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I suppose this is a bit of a philosphical discussion that I've been having with myself. But what do folks think of paying over MSRP? Basically my approach has been to never do it and laugh at dealers that try to get you to. However, as a student of economics I understand why market forces dictate this. If I were Honda though I would be tempted to force dealers to never sell above MSRP, just because I think it pisses customers off to do so. Just curious what people's thoughts are.
 

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I refuse to pay over MSRP for anything! It's a rather shallow policy, considering the fact that MSRP itself is often an inflated, over-exaggerated, price that should be used only as a starting point and whittled away until the profit margin is tweaked to the lowest limits possible - however, in this reality-based world we live in, the MSRP on all products (look at Nintendo and Sony Playstations when they released their products after much hype, and probably purposely under suppling the market, you saw people paying over MSRP for games and game machines) is set to a level that reflects 'what the market will bear' and not 'what is a fair price for this product.' Now, to reflect on your comment about Honda not letting dealerships charge over MSRP - the practice of charging over MSRP for a product has been going on for years (I don't know when it started, but it was probably with some hot item that the manufacturer knew was going to 'sell out' instantly, so they added a few thousand to the MSRP and, not surprisingly, they got it!). The perception now is that if the dealership is asking over MSRP for a product, the product must be (1) in short supply, and (2) worth the extra bucks. This places a new mystique on the product and adds a dimension of desirability that draws upon a consumer class or group that might not purchase the same product if it wasn't so 'hot'. Then, as the price settles down to MSRP, but not under, (when supply catches up with demand, or at least when the manufacturer lets supply catch up with demand), then even more people, many of whom have been 'waiting in the wings' to buy the product, step up and make the purchase. The MDX is going into it's 3rd model year and many dealerships are still getting MSRP or more, and they are selling every single MDX they get, usually prior to build-date - why should they stop this practice?

If you don't like the policy, don't buy the product. If enough people follow in your footsteps, the policy will change. In this case, my belief is that you will be driving a Ford for quite a long time waiting for the world to see it your way!
 

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If you are considering the MDX you should not have to pay over MSRP at this time if you shop the dealers in your area. Although over MSRP was common months ago that has not been the recent history as per comments I have read on this board. A few who post here have even negotiated prices slightly under MSRP.

It's the old "supply vrs demand" game. The recent introduction of the Pilot should only help the situation for the buyers.

Although I agree with you about not paying over MSRP (I paid MSRP last month) I can't say that I would not have done so if I was in the market and knew about the X a year ago. I cannot recall reading about anyone on this board paying over MSRP and having regrets after owning one.
 

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I refused to pay over MSRP in the form of forced accessories. Dealer wanted $3,000 for accessories with msrp of $1,100. On top of that they offered less than half of what my trade-in was worth. You can't gouge me at both ends :rolleyes:

We backed out, so instead of getting a car in January, we are getting it tomorrow :D . I was ready for a new car, but not desperate enough to pay what that dealer was asking. If you are going to charge over msrp at least treat me well ... this dealer was the worst that I dealt with ... we will not buy anything from them or use their service dept either. And I tell everyone about them ... Acura of Boston ... do not give them your money :p
 

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Paying MSRP +++

AcuraMDX2002 wrote:

... The perception now is that if the dealership is asking over MSRP for a product, the product must be (1) in short supply, and (2) worth the extra bucks.
MSRP is just that, I don't think that a manufacturer can limit the amount (over or under) that a dealer can charge. I believe that I read something about this years ago when some mfgs were trying to keep retailers from discounting products (wasn't cars, but I suspect that the law didn't stipulate what the product was).

Perception ... short supply: This is certainly a way to "motivate" buyers to pay more than the product is normally worth. Short Supply (whether natural or created) is certainly a way to get people to up what they are willing to pay. Some will always have the bucks and will be willing to pay more for whatever reason. An example of supply on price can be seen in the electrical costs in California. Sure looks like supply was "played with" to drive cost up. I imagine we will learn more over time.

Perception ... worth the extra bucks: This one is interesting to me. In California, homes sometimes do get sold over asking price due t the limited inventory on the market. I suspect that the buyers anticipate that the property value will increase over time (and history generally proves them correct). New vehicles on the other hand are a different story. First, they are depreciating assets. Second, the mfg can step up whenever they chose to increase the supply. My belief is that paying over MSRP for a vehicle is an expensive way to go because my experience says that this situation will eventually change. It did with the Miata, it did with the PT Cruiser, and it is happening with the MDX. Paying MSRP ++ may get
you the vehicle you want NOW but it typically does not make the vehicle worth more money over time.
 

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Acura should discourage dealers from charging over MSRP


... I don't think that a manufacturer can limit the amount (over or under) that a dealer can charge ...
I understand the free market quite well, but I think Acura should discourage its dealerships from asking above MSRP. While Acura can't fully control what dealers charge, there are a number of things a manufacturer can do to discourage charging over MSRP (e.g. limit allocations if a dealer is gouging).

It can be done. Mercedes-Benz discourages its dealerships from charging above MSRP. Sure there are occasional loopholes (e.g. a dealership trying to tack on extra stuff), but by and large the not-above-MSRP has held up well for them. E.g. when MB first released the M-class in 1997, to a great reception by the automotive press, it sold by and large at MSRP and not above. There were huge one-year+ waiting lists, but folks weren't being gouged over MSRP, or having their vehicle sold out from under them as a number of Acura dealerships have done.

Why should Acura limit its dealers from charging over MSRP? Customer good-will. I'm sure there'll still be a lot of people griping about having to pay MSRP as opposed to above-invoice, but at least you'd cut back the above-MSRP games.

An Acura dealer makes about $4,479.23 (12.91% profit margin) on an at-MSRP sale of an MDX Base, without any accessories. To me, charging above MSRP is unethical, and gouging. It's sure not like a lot of Acura dealerships are earning it! Acura should cap the prices, it can be done.

Also, I think in Canada there is some kind of law or regulation that prevents dealers from selling above MSRP.
 

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I am 100% convinced that a dealer who will charge more than MSRP will also sell any of its cars to the highest bidder. If you agree to buy an X for $1250 over MSRP, and someone else offers $2500 over on the day your car comes in, "Mr. Big Bucks" has just driven away in YOUR car, and for some reason the dealer "can't locate" your car, but they will order you another. If you don't care if that happens, deal with someone who asks more than MSRP. If you do care, then deal with someone who has a corporate policy NOT to charge more than MSRP, AND NOT to bump any customer from his/her place on a waiting list.

My dealer, a central NC mega-dealer with the corporate name of Leith, has such policies. They sell Honda, Acura, Toyota, MB, BMW, Mitsubishi, etc., etc. Their service on our Accord is at least as good as their service on our MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It can be done. Mercedes-Benz discourages its dealerships from charging above MSRP. Sure there are occasional loopholes (e.g. a dealership trying to tack on extra stuff), but by and large the not-above-MSRP has held up well for them. E.g. when MB first released the M-class in 1997, to a great reception by the automotive press, it sold by and large at MSRP and not above. There were huge one-year+ waiting lists, but folks weren't being gouged over MSRP, or having their vehicle sold out from under them as a number of Acura dealerships have done.
That's really great to hear, I did not know that any brand tried to prevent price gouging. However, Honda seems to have this problem pretty often (perhaps more often than others), the first car I know about that had it was the Integra R, then the S2000, then the Odyssey, then the MDX and now the Pilot. A dealer that I recently talked to said "It's a nice problem to have, its not great for the buyers, but when you look at your paycheck its hard to complain"
 

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Just another comment about Mercedes -- when I recently test drove a Mercedes ML300 in Memphis, the salesman told me they don't charge above MSRP and now are discounting the ML300 some (didn't get that serious though).

Incidentally, with all the test drives and dealerships I visited recently, the Mercedes salesman was in a class by himself. WAY better than the Memphis Acura folks. His (Merecdes salesman) follow-up was non-intrusive and stellar and he even had the vehicle running and waiting when I drove up (I had told him when I'd be there) so it was cooled off. Awesome concept. Now, I don't know what the negotiation (or lack thereof) would have been like, but I'd definately consider them down the road for another vehicle.
 

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Just got SS Touring/Nav on 6/10. First post here. Former Expedition owner and wanted to downsize but needed 3d seat and four wheel drive. I paid MSRP + forced accesories from No. CA (Marin County) dealer. Unfortunately I did not find this site until after purchase but good to find it now. I paid $1995. for all weather mats, cargo tray, wheel locks, running boards, mud flaps (unpainted). Roughly twice Acura web site's inflated prices. I feel ripped but to the dealers credit they told me so and even told me what they were making on the sale. Now get this- day after purchase I noticed a dime size black mark on front bumper. Tried to remove it and discovered it was under the clear coat. Contacted sales guy who told me he knew about it but forgot to tell me before I left with the X and they would take care of it. I was not happy but sales wanted to hear nothing of it and turned me over to service. Dropped off this brand new X for fix of "blemish" and driver's area clicking that developed couple days after purchase. I complained about paying a premium and now the X is in the shop while they fix it on my dime. The service person pulled a brand new TL off the lot as a loaner and offered first service (an oil change I understand) on the house. He was very apologetic and wanted to make sure I was taken care of (as if they hadn't taken care of me already).

I called local dealers in my area and was told they were all selling over MSRP with forced acc. but I did not call Santa Rosa dealer and learned from this site that they will sell MSRP. My bad. As an aside, Acura of Oakland ran an ad in last Sunday's SF paper that it had 15 MDXs in stock. I called and the sales person told me they had already sold them all but I could order one for appox. $2000 over MSRP. Now that takes guts.

Bottomline: Learn from the mistakes of others. Shop around, be patient and with end of model year insist on MSRP. Finally, use this site it is a wealth of useful info.

Now that I have finished whining over my stupidity, I will say that I love the X, the family loves the X and I just hope it lives up to the hype. The TL loaner isn't a bad ride either.
 

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rtr said:
I suppose this is a bit of a philosphical discussion that I've been having with myself. But what do folks think of paying over MSRP? Basically my approach has been to never do it and laugh at dealers that try to get you to. However, as a student of economics I understand why market forces dictate this. If I were Honda though I would be tempted to force dealers to never sell above MSRP, just because I think it pisses customers off to do so. Just curious what people's thoughts are.
There has been many threads of this matter. My final words are supply and demand. It's a simple part of economics. This is the problem. Many vehicles that are made in limited numbers have had to deal with this for many years. It's a simple process. Do your best to get for msrp, it is out there. If can't negiotiate best deal!
 

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No need to pay extrta

Pay no more than MSRP with NO forced options; in fact you should be able to get the dealer to throw in some freebies.
 
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