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Hello Everyone,

I no longer own my Odyssey, but I was so impressed by the wealth of excellent information on this site during the short time I had it that I wanted to post this question here. I hope it doesn't offend anyone's sensibilities because I wish to respect the rules of this (and other) sites.

Prior to Coronavirus (and the associated "stay-at-home" restrictions in most of the US currently in place) I was considering buying a new car.

Normally, this would have been my process:

1. Figure out what kind of car best suits my needs.

2. Test drive different cars, ask questions about trim levels and options, etc., eventually settle on one specific car.

3. Do lots of "homework"--research various sources, websites, etc. to determine, as closely as possible, the best price to offer and which a dealer will accept.

4. Approach the dealer (either in person or online), make offer, convince dealer you've done said homework, take delivery of new vehicle.

This approach has worked well and as expected for every new car I've ever purchased.

With Coronavirus, Step 2 is much more complicated, though not completely impossible in many areas.

But assuming I completed Step 2 and I knew exactly what car I wanted to buy, my question is about Step 3, and this post is part of the "homework."

There is a "sweet spot price" for every new car. It is a moving target, but it represents the minimum price or small price range above the dealer's true net cost for the vehicle which the dealer will accept from a customer. Of course, this number/range is never known precisely by the customer, though with enough homework a buyer can come fairly close.

(There is an internal dealer term for this number, or for the minimum range in which an offer will be accepted. I've forgotten this term, does anyone know it?)

My question is:

Relative to the best price a careful and patient new car shopper could have negotiated at any other time, is the pricing of new cars right now (during Coronavirus) any better, and if so, how much better?

I realize that the make, model, location, and timing, among other factors, all make a difference, as they always do. I'm simply looking for a reasonable, meaningful answer to guide someone like me as to whether to go forward in buying a new vehicle and how much of a "Coronavirus discount" can be expected.

As always, thank you!
 

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You're right about step 2 being the most challenging in this environment. As for pricing differential that will vary widely depending on how scarce particular models and trim levels are. If you stick with a common color combo/trim then I could see the difference being in the $500-1,000 range, but if something was rare enough that dealers were sticking to full list then I could see more of a $3,000-5,000 difference. I'm not aware of any Odys currently commanding a serious premium, so the first scenario is what I would predict until/unless the factory kicks in some serious money then all bets are off. I don't expect the factory to do anything significant until the path forward becomes more clear.
 

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I purchased a vehicle last week after checking out prices. To me, Step 3 was super simple No one insisted that I go in, then talk. It was, by text or email, sometimes one phone call, ‘this is what I want, what’s the best price?’ If you’ve done your homework, you will have specified everything you want. The numbers will be very clear, if all you care about is the price.
 

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This worked for me. Test drove, found the exact vehicle I wanted. Sent e-mail to Dealers in my area.
Specified, Make, model, etc. Asked for the "out the door price". Period.

Seems, Dealers, have an "internet" sales dept. Got, replies. The 2 lowest bidders were a little further away.
Asked my local Dealers, could they come down in price. They all said No. So, drove, 20 miles. Picked up
Vehicle. Saved about, $1500.

Tips.

1. When emailing, go to the Manufacture's website. In my case, it allowed be to email at least 3 dealers at once.
AND, I DID NOT HAVE TO LEAVE A PHONE NUMBER! (did not want to be bothered by phone calls).
Checking prices and corresponding by email much, simpler. (and you are in control).

2. If you use, other websites. And request a quote, Your request will not go thru, unless you leave a phone number.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
‘this is what I want, what’s the best price?’ If you’ve done your homework, you will have specified everything you want. The numbers will be very clear, if all you care about is the price.
OK, so how good will that best price be right now?
I think I need to clarify my question a bit. I am very familiar with the general business model for dealerships. I know the tricks and the pitfalls, and I know that there isn't anything I can do to "fool" them. What I was getting at here was whether anyone knew anything about the unique uprooting of that model that may or may not be taking place due to this completely disruptive, unprecedented jolt to the way everyone does everything.
The dealerships would like us to believe that not much is different, and maybe that's true.
But there's never been a time like this, so that's why I'm curious to know more about how dealerships are coping with this startlingly unfamiliar situation.
Example: there are a boatload of cars in the market with an MSRP of around 40k. Take your pick: Acura and Lexus sedans, Honda and Toyota minivans, almost anybody's three row SUV, etc. On almost any day of the year if you've done your homework you can get almost any 40000 car for between 33 and 36. I've done it three times and the negotiation never went longer than about 15 minutes. I never had to leave, or pretend to leave. They knew if they didn't make the deal another dealer would. I had done my homework and they knew it, so they didn't try to haggle the price upward. (They already knew what other dealers would accept--dealerships always do their own homework of course.)
Anyway, my experience and common sense tell me that unless there is something highly unusual going on regarding some incredible dealer bonus where they will get $1M from the brand for selling that one last car to you which puts them over some threshold, you are probably never going to get that 40000 sedan or SUV for under, say, 27000.
Anything under 30k for a 40k MSRP would strike me as the deal of a lifetime, available only through dumb luck like the situation I just mentioned.
But maybe someone knows that hey, this Coronavirus thing is putting dealerships into a tizzy. Cars are languishing on their lots and although they'll never say so publicly they are routinely making deals below 30k on 40k cars.
Or maybe someone's aware that since no new cars are being shipped to dealerships, they don't want to deplete their inventory because their lot will look bare and like they're going under, so as demand builds for a finite number of cars, they'll hold out for top dollar as buyers fight it out for the few cars that are left.
It is this kind of special, unusual information I'm looking for, and if in fact I can be pretty confident that deals are better now than they've ever been, or maybe than they'll ever be, then maybe I'll pounce on a once-in-a-generation chance to buy a model a little higher up than I normally would.
Of course, by asking this question at all, I fully realize there may not be any such answer. Either because no one knows it for sure, or, that it simply is not the case. And that might be the case. But one can hope, right?????
 

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Of course, by asking this question at all, I fully realize there may not be any such answer. Either because no one knows it for sure, or, that it simply is not the case. And that might be the case. But one can hope, right?????
The only way to find out is to find the car you want, go to the dealership and talk to them. When they get to their lowest price, just say back to them "their is not point in me wasting any more of your cause we're just to far apart." Then get up and start to walk out. I bet they fall all over you trying to stop you from walking out and offer a better deal than what their bottom line was. If they let you go, then they are not going to deal!
 
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