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Scrooge
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PostTue May 28, 2002 6:45 pm 
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I'm inches away from buying a Subaru Forester L, probably a 2003 since the 2002s are in limited supply and going fast.

I'm finding that I can get it for $300 over invoice (plus invoice price for extras, if any).

Anybody have reason to think I can do better than that? by haggling? through Costco? by being stubborn (I'm good at that)? Or ........ ?

I do this about once every 13 years, so your help would really be appreciated. Thanks.  biggrin.gif

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#19
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PostWed May 29, 2002 7:02 am 
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getting a good deal is easy now days with all the available info.  Sounds like you have it figured out.
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Tom
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PostWed May 29, 2002 10:59 am 
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Costco is good, but I've found in today's economy dealers are getting desperate.  I was looking at a Jeep Liberty and the Costco "no haggle" price at the dealer was $500 over invoice.  When I said I wanted to think it over they hinted they could drop the price if I didn't tell Costco.  As I was driving away they came running out to my car with another pitch.

Dealers get "holdback" and other incentives from the manufacturer so you can't necessarily look at invoice to tell if you're getting a good deal.  In today's economy I'm guessing you could deal at invoice, unless the vehicle is a new model and in high demand (like the Honda CRV) in which case Costco's price is probably a good deal.

I'm surprised you said the 2002 Forester is in limited supply.  Sounds like B.S. from a dealer.  More often than not the "new" model is the one in short supply and the dealer is desperate to get rid of the old model.
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mb
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PostWed May 29, 2002 11:43 am 
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Hmm... Edmunds (edmunds.com) should list the holdbacks, etc. I don't know what it is for Subaru. Try to go for 'invoice'.

The 2002s may be in limited supply, but if they're the same as 2003 that means they'll be at a discount as they try to get rid of the remaining ones, not a surplus.

Shop around. Say the last dealer offered less than they did. There are lots of Subaru dealers here. Some are reputable, some are criminal, though the worst one is finally about to be run out of business. If you're willing to drive, contact dealers in eastern washington or even montana. Some may even deliver.

Some clubs may help you. Costco. IMBA (int'l mountain bike ass'n) has a good Subaru deal, though you need to be a member for 6 months first. Etc...

Don't forget about financing. A lot of places try to get you there, talk to your bank/credit union about financing first, and if you're paying cash consider using a 'benefits' credit card (e.g. REI 1% back VISA card) if you have one to the extent they let you. The finance guys will also try to sell you bogus coatings, extended warantees, etc, make sure you know what you want and what it should cost first, they are counting on you not walking out at that point to shop around.
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Scrooge
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PostWed May 29, 2002 1:55 pm 
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mb -  - Since I've already got feelers out to half a dozen dealers, please let me know which one is
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finally about to be run out of business.

If you're not comfortable "advertising" the name, you can e-mail me at - heads1234@msn.com - I don't know if you can use the Forum's e-mail or message  elements if you're not registered.

I've had some dealing with one that does business the "old-fashioned way" - salesman, sales manager, finance office pingpong - but I'm good at walking out on those. ..... And even better, now, 'cause I'm almost certainly gonna go with the 2003, and that removes almost all the pressure. I can get a car built to my specs in about two months. And I really don't mind waiting.  biggrin.gif

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#19
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PostWed May 29, 2002 2:53 pm 
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my experience with Carter in '91 buying a new Legacy was not good - nor was the service dept.  Maybe they've changed?

Scrooge, I hope you kick their  moon.gif !!
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Newt
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PostWed May 29, 2002 6:15 pm 
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I bought a 2001 S Premium  manual in April 2000. I thought I could get a 2000 but they were in short supply. I think they bring out their models almost a year early. Their prices don't seem to have changed that much from year to year lately and I think the 2003 has some body changes. For a 4 banger it has a h@&& of a lot of snap. I get 28-32 mpg.

I would say get your financing in order. Decide on a price you're willing to pay and go from there. If you like to haggle, then go for it. If they don't budge then it's decision time.

When I bought mine I was asked how much I wanted to spend. I told them it wasn't how much I wanted to spend but what was their rock bottom price for the car I wanted. I let them know I wasn't going to do much price talking so we may just as well get to the point or I would move on. Also when asked how I was going to finance I let them know that wasn't a concern at this point. It took a couple of trips back just looking and asking questions. The salesman was the one who always brought up the $. I would just say how low will you go. When the price was what I wanted to pay and felt they still made some profit it became a deal. Those visits brought the price down thousands. I paid cash so at that time I worked another discount. On my last visit the sales person mentioned I could possibly get an addition 4% off. I did.

Good Luck
NN

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It's pretty safe to say that if we take all of man kinds accumulated knowledge, we still don't know everything. So, I hope you understand why I don't believe you know everything. But then again, maybe you do.
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polarbear
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PostWed May 29, 2002 6:56 pm 
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I went through the car buying thing a couple years ago.  Is it possible to walk off the lot without feeling you've been had not matter how shrewd you  are--and not only like you've been had but like you're stealing bread off the salesman's table, though it would seem impossible to feel both ways at the same time.  A strange combo of feelings, yes.  I was a Costco member at the time.  Went to one place that said they were part of the Costco thing but their "Costco pricing" was not Costco pricing as I later found.  I ended up getting a better deal than I could have got on the Costco program.  One thing I wanted was an alarm system, since lack of one was one of the reasons I was in the car market.  I got a dealer system but at maybe  60% of their full price after telling them I'd scouted alarm prices at stores and knew about what they cost.
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Scrooge
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PostWed May 29, 2002 7:20 pm 
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Pappy - Carter had their chance: the first buying service I tried, msn's CarPoint, sent my enquiry to Carter. They still haven't gotten back to me, five days and two requests later!

Two other buying services had their contacts in touch with me within hours, both with the $300 over invoice I mentioned before.

Tom - Thanks for the word on Costco and the Liberty. At the bottom of the pond (where us frogs live) the Liberty and Subaru are similarly priced, so your $500 "no haggle" price should give me a good benchmark.

Melody's is the "old-fashioned" place I mentioned. Unfortunately, they're also only ten minutes from my home. - So far I've walked out on their $-salesman twice. The third time I just told him, "I'm talking to someone else. Thanks."

Now we've got a request in through Costco. Turns out it will go through Melody's, too. Should be interesting.

Newbie. - My guess is that your dealer had a lot of room to manuever because you started at the top of the line. I'm working on the base model, stripped, and I believe that gives them a lot less flexibility.

We'll see.  agree.gif

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mb
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PostWed May 29, 2002 8:33 pm 
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Well, I'll go ahead and say it:

This is hearsay, but don't go to Melody's. They've already lost their Nissan dealership. Many people have had many problems, including apparently their employees. Stay far, far away. If you want to hear more, go to the i-club and do a search on them or look at the recent thread in the 'northwest forum'. (My experience was limited to a used car which they said they could take the cigarette smoke smell out of. No thanks.)

Some people really like Carter, others don't. I think they're in the 'competant' category, apparently Joe Spitz is the salesman to talk to there. They're now the most convenient for service for me and usually have loaner cars, so I go there. Chaplins, similar: some like them, others don't. I was ignored by them when I went there and have multiple friends with bad service problems with their VWs.

I bought my car at Walker's Renton Subaru. They're a small dealer and act like a car dealer, I'd buy from them again but wouldn't say they're great. If you get your car serviced there you are almost guaranteed to get it dented, their lot is small and they don't seem to care much. Happened to me twice, I couldn't prove it so they just gave me a discount repair from some guy who does work on the side.
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Scrooge
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Famous Grouse
PostThu May 30, 2002 7:06 am 
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Car dealers. Bah! Humbug!

Thanks, mb. I really half expected you to tell me it was Melody's. The games they tried to play with me were the epitome of the old school special-price-if-you-drive-it-off-the-lot-today variety; and that particular ploy is an automatic switch-off with me.

As luck would have it, Chaplin's is right across I-90 from where I work, so I've been there, too. Same experience as you: I call it "agressively unhelpful". The exact opposite of the high pressure sales approach, more like - go away and don't bother us.

I went in there yesterday and asked to see a green 2003 Forester. I was told, "I don't know if we've got any, but you can go around back and look".  mad.gif

So far my best experience has been on-line, from Bruce-Titus in South Tacoma. Not exactly convenient, but they'll deliver the car if I want to go that route.

As far as service is concerned, I've been dealing with the same reasonably honest independent garage for twenty years and will probably continue to do so. Hopefully, the Subaru is good enough so they won't see much of me for a few years.

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MtnGoat
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PostMon Jun 03, 2002 9:10 am 
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If anybody is interested in a used one,  a buddy of mine has an incredibly clean 91' I think it is, he's got a Toyota 4x4 and he is thinking about selling for around $3500. 4wd of course, dark red, not a dent.

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Dante
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PostThu Jun 06, 2002 9:30 am 
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I helped my in-laws buy Subarus.  We got my father-in-law's for $100 over invoice.  My mother-in-law could have had hers for invoice if she'd been willing to pick it up in Wenatchee or pay $100 for delivery, but she chose to spend $200 more to establish a relationship with a local dealer.  Here's what we did for what it's worth:

1.  Decide what  model and options you want.  This is where you drive the cars that interest you.  Don't start negotiating yet.

2.  Get dealer e-mail addresses from the manufacturer's website.

3.  E-mail all the dealers at once so they know they're competing.  Ask for a firm quote including tax, license etc--an "out the door price."  I won't go to the dealership until I have a firm quote and a VIN number.

4.  Go do a predelivery inspection and if everything is OK sign the papers.  (You'll need to have your financing in order).

You'll also need to check Edmunds so you know the invoice pricing for the model and options you want and about any holdbacks, etc.  Good luck! smile.gif

P.S.  The Motley Fool's Website has some good advice on car shopping, including test drive and predelivery inspection checklists.
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Scrooge
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Famous Grouse
PostThu Jun 06, 2002 6:55 pm 
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Thanks, folks. It's a done deal.  biggrin.gif  I settled for $400 over invoice for a 2003 Forester X (used to be L), which satisfied me. Getting competing quotes online is definitely the way to go, and then stick with the internet salesman. He operates on a different basis than the regular staff.

I bought at Chaplins and it turned out to be a very good experience, despite a poor first impression. They have a hyper-no-hassle policy, which can make you feel "ignored" at first; but they will answer your questions promptly and candidly, and work with you very pleasantly, once you make it clear you want them to. ..... It just takes some getting used to.  agree.gif

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