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Discussion Starter #1
My comments are limited to the sales side of dealerships, because service is a different story. With correct care and feeding (literally...donuts and coffee work wonders....so do 20 dollar bills) any service department can be your best friend....

As far as purchasing an auto at a dealer...there simply is no reason to go to a dealer anymore. I have bought my last three cars online and have been 100% satisfied at the results each time. A far cry from having to sit accross a desk from Piltdown Man playing a stupid game. And since I'm never in a hurry to get a car...(always shop BEFORE your old car goes into self-destruct mode) ...I never have to deal with un-needed extras since I never buy a car off the lot..(another great effect of buying online...you get exactly what you want).

I can't help but notice that most of the comments on here are negative.
 

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Hey, Manny. Tell us about what cars you've bought online, and which service you've used!

I've not yet gone all the way through using an online service. Used CarsDirect the last 2 times to get pricing/financing info before heading to the dealership. Many of the other services (e.g. carpoint) are, IMO, BS "online" shopping...it just sends an email to a paying/subscribing dealership and you're right back to the old-fashioned way, with no savings in $ or time.
 

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This might not qualify, but...

...I bought my "X" online from a dealer who had a dedicated online salesman.

Every detail of the sale was done via email and I had a record of everything that was said, offered and counter-offered. Of course, the price was pretty well set at MSRP, but I was able to refuse all attempts at selling over-priced options and accessories. I even told them that I was going to buy from Tim and what some of his prices were. That shut them up very quickly. And of course, the financing deal required some negotiations and that was handled very nicely via email. Nice to have a record of everything said.

The first time I saw the salesman and sales manager was when I went in to pick up the car and sign the papers. Took 30 minutes max and I was on my way. A real pleasure.

Buying from a online third party service can be a total waste of time and money. IMHO, they provide no added value whatsoever. They are just a middle man getting in the way.

Hey Worm, thanks for the GP on Zaino. Just put two more coats on my Silver beauty....10 total since April. Shines like a new silver dollar.
 

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My sale was classified as an internet sale.
I contacted the dealer through the email address on his website, got a phone call from the fleet manager. We talked about 5 minutes, I told him exactly what I wanted, he agreed.
Then we did a couple of more faxes including my preapproved finance arrangements, one more fax from him with his monthly allocation list with my vehicle underlined.
Of course, since then there were a few calls on details, like we had a late delivery problem, which I was compensated for with a free protection package.
Then the business with the backordered hitch and cargo cover.
But all in all, a very satisfactory arrangement, and a delivered vehicle about as perfect as I could ever expect. Plus my wife got a vacation to Palm Springs. Everybody ended up with a smile. :)
And not to forget ifeldman who helped me with a navi glitch on the way back home after doing a quick consult on the forum, but his idea of wiping the disk with a cloth worked, and has worked ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Guys,

I bought a CRV in 99...I honestly can't remember what service I used as it was long ago....and not the same one I used for the MDX...which was actually through acura.com and although I didn't get any discount (this car is going for list price everywhere you look!) I was able to hook up with the exact color and option package (SS and Touring/Nav) within a day...at Esserman Acura no less...which has the lowest ratings in the Florida rating section, with none of the overpriced add ons (I guess I'll be headed to Rick Case for service).

I actually had a very close relationship with car dealers when I was the creative director at a local Miami advertising agency, and I can tell you first hand...let's just say I really know why most people don't have a good time at those places and that the day when the internet makes dealers a thing of the past...I'll cry no tears for them.

Oh...the third car...was a 95 Impala SS that I got for 22,500(all the toys) when everyone else was paying over the sticker...at least in the Miami area..although that wasn't internet, but an auto broker..(I have a long history of trying to eliminate dealer) :D

That same auto broker told me he couldn't do any better than the price I had been quoted on the internet in '99...I actually "think" it may have been edmunds or carpoint... I believe the price I got back then was 19,500 for a 4 wheel drive version with CD and power everything...

Now those may not be UNBELIEVABLY LOW LOW PRICES THAT BREAK THE BANK!!! (lol I loved writing those commercials:2: )

But the fact that I only spent 20 to 30 minutes at the dealer each time I picked up a car was worth the extra 300 to 500 I MAY have been able to sqeeze by visiting multiple dealers and arguing holdback, incentive, etc etc ad nauseum...personally I don't like the haggle game, even though I am well informed...and ALL the salesmen LOVE it...


Damn! I sure am long winded like a salesman though...sheesh!
 

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This is a large part of the reason I didn't make a career out of selling cars. The end is nigh for the old school dealership. The days of fat commissions, and bastard salesman are over, and gone.
The customer has all the tools now, and the customer has grown weary of the games played by salesman, and sales managers.

The old business model is growing outdated. Dealers will have to adapt. As a young man at the beginning of a career, I could see the change on the horizon.
In the future I see a few guys getting paid a flat wage to take customers on demo rides. All sales, and financing will be done via the internet, and then the customer returns to the dealership to take delivery. It would be a total "No Hassels" deal.

I was a new car salesman for 2 years, I was training to be an F & I manager when I decided to go back to college instead. Even though my training manager for F & I explained to me the she was clearing over 70K a year, I have no regrets about my decision. No sense starting a career that won't last.

The only departments I see hope in on the dealer level are in Parts, and Service. Customers will always need to maintain their vehicles.

Phil
 

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The trouble is that the only people who see your point of view are consumers. One day in about 10 years from now, you're going to have a lot of car dealerships wondering what happened to their regular customers, and by then they will have all missed the boat. The internet has brought forth a great opportunity for the dealers bold enough to seize the opportunity, and those dealers in the end will be rewarded with business beyond expectations. It may take longer for these issues to catch up with your neighborhood Chevy dealer, but for lines like Acura, it's happening now.
 

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I would have gone with www.carsdirect.com if the MDX wasn't so short supplied and them having to charge way over MSRP. Most of their cars are a few hundred to a few thousand over dealer, probably always one of the lowest prices you can get. My brother bought a 2002 VW Passat off Cars Direct, all he had to do was select what he wanted, sign some papers at the dealer and off he was.

With sites like www.peoplefirst.com , the financing part can be taken care of so easily. I was also going with that, but at the last minute the dealer offered me 5.49% whereas Peoplefirst had it for 5.99%.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's a great point that Tim brings up. It's Darwin time for car dealers. Those who an step up and put customer satisfaction at the top of the list will "walk upright"...the rest will end up as gasoline.

There are some exceptional people, like Tim (at the Impala SS forum we have Dal...hmmmm three letters..I see conspiracy;) ) that will (we hope)reap the benefits of having treated customers right. I think some dealers have been screwing the customer for so long they can't concieve of doing the job right and still making a profit...it CAN be done!

Funny...the Honda dealer where I picked up the CRV had a very nice recent immigrant who had been given the job because none of the "experienced" dealers wanted the internet sales.... he was smiling the entire time I was there. Turns out they had pushed this on him cause he was new, young (21), and not "one of the old timers". He was selling more cars than any other person in the place!
 

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Must disagree with Tim !!

hondacuraworld [aka Tim] wrote:
The trouble is that the only people who see your point of view are consumers. One day in about 10 years from now, you're going to have a lot of car dealerships wondering what happened to their regular customers, and by then they will have all missed the boat. The internet has brought forth a great opportunity for the dealers bold enough to seize the opportunity, and those dealers in the end will be rewarded with business beyond expectations. It may take longer for these issues to catch up with your neighborhood Chevy dealer, but for lines like Acura, it's happening now.
I MUST disagree with Tim [heresy ?? :6: ]!!

Tim, you are living proof that some dealers, do in fact, "get it". Your approach is a portal into the future:

** Access [electronic]
** Competitive pricing
** Great Service
== Success

You may be a pioneer, but others will follow in your trail blazing path ... some will eliminate competititve pricing, others will skip great service BUT some will see the inspiration and will copy your road map to success ... you are truly a man ahead of his time
 
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