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Old 02-09-2013, 02:36 AM   #32
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Location: Escondido, CA
What I Drive: 2014 White Plat. Fusion 1.6L stick

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IMO buying can be pretty simple. Preparation is key for good pricing and is worth the time IMO.
1. get any necessary financing lined up in advance if possible
2. be prepared to walk away
3. if possible, sell your old car separately -- it's worth the hassle!
4. look up MSRP, invoice and dealer "inventory on hand" from ford web site. Visit the dealers who physically have what you're looking for.
5. determine your requirements vs. nice-to-haves -- in my case, SE, stick shift, one of 3 colors, no MFT or spoiler; sunroof optional. Some flexibility helps. I don't necessarily communicate all of this to the dealer ahead of time -- if it's there, I'll usually find it in the looking stage.
6. know your eligible incentives (from the internet mostly). Call Ford marketing if you need clarification.
7. check out the local ads for loss leaders

Now you're ready to play -- you know what they have and should have a pretty good idea of what you can buy it for. The ideal deal will be simple with no trade and no financing issues. Realistically, invoice minus incentives, depending on time of year. End of month, end of quarter, end of year and major holidays typically best.

I've bought several new cars and found this method to work well. For my recent Focus for example, end of calendar year; MSRP $19,585; local Ford rebates $3395; dealer discount $1890; net price $14,300; T&L $1705; out the door at $16, 005. This was at the second dealer and I was half way out the door to the third. Remember, every dealer is different, with different motivations. Other than "Private Cash" there were no special discounts, no internet deals, no extra add ons and this was not a "loss leader" (which can even be better if it's close to the car you want).

If any salesmen were dissatisfied for not having a big enough wage, they never acted like it or whined about it. No doubt they work hard for their paycheck but their salary/commission/bonus is between them and their dealer and none of my business. But if the salesman is good, I'll go out of my way to buy again from him if possible.
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