: How much can I get auto dealer to drop in price?

09-17-2004, 07:05 PM
Say I buy a new truck priced at $39,000 how much can I work the salsmen down? Also how much do these guys make on a sale?

Big Red
09-18-2004, 08:01 AM
Depending on the dealer usually invoice price is the lowest they will go if you dont have GMS or Supplier discounts. If this is a GM truck then you should be able to get the supplier price. The sales man will probably make between $240-$300 unless you choose to buy other services. If you have a trade and want alot more than it is "worth" this comes out of the salespersons commission. Most people dont understand that. The dealer is not going to be out anything just the salesperson as the trade difference comes out of their commision. In this soft market $240 is not alot of money for the work it takes to put a deal together. The only way the salesperson is going to make any money is if they sell 10-15 units. This is not alot of money concidering the hours we put in, usually 50-60 a week.

tom d
09-18-2004, 09:33 AM
You probably should take a look at this website. Pay particular attention to "10 steps in buying a new car" listed in the dark blue section on the right-hand side of the home page.

I have used this method for nearly 30 years. It does work.


09-18-2004, 12:53 PM
It all depends, on:

The type of vehicle: Corvettes, Lexus, other certain brands get sticker or more. Other vehicles can go well below invoice. Why? Dealers get lots of incentives and advertising allowances from the factory, things you as the consumer don't see or hear about. A lot of times, they can sell a car at invoice, and still make $2000 on the deal. Cars like Corvettes will sell at MSRP because demand is high, supply is low. To get a general idea, look in the car ads in your newspaper. Not in the ads? They generally move at sticker. So why advertise them? Lots of ads with the make/model in it, they'll move on it.

Time of month; Typically, end of month is best. Salepeople, sales managers, general managers, typically have sales quotas to make. Catch them near the month's end, they have a tendency to want to move their inventory. And in general, salespeople want to make at least $200-300 on a deal.

Stock or not: If it's in stock, they are more willing to deal to get rid of it. Order a car from the factory? There's no reason for them to deal.

Time of year: Car dealers, like boat dealers, need to make room for the 2005's, so they will want to try and get rid of older stock starting in Sept.

Location: Certain markets are hotter for some vehicles, therefore, dealers can either get more money for the vehicle, or will sell it for less. As an example, I've bought 2 Ford vehicles in the last few years, an F150 and an Expedition. I got over 15 quotes for each vehicle. I found all of the quotes in the Chicago area to be higher than in the Milwaukee area. But...my parents have bought 2 Toyota vehicles, a Corolla and a Camry. They did the same thing, and found prices to be better in the Chicago area than in Milwaukee. Obviously not a scientific study, but..you get the point.

One last piece of advise. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. The more you know about the vehicle, the better off you are. Also..get lots of quotes.Shop, shop, shop. All that hassle pays off in money saved. And remember, YOU control the deal. If you don't like it, walk away, there will always be someone else who'll want your hard-earned money.

Good luck

Jack G
09-19-2004, 04:52 PM

I buy a new truck and a new car every three years (not necessarily in the same year) and years ago I got sick and tired of trying to negotiate with salesman the final price on a purchase with a trade in. No purchase gets made without the approval of the new vechicle sales manager.

What I do on each and every purchase is the following: Once I know what vehicle and options I want to purchase I make a list of that info and approach the first dealership. I show it to the salesman (I try to get a veteran salesman) and tell him I am going to buy this vehicle and I will have a contract signed within the next week. I tell him to give me his best price and I promise him that I will not ask him to come down one penny after he gives me that price, I will not play one dealership off against another, I will not tell him if he is in the 'general ballpark' on price but if when I finish talking to all the dealers I wish to contact I will simply go to the one with the best price and order it. I will then drop a card to each salesman who did not get the deal telling them what price I finally paid for the vehicle. Explain to him that you want him to know if his sales manager is quoting deals that keeps the salesman in the game. You explain that you also want him to know that you mean exactly what you say and if he does not believe you right now he will be better prepared for you, knowing that you did not dicker, when you purchase your next vehicle. He will print out a price sheet of the vehicle you described with the exact options you specified. He will also list the trade in allowed, the price of the new vehicle and the final cost to you. I usually have them give me an 'out the door' price which will be the final amout down to the penny that the vehicle will cost you, it will include all fees, license, sales tax, etc.

Go to as many dealers as you want and deal with them all the same. Some will ask you if you have prices already (tell them yes or no, no more), some may tell you they want to be the last one you talk to (tell them this is their chance to bid you will not be backtracking),
some will certainly want to know if they are in the ball park (tell them you feel that would be an opening ploy to negotiate and you will not do it).

The area I live in has four Ford dealers close by and no matter where I buy the vehicle whichever dealer I wish to service the vehicle always treats me the same as when I buy the vehicle from them, this includes any warranty service. The same goes for the GM autos I buy. I sometimes get prices from dealers outside my immediate area but it normally does not result in a better price.

This method is quick, easy on you and in my opinion will get you as good a deal as negotiating for hours.

If you buy often, as I do, it is imparitive that you keep your word to these salesman and do not negotiate, give hints or offer up other dealers prices. When you return to buy your next vehicle, look up the same salesman, remind him of the last contact with him and tell him you are ready to purchase again and start it all over again.

This works well for me and surprisingly a dealership that never gave me a good price can be the winning deal eventually. It all has to do with the sales team that the dealership has in place.

I am sorry this is so long winded but it is absolutely, in my opinion, the very best way to buy vehicles. If I could I would send a notice of intent to purchase to these dealerships and let them come to my location and view the trade in vehicle and submit their bids via mail. No need to expose yourself to sales tactics and pressure.

You are in control, no dealer is going to give you a deal that he thinks will cost him money in the long run, but several dealers will try to get your business at the very best price they can give you. Also any dealer could come down $25 if he chose to but so what, If you played one against another that is about the amount you would save if a dealer offered to beat any other price you obtained.

You are in the driver's seat and totally in control until you actually sign the papers. Keep it that way. Keep your word as good as gold so they will positively know who they are dealing with the next time around.

Good luck.


09-19-2004, 07:50 PM
I ditto what Jack stated! I too buy new vehicles on average every two years. I've learned to first determine EXACTLY what I want and to do research on Edmunds and other web sites. Once I know exactly what I want, I send (e-mail)or hand deliver my exact requirements for a vehicle to the "FLEET MANAGER" of at least three area dealerships. You MUST determine the dealers cost first. You can easily get this from research on the internet. Also keep in mind the dealers also get a 3-5% backside from the Manufacturer at the end of the year for every unit sold. So it is possible to get a slower moving model at or below Dealer cost. I follow up with a call to them and let them know I'm a serious buyer and willing to do the deal if their price is the best.

Here's an Example. My new GMC DuraMax Sticker was $48,800 loaded as I wanted it with shipping/transport cost. I determined the Dealer cost was approx 41,500. Every dealer ( Fleet manager) responded! I took the average offer of $200 over invoice and I would keep the rebates. I paid (with rebates applied) $38,500 or approx $10,000 off of the MSRP sticker.

If you know what you want, always work with the ( non-commissioned) Fleet Manager and or the sales manager directly. The key is making it easy for them. Show them you know exactly what you want and the won't have to spend much time with you. If you have a trade, always work the new deal first, then visit with the used car manager and tell them you're buying a new vehicle from them and want to get a fair price on your used vehicle. They'll usually give you wholesale. You're always better off (even with the sales tax reduction advantage) to sell your used vehicle yourself to a private party.

Good Luck, Remember the key to best price is knowledge. Be armed with Dealer cost and working with non-comissioned people at the dealership will always yeild a better price.

09-20-2004, 10:52 AM
Good advice from jack and fish...
I have done nearly the same thing many times. Some other things to concider.

Figure out what you want before you go shopping. Be honest with any salesmen that may come to talk with you that you are comparing options to determine what you are going to buy today and will be buying next week, first of month, etc. Do not talk money. Just refer back that you will be buying ...If a salesman shows you options at a dealer when in the looking stage, have the courtesy to ask for him when buying.

If your job permitts, schedule 2 days off togeather in the middle of the week. Start at your house and go one direction the first day, the other on the next. When you enter the dealership, go to the desk that looks more like an office and ask for someone that wants to sell a truck. When they get a salesman for you, look at your watch, tell them you are on a schedule and he has 10 min to get you his best price. Tell him you will sign the best deal at the end of the 2nd day.

When the salesman asks you if he is in the ball park, or if (should say when)he asks you to call him if his price is beat. Look him straight in the eyes and say NO, that would not be fair. Do you want me to call the other dealer you might have beat in price. Then let him know again that the bids end at what ever time you decide on the day you decide. Give him a phone number incase he wishes to change the number.

I always ask for the price of my trade seperate from the selling price of the new vehicle. Tell the dealer that you do not want him to hide any discount of the new vehicle into the price offered for a trade. Know what your trade is worth!!! Check the edmonds site, check the local paper, and check the price on dealer and used car lots. Keep in mind that the dealer does need to make a little profit on reselling your trade. I don't have a problem in telling a dealer that he is out of line when making an offer price on my trade.
When trading a vehicle for a new one, the difference is the important number.

Like Jack, when the time is up, I buy the best deal. After signing the papers and driving the new truck home, call each of the salesmen and THANK them for their time and efforts. Let them know they were beat on total price and that you have purchased a new vehicle. Let them know the time frame you expect to be purchasing again. In my case, I replace 2 vehicles every 2-3 years.