Twenty-two Years Of Supporting "Free-To-The-Dealer" Unencumbered Car Buyers
Dear Reader: Although you are priceless to The Auto Channel, if you are a timid car shopper who uses what you have been led to believe are "free services" of online lead generators like TrueCar, Edmunds, KBB, Auto-by-Tel, Cars.com, AutoTrader and other lead-generation sites, you are very likely costing yourself hundreds of dollars on your new car purchase, and until now I'll bet you didn't even know it.
In the parlance of the car biz, when you commit to use a third party lead generation "tout"(to solicit patronage) site to get a new car price, you have been bird-dogged and the dealer you are "referred" to pays a commission or bird dog fee to the tout site that sent you there, and if you make a deal the dealer pays them even more...costs another local auto dealer can avoid and will gladly give to you if you are a "free to the dealer direct buyer"...be strong, ask for an additional I'm Free discount after you negotiate the "best price".
AUTO CENTRAL - July 25, 2016: Over the past 20 years The Auto Channel has been "Telling Not Selling" millions of car buyers who want to learn which is exactly the right car for them, and give them enough ammunition to fight for a fair price. Since there is no truthful disclaimer on car lead-gen ads or TV spots yet like there are when you call an airline directly on the phone and they honestly tell you that;Cheaper prices may be available on line, we believe lead-gen business's should let you know the same thing...cheaper prices may be available if you go unencumbered directly to a car dealer.
Unfortunately truth does not abound, and since that doesn't exist we thought that you would like to know about a formerly clandestine win-win opportunity that can save you meaningful bucks on your next new car purchase.
You Are Worth Big Bucks To Car-Lead Generation Websites
Using third-party new car lead aggregators like TrueCar (so why the bell curve, if they could really get you the best deal a single price, their price, for every model would suffice) Edmunds, KBB, Auto-by-Tel, Cars.com, AutoTrader and others may seem "free" for you...THEY ARE NOT!
Online car shoppers have been lulled into believing that even household name sites that partner with lead gen sites,including AAA, USAA, Consumer Reports and other traditionally "consumer friendly" safe havens are truly on your side to make ensure that you are honestly getting the "best deal" on a new car purchase...when in fact, unless you are a lazy lousy car shopper, may actually cost you more, because the "partner dealer" you end up buying your vehicle from is contractually obligated to pay the lead-gen (TrueCar etc.) site hundreds of dollars in commission for sending you to a "partner dealer" to make a purchase from them.
Getting "The Best Deal"
First of all there is no such thing as "The Best Deal." Getting the lowest out-the-door sales price can only be won through gut wrenching hard-nosed haggling (fun for many, hated by others). A "best price" can vary from one day to another depending on a variable factors (for auto buying and owning facts go to FTC.Gov - Buying A Car). It is important to remember every "deal" is different, because every transaction is different.
Many local dealers do not play the lead-gen "bird-dog" game, so lead-gen site buyers may find themselves doing business with an in-network "partner dealer" that is located out of town or even out of state. Many local auto dealers that are not contractually obligated to be associated with a lead-gen dealer network can make a fair profit and still give you a better deal because they don't have to pay the lead-gen vultures.
To put more money in your pocket and not in the tout's pocket, GO LOCAL as a DEALER DIRECT UNENCUMBERED CAR BUYER, an independent unfettered buyer who shows up at the dealer ready to buy without dragging the obliged third party fees with them.
Unencumbered buyers (that could be you) have a meaningful bargaining chip to negotiate that the third party fee be deducted from a "firm" lead-gen quote received from an online network dealer.
So don't be timid, lazy (and stupid), invest your time and efforts in serious new car research, like here on The Auto Channel; go to the lead-gen sites and request a price for the exact vehicle model, trim level and options car you have decided to buy. You may have to put up with a plethora of telephone calls from dealers that have bought the "right to sell you a car"...but if you are strong and remain unfettered we can almost guarantee that you can buy your next car at a more competitive price directly from a dealer who doesn't have to pay anyone for the privilege of selling you a car.
As an Unencumbered Independent Car Buyer (you), when you arrive at your local dealer for a test drive and to see their "deal"...hand the salesperson a printout of the mantra below to alert the salesperson that you are a "FREE UP" which will allow the salesperson to negotiate internally for an additional discount off of the "FIRM PRICE" you received from the lead gen sites. This may not be easy for many buyers, but if money and a sense of fairness is important to you it's well worth your effort and don't worry, because no matter what, the dealer will (and should) make a "fair" profit on your transaction.
UNENCUMBERED AUTO SHOPPERS “DEALER DIRECT” MANTRA:I am a Dealer Direct shopper.
I am here to consider buying a car from your dealership.
I have invested many hours of new car research.
Here is a printout of the exact model, trim level and options I will buy from you or at another dealership.
I have already received "FIRM" price quotes for this exact car from _______ (TrueCar, Edmunds, Kelly, AAA. Consumer Reports, CARS.COM, ETC), as well as other dealers who have the car I want to buy in inventory or are willing to “trade” for it.
I have come to your dealership directly and as a free agent, because I want to buy from a local organization and because I expect to pay less for my car than a buyer who has arrived here with the built-in obligation that requires your dealership to pay “commission” or a bird-dog fee to the third party tout that referred me here.
I expect that the hundreds of dollars or a meaningful portion of that amount that you would have had to pay TrueCar or another of their ilk to be deducted from the quote I received...if you won't do this to earn my business I will go to a dealer who will....have a nice day.
Remember you are in the drivers seat - enjoy your new car!
Auto Dealer Buying Terms
Negotiations often have a vocabulary of their own. Here are some terms you may hear when you’re talking price.
•Invoice Price is the manufacturer’s initial charge to the dealer. This usually is higher than the dealer’s final cost because dealers receive rebates, allowances, discounts, and incentive awards. Generally, the invoice price should include freight (also known as destination and delivery). If you’re buying a car based on the invoice price (for example, “at invoice,” “$100 below invoice,” “two percent above invoice”) and if freight is already included, make sure freight isn’t added again to the sales contract.
•Base Price is the cost of the car without options, but includes standard equipment and factory warranty. This price is printed on the Monroney sticker.
•Monroney Sticker Price (MSRP) shows the base price, the manufacturer’s installed options with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the manufac-turer’s transportation charge, and the fuel economy (mileage). Affixed to the car window, this label is required by federal law, and may be removed only by the purchaser.
•Dealer Sticker Price, usually on a supplemental sticker, is the Monroney sticker price plus the suggested retail price of dealer-installed options, such as additional dealer markup (ADM) or additional dealer profit (ADP), dealer preparation, and undercoating.
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