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Discussion Starter #1
So we have a few members negotiating a vehicle for the first time, we also have many of us who have negotiated in the past and hope to improve, so this thread is for all of you.

Lets talk about negotiations, a place to share tips, tricks and tidbits gathered over time or just in time.

Could be a fun little resource for us all, I'm sure we'll hear plenty of war stories ;)

0:)

My first tip, TRUST YOUR GUT. If the salesperson is genuine you'll feel it for sure, slimy salesmen always make me feel sick, literally >:D
 

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Homework, homework, and more homework. I've always found that the more info you have before you go to the dealer the better. I almost always know as much if not more than the poor salesperson that I'm dealing with. They normally don't try to BS you once they see that you know a bit about how things work.

Definitely be prepared to walk out if you're not feeling it. Visit a few dealers as well. That's a great way to know if the deal you're getting is really a deal or not.

.....and of course these forums. There is so much good info in this forum already. It's definitely going to help those of us who aren't quite ready to make the purchase.
 

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Very true. Homework is critical and it is needed across many angles - the product itself, dealerships, insurance and of course learning how not to loose your shirt and more while negotiating your deal. I found some interesting videos on You Tube from some guy in Australia about how to buy a new car. Nothing new but very well packaged and presented. He talks about many aspects of the car buying process but what I really like is how he explains that if one wants to buy a new car, trade in the old one and finance the deal those are three deals not one and it is very easy for the sales guy to fool a prospective buyer, etc.

I am also big on subject matter expertise. There is nothing worse for me than a sales "consultant" who knows very little about the product he/she is selling and tries to compensate the lack of knowledge with throwing in some cliche statements as if I were a grade 4 equivalent guy and born yesterday. Maybe it is just me but I truly believe that if you want to earn my respect and my business, you need to know your stuff and help me make the right decision. This is very important in establishing a long term, good business relationship.

I also personally dislike the "we are the largest volume dealer in wherever and sell cars by hundreds" value proposition. I feel like I am just a grain of sand instantly and that they want me to sign on the dotted line, take the car from the lot that has the ugliest color possible and be gone in 15 minutes.
 

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I also personally dislike the "we are the largest volume dealer in wherever and sell cars by hundreds" value proposition. I feel like I am just a grain of sand instantly and that they want me to sign on the dotted line, take the car from the lot that has the ugliest color possible and be gone in 15 minutes.
I agree, I hate when they assume because they're big, you're going to buy immediately.
 

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since i still have to wait for a month for delivery, technically im still not out of the woods yet.....in case dealer throws me a slime-y curveball at the last minute

but anyhow, some of u may not believe this, and it does sound crazy, and this method may backfire on cars that are not widely available (TLX SH-AWD), but as a learning experience i took the plunge and used this method to get my TLX - from the comfort of my laptop:

How To Get New Car Dealers in a Vicious Bidding War
 

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Discussion Starter #6
since i still have to wait for a month for delivery, technically im still not out of the woods yet.....in case dealer throws me a slime-y curveball at the last minute

but anyhow, some of u may not believe this, and it does sound crazy, and this method may backfire on cars that are not widely available (TLX SH-AWD), but as a learning experience i took the plunge and used this method to get my TLX - from the comfort of my laptop:

How To Get New Car Dealers in a Vicious Bidding War
good strat, Yes the TLX is new and in demand but the Acura dealers have been starving for sales all year IMO, worked out well for you in the end!

Once you've signed the papers there's nothing they can do to alter the agreed terms. I believe they call that illegal :D;) congrats BTW!
 

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i wouldn't say it worked in my favor at the beginning to be honest and the outcome was not what you may expect after reading that article. as of right now, with TLX being so new and fresh off the oven, it is selling like hotcakes, and SH-AWD is under preorder mode with no actual inventory. this email method works best for cars that have been out for a while, where most (if not all) dealer in the area has it. it will certainly not work on in-demand popular cars with half a year wait like the subaru WRX. under a certain light, the TLX SH-AWD is similar since people are still waiting for it.

this method will work better if you give it a couple of months for the dealers to fill up their lots with TLXs, which of course is not the case right now with SH-AWD models still in transit. so i was kinda in a uphill battle myself

but you definitely dont want to use this method just yet if you live in the toronto, since all the acura dealers in the toronto area have put up with my crap emails for the past couple of days lol

i will start a new thread on my experience, which will be a long read.....i will reveal more details as i get closer to delivery so it wont jeopardize my current deal. this is because they can still pull a fast one and just drag over 90 days without providing me with a vehicle (remember, i do not have a VIN number yet) and then the deal is dead, and i dont really wanna go through the same process again, with the same dealers
 

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I purchased mine (2.4L Base model) for invoice at $30.2K. The original MSRP was $31,890. I also had a chance to purchase it for $300 below invoice but the dealer didn't have the color I wanted.

I'll share some tips about the buying experience I went through 3 weeks ago and also from the perspective of a car salesman - it was a part-time job I held in college years ago.

1. I'd highly recommend you visit: carbuyingtips.com by Jeff Ostroff. The site has been around for years and is 100% on point. If you follow exactly his approach, you can buy the car at cost + maybe a few hundred bucks at most each time, even for brand new models just like the TLX.

2. Forget about the Truecar.com selling price statistics - on the TLX the last I checked, it makes it look like the only discount being offered is a couple hundred bucks from MSRP. This is probably due to the large number of pre-order sales over the past few months. However, the car has been out for 2 months now and there are lots of inventory. Additionally, it makes no mention about other aspects of the deal like whether they sold the new car at MSRP but gave the customer a good deal on their trade-in, etc.

3. Figure out the true cost of the car to the dealer.
3a) Its not the invoice but you'll need to start with the invoice price included with options.
3b) From here, back out ~2% of the invoice which is a dealer holdback they get.
3c) Then lookup if they have manufacturer or dealer incentives. It doesn't matter if its offered to the customer or to the dealer, the point is it will reduce the overall cost of the car and subtract this number. Most incentives will be published on Edmunds.com or Truecar.com
3d) Consider that the dealer may get some volume bonus for selling a lot of cars that month. This is truly the most confidential data point and you'll probably never find out whether they are on target to earn this or not. However, bringup the point during your negotiations. Its actually additional revenue for them if they hit it as opposed to a reduction in cost, but net, net it has the effect of increasing their gross margin so its a lever you can use.
3e) Take the invoice (3a) minus (3b) minus (3c) and figure that as their true cost before volume bonus. Offer them this "zero-profit" price. State to them that they are making it up on volume. They will balk and scream at you, ignore it. At most add-on another $300 - $750 and make a deal roughly 3% and stay as firm as possible.

Note) as of the date of this post, there were no rebates or incentives (3c above) available for the TLX. There were some leasing incentives and APR but no incentives that would reduce cost. This usually changes once the car has been out for a while.
 

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interesting insight, though here in canada there are $1000 off for the 2.4L model and $2000 for the the V6 models, and has been like this for the past couple of months

but then we get rear-ended with higher taxes and freight fees
 

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Kbb

I did a little research and got price quote from one other dealer but when I tried to nail them down with a specific price for a specific color, they did not respond. So I just negotiated with my original dealer.

Seems like best thing I did was go to Kelley Blue Book - they gave what they call a "Fair Price". The fair price on a base TLX 2.4 is 30,254 which seems in line with what folks have said they paid.

Looking up the fair price on KBB is easy. So I'm not sure why that isn't everyone's first step?? True Car's price was higher than KBB's. But everyone has internet so how do dealers manage to charge more for cars than what's on KBB??
 

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Looking up the fair price on KBB is easy. So I'm not sure why that isn't everyone's first step?? True Car's price was higher than KBB's. But everyone has internet so how do dealers manage to charge more for cars than what's on KBB??
price fixing? being a douche/snob? i have gotten responses from sales managers saying that they wont go much below MSRP. i just go to the next dealer who is willing to
 

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My boss just told me he's getting a TLX. I'd like to think I had something to do with it since I was showing him pics of the concept car even before they went on sale. Anyway, he's got an APA (Automobile Protection Association) membership and apparently they have some sort of New Vehicle Buying Service. The way he explained it to me is like this. The APA works with certain dealerships and agrees on a set price for vehicles. APA members simply go to the dealership, provide proof of APA membership, and they get the car for the discounted price, no haggling required. The APA membership is $77 plus tax for a year but I think he said he's getting about $1,700 off. I think this is what he's talking about.

Automobile Protection Association | Purchasing?
 

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My boss just told me he's getting a TLX. I'd like to think I had something to do with it since I was showing him pics of the concept car even before they went on sale. Anyway, he's got an APA (Automobile Protection Association) membership and apparently they have some sort of New Vehicle Buying Service. The way he explained it to me is like this. The APA works with certain dealerships and agrees on a set price for vehicles. APA members simply go to the dealership, provide proof of APA membership, and they get the car for the discounted price, no haggling required. The APA membership is $77 plus tax for a year but I think he said he's getting about $1,700 off. I think this is what he's talking about.

Automobile Protection Association | Purchasing?
well, is the "$1700 off" from the MSRP or invoice price?

because i got $5500 off MSRP for mine, all incentives included
 

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I'll have to clarify with him. Man, $5,500 sounds like a lot. So is that below invoice? Sorry if you've already stated elsewhere. I must not have seen it.
 

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I'll have to clarify with him. Man, $5,500 sounds like a lot. So is that below invoice? Sorry if you've already stated elsewhere. I must not have seen it.
regardless of how much of a discount i got for myself, if it's $1700 off MSRP and your boss is getting a V6 model and he is paying with full cash, with the current $2000 incentive for V6 models, he's not getting a deal at all (dealer is swallowing $300 of the incentive to begin with).

now, if the dealer offers him $1700 off MSRP and also tell your boss there is another $2000 cash incentive, THEN the deal is not too bad. however, there are dishonest dealers out there who choose not to disclose any incentives (even the ones easily found on the net or even on the manufacturer's website) and pocket the savings themselves.

either way, do not believe anything until you see the actual purchase agreement draft with an itemized list showing all extras and discounts and fees

for my car, i am unable to get an 100% accurate invoice price due to the added accessories and they are all simply priced at MSRP in my contract:
- wheel locks (worth nothing to the dealer)
- touch-up paint (worth nothing to the dealer)
- all season rubber mats (kinda worth nothing to the dealer)
- trunk spoiler (this is the real kicker, since it requires labor and installation)

my final price turns out to be around a thousand above invoice but this does not take into account on the price for the accessories (i am unable to find out the invoice price for spoiler)....so i guess in the end it's like a few hundred bucks above invoice. i negotiated based on a final out-the-door price including all taxes and fees to avoid confusion and miscalculations

i cannot guarantee that your boss or anybody else will also get the same discount as well. one very important thing to keep in mind is that mine is a CASH deal. you may not be that lucky if leasing/financing
 

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well, is the "$1700 off" from the MSRP or invoice price?

because i got $5500 off MSRP for mine, all incentives included
I agree with Willy 5K off MSRP seems quite a lot. Typically MSRP gives the dealer around 10% profit (not including the options where the mark-up is normally higher).

I made an offer at about 2K below MSRP which corresponds to 5% profit on my specific model (SH-AWD techno). He refused but came back with a counteroffer of 1.5K below MSRP. I accepted this offer and then reduced furthermore with the 2K rebate from Acura for a cash purchase. Also got fog lights, winter mats (trunk and car) and mud guard; all of which I reduced by 15%.

:)
 

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I agree with Willy 5K off MSRP seems quite a lot. Typically MSRP gives the dealer around 10% profit (not including the options where the mark-up is normally higher).

I made an offer at about 2K below MSRP which corresponds to 5% profit on my specific model (SH-AWD techno). He refused but came back with a counteroffer of 1.5K below MSRP. I accepted this offer and then reduced furthermore with the 2K rebate from Acura for a cash purchase. Also got fog lights, winter mats (trunk and car) and mud guard; all of which I reduced by 15%.

:)
ya $5.5k does sound a lot, but keep in mind there is a $2k incentive on the V6 and SH-AWD models if paid by cash so it lessens the damage on the dealer. believe me, i lost sleep during the 3 weeks of waiting worrying the dealer may throw me a curveball at the end and backing out on the deal, which is partially why i did not share about my discount until i got my VIN number from the dealer. regardless, the dealer kept his word and didn't back out, i got the car as described, and the car still hasn't exploded yet (knock on wood).

i am not sure how others negotiate, but i just tell them my final out-the-door offer price including all taxes and fees and i have the dealer calculate backwards in terms of how much each component is, including the "discount". my "discount" ended being just a few bucks below $5.5k on the contract

it also helps that this is an absolutely "no-frills" negotiation: no dealer addons, no tint, no rustproofing, no extended warranty, no protection package, no scheduled maintenance bundles, no trade-ins, no leasing, no financing, no winter tires. basically, no chance for the dealer to make up the "lost" money through other means, such as an overpriced rustproof package or a undervalued trade-in for your old car

there's also the unknown factor (same as 3d mentioned in post #8 ) as to whether a particular dealer is desperate to hit monthly sales target/quotas, so i may be lucky to be in the right place at the right time. it helps to do your negotiations at this time (near the end of the month) since that's when dealers start to have an idea about their monthly sales quotas and may possibly give in a bit on the discount to reach their goal, as supposed to negotiating during the first week of the month

YMMV of course. just because my dealer gave me $5.5K off for my car does not necessarily mean you will get it too. maybe the next month his sales figures in general go up for some reason and he doesn't need to give that much of a discount to meet his quota. and there is no way for them to apply a $5,500 discount on a TLX 2.4L base model either; need to compare apples to apples.

another factor to play in is that i have over half a dozen acura dealers in toronto to choose from, and i emailed ALL the sales managers and have them compete against each other via email, so the dealers know very well that they are under competition any time during the negotiation process. if the area you are in has only a couple of acura dealers then yes chances are they will be a more of a douche during negotiation, especially if in person. i also did alot of preparations beforehand so i guess it somehow paid off. refer to this link for more info on email bidding: http://blog.unhaggle.com/get-dealers-vicious-bidding-war-new-car/

i didnt get fog lights yet though since i find them to be too pricey at $1000 MSRP, i will have to worry about it later on. same for winter tires. and tint. if you are the type who wants everything done at the dealer, then be prepared to pay a bit for the convenience
 

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SH-AWD tech (fog lights only come standard in elite, so one will have to pay the fog lights on their own if they want it)

and for the doubtful ones, here's a section of my purchase agreement showing the discount i got

View attachment 794
 

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interesting insight, though here in canada there are $1000 off for the 2.4L model and $2000 for the the V6 models, and has been like this for the past couple of months

but then we get rear-ended with higher taxes and freight fees
Do you mean the cash incentive? I can't seem to find this $1000/$2000 rebate you speak of?
 
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