With 0% financing from GM I thought I see if there were any bargains around
on the '06 models, Lucerne in particular. A good deal would get me to buy
today instead of December/January as planned.
I found a possible auto through the Buick web page at a dealer about 20
miles from me. Not exactly what I wanted, but close enough at the right
price. So, I headed out to go see if it was still available. The sales
manager told me it was just sold a half hour ago. It was listed there for
at least a week, not it was gone just minutes before I arrived. So, we
talked about other possibilities and he found another car that was very
close to my ideal. I asked about the price and he told me they sell at the
I know the margins have dwindled from years ago, but sticker price? I
walked and he did not care. He wouldn't budge even a hundred bucks.
Try a different dealer. I looked all over the Southwest and ended up going
to St. Louis to buy my truck. The butt heads here would not even talk to me.
One AH told me since I looked on Internet he knew he couldn't make any
money. He was the frigging sales manager. In 87 I bought a new 5.0 Mustang.
Talked to Ford's zone office and they gave me the name of a dealer in OK. to
talk to. I had him fax me a quote. Took it to both Ford dealers here and a
number of them in Phoenix. None would deal at all. So I ended up at a small
dealer about 20 miles South of here. In 89 I decide to trade it in on a new
one. Same story. Except I had to go a lot farther.
Here is my take on it. I live in the DFW area. I know dealers who sell
300/400 cars/trucks a week. They sell these cars at the invoice price
and still make at least 3% of the MSRP, because that is what the
manufacturer rebates to the dealer to pay for its share of advertising.
Other dealers want or need to make several thousand dollars per
vehicle and don't sell near as many as the dealers above. All in all
the profit comes out about the same. There has to be a big population
nearby to be able to sell at invoice.
I expect to pay a little more local than a huge dealer, but damned if I'm
going to pay list. Still plenty of dealers around, including one I've
bought my last three cars from. I was looking for a comparison to see if he
was still viable and seems as though he will be. I'd rather buy from him
with a $200 premium over the mega-dealer, but when you get to $1000, that is
a lot of premium that is better in my pocket.
I know several salesmen, and they dislike it when they work with someone
showing them cars and coming up with a deal to fit their budget, and
then the person takes this deal and shops it around to other dealers
looking for the lowest price, then the customer gets a lower offer from
them, and then they shop this deal around. Like an auction.
I haven't had to deal or haggle for cars for 5 years. My wife works at
a new car dealership, so we get cars for cost -- used or new cars.
In 2000 before marrying, I needed a car. There was a Chrysler-Jeep
dealership that had this female saleslady that was real upfront and
honest and nice. So I decided to buy my small car from her. I was torn
between a '99 Saturn SL1 and a '98 Ford Contour. I decided on the Ford
and the sales manager went off and put all my info. into their computer
for the credit check/financing. He came back after half an hour and
said I was approved. But then I told him I wanted the Saturn instead.
He got pissed off and chewed me out because he'd have to "go back in and
change all the information!" I told him "why? the cars are the same
price! Just change the VIN # and make and model on the deal." "Our
computer system isn't set-up like that, I have to start over and re-
enter all the data!" "Not my fault; buy different computer software", I
said. For chewing me out, I demanded a $500 lower price on the Saturn
or else I'd go elsewhere to buy. Don't let these chumps push you
around. You're the customer. Don't ever let them bully you into
buying. Just walk.
It would piss me off to spend an hour or two showing cars and then have the
customer walk for the sake of a few dollars. But, how many can sell a car
in less than 5 minutes?
My daughter was going to buy her first new car. While I was at work, she
went to a local Ford dealer and found an Escort that was suitable for her.
At the time, sticker was in the $6500 range IIRC. She talked to the
salesman, drove the car, etc. He gave her a price. When I got home, she
wanted me to go see the car and I agreed, even before dinner. The salesman
was not there, but another let me drive the car and I did. With checkbook
sticking out of my pocket we sat down and I asked the price. Sales guy said
it was quoted at $XXX (about $100 below sticker). I replied, "yes but now
I'm ready to buy so what is the real price" Long sad tale of invoice
price, making a profit etc followed. I said "sorry, but that is not good
enough." and walked.
Now I have disappointed daughter, still no dinner yet, upset wife, even the
dog was PO'd at me. Daughter says "it's my money so why can't I buy it?".
I replied "because I'm co-signing and you can do better."
After eating a now overdone porkchop by myself, I remember a dealer about 10
miles away. Off we go and find the exact same car, exact same sticker
price. Saleswoman comes out and want to make small talk, offers test drive,
etc. I just told her to give me her best price, something I'm comfortable
with, and I'd write the check. Inside we go, a couple of minutes later she
gives me a price $600 less that first dealer. I write check and deal is
done. No haggling, no fuss, no mess.
Two days later the original sales guy calls and asks why daughter has not
come back. She told him the story and he said, "you should have come back,
we could have done better." She replied, "you should have done better up
front and you would have had a sale."
Her next purchase a few years later was on her own. As he go up to walk out
of the dealership after getting a price the salesman stopped her and asked
if she bought a car before. She told him yes, her father taught her and his
price was not even worth talking further. At many hundred dollars less, she
made the buy.
If you think car buying is fun, try buying new forklift trucks. These guys
were beating each other up for $25 at a time right in my office. One on the
phone with his sales manager. I just sat back and finally bought the Toyota
over the Yale. Bought three more since at the same price level. These guys
make money on service as they do all four trucks each quarter.
Good points. A lot of people fall victim to the "so how much do you
want your monthly payment to be?" question from the salesman. So if the
customer says "$250" for a car that they could really get for $180/month
then the salesman and the dealership makes more money off the deal. And
the finance co. gets a higher APR. The whole buying and selling of cars
thing is a major pain in the ass. We live in a somewhat economically
slow area of the country, and selling used cars privately is a pain in
the ass around here. Skinflint cheapskates galore. Last car I sold was
my wife's dealer maintained (since new) 1994 Buick LeSabre with the
great 3800 V6. It only had 90K miles, loaded with EVERY option, ran
perfect, every service performed on time and had all receipts in the
glove box, and looked very nice. Blue book Private Party was like
$2100. I was lucky to finally sell it for $1500 to some creep who kept
asking me: "if it's such a great car, why are you selling it?".
Dumbasses would call and say "would you take $1000 Cash for it?" In
hindsight I should have kept it for use as a winter car to drive on the
The thoughts of private selling is enough to make one ill. I have a '91
Regal that I'd give away before trying to sell it. Only reason I'm hesitant
to give it away is because if the new "owner" does not transfer title I
could end up with liability for an abandoned car or who knows what.
Good engine and trans, tires, battery. Other stuff is starting to go, as
would be expected after 15 years. I'd have to pay about $1200 to bring it
up to the book value of $845. OTOH, a motorhead teenager can put the new
exhaust (still the original), brake caliper and have it pass safety
inspection and drivable. AC is more costly. Radio is not always working
properly, but a kid would put in a $1000 stereo anyway.
Does your state's DMV have a form to fill out that eliminates your
responsibility for a car? Or you could take the person you give the
Regal to down to the DMV and have the title/registration changed to
their name right then and there. If the person doesn't want to do that,
tell them "well you won't get the car then." About 6 years ago, I knew
a homeless guy named Keith (somewhat schizophrenic and on SSI) who
needed a vehicle. I sold him a nice early 1990's Buick LeSabre (3800
V6) that ran perfect for $600. Only thing wrong with it was one of the
fenders was mangled a bit, but I bent it basically into shape and put a
new turn signal on it. I took him down to the DMV, he passed the
driver's test and got his license, and then we put the car in his name.
That is probably the best thing. At work, we have some people that work
through a temp service. Language barriers, education barriers, etc, but
they are good hard working people that would have an easier life if they had
transportation. I don't know if they could pay for insurance and transfer
easily. While I'd like to help, I don'twant to end up with a liability.
I'll check the DMV though, never thought about that.
Perhaps for title transfer, but not for registration. If a car needs some
work and the recipient wants to do it over time, why register the car, pay
for tags, property taxes, etc while the car sits in a garage for six months?
You can register and get a temp tag for some period of time (I think it is
15 days here), but if you need 30 or 60 days to tinker, that is a PITA.
Or even, in this case, to save up the $$ for insurance costs. I'm not
thinking of giving it to people with high cash flow, but someone that will
have to take a while to complete the registration process financially.
There may also be two states involved making it a bigger PITA.
To properly transfer a title, the legal owner(s) must appear with the title
in front of a certified agent who requires proof that the person(s) signing
is indeed the owner(s). Once ownership is proven and the title signed by
the buyer and seller, a temporary certificate is issued by the authorized
agent, to the buyer, and the surrendered title and notarized paperwork is
sent to the state. The state mails a new title, in the new owners name, to
the new owner or the lien holder if there is a lien.
If what you believe to be true were actually true anybody could do what you
suggest and transfer title to your, car from you to them ;)
Motor vehicle laws are different in every state. That's one area that
the Feds haven't gotten their meathooks into "yet". But they probably
will. Funny, the Constitution only gives a few powers to the Feds -- war
power to protect the nation, regulate interstate commerce which was meant
to keep one state from unfairly disallowing imports from other states or
charging huge tariffs, but this clause has since been bastardized thus
giving the Feds power over virtually EVERYTHING. The feds created
federal drug laws by invoking the interstate commerce clause. What's
wrong with letting each state decide if they want certain drugs to be
legal? Then if you take the drugs into a state where they are illegal,
then you can get busted in THAT state. Sorry to get on my soapbox. I
just hate to see all of our freedoms taken away in this race to a Big
Brother type existence. I'm a libertarian. Drugs and other activities
should be legal. If drugs are legal; then drugs become cheap. So if a
junkie wants to go down to Walgreen's and buy 20 pounds of heroin for
$30. Then he overdoses, then hell, problem solved! Ok, I'm off my
soapbox now. :-)
Actually title laws in every state, are quite similar. The sellers
signature must be verified and notarized as that of the actual owner(s)
before a title can be legally transferred, period. Any other method voids
that title as a instrument for transfer of ownership. ;)
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