The best you can ask for is a fair price. Dealers are in the business of making money (at least they try). If you don't allow them to make a profit they will not be there tomorrow.
I see people boasting about getting a car for less than cost. That makes others feel like they are getting a bad deal when they don't get a car for less than cost. Well if everyone was getting a car for less than cost the dealers would be out of business.
IMO the people that are getting a car for less than coast are usually lying or at the very least not telling the full truth. I know with rebates and manufacturer promos to the dealers it is possible to get a great deal, but dealers cant loose money on selling cars and hope to make it up on volume.
I paid slightly more for my car from a local reputable dealer as compared to a highway / internet dealer. The difference over the three year loan amounts to practically pennies.
Support your local dealer today or they may not be around tomorrow .....
In the end treat people the way you want to be treated.
Less then cost? Sure it's possible sometimes but not very common.
An example of where we'd go negative to make a deal happen, if there was a mistake on the vehicle or something similar and it was negatively impacting our image we'll take a hit. Our image is important to a dealer as it is to any other business.
Or another example end of month, need a few more units to make quota or hit a goal I'll take a loss. But for 95% of the time I'm going make a profit. A reasonable one that I can feed myself off of and live a decent life.
Now at the same time, there is also getting ripped off. And you don't want that.