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« Two Money-Related Pieces that Caught My Attention This Morning | Main | Some Good Economic News »

December 04, 2008


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I'd argue that most customers can say no to dealer add-ons / options (there are virtually none the customer really needs).

Moreover, it's actually a very good time to buy a new or used vehicle because:

1. The current state of all car companies (US and International) - they are dying for unit sales (I don't think any car company reported on increased unit sales in Nov).

2. It's the end of the year for all car companies and they want to sell as much metal as possible.

The most important thing to remember when buying a car is that you need to do your research (get a hold of what the dealer paid for the car and negotiate from that point). Moreover, never negotiate on a monthly cost, but rather always the price of the vehicle.

I find the best technique is to just walk away if you're not getting the deal you want - the customer has the upper hand in this environment and NOT the dealer or car maker.

Vince Scordo

On the note of the "advertising fee", when I bought a new car last year I asked for the invoice for it. On the invoice there was an advertising fee (called something else, but I can't remember what). They'll try to sneak everything in, even on the "invoice" since dealers know that some people will ask for it. Obviously I refused to pay it and they took that extra cost off the final price.

I have a subie too, 05 legacy. My first car was a plymouth neon, a graduation gift since I was moving to California for college. The car was special ordered through a buying program and delivered to a dealer just for pick up. The dealer tried to sell us on their rust protection undercoat, for some ridiculous price. We said no, this is what we ordered and here is your check. Out in the lot we discovered they had already applied the rust coating, no wonder they were pushing so hard for us to pay for it!

I'm thinking about getting another car just for the reasons Vince mentioned above. I am starting grad school next semester and need something a lot more reliable than what I have. And I have found several good used options that have 100k fewer miles than my car, more features, better gas mileage and what would work out to be a lower payment. And I don't feel a huge emotional desire to have another car right now, just a practical one, so walking out on a "deal" wouldn't bother me one bit...

I bought a used car ('06 Subaru WRX) in August, and after researching it for months and getting a good deal, I still walked out with an extended warranty. While this is a really stupid thing for a lot of people, I found it to be a good idea for me, considering my desire to move to Alaska. So, while the list of things that are not useful is probably valid for most people, an extended warranty is something that may be a good investment depending upon your position....I blew out two rental cars last time I was in Alaska, I'd rather be covered up there if it doesn't hold up.

I found it funny the '3 hours' the guy had to sit AFTER purchasing his car. During our last new car purchase, we took care of this mighty quick with 2 pre-school daughters in the room with us grabbing at everything. We said 'No, No, No' and they got us out of there quick.

It is actually the media and people that don't see the value in the packages or do not understand them that complain and call car sales personel thieves or crooks.

It is their job to offer you products at a cost that will enhance your vehicle ownership. While all of the products might not be right for you they are for others. If you are a consumer that has no savings and lives paycheck to paycheck. Takes out a 75 month finance term on a vehicle and rolls in tax,title and license fees. They should alway purchase gap and the extended service contract. Even if the vehicle is new the warranty is over at 36k and lets say at 55k something happens to the electrical or transmission. At $65 to $85 per hour labor fees plus parts and then add the cost of a rental car while the vehicle is getting fixed. Next look at the wheel and tire option the same person says no to that option and drives off the lot gets on the highway and a truck in front of you looses debris onto the highway that punctures your tire. Guess what you are now out anywhere from $100 to $200 for a tire plus your payment. It's called protecting yourself for around $40 dollars extra per month. You insure your car with an insurance company right, do you think they make money on you? You pay a portion of your health insuranse too, do you think they make money on you?

You purchase clothing, tv, jewlery, clothing, homes etc. So give me a break and stop bashing the car industry. The majority of the sales people make actually less than minimum wage when you add the hours they work. They work 6 days a week from open to close of the dealership. They sacrifice family time and not only put up with you the consumer and your opionon that they are taking advantage of you. When actually most of them get paid around $100 per car! The average sales person sells 8 cars a month do the math that would be $800 per month!

That is exactly what a sales person makes on a new car, some make less they're are actually dealers that pay $75 per new car and others that pay $50 for a new car!

Guess what there is more mark up in Furniture than vehicles, Your mortgage banker made more money on your home purchase than your sales person did on your car! If you want to complain, then educate yourself!

Patricia --

You must be a car dealer/salesperson.

So, why exactly would ANYONE want to pay an "advertising fee" as I note above?

FMF -- I would be more interested to find out where she got all of those "average" numbers. I am sure it is anecdotal, and probably not true at that.

your all idiots and have no idea what your talking about. Try working in Auto sale's for a few months then you will truly understand. Do you go to work for free? So is it unfair for your local dealer to make a few dollars? go check the employee parking lot, you don't see high line cars parked there. the avarge buyer lies to a sales person MUCH more then the sales person lies to anyone. You the cunsomer just makes it harder for the sales person to help you find what you are looking for. you want my advise on buying cars, be honest with your sales person and you may find it much easier to get what you want and remember you don't go to work for free so why should you exspect them to, profit is not a dirty word!

I bought a new car last year I asked for the invoice for it. On the invoice there was an advertising fee

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