buying via company/mfr partnership or warehouse/credit union program a bluff?


Old 04-26-04, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
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buying via company/mfr partnership or warehouse/credit union program a bluff?

Anyone have any thoughts of buying a new car/truck via a warehouse/credit union type auto buying program and how it compares to a company/car manufacturer partnership program?

The process between the two appears to be the same--go into talk to the fleet manager and announce you are using or are a member of the [fill-in-the-blank] car-buying program/club. They whip out and show you their 'invoice' price which is way below the artifical 'MSRP' price, you pay a fixed % above invoice, and then you drive home in a new set of wheels. No haggling required. You feel good because you "saved" 'thousands of $$' off of an artificially set MSRP, and you didn't have to go through the hassle of haggling.

I assume this fixed % markup varies from dealer-to-dealer?

Is the markup above invoice similar/same between programs?

Or is it a bluff where they make buyers feel like they're part of a prestigious, elite group who are entitled to a huge discount that nobody else can get... I find it difficult to believe they are so willing to show us buyers the true invoice price. If I was selling cars (or anything for that matter), I wouldn't be so quick to share that kind of info with my would-be buyers... and if I did, I'd obviously show them something else.

Or do the dealers add different percentage markups above so-called 'invoice' price depending on whether I'm going in on the warehouse program versus a company program? Kinda hard to believe that one too..

...just being skeptical about it and am wondering if haggling can still yield a lower price
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Old 04-26-04, 10:15 PM
slumlordfrank's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Where time and space begin
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I'm sure others with more experience will chime in but here's my $.02. We recently bought our "first ever" new car, despite the fact that we're in our late 50's and we found the warehouse club and other buying services didn't work in our state. So we ended up typing in a different state and finding the "best price".

Simultaneously I was perusing another site that's all about automobiles, not just buying them but it has discussion threads like this site, by make, model and then about a dozen or so topics pertaining to that make and model. By carefully studying the pricing threads for what we wanted we determined what the average discount from list was for one equipped the way we wanted. We decided that we wanted to be at the high end of the average and visited two dealers, because we live an hour away fromt the nearest city and this was a Lexus there weren't a lot of choices unless we wanted to drive 3-4 hours. Anyway we got our car at our price, which was about $1300 less than the "best price" we had found using the other method.

That's just our experience, take it for what it's worth.

Old 05-05-04, 03:02 PM
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OK, I'll add my two cents, and you'll almost have a nickle! I actually sell cars at a huge no-haggle dealership. When customers visit the store, or our website, they can see exactly what they will pay for the car. I have no problem showing anybody the actual invoice. We have a low markup on new cars, and we have nothing to hide. We are going to make a profit on those cars, but we are not going to gouge customers.

We have what are called "margins" and they will change depending on factors such as time of month, etc. I don't know what traditional dealerships do, or what those buying clubs do, and I'm not trying to advertise here, I just want to point out that there is a no-haggle dealership with an on-line presence where you can see the actual invoice if you request it. If you just want to compare what you are being asked to pay against what you would be paying at our store, it is very easy to access that information.

When comparing prices, it is best to look at the invoices for both vehicles, to make sure the vehicles have all the same options. The invoice or the manufacturers window sticker is the best place to get accurate information.

I hope this helps....

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