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Can I Trust My Dealer?

KidShazam

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I went in to a local Ford dealer on Saturday March 19th to order a new Explorer. I wanted a black on black, FWD Limited with spec package 302a, all weather floor mats, roof cross bars, and the second row inflatable seat belts. The MSRP was $42,485. After about an hour of negotiations with a couple of different people (neither of which was the salesman I originally dealt with), we were still about $900 apart. I was offering a little over$40,000 and the dealership wanted close to $41,000. These prices are before the $1500 in rebates they said I was eligible for. After about an hour, I grew frustrated listening to them tell me they weren't making any money on the deal at the price I was offering, so I decided to leave.

On Monday the 21st, my original salesman gave me a call to try to salvage the deal. He suggested we essentially split the difference and I agreed to the price of $40,430. I also specifically asked him whether the destination fee was included in this price and he said it was. He said he would go ahead and place the order and I would need to come in before the rebate expired on 4/4 to sign the DORA.

I came in this past Saturday to sign the DORA and leave a $500 deposit check that they "would not cash". I asked to see any kind of paperwork showing me the price we agreed to. He pulled out a sheet which showed the price as $40,900 - $500 more than we agreed to. After some back and forth, he apologized for the "miscommunication" and said he'd have to ask his manager on Monday to approve the original amount I believed we had agreed to. He added that he didn't think his manager would go for that amount seeing as it was too low and they wouldn't be making any money on the deal, blah, blah, blah.

I forgot to look and see whether the destination fee really was part of that price. The last thing I want is the vehicle to come in and have to negotiate again and risk losing out after waiting for it.

My questions are: Can I trust this dealer? What kind of documentation should I have at this point? Is there anything Ford can do about their dealerships if the salespeople are being dishonest?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
 


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bcbid

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I usally don't trust or believe salesmen. Try to get everything in writing, and when they come up with more money then agreed upon. Tell them forget it. You will go some place else. Seems like it's always more then what they tell you. Or they say it's only X amount more. Like it's no big deal. Can you tell I don't like car salesman....Past experience.
 




Gandalf

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Go to Turecar.com and price out your car. It will give you dealer cost, invoice, MSRP, and the average price paid in your area. It will help, even if just giving you the prices paid by the dealer and knowing what the invoice cost is. Knowledge is power!
 




blwnsmoke

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I went in to a local Ford dealer on Saturday March 19th to order a new Explorer. I wanted a black on black, FWD Limited with spec package 302a, all weather floor mats, roof cross bars, and the second row inflatable seat belts. The MSRP was $42,485. After about an hour of negotiations with a couple of different people (neither of which was the salesman I originally dealt with), we were still about $900 apart. I was offering a little over$40,000 and the dealership wanted close to $41,000. These prices are before the $1500 in rebates they said I was eligible for. After about an hour, I grew frustrated listening to them tell me they weren't making any money on the deal at the price I was offering, so I decided to leave.

On Monday the 21st, my original salesman gave me a call to try to salvage the deal. He suggested we essentially split the difference and I agreed to the price of $40,430. I also specifically asked him whether the destination fee was included in this price and he said it was. He said he would go ahead and place the order and I would need to come in before the rebate expired on 4/4 to sign the DORA.

I came in this past Saturday to sign the DORA and leave a $500 deposit check that they "would not cash". I asked to see any kind of paperwork showing me the price we agreed to. He pulled out a sheet which showed the price as $40,900 - $500 more than we agreed to. After some back and forth, he apologized for the "miscommunication" and said he'd have to ask his manager on Monday to approve the original amount I believed we had agreed to. He added that he didn't think his manager would go for that amount seeing as it was too low and they wouldn't be making any money on the deal, blah, blah, blah.

I forgot to look and see whether the destination fee really was part of that price. The last thing I want is the vehicle to come in and have to negotiate again and risk losing out after waiting for it.

My questions are: Can I trust this dealer? What kind of documentation should I have at this point? Is there anything Ford can do about their dealerships if the salespeople are being dishonest?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

So I just built your vehicle on NADA to get your MSRP. The dealer is making $1,275 off the vehicle if they sell it at invoice (3% holdback on MSRP paid by Ford to the dealer).

Now NADA shows the invoice is $39,264 but that doesn't include the advertising fee. The ad fee that Ford charges each dealer is between $450-$550 for the explorer (depending on location). Mine was a little over $500. So take worst case.. it's $550, add that to the $39,264 invoice price and you are looking at $39,800 at dealer cost. So if you offered them $40k, they are making close to $1,500 on the vehicle.

To me it's a good profit, however, the explorers are selling like hotcakes so I can't blame a dealer for turning that down.

PS - Don't forget they will charge (or attempt to) the whole paperwork/doc fee, title fees etc etc. What they charge is completely up to them and negotiable.. my dealer normally charges $399.. but I get it for $100 because of xplan.

I would a very good deal on your part is $40,500 for the vehicle, they are making roughly $700 over invoice, $1,275 for holdback.. so $2,000 profit. With that $40,500, no doc fees or anything like that.. $40,500 OTD (unless you have to pay tax).
 




blwnsmoke

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Go to Turecar.com and price out your car. It will give you dealer cost, invoice, MSRP, and the average price paid in your area. It will help, even if just giving you the prices paid by the dealer and knowing what the invoice cost is. Knowledge is power!

Invoice pricing on those sites is not true invoice. Those prices never include the advertising fee Ford charges each dealer. Most dealers will not eat that as it's a true fee they have to pay to Ford.
 




KidShazam

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I asked the salesman if there were any other fees above the price we agreed upon and he said "just tax, license, and documentation".

He made no mention of ad fees.
 




blwnsmoke

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I asked the salesman if there were any other fees above the price we agreed upon and he said "just tax, license, and documentation".

He made no mention of ad fees.

They won't mention the ad fee because it's build into the price of the car. If you ask them to see the invoice of the vehicle, it will not be the same price ass kbb or nada shows you because their invoice price will have the ad fee built in.

$40,500 Plus tax is what I'd offer.. several hundreds of $$$ is rediculous for doc fees.. Like I said, they are making $2,000. If it was a vehicle on the lot, I'd expect them to want more money because they can get it without issue. But if they order one for you, it's a no brainer $2,000 profit for very little work.
 




edge929

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@KidShazam
There's really only one thing you need to remember here, GET IT IN WRITING with as many signatures as you can.

They want your John Hancock on the DORA so at the very least, get a copy of it. Circle the price, underline it, highlight it, etc. I had my dealership do this. They wrote down the price and directly under it hand-wrote the conditions (before any eligible rebates, includes destination fee) and we finally both signed our names. I got a copy and done.

You've already seen the back and forth with the "oh did we say that? my bad, let me blame X person". Seen it before, good cop/bad cop situation. In this case your original sales guy is trying to be the good cop "salvaging" the deal.

The FDAF is bull$hit and this was the biggest problem I had while negotiating. All 3 Ford dealerships I called wouldn't budge on it. I finally told all 3 of them, "look, you're all giving me invoice here, EARN my business, split the FDAF with me, I don't see why I should have to pay for YOUR cost of doing business, advertising, I didn't charge you for my gas money getting to your dealership as my cost of looking for a new vehicle". Ford makes this a flat fee for all dealerships because it makes it easier for them to pawn it off on the customer if all dealerships are saying they same thing.
 




Edgieguy

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Hey Kid, I just sent you a PM.
 




Gandalf

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Invoice pricing on those sites is not true invoice. Those prices never include the advertising fee Ford charges each dealer. Most dealers will not eat that as it's a true fee they have to pay to Ford.
Perhaps not, but Truecar was very close to what the dealer said was the invoice cost for me. I used the X plan and the printout the dealer gave me had the dealer invoice on it. I got the exact same print out from two separate dealers, so i have to assume it was accurate.

According to Truecar's FAQ, they do include the advertising fee, destination fee and the fuel charge in their calculation. The numbers did not match up exactly (the difference was that Truecar assumed a higher advertising fee than what was on the dealer printout), but it was close enough to give me a feel for all the numbers involved. If you don't have access to some insider's pricing info, I would definitely recommend Truecar as one of your research tools.
 




mtuhoop24

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I got my dealer to send me a spreadsheet with all the cost spelled out. The spreadsheet has there logo and info on it. I am paying cash and that is what the check is going to say when I bring it to them tonight................I hope they don't try anything funny! After the long wait and the lack of communication I don't think I will be able to hold my composure, or my wife back if they add anything!!!
 




scottfmc

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I asked the salesman if there were any other fees above the price we agreed upon and he said "just tax, license, and documentation".

He made no mention of ad fees.

Doc fees vary greatly by dealership. I've seen them as low as $0 and as high as $499. What is the standard doc fee for your dealership? Can they prove that EVERYONE pays it? It's probably negotiable. Watch for it.
 




PVC25

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If you are paying more than invoice for any car you have to order you are being ripped off. You have the ability to walk to any other brand dealer and walk off the lot that day with a comparible car. If that dealer wants your business (@ invoice they make a grand) and your service (this is where they make their big $$$ at) then they will give it to you at invoice. Anyone who doesn't demand this is being taken, and you are the reason people like me can go in and demand 250 below invoice and get it... They make it up on other people.

I negotiated out 250 below invioce plus the 1000 auto show cash, plus the new 750 cash i got on my explorer literature.
 




AtTheBeach

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Try The Easy Way

KidShazam, you've encountered why so many people hate buying a new car and often get ripped off at many dealerships. X-Plan eliminates all this heartache and is the cleanest, simplest (if not always THE cheapest) way to buy a car, unless you or your immediate family qualifies for one of the Ford employee plan discounts.

You can check with your employer to see if they are an X-Plan partner. You can post on the related website asking a Ford employee to provide you with an X-Plan number so you can buy one of the products they make. Or...

Or, you can deal with one of the car buying services like those affiliated with Zag and TrueCar and offered by Bank of America, American Express, and others. And no, you don't have to bank with BOA (not sure about whether AX requires you to be a "member")

You didn't say where in the country you are but I went to BOA's car buying site just to look at prices for what you want. Go here: http://bankofamerica.zag.com/main.html

Once you're at this site, you select FORD, EXPLORER, LIMITED FWD. Then you chose your color, then you add that 302A option package and any other option you might want, then you select the incentive $1,000 cash back (careful here, there may be even more that could apply--read the threads related to INCENTIVES here to see what else you might claim), and voila, you see your vehicle here would cost you $39,376.

That's a pretty good price but, as they say on TV, wait! There's more!

Now, click on "Click here to see what others really paid, powered by TrueCar." This opens a new window which tells you--in YOUR specific area--how many recent sales of this exact model and what THOSE buyers paid. It also shows you (under tab DETAILS) what was the dealer cost, the factory invoice, the average paid by all buyers and the sticker price.

Now you can click on the various bars of the graph, starting at the far left, and you can see that (in my area, yours will differ) two of these sold for $38,014 and $38,377. Another sold for $38,740. Six more sold for between $39,103 and $39,466. And way over on the other end, SOMEBODY actually paid $43,096 which is above full sticker. (Hey, maybe they got that dealer undercoating? <grin> )

Finally, there's a blue button NEXT: LOCATE YOUR DEALER. Click there and add your location and up pop the dealers who will be more than happy for you to walk in sell you the car at the posted "buying service" price of $39,376, no haggle, no bs, no wasting your weekend or waiting to see "if my manager will approve this." Notice not every dealer in your area might be a particpant but I trust you'd drive past one to get to another just a little farther down the pike to save hundreds of bucks, eh?

Now THIS is a better way to buy a car, is it not?

Good luck!
 




KidShazam

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I did check TrueCar and BofA's site before I went in to the dealer. The dealer I chose was one of 6 here in my area (Central California) but they were the only one with Explorers in stock that I could test drive. The price I'm getting is $200 above the TrueCar price. Again, my only concern is the dealer trying to raise that price once the vehicle is delivered.
 




simplysql

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if you're not completely confident in the dealer at this point - WALK. There are plenty of Ford dealers you can use as an alternative. I've commented on this before, it's amazing that in this day and age, they are still doing business like it's 1970.
 




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