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Completed my deal yesterday on silver RTL w/Navi. Did all my negotiating via the web using the advise put forth here in the forums by other club members. Thanks much for the tips, guys!

Using the internet made this auto purchase my best experience ever. I live in the SF Bay Area (East Bay), and have the good fortune of having at least 10 honda dealerships within 35 miles of me. I sent out email inquiries to seven dealerships. Of the six that replied, two were dropped quickly because their quotes were unrealistically high and I sensed they were just "trolling". The other four negotiated, and ultimately I had two very competitive quotes. One thing I did in my negotiations was NOT to share other competitors quotes, until purchase day. This "scared" two of the four off near the end, because when they would write "I don't want to get into a bidding contest with other dealerships, just show me your best price quote and I'll beat it by $100." Recommend that you don't fall for this "trick". I replied back to those two sales people by stating "in fairness to the competition and to the competitive bid process, I prefer you simply provide me with your best and final offer, if you desire". Of course negotiating via the internet with multiple dealerships is a bidding contest! And those two sales people knew that, and just didn't want to compete. The internet really levels the playing field for the us the consumers if we don't fall for the above sales line of "just show me your best price and I'll beat it by $100". If the sales person doesn't want to compete, drop them from you list and move on, because they are simply trying to cut the negotiations as early as possible, and ride on the other sales persons back with the "I'll beat it by $100" sales line. Keep 'em honest and make them compete, or boot 'em.

The two sales people that I ultimately worked with over the course of various emails for five days were very professional, knowledgeable and competitive. I negotiated the base price first, and after that was established, I negotiated the accessories as a package (tow package, running boards, body side protectors, auto day/night mirror, and backup camera). I would keep them informed if they were "competitive" and still being considered. I never made them an "offer" until the actual day I went to the dealership with the intent to buy if the price and conditions were right. Although I actually had a better price from one dealership after I asked for and received everyone's best and final offer, I went to another dealership with a better reputation and which was closer (and offered shuttle rides during service / repair). At this dealership I met with the internet sales person I had been negotiating with, explained that it was D Day (Decision Day), and asked him to meet the better price quote from the local dealer. This was the only time I actually talked price and shared my best offer quote between dealerships. I politely explained that I wasn't there to continue negotiations ("haggle"), that I had a price they had to meet (there was a $300 difference), or I would continue down the road to their friendly competitor. The dealership met the price, in effect, accepting my offer, and I was out of their in under an hour and a half (no trade in). Absolutely the best auto buying experience I had ever "endured". I did not show them the emails from the other dealership, and would not have even if they had asked, because that's just not the right way to do business in my opinion. I wasn't buffing, and guess they knew that. I feel I got a terrific price, and didn't have to endure the old school sales tactics on the dealership's turf.

My tactics / method seemed to work well because I live in an area with lots of dealers who have to be competitive with one another. I did not talk with the sales people by phone. Early on, when some said "call me", I replied back that I preferred negotiating by email. Some of the dealerships required my phone number when applying for the first quote. Two sales people immediately called me, and I carefully explained that I desired to do all negotiations by email and not verbally over the phone. One seemed miffed and tried to start giving me a sales pitch anyway, and I just politely reminded him to email me if he was interested in my business, and hung up.

If you are in the SF Bay Area and are interested in the dealerships I worked with, email me.

Good luck with your purchases! In my locale I discovered that there is now a good bit of room to negotiate price, and came in well under invoice.

Now I get to spend the weekend reading through the manuals and "learning" my new truck.

Thanks again to the club members for sharing their experiences. I hope to make my own contributions in different forums in the ROC!

Regards, Terry
 

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Congratulations on your purchase and the deal that you got. You will have a hard time wiping the smile off your face everytime that you sit in the truck! :)
 
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Congratulations Terry!! Enjoy the ride.
Welcome to the ROC family. We're glad you're here!! :)
 

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Welcome aboard Akatwn! Great job and thanks for the details of your purchase experience. I know that you will be enjoying your new ride.

Back-at-ya Ladyridge, we are glad you are here! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the "welcomes" guys! Much appreciated.

IRT to shingles and arteegee, I did indeed come in well under invoice (not MSRP). The dealerships are quite competitive in my locale, I was not rushed, bargained at the end of the month purposely, stayed focused, didn't bluff, didn't fall for what I'm calling the internet sales person's "trick" of "just show me your best offer in writing and I'll beat that by $100" BS. I saw how many trucks were sitting on all the dealerships lots (including their "back" or supplemental lots, which you can find with a little effort by just driving around in the area), and got the feeling that the RTL w/Navi wasn't selling as well as the dealerships thought. In fact, I asked for price quotes on both the RTL and the RTL w/Navi. I don't fall in love with any vehicle, just horses and bass boats and a few good women, so I don't get emotional about the things. My gut told me the RTL was a quality truck which would fit my needs, and if I could get it at a price I liked, this month or next year, then I'd go for it. I do think the Ridgeline is going to be a big hit for Honda, and that the truck will be the new benchmark for midsize trucks for the next few years. At the end of a week of negotiations via email, the RTL w/Navi was further under invoice (using Edmunds invoice quote) than the RTL. Some of my bargaining techniques are intangibles which are hard to define (because I'm a native Texan misplaced in California lol ), so I guess my personality plays in there as well, especially on Decision Day face to face with the sales person. One thing I don't won't to deal with is a sales person who is a Texan, because we'd end up in a fist fight with the lights out lol! All in all, I probably just got lucky with my deal with regards to inventory timing and having the good fortune to see it. The key to my deal, as I expressed in my original email, was doing all my research and bargaining on the web. BTW, dealerships can make money selling any vehicle under invoice due to the dealer "carryback" deal, which I've learned through the ROC forums. So, in effect, the invoice is already ponied/doctored up. The automobile industry, at least the smart companies like Honda who are still making money, have evolved and developed a new marketing ploy (dealer carryback) to artifically feather the invoice. At least that's the way I'm seeing it. Regards, Terry
 

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T Mac, thanks much for the welcome, and SPECIAL THANKS for being the this site's administrator and founder! Terrific site! Well done. Regards, Terry
 

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Welcome aboard! Sounds like you made a good deal but at the very least you got the right color!! I'm a misplaced New Yorker in Texas and so I know very well what you mean. Actually, I've been in Texas for 30 years and my northern "accent" is almost gone - but they can still spot a "Yankee" a mile away!
 

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Good Job ,

Its nice to see someone listens.
Must be your good roots from the
GREAT STATE OF TEXAS,


BAJA
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys.

Baja, I went back through the forum threads and discovered it was you indeed who had provided the forum with such good internet purchasing advice...advice which I took to heart and was able to apply during my purchasing experience. I salute you! :D Regards, Terry
 
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