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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently shopping for a 2010 Forester 2.5X Limited with certain options. I've gotten internet quotes from a few "local" dealers but none of them had the color unit that I wanted and I was hopeful to get a deal made before the end of the month so I could take advantage of the 2.9% (or 1.9% for 36 months) financing.

I found a dealer about an hour and a half away that has the color vehicle that I want and he made me an offer on the car accessorized the way that I wanted it that wasn't too bad but was a bit higher than a previous offer that I had gotten from another dealer. When I suggested this to the internet sales manager, he told me that he could "meet any other dealer's offer" and he told me that he'd work on it (for what it's worth, he had also told my wife in a previous phone conversation that he'd meet any other offer). I emailed him the particulars of the other dealer's offer, added MSRP for a few accessories I wanted which weren't included in the other dealer's offer and asked him if he'd meet or beat the offer.

In the meantime, I went to work and he called my wife to tell her that "if your husband can get that deal from dealer X, then he'd better take it". WTH? I tried to call him back immediately to ask if his promise to "meet any offer" was only on the lousy offers and not the good ones but he was away from his desk so I sent him an email to the same effect and asked him rather pointedly if he was willing to meet the offer or if he wasn't. I'd simply go to the original dealer and take their offer if not for the fact that they don't have the color that I'm looking for (Camellia Red). Besides that, I simply hate disengenuous people and don't think a sales person should make offers that he has no intention of keeping.

How would all of you deal with this situation? I'm inclined to be patient and allow this sales person the opportunity to make good on his previous promise but I want to get this deal done before the end of the month (Wednesday) and their shop will have to add a few accessories (body side mouldings, cross bars, etc.) before we can get it done. Any thoughts or advice?
 

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2005 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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I just bought my car (albeit a used one, which is different), and had a series of interactions with private parties, dealers, and repair/maintenance shops. Some of these interactions inspired confidence in the state of humanity, and several of them made me sure we are all doomed, due to the total lack of honor and integrity in the species. Concentrating (or obsessing, as I am often guilty of doing) on the negative interactions only brings the good folks down, and does little to change the bad ones. I would just scratch that dealer of your list of possible sources, and move on.
 

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2010 Forester X Premium
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I think he was straight up with you. I don't see an issue, most beat/any offer applies to advertised offers, not what ever you work out with the delear as fair price. I think it's not his integrity that is in question. He was honeset that they would not be able to match that offer, he didn't waste your time, he told you straight up that if other delear gives you that kind of offer you should be taking it. Don't see what is the issue here? Would you rather want him to waste your time, and tell you I beat it beat and than just to found out that he wont? That would question his intergrity, but being honest, I don't think so.
 

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But yes you right he should not say that without all the info first. But maybe the other delear deal was really a steal, and he didn't expect that. Buttom line S''t happens ;)
 

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2003 Forester XS
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The car you were looking for the price match on had different options. That makes it a different car and thus the price matching is not applicable.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
You're right that they weren't equipped exactly the same but I was willing to give MSRP for the additional accessories if the shop would install them for free. I can't imagine any dealer in America wouldn't be willing to install options if the customer was willing to pay full MSRP for those accessories. The two vehicles were basically the same but I wanted to add Sirius radio, cross bars for the roof, body side mouldings and a cargo tray, none of those are horrible installations. For that matter, I could have easily just bought the exact car that the other dealership had and later come back for the installations, maybe even getting the accessories below MSRP and paying a little bit of nothing for the install.

To bring everyone up to date, the general manager of the dealership called me after I sent the email, which his internet sales manager shared with him. They apologized for the misunderstanding and never denied that the sales guy offered to meet any other deal. I asked if they would make it right and agree to the price that the other dealer had offered and he gave me a song and dance that the two deals were about a thousand dollars apart and that they couldn't do it, no way no how. He said that he didn't want to lose a customer over a hundred dollars or two but wouldn't come down a thousand bucks like I wanted him to. It went on like that for a bit and I agreed to come up $200 for the sake of buying the color I wanted at the dealership that I wanted. He called me back and offered it to me for roughly $300 more than the other deal and I agreed.

I'm still bothered by the fact that the internet sales manager told both my wife and I that he'd meet any other deal and then refused to do so. For what it's worth, he never said any advertised deal, nor did he argue with me afterwards when I suggested that he shouldn't make promises that the dealership wouldn't keep. Furthermore, he made the "we'll meet any other deal" assertion only AFTER I told him that I had a better deal worked out with another dealership.

In the long run, I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face over a $300 savings when buying the car at the other dealership would have been a bit of an inconvenience for me. That said, I truly don't know why car dealerships insist on making every car buying experience so miserable. :evilatyou: And, for the record, I'm a pretty good customer as I have a sterling credit rating and intend to make a sizable downpayment. I'll reserve judgement about how the dealership treated me until I take delivery of the car and deal with the service department for a bit. For what it's worth, I bought a different make of car from this dealership (different location) a few years ago and had an overall positive relationship with the service department.
 

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Because it's a business nothing personal. And to answer your question, if I would be in delears shoes I would not install these parts for free. Nothing is free in this world ;) even air ;). This is mayor reason why I don't buy any options on my car unless the ones that I can install my self. ;) Most delears that you buy your car from will offer 10% off on accessories ;)
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #8
It's precisely because it is a business that I'd expect to be dealt with honestly. After my suggestion that I've had a better offer from another dealer and his counter that he'd "meet any other deal", to fail to do so is at least borderline dishonest and shady.

I'll take your word that the dealer may have later offered the accessories to me for 10% off. So, assuming that we're talking about $800 worth of accessories, my savings to purchase them later would be $80. What do you suppose the dealership would have charged me to install those accessories a few weeks after I purchased a brand new $26,000 car from them. $80?
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #9
By way of a follow up, I had previously emailed the original dealer and asked what the installation of said accessories would cost because I wanted to be fair to the second dealer and be sure that I was comparing apples to apples. As it turns out, I was about $100 off the price that dealer 1 later gave me for the installation but dealer 1's final quote with the exact same options and accessories was still about $300 less than dealer 2's after having lied about meeting other offers and after the late hour negotiations.

Something else that I hadn't previously mentioned is this, when I grilled the general manager about his sales manager's assertion that he'd "meet any other offer", he told me that they couldn't possibly meet ANY other offer or other dealerships would just undercut them to start a range war. Maybe so but then stop making stupid promises that you don't intend to keep.

A few years ago I would have gone to dealer 1 and saved $300 on the car, partly because of the money issue and partly to "get" dealer 2 for lying to me. I've gotten to the point in my life where I'm more pragmatic and worry about the bottom line. In this case, that $300 savings wouldn't have been worth the additional aggravation of driving 20 miles further for service to a strange dealership. I still think that it was very bad business to make that sort of offer and then renig on it.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... ... I emailed him the particulars of the other dealer's offer...
Unfortunately buying a car is not as simple as getting a verbal quote from one dealer and expecting another dealer to beat it.

All dealers say they will meet any other dealers offer. Your email to one dealer of another dealer's verbal offer is not usually enough to do business on. The second dealer has no reason to believe that you really had a deal with the first dealer. You will need the first dealer's offer in writing (his sales proposal).

On several deals, I have talked to salesmen at length and even gotten them to write figures on the back of their card. But when I asked for a sales proposal, the result was quite different from what I expected.

Go back to the first dealer and see what their written and signed sales proposal is. You may be surprised -- either by the amount, or that they won't give you one if you are going to shop it.
 

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I know, I know, we all can't stand dealerships and those fatcat salepeople, what with their shiny pens and fancy suits.. :mob:

Imagine if ever person who came into your work had a list of demands and extra parts along with prices from the competition that you had to match or else? Better yet, what if that person didn't bother to come in and just called you over the phone to get you to agree to a sale? That would get old, If it were me I'd probably tell one or two people to go somewhere else too, and probably not as politely..

not that there aren't horror stories out there, but c'mon False advertising or broken promises? seems like a stretch to me.

something somethin, other peoples shoes...
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #12
First of all, I never asked the dealer to match another dealer's price "or else". It was their sales manager's claim that he'd meet any other deal, not a request from me (and he made that unsolicited offer once to my wife and twice to me without any sort of instigation on my part). I already demonstrated that I'm reasonable and would have purchased the car had they made me a fair offer, they didn't have to make a false claim about what they were willing to do in regards to the sale price.

Are you suggesting that prospective buyers should simply pay whatever a dealer asks without shopping for a better deal ever? I'm typically a pretty easy customer to get along with. I educate myself about dealer's cost, invoices, holdbacks, MSRP, etc. etc. and I go to a dealer well prepared to make my best deal. Occasionally I get lucky and find a dealer that appreciates a well educated consumer and who's willing to live with the fair profit that I offer, sometimes not. I understand that dealerships have overhead and that salespeople work, at least partly, on commission. I also understand that dealerships make money in ways other than gross profit on sales. Furthermore, I recognize that in a down economy that manufacturers are willing to sweeten the deal and that dealerships will sometimes work on pretty slim margins. I am not a cheapskate and I don't expect anyone to work for free or to give things away but neither do I want to be cheated or lied to.

As for getting a written proposal, I asked the dealer if he doubted my deal and if he'd like to see it in writing and he poo pooed the idea, basically he wasn't going to meet that deal under any circumstance. If you have no intention of meeting "any other deal" then don't say you will, I don't really see why anyone would defend that practice.
 

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nothing specific aimed @ you or your situation at all GG;

in fact I did a similair thing when looking for our 08 in 09, phoned all the dealerships to find one that had the right year and colour etc, just that the internet sales person is just that; a person.. maybe they are having a crappy day, or maybe their boss is giving them grief about the bottom line during these hard times.. If they rubbed you the wrong way and you really don't like how they handled it just go somewhere else..

now if you are determined to get a specific color with certain options at a certain interest rate in the next two days you may need to be more flexible on the deal.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... Are you suggesting that prospective buyers should simply pay whatever a dealer asks without shopping for a better deal ever? ... If you have no intention of meeting "any other deal" then don't say you will, I don't really see why anyone would defend that practice.
I did not suggest that you pay whatever a dealer asks without shopping.

I had almost the same experience as you with dealers in two cities when shopping for my Forester. I visited the out of town dealer and was made a good offer. Then I did not buy from the local dealer, because when asked on the phone if he could match it, instead of saying "yes", he only said he would "beat any deal" if I came in and talked.

Further discussion would have been a waste of my time. But it never occurred to me to accuse the local dealer with "false advertising or broken promises." And that is because all dealers, to your face, on TV and in ads, say they will "beat any deal", so the words only signify an intent or hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well, you and I have a significantly different perspective about what words mean then. I don't want to beat a dead horse but he used the phrase three times, once to my wife and twice to me. The last time he said it was immediately after I suggested that I was going to go with the best deal and that I had a better offer. I don't see anything vague about his words at all, it was a cheap trick and an offer that he had no intention of keeping.

This is precisely why car salesmen and car dealers get a bad name. The appropriate thing to do would have been to ask for specifics on the other deal, do his best to meet it and if he couldn't, to explain why and how close he came. It would have left a much better taste in my mouth.

One other thing, if this had been a cheap trick to get me into the dealership so he could give me the hard sell, it would be pretty lousy. That said, I think this salesman knew precisely where he stood with me. I had already told him that I sold my 2005 Subaru a few days before. I had told him that I've already test driven the new ones and didn't need to be sold the car. He knew that I wasn't coming to his dealership until and unless he could offer me a price that was acceptable to me by phone or email. I honestly don't know why he pulled the "I'll meet any deal" out of the hat. Some guys would lie if the truth sounded better.

Now, for the record, I actually think this salesman is a decent guy and feels like hell about what he said. When I chastised him and his general manager for the trick (they had me on speaker phone), I get the impression that the salesmen sincerely felt badly about making on offer that he couldn't keep (the GM was a different story). It still doesn't make it right. Perhaps this salesmen will try a new tactic from now on, full transparency and honesty.

It's funny, there are surely some customers who think that the average profit a dealer makes per sale is $6000 or $7000. There are plenty of salespeople that would have you believe that the dealership isn't making any money on your deal (or maybe $50 or $100). I think that the average customer recognizes the need for the dealership to make some profit and is willing to pay a fair price for a car, but as I said previously, dealerships and salesmen get a bad name by trying to gouge every customer or by pulling stuff out of their backside for no obvious reason. If you don't know the answer to a question, admit that you don't know it, research the answer and get back to me. Don't lie to me about what the dealer's true cost of a car is or what you can and can't do on a deal.

As I said before, I'm no cheapskate. I pay contractors immediately and fully when they do a service for me. I tip my waitresses at least as much as is currently acceptable, more if the service is good. I rarely try to negotiate prices on retail products (new autos being the only exception that I can think of). I simply don't know why purchasing a new car has to be more painful than pulling teeth, particularly when I'm not trying to squeeze every last cent out of the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This is almost entirely unrelated to my original post or any of the followups but let me give another example of why car salesmen sometimes get a bad name. A friend of mine recently purchased a new car and sent his wife into the dealership to sign some paperwork, put the finishing touches on the deal and pick up the vehicle.

After having it explained to him by the husband that the couple would not be taking the extended service contract, the salesguy puts the hard sell on her, going so far as to suggest that he can't believe she's being so stupid and insinuating that women shouldn't be doing this stuff and ought to leave it to their husbands. She held her ground and refused the service contract but left with a new car and a sick feeling in her gut. She got home and told her husband that instead of feeling great about the new car, she had been made to feel like a fool by some car salesman. It wasn't a case of buyer's remorse, this couple had fully researched the car and could easily afford it. For the sake of the $50 or whatever that they might make on that service contract, they made her feel stupid and likely lost a potential customer for life as I doubt that she'll ever buy another car there. Why?

As I said, it's not that closely related to my original post, I'm just surprised that people defend this sort of crap from the dealerships. I'm not suggesting for one minute that all dealerships pull this stuff either. I'm more than happy to tell the world when I'm treated well by a car dealer and I'm also happy to suggest when they're being sleazy. I've not mentioned the name of my dealer in this transaction because I'm trying to reserve judgement until all is said and done but at this point, I'd be hard pressed to recommend them, even after I've purchased two new vehicles from them in the last 10 or 12 years.
 

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If it isn't on paper, you are s.o.l. It's a typical dealer tactic. I do prefer to call them stealerships.
 

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... I think that the average customer recognizes the need for the dealership to make some profit... I'm no cheapskate....
Same here. I had bought a Consumer Reports cost report for my Forester, and knew the invoice, holdback, etc. The out of town dealer had a low $100 doc fee, and when they said OK to $100 over invoice, I wanted to buy their car. I told them I was not after any of the $750 holdback that they would get from SOA for selling the car.
 

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... I'm just surprised that people defend this sort of crap from the dealerships....
... It's a typical dealer tactic. I do prefer to call them stealerships.
I have two brothers who have worked as car salesmen at various dealerships. Their stories of the regime under a sales manager are pitiful. It is not an easy job and does not pay much, especially if you let too many customers "walk" -- to another dealer. It is much better to be the customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
vintage, I don't doubt that for one minute. I simply believe that salesmen might score on a higher percentage of prospective customers if they laid off the hard sell tactics or the misleading statements or lies. Maybe not, they're professionals and probably know what works best for the "average" customer but I hate that sort of crap.
 
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