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Old 03-20-2017, 12:42 AM   #21
curves2000
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Here are some tips for buyers who are looking at new or used cars from a dealership to try and avoid getting royally screwed by the little things.

1) Do not negotiate or work with a sales or finance person strictly based upon your monthly payment budget. When you work straight off payments with the dealer there is a real possibility that you end up paying substantially more for a car than it's actual cost. Say your budget is $400 a month, I have seen people purchase cars that should have only cost $10-11k and they are stuck into a 3 year loan @$400 a month. This means total payments WITHOUT interest is $14 400.

Find a car you think you might be able to afford, get the price, than work on financing.

2) Always get the price of the car your looking at buying written down and confirmed. If you have a trade, get the appraisal of your trade separate. This avoids a scenario where the dealer might offer you a higher value for your car and than just bump up the price of the new car. This is a tactic used all the time to close deals. Get an extra couple of grand on the trade and then bump the price of the new/used car your buying.

3) If your financing make sure you get a full copy of all the available credit options if you get approved. The lenders are paying the dealership a commission in order attract the lending business and generally speaking, the higher the interest rate and the higher the total cost of borrowing (total interest payments if the loan is paid at the end) the higher the commission to the dealership.

If a bank is offering a rate of 2.99% and another bank is offering 7.99% than you can bet they will probably select the higher rate option. The credit application is just completed and than the approvals come back onto the screen for the finance manager to select. Remember, the sales person and the finance person are also making a cut on the deal.

Don't fall sucker to things like life and disability insurance coverage on any lending products. These insurance products don't offer much in the way of protection, have really high premiums for the coverage involved. If you need actual insurance coverage, call a licensed insurance broker to underwrite a policy for things such as disability/ life insurance. Insurance is important but the stuff offered at the dealership isn't great. I can go into details in another thread about why.

Unless it's an amazing deal, don't fall in love with the car to avoid it clouding your judgement. Far too many people get financially ruined with these car dealerships and nobody out there regulates these shady practices. In the CTV News story they kept focusing on things like fee's and added charges above and beyond the advertised prices but the stuff I talked about above is also something to watch out about.

Happy shopping to all!
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:44 AM   #22
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When I negotiate a price with a dealer its the "all-in" price - including any type of fees, taxes, etc. If there's enough room in there for them to include a fee within the agreed-upon price, they do so. But if not then too bad. Negotiating on one number makes things crystal clear and prevents them from doing a bait and switch. Oh and everything, and I mean everything is in writing. With any car dealer if it's not in writing it's not gonna happen
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:23 AM   #23
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If you go through many of the failed reports they are for adervertising a vehicle not in stock. Which to me is an insignificant problem and it is a problem that all retailers have. All groceries stores in calgary would fail by this metric.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:32 AM   #24
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Would not be surprised if Subaru Calgary or Centaur Subaru were amongst the failures as Calgary is saddled with two of the worst Subaru dealerships in the country. They added a $1200 life insurance policy to my wife's Outback without our consent.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:57 AM   #25
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about 15 years ago, a similar story was done by marketplace or w5. Don't quite remember. Anyways, it was across Canadian cities. The two worst cities to buy a vehicle in Canada were Calgary and Vancouver. I remember that Renfrew Chrysler, Kramer Mazda and Henninger Toyota were three bad ones back then.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:03 AM   #26
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If you go through many of the failed reports they are for adervertising a vehicle not in stock. Which to me is an insignificant problem and it is a problem that all retailers have. All groceries stores in calgary would fail by this metric.
ya, some pretty minor stuff at some. Inventory control and keeping ads up to date is a ton of work, sometimes they fall behind. One failed instance in the report talks about the black vehicle advertised being gone but they were willing to sell other colours at that price, or add in a 'paint fee' of $399 to get them the black one they wanted. Well it will always be a better deal to buy a car off their lot than to specially request one they have to either get from another dealer or ship a fresh one to you from the factory.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:04 AM   #27
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I had a good experience at Calgary Subaru. Agreed to an all-in price on the phone, with winter tiers and a few other extras thrown in. Of course, you go to the "financing and extras" room to finalize, but we just said no to everything, and got the exact price we were quoted.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:12 AM   #28
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If you go through many of the failed reports they are for adervertising a vehicle not in stock. Which to me is an insignificant problem and it is a problem that all retailers have. All groceries stores in calgary would fail by this metric.
Its the classic "bait and switch". Go in expecting a deal on the exact car you like to find out they never had it but now you're there.

When I was looking it was pretty bad. Fleet sales advertised but you call and they have nothing but can still get you a great deal on the next model up.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:13 AM   #29
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2) Always get the price of the car your looking at buying written down and confirmed. If you have a trade, get the appraisal of your trade separate. This avoids a scenario where the dealer might offer you a higher value for your car and than just bump up the price of the new car. This is a tactic used all the time to close deals. Get an extra couple of grand on the trade and then bump the price of the new/used car your buying.
Bought a new car last fall and they tried this, tried to only show one amount and only the bi-weekly payments. I want to know the all in cost of the new and my trade in value and not in bi-weekly payments over 96 months or whatever, the sad thing is people fall for it.

I actually had a sales guy tell me when he buys a vehicle he doesn't care what the total is or how many months he's financing for just what his monthly payment is . That's an awesome way to be upside down on a new vehicle right from the start.

Last edited by Hanni; 03-20-2017 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:26 AM   #30
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If you go through many of the failed reports they are for adervertising a vehicle not in stock. Which to me is an insignificant problem and it is a problem that all retailers have. All groceries stores in calgary would fail by this metric.
I think the difference between the car dealers and grocery stores is that a grocery store wouldn't conveniently be out of stock for advertised apples, then try to sit you down in a high pressure situation to upsell you on bananas as an alternative. And then add thousands in hidden fees, financing charges, etc.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:37 AM   #31
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I think the difference between the car dealers and grocery stores is that a grocery store wouldn't conveniently be out of stock for advertised apples, then try to sit you down in a high pressure situation to upsell you on bananas as an alternative. And then add thousands in hidden fees, financing charges, etc.
I think grocery stores specifically limit stock on their discounted bag of apples in hopes of bringing you into their store. Then when they are out of the advertised apples you buy a different apple because you still need apples at 50% more.

I agree with you the whole high pressure sales in gone but the tactic of a low cost / loss leader limited supply product to bring people through the door only to sell them something else is prevalent throughout industry. And I think focus on this aspect takes away from getting a better understanding on the hidden and undisclosed fee side of it where fraudulent or at least unethical behaviour seems to be actually happening.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:48 AM   #32
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I think grocery stores specifically limit stock on their discounted bag of apples in hopes of bringing you into their store. Then when they are out of the advertised apples you buy a different apple because you still need apples at 50% more.

I agree with you the whole high pressure sales in gone but the tactic of a low cost / loss leader limited supply product to bring people through the door only to sell them something else is prevalent throughout industry. And I think focus on this aspect takes away from getting a better understanding on the hidden and undisclosed fee side of it where fraudulent or at least unethical behaviour seems to be actually happening.
It sounds like the car dealerships never had their apples available at all...the APA shoppers would go in on the same day as the ad and still not be able to buy the advertised car.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:01 AM   #33
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I think grocery stores specifically limit stock on their discounted bag of apples in hopes of bringing you into their store. Then when they are out of the advertised apples you buy a different apple because you still need apples at 50% more.

I agree with you the whole high pressure sales in gone but the tactic of a low cost / loss leader limited supply product to bring people through the door only to sell them something else is prevalent throughout industry. And I think focus on this aspect takes away from getting a better understanding on the hidden and undisclosed fee side of it where fraudulent or at least unethical behaviour seems to be actually happening.
Some of these guys were advertising a specific vehicle, then when you went in they didn't "have" the vehicle. Then they would advertise the EXACT same vehicle the following week or 2 weeks later.

Its a scam to get you in the door, and its against the law.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:16 AM   #34
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Would not be surprised if Subaru Calgary or Centaur Subaru were amongst the failures as Calgary is saddled with two of the worst Subaru dealerships in the country. They added a $1200 life insurance policy to my wife's Outback without our consent.
Subaru Calgary is one of the worst. I was in there a couple weeks ago and they quoted me a price that they absolutely couldn't go down from. So I left and they came running out into the parking lot to offer me a better "deal". I said I had to think about it. This "deal" that they came running out for was 300 more than the price listed on line!

I called Centaur Subaru, told them exactly what I wanted and then to give me a price. I said if they are lower then Subaru Calgary I'll buy from them but I won't tell them what that price is. They came in 2500 less than Subaru Calgary.

The guy at Centaur also said they've had a lot of business lately from clients who have been getting ridiculously high quotes from Subaru Calgary.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:21 AM   #35
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Perhaps you guys are having all these issues because you didn't tell em' Lanny sent you.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:26 AM   #36
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I am going to use my coworkers strategy next time I buy a car.

Determine the price I want to pay and email dealers until I find one willing to go that low.

No haggling. No negotiating. No talking to anyone at all.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:42 AM   #37
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Yeah I do all my communication over email as well. Everything is clearly spelled out for both sides, there are minimal emotions, and there is no pressure to make a decision in the moment.

When I bought my car a few weeks ago, the dealer who I bough from refused to take off the Doc fee...but was flexible elsewhere. In the end, I didn't care how the categorized their numbers, as long as I got the all-in price I wanted.

Btw, while it doesnt apply to new cars, I would recommend getting a PPI done on any used car, even if buying from a name-brand dealer. I did a couple of PPI's before I bought my car and each of them had several $K in items that needed to be done that weren't covered by their AMVIC inspection. Even though each PPI was a couple of hundred bucks, in the long term I saved myself about $3K on the car.

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Old 03-20-2017, 09:50 AM   #38
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Yeah I do all my communication over email as well. Everything is clearly spelled out for both sides, there are minimal emotions, and there is no pressure to make a decision in the moment.

When I bought my car a few weeks ago, the dealer who I bough from refused to take off the Doc fee...but was flexible elsewhere. In the end, I didn't care how the categorized their numbers, as long as I got the all-in price I wanted.

Btw, while it doesnt apply to new cars, I would recommend getting a PPI done on any used car, even if buying from a name-brand dealer. I did a couple of PPI's before I bought my car and each of them had several $K in items that needed to be done that weren't covered by their AMVIC inspection. Even though each PPI was a couple of hundred bucks, in the long term I saved myself about $3K on the car.
Same for me. I told they guy you are only selling me this car if this is the final number. After leaving and him calling me a couple times he finally caved and when I went to sign the papers there were all sorts of broken out numbers from the "price" but the total was what I wanted.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:58 AM   #39
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I've bought or helped buy a few new cars in my life. It can be an incredibly intimidating process, however, if you go in with the attitude that it's your money, and you get to choose how you want to spend it, then that puts you ahead of the game.

Check one of my old posts on my experience buying my last car (Mazda).

An important tip I think. Be prepared to walk away for even $100 difference than what you want to pay. Don't be a dick, but hold your ground. If it's any of those 'added fees' or unreasonable or unnecessary costs, just say thanks but no thanks. I will guarantee that 99% of the time, they will not let you walk out that door without making a deal.

Dealers prey on those who fall in love with the car, are desperate, or just are willing to take it.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:58 AM   #40
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In this day and age when I can go online or use an app and solicit a dozen bids by the end of the afternoon I find it incredibly annoying that you have dealerships who still want to play the "negotiation" game.

I just traded in my Pathfinder...no need for the size anymore and wanted better mpg.
I had done the narrowing down and test drives and decided what I wanted. I wanted 2017 Civic with the trim line below the touring. Either the blue or black. I gave them my pathfinder details.

The local Honda dealership sent back the cheapest price out of 7 or so dealers within a 90 minute drive. It was this dealership I did the test drive and the salesman was honestly great. Low pressure. Seemingly honest. So I go in and the manager completely lowballs me on the Pathfinder and starts pushing the 2016 year Touring trim hard (but for extra money of course). I talk a bit and say I've had a sight unseen quote on the Pathfinder that beats your offer by $2500 but it's in great shape so that I'll need more than that. They pass it off as if I'm lying (I wasn't). I leave but hey at least I have a baseline price to work from for other dealerships.

Didn't take long for a dealership 70 miles south to come back with upgrading to the 2017 touring trim and for $500 less than the quote from the local guys on the lower trim. On inspection of the Pathfinder they raise the trade-in offer another $1250 from the sight unseen offer they had given me. All told I got the highest trim and extra trade in value totaling for over $4k less than the local dealer (others came back lower as well but not that low).

I told them done deal, when I'd be there and that I didn't want any of the extras. I got there and the car was already detailed, went in signed all the paperwork and was out in an hour. That's how dealerships need to work. Give your best deal the first time (or at least a good deal). No hassles. No hard sells. Just get the customer what they want

The local salesman gave me a call a few days later wondering if I had made a decision. I told him how far off they were and said I just didn't think you could close that gap so I didn't bother coming back. He agreed and said thank you. THEN the sales manager called wondering why I never came back to negotiate.

I said I told you what I was already being offered on the Pathfinder sight unseen, you lowballed me, and your car price also didn't come close. If you didn't give me your best offer on your first shot it's your own fault. I don't think he was that happy about that. Salesman calls me back apologizing that the sales manager called me! Something tells me the sales in that dealership are tanking due to one person.

And for the record I likely would have bought local if they were within $500. Buying local is important to me on some level...just not as the multiple thousands level.

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