely any "tricks" will work.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,484 posts, read 62,084,629 times
Reputation: 32136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
The Motley Fool...
they have a 13 Step process to buying a new car...
iow...
1) Know exactly what you want.
2) Ask several vendors for exactly that and very specifically.
3) Buy the best deal offered.

That's reasonable...
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,240 posts, read 8,074,474 times
Reputation: 5291
OT, sort of...
Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
When we got those stupid faxes, we just threw them away.
...
... glad all dlrs didn't have that 'customer' attitude.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 13,171,292 times
Reputation: 2440
Quote:
Originally Posted by motordavid View Post
OT, sort of...


... glad all dlrs didn't have that 'customer' attitude.

Why on earth would I as a salesperson or a manager wanted to deal with a person like that? It would be a no-profit deal with a likely pain-in-the-ass customer.

And how is it any more rude than sending a fax in like that?
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:34 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,370,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
iow...
1) Know exactly what you want.
2) Ask several vendors for exactly that and very specifically.
3) Buy the best deal offered.

That's reasonable...
I think what we're looking for might put us at a slight advantage-as I had posted a little while ago we're in the market for a Kia Sorento. Requirements are pretty simple:

2009
45K miles or less
3.8L V6
4WD

All other features (color, upholstery, sunroof, etc...) are unimportant. There seem to be a fair amount of base model 2009s that are plain vanilla (cloth, no sunroof, basic features, etc...) out there. I guess the worst that can happen is no one responds. Part of the reason I want to try this is just avoid dealing with the salespeople at the dealerships. I know they don't care about me, what I do for a living, what my children's names are, or whether or not I drop off the face of the earth after I sign on the dotted line and drive off the lot. I just want to make car buying like buying a pack of toilet paper-you look at all the prices sitting on the shelf and you pick the best one that suits your needs at the price you want-plain and simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
Why on earth would I as a salesperson or a manager wanted to deal with a person like that? It would be a no-profit deal with a likely pain-in-the-ass customer.
Seems like it would be an opportunity for a quick sale with little work on your part. If you have the car I want at the lowest price you send me the price, I come in, hand you a check, you hand me the keys, and I drive off.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:51 PM
 
2,765 posts, read 3,329,836 times
Reputation: 5480
I'm not so sure this is going to work out so well for you with a used car.

Most dealers now will just send you a link to their website back and tell you to browse their site and if you find something you are interested in, come down to work out a deal. Usually when someone emails wanting a quote with specifics like that you know they are looking to nickle and dime you as getmeoutofhere has alluded to and many dealers just brush it off since there isn't going to be any profit anyway. By specifically looking for the cheapest one you can find, you open yourself up to getting exactly that....the cheapest one around which is often cheap for a reason. Sometimes the car that costs $500 to $1000 more is a far superior car and a much better deal in the long run.

Don't get me wrong, you can try it but you are probably going to go through an awful lot of work and aggravation to only save maybe a couple hundred dollars and end up with a lower grade car.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,171 posts, read 16,634,021 times
Reputation: 12316
The main problem with doing it that way with a used car is that, well, they have been used. It would be virtually impossible to find two cars of the same year, make, and model in the exact same condition. And one dealer's opinion of a car's condition would likely be different than another's. In other words, you might realize that the car that is priced $2000 higher is $2000 better if you actually looked at it.

A modified version might work. Send the initial fax out, then when (if) you get them back, toss the really high and really low ones (or at least set them aside for the moment) and go look at the cars in the middle. After you look at them and drive them, pick the one you think is the best for the money, weigh the other quotes in relation to that quote and send the weighted quote back.

It seems like a lot of work, but I guess it would save a little initial legwork.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,484 posts, read 62,084,629 times
Reputation: 32136
Quote:
Originally Posted by dijkstra View Post
I'm not so sure this is going to work out so well for you with a used car.
It won't. Actually it can't. Too many variables.
And the method exampled isn't intended to.

hth
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