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Car buying services??

csxjohn

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Do the various car buying services really save you money?

I have access to a couple, Costco and CSX retirees have various programs.

With Ford I get Supplier Pricing, Subaru gives me the invoice price. I'm pretty sure I can do better than invoice price just waling int Subaru but don't know if the Costco plan will save me anything.
 

CalGalTraveler

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I would try and see what they offer and whether you can do better over the Internet/negotiating. We found Costco's offer inferior 10 years ago when we tried to use them but YMMV. You have nothing to lose by checking their price as you are not bound to buy from them if you find a superior offer.
 

sue1947

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The advantage to Costco's program is the easy access to the invoice price of the car and various options. Whether the dealer that Costco uses provides a decent price or not is a separate issue. Costco requires the dealer to provide the invoice for the car you test drive. In addition, their online site provides the invoice price for various cars plus the different trim packages; add or subtract and see how that impacts the price. With that information in hand, you can then go to any dealer and make a decent deal. I started with the Costco dealer who pretty much ignored me and wasn't willing to bargain, but it was helpful to sort out what to expect. In particular, I found out about the advertising fee add-on (pretty much any abbreviation with an A in it on the invoice is them trying to get you to pay their advertising costs). When the next dealer insisted their costs were higher than my offer and showed me their invoice, I pointed to that fee and said it was a deal breaker. They were shocked that I knew what it was and we then were able to come to an agreement. When buying a car, 2 things are important; knowledge of actual costs and a willingness to walk away.

Sue
 

Brett

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Do the various car buying services really save you money?

I have access to a couple, Costco and CSX retirees have various programs.

With Ford I get Supplier Pricing, Subaru gives me the invoice price. I'm pretty sure I can do better than invoice price just waling int Subaru but don't know if the Costco plan will save me anything.
Definitely look at car buying services like Costco, edmunds, Consumer Reports, truecar, etc but still go to the dealers to compare auto prices. Yes, it involves multiple dealers and your time dealing with salespeople to get the cost for a particular model auto but you will end up with the best price.
 

tompalm

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The ads in the paper are a better deal than the Costco price. But if you don’t want the car on sale, Costco is a way of getting a fair price without haggling. Normally I can get the price in the paper on the car I want or I walk out.
 

Bucky

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First of all, Costco is not a true buying service per se. But, they are a good starting point in a search for a new vehicle. In most locations they may only have one dealer of a particular manufacturer that they deal with. In my case they had none locally and the closest one was 110 miles away. But,that still worked out because we were able to eventually come to agreement and they provided free delivery service.

Dealers do not generally provide vehicle invoices and even with a Costco customer hat is still true. What they do provide is a Costco customer price sheet. Took this directly from their website. “After you have selected a specific vehicle at the dealership you are shown the Costco Member-Only Price Sheet, which clearly breaks down the vehicle price, savings and any additional rebates or costs.”

They are just hoping you are naive enough to say thank you, we’ll take it since it must be the best price if Costco backs it. LOL. It’s really nothing but a starting point that you can get from any other dealer out there at anytime. It’s a negotiating starting point and that’s all. We ended up getting our last one from the Costco dealer but that was only after negotiating another $2000 off of their “Costco price”.

You are getting nothing from them that you couldn’t get from any other dealer. I take that back. At least in our case they waived doc fees for Costco members so that saved us another $595. Don’t know if the Costco dealers all do that but I kind of doubt that.

If you are a costco member, use the service to at least get a starting point. Then be ready to negotiate.

https://www.costcoauto.com/
 

Big Matt

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So, the car buying services make money, right? Who pays them? The dealer benefits because it is a marketing and sales channel for them. However, the one who really pays for it is the consumer. The dealer isn't going to just give the cars away at some artificially low price.

I find it much easier to just look at a car dealer's web site and then call them and discuss what I want. The really big ones will have a ton of inventory and will try to get rid of the cars that are hard to sell. Often it is the color of the car that doesn't appeal to the buyer. If you are okay with buying a non-standard color you can usually get what you want. I've found that Trucar is easy to deal with, but I've never used it to actually buy a car. You sign up for getting called by a hand full of dealers, but then you quickly realize that they bait and switch you anyway. At least you get some price transparency.
 
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