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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Auto Buying Service?

Has anyone had a successful experience buying a Pilot via a Buying Service, like United Buying Service (UBS) or Costco's auto program?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 03:40 PM
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When I was looking for my Pilot a few months ago, I checked with Costco and there were no special prices offered for the Pilot.

Goes to show those econ classes we took weren't total crap.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by Pilot4Biking
When I was looking for my Pilot, I checked with Costco and there were no special prices offered for the Pilot.
Ditto. No deals on the Pilot from the local dealers through the Costco program, in in 10/02 when I started shopping for our Pilot.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 04:25 PM
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I believe 74PILOTMOM used the Costco service. She just had a new baby so it may be difficult to get in touch with her though.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 05:06 PM
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When I made my purchase the area dealers were getting MSRP and pre-selling all inbound units. My better half just happened to pick up a brochure about the car buying service from our then newly opened Costco. I sent them an e-mail inquiry and within 24 hrs I had a response from a dealership about an hour from me indicating they had two Pilots in stock (which, at the time, I seriously doubted). I gave the internet salesperson a call on his cell - he wanted me to drive there the following day to discuss pricing, etc. but I told him I was not going to drive just to get a price so he gave me a verbal quote. Since it was nearly 10PM then, I told him I would like to think about it and would get back with him before noon the following day. Next morning I called the salesman at the closer dealership I had been dealing with (on and off) for nearly two months and told him I wanted a quote for the next inbound RRP EXL with X accessories (same as what was already on the other in stock unit at the other dealership). Althought he indicated he was giving me a break on the accessories, the price quote he gave me was more than 1200 higher. I told him of my verbal deal and let him know that if he could meet that price, I would buy from him as I was not in a rush to get one and he was closer to me. After a couple hours, he called back and said his sales manager would not budge. So I called the internet salesperson back, reconfirmed the specifics of the verbal quote, drove to the dealership (while they were completing the prep), did the paperwork, and drove our new Pilot home. A couple days later I received a satisfaction survey questionare from Costco and discovered the salesman was suppose to have show me Costco's special price sheet and the unit's invoice which he did not do. When I visited them a week later (to get the pin stripping done) I asked the General Manager (salesperson and sales mgr were off) but he wouldn't do it claiming he was unaware of any requirements and in any event, they did not disclose their invoice information and I must have been mistaken. He really torqued me off! Next day I called Costco HQ and spoke with the auto sales program manager concerning my episode with the dealership GM. She told me up front that the agreement they had with that dealership on Pilots was for $700 off MSRP and went on to say that they only had a few such agreements nationwide due to the popularity of the Pilot. She said Costco would also be in contact with the GM concerning the requirements of the Costco program. I was glad to learn that the dealership didn't give me the fid but I am still dumbfounded as to why they just simply didn't give me the info I asked them for and were suppose to provide in the first place. I think a couple other members here bought their Pilots under the Costco program - seem to recall someone on the West Coast within the past couple of months indicating they got $500 off. Its probably worth the time to check into it but it appears some dealers are cutting some very good deals directly with the buyers.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 06:08 PM
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I've had previous success using UBS (United Buying Service), but currently, there are NO Pilots pre-negotiated with UBS. I've also been able to beat the UBS price sometimes (depends on how popular the vehicle is and how badly the dealer wants to dump his inventory).

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2003, 06:41 PM
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Re: Auto Buying Service?

Originally posted by Bigrob
Has anyone had a successful experience buying a Pilot via a Buying Service, like United Buying Service (UBS) or Costco's auto program?
I had an experience with United Buying Service but I don't know if it could properly be termed a "success." Judge for yourself....


When I was seriously Pilot-shopping in late Nov.-early Dec., I became increasingly disappointed, since EVERY dealership I checked with in my general area wanted AT LEAST MSRP, and a couple were asking $1000 above MSRP. I tried a couple of internet-based buying and another whose name escapes me--but basically got nowhere, since the salesmen wouldn't quote me prices on the phone or supply them via email. In the meantime, I ordered a Consumer Reports Price Report on the Pilot, but all it really said was "expect to pay MSRP for vehicles that are extremely popular or in short supply."

I contact UBS as last resort

Finally, kind of despairing about discounts, I contacted United Buying Service, which ASSURED me that I could buy the Pilot (AND accessories) at a discount working through their network of dealers. UBS sent me the name of ONE dealership about 50 mi. away...saying that only one area Honda dealer had consented to work with them to give lower prices on the tremendously popular Pilot. I made an appt. to see the salesman I was told to visit in person. He indeed opened a UBS book and quoted non-negotiable "reduced UBS prices" for the vehicle and accessories my husband and I wanted. The base Pilot EX was quoted at $29,075, but the accessory prices (which he emphasized were INSTALLED prices) quoted were higher than those given on the HONDA website and also higher than an earlier quote from another dealer. (Though I realize now that the website and the other dealer's prices probably DIDN'T include installation.) Oh, and he would need a $500 deposit for dibs on a Silver EX scheduled for delivery 2 months later. My husband and I, thinking this was the best mere mortals could do, said OK, we're seriously interested but want to mull it over the weekend and left $500 with the guy pending our final decision on Monday.

Whoa, not so fast with UBS.......

On the way home, on a whim, we stopped by Criswell, a new Honda dealership that I pretty much had eliminated from consideration, since I was SURE they'd want outrageous money for a Pilot!! Turned out, this dealer had EXACTLY the Pilot we wanted on the lot!!! We asked Criswell to match the UBS price on the vehicle, and they readily did so. But it was a fight about the accessory the end, Criswell's final price was still about $200 more than we were quoted at the UBS-affiliated dealer. But....Criswell offered a good interest rate (3.62, I believe), and there was no wait for the car. So, we went ahead and finalized the purchase with them, driiving our silver baby home that evening!!!!. (I do think we made a mistake in not asking Criswell to BEAT the UBS affiliate's price rather than match it, but oh well....).


The UBS-affiliated salesman tore up our $500 check on Monday. He wouldn't have been able to match the interest rate we got, so he said......

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2003, 12:40 PM
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I talked to Costco and the nearest dealer in the program was about 3 hours away. I called and they would give $500 off MSRP. Local dealers wouldn't even do that much. Then I started reading online about people getting better buys from dealers out of state. Last Saturday I emailed a bunch saying I would buy from the lowest priced dealer. I provided the exact model I wanted. They had one shot to hit me with their best price. By the end of the day I had heard from most of the dealers I contacted. I waited until Monday morning, to think about it a little more, and then called the one I selected. They faxed the papers and I pick up the car in a week or so. So much easier than going from dealer to dealer.

Starting out I assumed Costco would come through for me. I did much better on my own.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2003, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, ironically I think Costco's buying service is really more of a "selling service", another way for car dealers to reach buyers. They get a piece of the action from the dealer as opposed to a true buying service that aggregates demand and places all deals with the best negotiated price.

Still, thought I would check to see if there were some success stories out there. Probably would provide a nice service for a lower-demand car, at least to get a quick starting point.
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