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Discussion Starter #1
How did you purchase your Pilot?

Did you walk into the dealership and speak with a salesman?

Or, did you send in a purchase request from a dealer website? or 3rd party site, like Autoweb?

If you did use the Internet to make your initial contact, how was that experience? What could be changed to make it better?
 

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Purchase Experience

I bought my Pilot in early June, just about a week after they were initially released. I needed a car immediatly and I really wanted the Pilot. I called the dealer who had a Pilot that had just been cancelled by another purchaser. I knew I'd have to pay MSRP, which the dealer was willing to accept, so I bought it sight unseen. The salesman took my credit card over the phone for a $500 deposit. Since I knew I'd be paying MSRP there was no negotiation on price. This would probably be the most painful part of buying the car for me, so I found that once I agreed on a price, and I had no problem paying MSRP for the Pilot, the experience was smooth and nice. I really didn't like the idea of haggling back and forth over the price so, since I didn't have to, I could focus on getting excited about getting my Pilot.

I guess what you can take from my experience is if you are able to simplify the negotiation process some customers would be happier.

Evergreen
 

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Pilot purchase

We looked at them the day before they were released in June. Fell in love! We knew we wanted the Navi, but didn't chose a color that day. We looked at several dealers to pick a color & decided on the red, but no one had one with Navi. We managed to get a list of where all the red Navi's were expected to be delivered in this state. There were only 3 already delivered, all in SoCal. I called one & it was still available. They paid the airfare & we flew down & drove it home. They'd added the chrome & we tried very hard to not be closed minded about it even though we hadn't planned on adding that. Now we like it! They'd put on the cross bars & running boards, which we wanted anyway. They charged us MSRP for the Pilot, but discounted a bit on the other stuff. Our only complaint was they spelled the name wrong on the tickets & on the papers & we had to do some correcting to fly & again to finish the deal. The ones sent to American Honda didn't get fixed by them & I had to call them up myself.

Before we got the list I did try to search online & came up with nothing because there was none here. I did have a few dealers emailing me for a while about whether or not I'd "settle" for another color or model. One messed up all together & sent Oddessy info!

We felt we were dealt with fairly. This was Honda of Corona. Our purchase was on Aug 2nd. So it took 2 months from start to finish.

I agree about taking out price negotiations making a smoother deal!

We love this thing!!! It has been everything we wanted, plus....:2:
 

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Our Buying Experience

My wife and I started looking for our new PILOT in July, and decided that we wanted the Sagebrush Pearl-EX. As many of you know, that color was EXTREEEEEEEEEMELY rare around the time, and many dealers told me it would be September before any of the Sagebrush Pearls would be showing up.

I called the HONDA dealers in the state of Colorado, where my wife and I live. I told them the color and all of them said they could put me on a list, but it would be Feb '03 before I'd get mine, because of the huge waiting list of buyers.

Called, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada car dealers to see if anyone would have our car by at least the end of September. We found one that was supposed to be arriving at Shack-Findlay Honda in Las Vegas, NV by early October. That was the closest time anyone could give me. I put a deposit down, and the dealer called me at the beginning of September and told me mine would be in by Sept. 5, 02 - made arrangments to get a one way flight to Las Vegas and on Sept. 14th - picked up our brand new "ride."

Shack-Findlay was awesome. They didn't have to sell me on the PILOT, because like many of you probably did, you had your homework completed.

Shack-Findlay (Kevin Jones) made buying my PILOT the best experience I've ever had buying a car. I arrived in Las Vegas at 10am and by noon I was driving off in my new PILOT. That time includes travel time from the airport, time in the finance office and getting the "walkaround" and "introduction" from my salesperson.
 

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Shopped local, bought elsewhere

As with all of our Honda/Acura purchases, we have always shopped locally, and bought where we could get the best price. In the case of the Pilot, we did our business with a dealer 350 miles away mostly over the phone. When the vehicle arrived, my wife flew over, the salesperson picked her up at the airport, closed the deal and she drove home.
 

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We first test-drove one at a nearby dealership and fell in love, but thought it waaay to pricey for our means.

We then test-drove other stuff and realized that the Pilot was well worth every penny.

We tried negotiating a price with one dealer who lowballed us on our trade and wouldn't budge off MSRP because of the "fair" offer on our trade (which was 1500 under blue book).

I then went through AAA's buying service and got offers from out-of-town dealers that were $500 under MSRP. I then called the local dealer where we first test-drove our Pilot and asked them to match the $500-under-MSRP. They did. I then got them to pay blue book on my trade. Good deal.

All done over the phone. Went in one Saturday to sign paperwork.

Our saleswoman was very helpful and called when the VIN was in and called when the Pilot arrived - a week before she thought it would! (Ah the benefits of being so close to Alliston, ON).

Really turned out to be the best and most hassle-free experience I've had.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BuffaloNY said:
We first test-drove one at a nearby dealership and fell in love, but thought it waaay to pricey for our means.

We then test-drove other stuff and realized that the Pilot was well worth every penny.

We tried negotiating a price with one dealer who lowballed us on our trade and wouldn't budge off MSRP because of the "fair" offer on our trade (which was 1500 under blue book).

I then went through AAA's buying service and got offers from out-of-town dealers that were $500 under MSRP. I then called the local dealer where we first test-drove our Pilot and asked them to match the $500-under-MSRP. They did. I then got them to pay blue book on my trade. Good deal.

All done over the phone. Went in one Saturday to sign paperwork.

Our saleswoman was very helpful and called when the VIN was in and called when the Pilot arrived - a week before she thought it would! (Ah the benefits of being so close to Alliston, ON).

Really turned out to be the best and most hassle-free experience I've had.
Thats great!

By the way, you should be glad that you got Blue Book for your trade, as trades for the past 4-6 weeks have been totally horrible. The used car market is totally depressed right now. The Big 4 have brought it on themselves.
 

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We purchased ours a week ago today. Forunately my husband works at dealership that had five on their lot when we started looking. I really knew nothing about them but feel in love with the interior room, center console and everything about it. That day I stopped at two other dealers and soon found out how rare they are. Both dealers that I stopped at only had one demo, none on the lot for sale. Well needless to say we quickly got working with my husbands work on seeing if they would even sell him one. We didn't get as good a deal as employees usually get but we did pay less than sticker and feel we got a great suv for a great price. We purchased a Sage Brush Pearl EX.
 

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After shopping around for several months because I didn't want to pay MSRP or better for a Pilot, I finally got a dealer who was willing to accept my below MSRP offer and now I'm just reading this forum as I wait on my Pilot to come in.

I did try the internet route but I found that to be a waste of time. From my experiences most dealers don't even respond to internet inquiries. Also, I found that many Honda dealers who have inventory on their web site isn't accurate.
 

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I did try the internet route but I found that to be a waste of time. From my experiences most dealers don't even respond to internet inquiries.
That's too bad. Our most recent purchase started with an internet quote, and we made sure to let the dealership know how much we liked having that option.
 

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My Buying Experience:


My wifes car kind of crapped out the week before we're ready to go on vacation in August. We wanted a bigger vehicle anyway. I never heard of the pilot but as it turned out, in our auto section of the local newspaper, they did a write up of the pilot. I went and looked and immediattely new that's what I wanted. I called approximately 15-20 dealers around CT, and Mass,but no one had one on the lot. I could order one but that would take four to six weeks. I'm looking at the highlander all bummed out and then i remember that I forgot one dealer, Bill Curry Honda in chicopee mass. The salesman says you're in luck, they just got three off the hauler that morning at 8:30. It's now 9:30 when I called, and I get there at 10:00. They had two silver EX-L's, and one Sage EX-L. I test drove the Sage, and had my deposit down by 10:30. I finish the paper work by 11:00, and the manager tells me that by 11:00, all three were sold. He told me point blank, don't try to get below MSRP, because "I'll have it sold by the end of the day". And I believed him because i knew that as i was test driving mine, the other two were on the road with test drives. It was a great transaction, no head games, very pleasant, here it is do you want it? The only problem that i had was this dealer told me that it was there policy to add the towing package, even if you did'nt want it, there policy was to add it to all new pilots, take it or leave it. Has this happened to any body else? I'm happy I have it though.
 

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We purchased our Pilot yesterday and will take delivery later this week. It is a Sagebrush pearl EX-L with Navi. We drove over from the bay area to Stockton to deal with Stockton Honda. I must say they did a great job and I left feeling satisifed that I got as good or better of a deal than I had hoped for.

I had done my research and had a CarsDirect.com quote with me. When I ran it through yesterday CarsDirect was quoting $100 below MSRP. I showed that quote to Stockton Honda and asked why I should purchase the Pilot from them. Their answer was, "Because we can beat that price", and they did knocking several hundred dollars off the MSRP. We talked options and I had with me a price list from www.hondaacuraworld.com. They matched the internet price for each option, (wood steering wheel, wood shift knob, CD changer, mud flaps, cargo tray, cargo cover, etc.) I can install everything except the steering wheel so we negotiated an installation price that is below Honda's suggested price for installing the steering wheel alone, and Stockton Honda offered to install ALL the options for that one installation price. That wasn't a big concession cause most of those install easily, but hey, they did me a favor and I appreciated it. For the trade-in, a 97 CRV, I had the kbb.com quote for trade in value and I had chosen excellent condition. They weren't too keen on accepting the excellent, wanting instead to use "good" condition, which took ~ $700 off the trade in value. We split the difference in the two trade in values, plus they knocked another hundred off the Pilot. We signed the papers.

I have the VIN and the Pilot is sitting at the port, (about 75 miles away). It should be delivered today or tomorrow, and they need one day to install the options. Then we'll drive over and drop off the CRV and pick up the Pilot.

I've got to tell you, I've never had such a car buying experience.
 

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MJRaposa said:
We purchased our Pilot yesterday and will take delivery later this week. It is a Sagebrush pearl EX-L with Navi. We drove over from the bay area to Stockton to deal with Stockton Honda. I must say they did a great job and I left feeling satisifed that I got as good or better of a deal than I had hoped for.
Hey MJR...
That was some wheelin' and dealin' you did there! Glad to hear you got somewhere and walked away satisfied. :cool:

If you have your VIN already... stop on over at the the Vin Table thread and say hello to Havasu, our official Keeper of the Vins.
http://www.honda-pilot.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=921
Even though you don't have all your Pilot info yet - at least you'll be 'on the board' and you can post the addt'l info once you pick up your (great color choice :D: ) Pilot.

Keep us posted on delivery! How exciting!! :2:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
MJRaposa said:
We purchased our Pilot yesterday and will take delivery later this week. It is a Sagebrush pearl EX-L with Navi. We drove over from the bay area to Stockton to deal with Stockton Honda. I must say they did a great job and I left feeling satisifed that I got as good or better of a deal than I had hoped for.

I had done my research and had a CarsDirect.com quote with me. When I ran it through yesterday CarsDirect was quoting $100 below MSRP. I showed that quote to Stockton Honda and asked why I should purchase the Pilot from them. Their answer was, "Because we can beat that price", and they did knocking several hundred dollars off the MSRP. We talked options and I had with me a price list from www.hondaacuraworld.com. They matched the internet price for each option, (wood steering wheel, wood shift knob, CD changer, mud flaps, cargo tray, cargo cover, etc.) I can install everything except the steering wheel so we negotiated an installation price that is below Honda's suggested price for installing the steering wheel alone, and Stockton Honda offered to install ALL the options for that one installation price. That wasn't a big concession cause most of those install easily, but hey, they did me a favor and I appreciated it. For the trade-in, a 97 CRV, I had the kbb.com quote for trade in value and I had chosen excellent condition. They weren't too keen on accepting the excellent, wanting instead to use "good" condition, which took ~ $700 off the trade in value. We split the difference in the two trade in values, plus they knocked another hundred off the Pilot. We signed the papers.

I have the VIN and the Pilot is sitting at the port, (about 75 miles away). It should be delivered today or tomorrow, and they need one day to install the options. Then we'll drive over and drop off the CRV and pick up the Pilot.

I've got to tell you, I've never had such a car buying experience.
Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
MJRaposa said:
We purchased our Pilot yesterday and will take delivery later this week. It is a Sagebrush pearl EX-L with Navi. We drove over from the bay area to Stockton to deal with Stockton Honda. I must say they did a great job and I left feeling satisifed that I got as good or better of a deal than I had hoped for.

I had done my research and had a CarsDirect.com quote with me. When I ran it through yesterday CarsDirect was quoting $100 below MSRP. I showed that quote to Stockton Honda and asked why I should purchase the Pilot from them. Their answer was, "Because we can beat that price", and they did knocking several hundred dollars off the MSRP. We talked options and I had with me a price list from www.hondaacuraworld.com. They matched the internet price for each option, (wood steering wheel, wood shift knob, CD changer, mud flaps, cargo tray, cargo cover, etc.) I can install everything except the steering wheel so we negotiated an installation price that is below Honda's suggested price for installing the steering wheel alone, and Stockton Honda offered to install ALL the options for that one installation price. That wasn't a big concession cause most of those install easily, but hey, they did me a favor and I appreciated it. For the trade-in, a 97 CRV, I had the kbb.com quote for trade in value and I had chosen excellent condition. They weren't too keen on accepting the excellent, wanting instead to use "good" condition, which took ~ $700 off the trade in value. We split the difference in the two trade in values, plus they knocked another hundred off the Pilot. We signed the papers.

I have the VIN and the Pilot is sitting at the port, (about 75 miles away). It should be delivered today or tomorrow, and they need one day to install the options. Then we'll drive over and drop off the CRV and pick up the Pilot.

I've got to tell you, I've never had such a car buying experience.
I forgot to add...make sure your salesman gets 5's on the Honda telephone survey.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rainbowslim said:
After shopping around for several months because I didn't want to pay MSRP or better for a Pilot, I finally got a dealer who was willing to accept my below MSRP offer and now I'm just reading this forum as I wait on my Pilot to come in.

I did try the internet route but I found that to be a waste of time. From my experiences most dealers don't even respond to internet inquiries. Also, I found that many Honda dealers who have inventory on their web site isn't accurate.

I know what you mean about dealers not responding to Internet inquiries. I regularly seek quotes form dealerships...this helps me to keep my pricing competetive. Ther are some dealerships that dont really care.

You mentioned that dealerships on line inventory isn't really accurate. I would agree with that. To keep your inventory accurate, takes WORK! No joke. Here is a little FYI:
Dealerships use a computer network that is either from Reynolds and Reynolds or ADP. R&R is to car dealers like Microsoft is to computers. They have been around for a very long time, they are BIG and SLOW...especially to change.

When a dealership receives a new car form the factory, it has to be "checked into inventory" in the R&R system. This is usually done by a 'lot attendant', you know, the guy that cleans cars, does odd jobs etc. Aftre that is finished, Accounting enters in the figures about the invoice price, MSRP, PDI charges etc. This takes about 24 hours for the system to cycle the numbers and show it as inventory.

You'll have to pardon me, my daughter is just waking up, and its time for Dad (me) to get busy...I'll finish later. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Jerry Murray said:



I know what you mean about dealers not responding to Internet inquiries. I regularly seek quotes form dealerships...this helps me to keep my pricing competetive. Ther are some dealerships that dont really care.

You mentioned that dealerships on line inventory isn't really accurate. I would agree with that. To keep your inventory accurate, takes WORK! No joke. Here is a little FYI:
Dealerships use a computer network that is either from Reynolds and Reynolds or ADP. R&R is to car dealers like Microsoft is to computers. They have been around for a very long time, they are BIG and SLOW...especially to change.

When a dealership receives a new car form the factory, it has to be "checked into inventory" in the R&R system. This is usually done by a 'lot attendant', you know, the guy that cleans cars, does odd jobs etc. Aftre that is finished, Accounting enters in the figures about the invoice price, MSRP, PDI charges etc. This takes about 24 hours for the system to cycle the numbers and show it as inventory.

You'll have to pardon me, my daughter is just waking up, and its time for Dad (me) to get busy...I'll finish later. :)
ok, daughter duties are finished...

Once the car is in inventory, then I take and re-price it for our website. This will take an additional 24 hours for it to go through the system. See what I mean? If I have a pricing change, like I did yesterday with 2003 Accords, then I go through each and every car that is to be changed and re-do them.

Can you see why most dealerships DONT have updated pricing on their web sites? Not to mention that a lot of dealerships wont price cars on their site...because of SHOPPERS. OOOOHHHH the evil SHOPPERS! I had one salesman call me (after I placed an online inquiry) and he flat out told me that they WILL NOT give me an on-the-road price quote because it would encourage "price shopping"

I hope this helps explain why dealerships web sites are the way they are.
 

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MJRaposa said:
I had done my research and had a CarsDirect.com quote with me. When I ran it through yesterday CarsDirect was quoting $100 below MSRP.
That's amazing!! Here in Florida, when I price ANY Pilot through carsdirect.com, it comes back at $5,000 over MSRP!!! :eek: I never knew there would be such a big difference based on location. I just figured that they were still very hard to find based on that price.
 

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I just tried carsdirect again and it's still showing $100 below MSRP for the EX-L. My zipcode is 94560.

During the research while my wife was calling all the dealerships in the bay area, we found that virtually every lot had 2 to 4 Pilots in stock. For whatever reason CA seems to receive an abundance of white and silver Pilots. Few blues, few sage, a fair number of Redrock and green. Mostly RES, not many Navi, more EXs than LXs.
 

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Jerry, you mentioned ...
I forgot to add...make sure your salesman gets 5's on the Honda telephone survey.
I would have LOVED to get a telephone survey (but wouldn't have given our salesman any 5's).

Personally dealt with 3 dealerships in the area, with telephone calls to another 2. One, that we wanted to purchase from, had a long waiting list. Using an Internet referral, was sent to another dealer who suddenly added over $4k in 'extras' to MSRP (one was a $3K 'paint and interior treatment'). The last one (where we purchased), had a reasonable waiting list.

That said, the salesman was not good, which of course, tainted our purchase experience. I know a lot if it is due to the popularity of the Pilot, and because of that, we, as consumers, loose some of our bargaining power - let's face it, as a dealer, you'd rather be selling Pilots than Chevy Cavaliers!

The ONLY thing I feel good about (besides how much we love the Pilot), is that I didn't pay OVER MSRP. I didn't pay less, and didn't receive any 'extras', but at least I didn't pay over the sticker <VBG>.

Ed
H-Blue EX-L
 
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