osu78's picture


Member since 22 August 2013 | Blog

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Comment 4 hours ago

In my case, they knocked the $500 off the price so the line item stayed on but the final number before taxes was what we had agreed on; which is all that mattered to me. The price door actually cut a few bucks off the total tax as well.

Yea, some dealerships play real BS games when they hand you off to the closer. He kept pushing warranties and every time I said no he dropped the price a few bucks until I told him unless he throws it in for free it isn't part of the deal. Needless to say I won't be going back to that dealership for my next car because it is clear to me they view selling cars as a transactional, not relationship business. I contrast that to one where they took me to meet the service manager, showed me their shop and in general made it clear they wanted this to be the start of a long term business relationship, not just pushing another car off the lot. As a result, I buy my parts there and take my car there of rte work I don't do myself. I'll probably by my next car there as well.

Comment 9 hours ago

I agree there are good dealers out there that are interested in building a relationship and making fair profit; I grew up around the car business and they were good people. I've bought a car over the phone with one once when I was overseas. There are others who, even today, spend a lot of time trying to upsell other services to the point of misrepresenting warranties, undercoating benefits, the car on the internet is sold, hidden fees, etc; I've run into those as well.

I do think it's important for consumers to educate themselves and understand some things about negotiation to ensure they get a good deal. If you do your homework, have a reasonable price in mind after doing that and lending in place you are far more likely to get a fair deal; and you need to be willing to walk away from a deal if you don't like the price.

As for the doc fee, how they spend the profit is irrelevant to whether or not you pay it. It's been a while, but I've taken a MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin) and bill of sale to the DMV and got my tags without the dealer. I just find it  interesting that some dealers have it pre printed on the purchase agreement and the salesman will say "I'm not allowed to take it off since it's printed there..." OK, then take $500 off the sales price. Same ned result; though if he or she is on commission based on the price above a certain base then they lose a few bucks.

Comment 16 hours ago

CarMax, however does provide a ceiling on a price so you know to start and end lower; you should never pay more than a similar car at CarMax's price, even if you live in X and CarMax has that car 2000 miles away since they'll ship it for fee to where you are. One pricing advantage CarMax has is they can move cars and trucks to areas with the highest resale, so while moving them costs money they also can take advantage of pricing knowledge and volume that a dealer can't.

There should be no document fee, that's just added profit;  which is why I insist on a bottom line price without any last minute additions. I agree on checking every available pricing option so you know what is a good price; including the guides banks use to see loan and wholesale values. By walking in with a price in mind you have framed your position in your mind and are more likely to make a deal close to that, provided you aren't being unrealistic about a cars value, and are more likely to walk away from a bad deal. 

As for loans, check with your credit union to get a loan so you know what rates and terms you can get, while dealers have relationships with lenders they also have an incentive to get the best deal for them, not you. I do suggest you let them check on financing and negotiate a bottom line price before agreeing to finance through them since if they are making cash off the finance deal they may knock a little off the price and then if you have a better deal through another lender you can simply turn down the financing and still have the extra price break.

I'm not saying that works every time, but it works for me. In the end, it's all about being educated and willing to walk away from a bad deal no matter how much you like a car.

Comment 28 Jul 2015

A used 3 is in your range but be sure to see what warranty is left and consider ho long you plan to keep as maintenance costs can be high.

Comment 27 Jul 2015

Not a suggestion on a car as many have made good ones, my comment is on buying strategy:

1. Look for a good used, low mileage 1 year old or so car with the warranty still good. A dealer demonstrator or loaner can be a good deal as well. You can avoid the first year depreciation and give the mileage you drive you will probably hit the mileage cap before you hit the time cap on many warranties, so the loss of a year isn't that big a deal.

2. Know the prices on cars. CarMax is a good place to find what the going price is for a used vehicle, but also a good way to determine what is a really good price for a new one as well. the closer you get to that the better the deal. If your insurance company, Costco, etc. offer car buying services check out their prices was well. Consumers Reports has an online pricing guide as well. Avoid Kelly Blue Book as the commercial version, unless it has changed, is different than the one used in trade, although your bank or credit union can let you see the real one.

3. Separate the trade in from the purchase. If yo have a trade, see what CarMax will give you for it, that sets a floor for what you should get for a dealer. If you first negotiate the price of the car an detain decide to add a trade you will get a better idea of what kind of a deal you are getting. It's easy to add a grand to the trade in when you've added $1500 to the sale price.

4. Always negotiate the bottom line price, with only tax added to the it. That $500 dealer document prep fee that is printed in on the contract "and can't be removed" should be included in the negotiated price. I had a dealer try to add that in on a car I was buying and when I said no , he first hedged and when I got up to walk out he said "you're not going to blow this deal over $500, are you?" I sad, "No, you are." He relented.  If a car is hot you won't get a deal but for others there is negotiation room; never fall in love with a particular car.

5. "Dealer Invoice" has no resemblance to what the cost of the car is to the dealer, with all the holdbacks and incentives manufacturers offer. It's a good tool to make you feel like you are getting a deal, like Bama's claiming every National Championship any paper gave them makes their fans feel better about how many NC's they've won.

6. Remember, you are selling your money, not buying a car. Be willing to walk away from deal. If you are close, you'll have a call on your phone before you get home trying to get you back in to buy as dealer know once you leave you probably won't come back. You're going to buy a car, you just don't need to buy THAT one and with a little work can get a good deal.

Comment 26 Jul 2015

There goes our changes at a repeat since our best players will be worrying about their draft stock and not giving 100% during the game. At least we play in an easy conference so we won't be worn out when we play in the CFP.

There, did I miss any excuses? I hope they become high picks; they'll leave behind a legacy for others to follow as they pursue their dreams.

Comment 26 Jul 2015

I think an early signing period, along with an NCAA rule that once a kid signs early he counts against the 85 limit even if he does not qualify academically or medically. That would mean early offers would have to be serious ones; I also think any early offers out to be commitable by default. Make those expensive bullets so coaches think twice before pulling the trigger. It also manes they would have to decide how bad they want a kid because other coaches may make an early offer; and not making one would tell a kid he is not high on their priority list.

Comment 25 Jul 2015

Hats of and an UV to you. The much smarter and more beautiful Mrs OSU78 is a SPED teacher as well. I couldn't do her job and put up with the nonsense she does. She loves her kids and they are great, but the administration, bureaucracy and some parents would drive me nuts.

Comment 24 Jul 2015

Not familiar with OSU online classes but I would guess they are pretty solid given its reputation. The real question is what do you want to do and how does that further your goals?

I'm guessing BAH hired you because of your clearances and military background. I'd ask some of your senior folks what would help you best in your career. A degree? a PMP cert?  What will they pay for? I'm not trying to discourage you from attending tOSU but trying  to put it in context of your goals.

Comment 23 Jul 2015

agree in theory, the problem is the stadiums all book in advance and nobody would know the venue until too late to organize it.

It really wouldn't be that different than now. In an 8 team playoff, OSU/UA/UO/FSU would all play round one at home, so no travel would be required for 4 teams.  It essentially becomes 1 more home game for the top 4 teams.

Personally, I'd like to see 8 16 team super conferences which gives each conference champ entry into an 8 team playoff.

Comment 21 Jul 2015

While he was not squeaky clean, in fairness to Lou, only 2 of the 17 at Minn occurred under him; the Kim Dunbar scandal at ND wasn't his doing but he and has staff knew of it and failed to properly investigate and thus ND was sanctioned, and USC was for extra workouts and tutoring violations. In the grand scheme of things he was no worse, and much better , than many coaches.

Look at Woody, he got OSU on probation for paying players, and Tressel was involved with Tatgate so are you embarrassed they are from Ohio as well? After all, they also broke the rules to win as well.

tl;dr: We all have our flaws the question is does the good outweigh the bad?

Comment 20 Jul 2015

You can't go wrong checking out Monterey. Of course, if you're willing to drive a few miles.

Roger that. Drive down the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy) from the City, through Half Moon Bay, and enjoy the view.

Comment 20 Jul 2015

I case you are interested the Smithsonian is running a Kickstarter to restore and preserve Neal Armstrong's space suit:


Comment 20 Jul 2015

No matter what you carry my one piece of advice is to practice using it. Hitting a target, especially when you are excited, is a lot harder than it looks.