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Has anyone found out what the invoice prices for the 2002 Odysseys are? I know nobody will be able to get a 2002 close to the invoice price but just curious as to how much these dealers are taking us for.
 

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I always wonder if people think that way in terms of buying clothing or office supplies.

"I'm curious as to how much these computer salesmen are taking us for." You never hear that.

Why do people give a hoot about that with respect to cars?
 

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Two Reasons:

1) A car is an emotional purchase - we get far more ivolved in the process and we start to take things personally.

2) Car dealers are still struggling with a horrid reputation for trickery and deception. Today people have the tools to know as much as the dealer - thus leveling the playing field.

Just be careful not to take it too far - the dealer deserves to make a nice profit on the deal - that is why they are in business. Strive for a win-win - it is the only deal that works out well in the long run.
 

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Adam makes a very good point. What the dealer paid for the van is NONE of the buyer's business.

I reckon most of y'all are involved one way or another in the buying and selling of something, be it a product or a service. How would/do you like it if your customers were continually asking you what you paid for whatever you are trying to sell them and then judged you, based upon the profit you wanted to make?

Nobody likes a whiner and, from what I have seen, car buyers top that list.

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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Apples and oranges here. Fact is, I don't care how much a 15 cent Bic pen costs the dealer. And I wouldn't get too excited about it if he offered 25% off either. A $30000 automobile on the other hand is quite different. Fact is that the more expensive, the more margin, the more room there is for bargaining (_possible_ room of course as all Ody owners and prospective owners know all too well).

Can't ignore the fact that traditionally automobiles are one of the few items in our society (the US) that haggling is commonly accepted (with houses being the other obvious major "item").

Another factor is the "chain store" effect. 15 years ago when I was selling computers for a local shop, we did haggle. I knew how much the item cost me, I knew how much margin I needed to make, I knew how desparate I was to make _any_ money. It's not until computers have become commodity items bought in chain stores that the art of the deal with computers pretty much came to an end.

So, I think it's quite reasonable to ferret out the dealers cost for automobiles. I also think that you can't compare it to other smaller ticket items, there just aren't enough parallels there.

If there is a gripe about mlu's post, it's his 'how much these dealers are taking us for' statement. Fact is the dealer can't 'take us for' _anything_ since we don't _have_ to buy the product if we feel that it's not worth the price he's willing to sell for. If you pay his asking price, it was 'worth' that much to you, so you got the deal you wanted (barring of course misrepresentation or fraud on the dealers part).
 

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Quite interesting and well thought-out arguments here.

I need to add some stuff though:

a) I always wonder how much an item costs a retailer, sometimes it is when I can't believe they can sell it so cheaply. Computers are no exception.

b) I have owned my own remodeling business where I resold items. My invoices ALWAYS showed what I paid for merchandise, how much I marked it up (due to my effort involved in buying it, and because I had contractor accounts that would lower the price for this very purpose).

So, I wonder - because of these two personal issues that conflict with what others have implied here - do I have any more right to question what the car dealer paid for the vehicle I'm buying? For whatever reason, I really do want to know.

- Darell

------------------
"Some people say you can't take it with you. I'm taking it with me."
Future: 2002 EXL-NAV, TW (with RES wanted!)
Current: 2001 Civic EX, silver
Leaving: 2001 Volvo V70 T5, white/graphite
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If there is a gripe about mlu's post, it's his 'how much these dealers are taking us for' statement. Fact is the dealer can't 'take us for' _anything_ since we don't _have_ to buy the product if we feel that it's not worth the price he's willing to sell for. If you pay his asking price, it was 'worth' that much to you, so you got the deal you wanted (barring of course misrepresentation or fraud on the dealers part).</font>
That was pretty much my point. No one ever "takes" anyone for ANYTHING. All deals are voluntary. You can take it, or not.

In February 1988 I was with my father at the Toyota dealer. He wanted, but didn't need, a new car. The dealer was stuck at MSRP less $300, I was stuck at invoice plus $300. We were about $3000 apart. This salesdroid just hung his head and refused to budge.

My father (a lawyer, who understands the notion of a disinterested party doing the negotiating) just sat there while I talked. I finally stood up and said, "Come on, dad. You really don't need another car anyway." I turned to walk out and my father got up with me with a baffled look on his face and started to follow me.

Immediately the salesman changed his tune. Now it got down to "uh, well, let me see the sales manager, yeah, that's right." Sure. Sleazebag.

Next thing I know, we've got the car for invoice plus $600.

There is no deal that you have to take. By definition, if you buy the product, you weren't taken unless the dealer specifically pulled a fraudulent trick (wrong car, not what you agreed to, rolled back the odometer, etc.). Those are easily defined.

Nobody "takes" anyone for anything. Although I wonder about people who go to "boutique" stores such as the Bose and Apple and Nike stores, and I think they're idiots for buying those products and/or at those prices, I don't think they were "taken".
 

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I don't remember if i mentioned this here before, but I used the invoice price that I've bought (yes, they are not free in Canada) as a starting point in my negotiations. The tactics proved successful. I told the dealer explicitely that I feel the invoice plus $800 CAN would be a fair deal. The dealer agreed almost immediately, and the deal was sealed.

So I find the knowledge of invoice price very useful, at least in Canada, where we still buy Odys below MSRP
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I don't remember if i mentioned this here before, but I used the invoice price that I've bought (yes, they are not free in Canada) as a starting point in my negotiations. The tactics proved successful. I told the dealer explicitely that I feel the invoice plus $800 CAN would be a fair deal. The dealer agreed almost immediately, and the deal was sealed. </font>
Yeah, but trust me--if he took the deal, there was probably more on the table to be gotten.

Blind trust of the invoice price as a reference for dealing is bound to get you into trouble. The dealers know that people use it as such, and nowadays the "invoice" price is as much smoke and mirrors as anything. It's just a number anymore, without any relation to anything, serving only to fill the buyer's emotional need for another number that's "less than retail".

Retail, of course, is a smoke and mirrors number itself, to all intents and purposes meaningless.

So now you have two smoke and mirrors numbers, each of which is meaningless yet meaning is assigned by people who want to think that something has a "retail" price (value?) and a lower "invoice" price that allows you to "get one over on that guy by not paying retail".

That's all the "invoice" price is. A psychological tool used by the sales and marketing people to manipulate customer behavior.

The ACTUAL value of the vehicle is what X number of people are willing to pay for it.

Sure, the Pontiac Montana retails at $32,000. Shoot, you can't get it if you don't ask for it. But now we have this "invoice" price to go down to when sales are slow, all in the name of saving that "retail" price for in case the market heats back up.

And then there's the 0.9% financing. Trust me, NOBODY'S selling money at 0.9%. GM is using that as a gimmick to--guess what--LOWER THE SELLING PRICE OF THE VEHICLE *without* touching their "retail" price, again just in case the market heats up and people want a Montana like they want Odysseys.

Want to figure out what a Montana is worth in the market today? (Tomorrow might bring a different number...) Figure out what selling price the salesman would write on a sales order. The absolute bottom number. (If he asks, "Will you finance the car with us?" your answer at this point is always "Yes." Don't worry, you'll change your mind later.) Now, subtract the holdback. (Oh, yeah, remember that?) You have a number; so far so good.

Now, figure out what your total cash outlay would be over 5 years at 6% interest. Then figure out what it would be at 0.9% interest, which is today's promotional rate from GM. Take the difference and deduct it from the salesman's bottom line number--and hand him a suitcase full of cash of that amount. THAT'S the true market value of that car.

And it has nothing to do with the "invoice" price.

Sure, there's a bottom number for every car. But it's all based on supply and demand, and has nothing to do with numbers printed on a piece of paper and everything to do with the amount of cash the guy will trade the car for. And he's got more promotions and tricks for making a deal sound good than Carter has little liver pills.

If you "feel good" about the invoice price, that's not accidental. Trust me. It's 100% intentional. They do this for a living. You do this every now and then not because you want to but because you have to buy a car. They're always one up on you, and this "invoice" price thing is just another gimmick.
 

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My argument still goes to what is your business and what is not. The wholesale cost of the item is the seller's business, which he may share with the buyer, if he so desires. The retail cost is the buyer's business and if he doesn't like it, he doesn't buy.

As a seller, I would consider any offer, but, I would be very disturbed if the buyer suddenly started telling me what I could "afford" to sell the item for.

I know this has become a "badge of honor" with many folks, who brag that they have never paid sticker price for any vehicle, but, those folks are no fun to deal with and are customers a dealership could probably do without. Those who buy out of town/out of state would seem to fall in that category, since they come home and expect top drawer service from the "greedy local dealer".

Just my coupla cents more on the subject.....

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The wholesale cost of the item is the seller's business, which he may share with the buyer, if he so desires.</font>
Ay, and there's the rub. The "invoice" price has nothing to do with the actual wholesale cost of the car to the dealer.

There's the invoice price, then there's the holdback, then there are the factor-to-dealer rebates, and on top of that are the factory-to-customer rebates that many dealers use to advertise an attractive price that may or may not be achievable.

People want to think they know what the dealer's actual wholesale cost is, but I guarantee you no one but the dealer knows that. No one. And today's "invoice price" isn't it.
 

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I agree that consumers need not know the "invoice price" of most things in order to ascertain whether it is a good deal.

But I do think that given to incredible stupid and manipulative car buying process we have to endure it makes sense to know these things going in.

Whose to blame ? 50 years of bad tactics on the part of car dealers. It makes the job for the good ones so much harder, because your gut still tells you you may not be able to trust them.

I think arming yourself with the invoice is smart - just aim for a Win - Win and do not think that invoice +$10 is reasonable!!
 

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I tend to agree with Adam on most issues of his post. To make it clear - I don't care what the "invoice price" actually is. If the knowledge of that thing allows me to easier make a deal I like, and without any headache and stupid waste of time in "negotiating" - it worth it.

[This message has been edited by DP (edited 09-08-2001).]
 

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DP, I am looking to purchase an EX in the Toronto area. How much below MRSP can I expect to pay? Where can you get the invoice price? Can you recommend a dealer in the area?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jerry O:
Those who buy out of town/out of state would seem to fall in that category, since they come home and expect top drawer service from the "greedy local dealer".

Just my coupla cents more on the subject.....

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX[/B]</font>
Why would the level of service change for a customer that bought at this dealership or at a local dealership. A service/parts customer is still a service/parts customer. The service department gets their money back from Honda for warranty work on the vehicle regardless of where it comes from. In the majority of dealerships, any monetary reward for reaching a sales goal will rarely mean a dime to the service or parts guys. Likewise, when a service department reaches it's goals, the lot lizzards won't directly see a dime from this.
From my experience, the service department will treat most customers the same. I just had my local Nissan dealer(where I bought the car)scalp me for service work on a Maxima that I bought new there 6 years ago. I shutter to think that they would have/could have stuck it to someone else much worse.

Michael H.
 

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To BLANDERS

We were quoted $1,500 off MSRP on an EX by Lakeshore Honda as an "internet" deal.

We finally settled on $1,600 off MSRP for an Ex with leather at a southwestern Ontario dealer due to a great service department an a better than expected tradein.
 

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People shouldn't feel bad about not buying from a local dealer. I was treated very poorly by my local dealer, and they are the only "show in town" within a 1 hour radius. I am also military and have to move quite frequently, so even if I do buy from a local dealer I then get moved to another location. Others have jobs that require frequent moves as well. I saved over $1000 when buying my 01 Odyssey by driving 2 hours, which did happen to be out of state. I haven't had to take it in for service yet, but how are they to know if I'm one of their local customers or not. They aim to collect a lot in service work (labor and parts) from my family. I'm not going to give up a $1000 just to buy from a local dealership that treats perspective customers poorly.
 

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They will know whether you bought locally (computers) and, if it is the same as it was in the past, warranty work does not generate the same revenue as regular shop work. The factories typically did not allow the same labor rates. I guess some of you folks wouldn't care if people left town to get whatever goods or services you deal in.

Jerry O. 2001 GG LX
 

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Be careful, if you get too attached to the "buy local" rhetoric, someone will ask you why you bought a Japanese car which was assembled outside of our borders, when you could have bought a Chrysler/Dodge product.

I have always found it interesting how the factories won't allow themselves to be raped by the service department, as "Joe Consumer" is. Actually, I think that consumers should shop everywhere that they can to find the best deal. This deal consists of more than a great price. It also takes into account the attitude and reputation of the dealer's service, sales, and parts departments(local and otherwise). Whether it's automobiles, toasters, or widgets, the consumer owes it to himself to find the best deal. Following this line of reasoning, should I also feel the obligation to buy my parts from my local dealer who will stick it to me again? I personally choose to buy from other dealers thru the internet(for example, H & A Accessories). I just purchased mud guards and a cargo tray from a dealer listed on the links page. If consumers would wise up and take their business to a dealership that appreciates it, the service ratings would skyrocket. Too many dealers take the local customers for granted.

Could I assume from your post that the service department has 3 tiers of service(based upon labor rate, of course)?

PRIORITY 1:walk-in(non-warranty)This is the best bang for the buck.

PRIORITY 2:Warranty work(purchased from this dealer)

PRIORITY 3:Warranty Work(purchased from other dealer)

Furthermore, does this mean that if I buy a HONDACARE extended warranty, my level of service would be less than if I had the same work done and was paying out of my pocket?

Michael H.(2002 EX taffeta white in 2 weeks)


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jerry O:
They will know whether you bought locally (computers) and, if it is the same as it was in the past, warranty work does not generate the same revenue as regular shop work. The factories typically did not allow the same labor rates. I guess some of you folks wouldn't care if people left town to get whatever goods or services you deal in.

Jerry O. 2001 GG LX
</font>
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Be careful, if you get too attached to the "buy local" rhetoric, someone will ask you why you bought a Japanese car which was assembled outside of our borders, when you could have bought a Chrysler/Dodge product. </font>
Funny, no one ever asks why one bought the Dodge or Ford that was built in Mexico instead of the Accord that's been built in Marysville, OH since 198?.

Yeah, buy local all right. Buy Amurriken. Get a Ford (built in Mexico). Kill the commies who buy them damn Jap cars (built by your cousins and in-laws in Ohio).
 
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