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Thanks for the info HoustonTexan. I learned a lot from the link you posted. :)
 

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The "window etching" SCAM seems to be getting around to more and more dealers now days. I saw it listed at a couple of local dealers last week. I made a mental note to never do business with those dealers just as I wouldn't do business with dealers that add "paint protectant", "undercoating", "fabric protectant", or any of the other wothless things. It's a way for the dealers to put some quick cash in their pockets for a worthless service! Is somebody really going to steal your windows?

My nephew used to work at a dealer applying "paint protectant". It amounted to a sticker on the window for $495 (nothing on the paint at all).

The VIN of your vehicle is already marked on many locations of your vehicle by law. Your windows don't matter, or like they say you can do it yourself for $29 if it means that much to you.
 

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My dealer tried to scam us by charging us a high interest rate unless we purchased the extended warranty.... I posted about this in another thread entitled "interest rates". What a ripoff! Anyway, we didn't fall for it , but won't know for sure how this will all pan out till our car comes in and we go to sign off on it..... What nerve!!!:3:
 

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I would say that it was established long ago that all car dealers are crooks :3: :3: :3: sorry to the few honest ones there.... so its always buyer beware....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
csimo said:
The "window etching" SCAM seems to be getting around to more and more dealers now days. I saw it listed at a couple of local dealers last week. I made a mental note to never do business with those dealers just as I wouldn't do business with dealers that add "paint protectant", "undercoating", "fabric protectant", or any of the other wothless things.
Just curious...have you ever called a dealer on it and asked him to take that fee off? You said you saw it listed, where? On the window sticker?
 

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Yes, I see it listed on the "add on" window stickers while browsing the lots. You know the little windows stickers they put on to the right side of the real window sticker.

I enjoy browsing dealer lots on Sundays when they are closed (here in my state anyway).

No I don't bother to ask them to remove such items when I buy cars. I have already removed those dealers from my list of dealers that I will buy from... I know they're crooks because of the things I see them do like "window etching", etc. as I previously explained.

There are many other dealers who never do such things and those are the dealers I go to when I get serious about buying a car. I may tell them that "dealer X has the car I want on their lot, but I dont' want to deal with them" and they do a dealer trade and I end up with the car I want without having to deal with the crooked dealer. Simple way to do things.... but most recently I've been using carsdirect.com or one of those services to do all the leg work for me.... I just pick up the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
csimo,

So you've had a lot of success with carsdirect? I've thought about using that as well.

Got any pointers on using that? What are the biggest pluses? Any negatives?
 

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I've had good luck with carsdirect.com They give you a good price up front and then usually beat it when they actually find the car. The guy calls you when you actually place an order and asks you where you are willing to go.

I buy a lot of cars and on a recent purchase of a hard to get car I told him "anywere near a major airport where the dealer will pick me up at the airport and they will give me the price I want to pay on the exact car quoted". He called back in two days or so and told me where it was (1800 miles away, but it worked out great).

I've had good luck with them, but there are other ways. I'm just sick and tired of playing games with car dealers, but every year they come up with different games.

I have several friends in the car business and they really don't understand why they have the reputation they do. One is the GM at one of the highest volume GM dealerships in the country (but not for obvious reasons) and he runs a pretty clean operation, but another friend's family ows a VW dealership and they run every crooked gimmick that you could imagine. Part of that is because VW gives them no margin to work with to start with he says, but that's a different story.
 

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Glad to see the link. I hope all buyers have a chance to browse the tips to avoid new car purchase traps.

I was cautious on each purchare. I thought I was fully prepared when I went shopping for my EXL-L with my wife for an extra pair of eyes. We even went back to the dealer we bought our Accord 2 years ago in hoping to get a decent discount avoiding ripping off with scam. We was totally wrong. They made every attempt.
The "window etching" or vehicle theft registration was neither on sticker nor part of our price negotiation. To our surprise, when the purchase contract was drawn, a perfect number of $495 appears as an option. I almost signd the contract but as a precaution I reviewed the contract line by line. Thanks to my wife for constantly reminding me of reviewing the contract, else we were robbed with $495.

In summary, caveat emptor. (Let buyer beware). Be patient, firm, stick with your need. Do be so compulsive with extra options.
 

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Thanks for the post HoustonTexan, some good info there for all of us.

Car salesman wonder why people don't trust them, its no wonder when hearing about the different scams that they try and pull. Not all car salesman are shaddy, but the problem can be, how do you know for sure you are dealing with an honest one. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
hondanut said:
To our surprise, when the purchase contract was drawn, a perfect number of $495 appears as an option. I almost signd the contract but as a precaution I reviewed the contract line by line. Thanks to my wife for constantly reminding me of reviewing the contract, else we were robbed with $495.

What exactly did they say when you caught them on this? Were they cool about taking it off or did he "have to go talk to his manager" first?

I guess I'm going to go on a late night search on the lot after the dealers have closed to see what goodies they have tacked on before I talk face to face with the salesperson.
 

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HoustonTexan said:



What exactly did they say when you caught them on this? Were they cool about taking it off or did he "have to go talk to his manager" first?

I guess I'm going to go on a late night search on the lot after the dealers have closed to see what goodies they have tacked on before I talk face to face with the salesperson.
My plan (since I am going through the purchase of a Pilot right now) is to have all my numbers straight. On a piece of paper I have the price I agreed for the pilot, plus the price of each accessory I am getting added. At the bottom I have the grand total. When the dealer and I sit down to finalize the deal, any difference between my number and his number will have to be explained.
 

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ramirami said:
I would say that it was established long ago that all car dealers are crooks :3: :3: :3: sorry to the few honest ones there.... so its always buyer beware....
That is why I recommend buying from a dealer who fair, rather than searching for the best price.

I was lucky and bought from a friend, but I also know he and the whole dealership are extreamly fair. I don't even send bargain hunters his way.
 

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N_Jay said:


That is why I recommend buying from a dealer who fair, rather than searching for the best price.

I was lucky and bought from a friend, but I also know he and the whole dealership are extreamly fair. I don't even send bargain hunters his way.
Consider yourself one of the lucky ones, you were able to buy from someone whom you know and trust, that my friend is a luxury that many do not have and really are at the mercy of their salesman. :(
 

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tonyrwc said:
Consider yourself one of the lucky ones, you were able to buy from someone whom you know and trust, that my friend is a luxury that many do not have and really are at the mercy of their salesman. :(
True, but how many times have you seen someone here ask "if anyone knows a FAIR dealer" as oposed to "where can I get the BEST PRICE"?

I had purchased a car from the dealership even before my friend worked there. Of course they were the only Honda dealer in town then.

Maybe when you have a choice of dealers you should shop for a dealer before you shop for a car. Spend a few hours window shopping and see how you are treated even before you show interest in one of their hottest selling models.
 

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Wish I read this before I bought!

I just bought a Pilot EX-L last Wednesday.

My experience with a dealer was a bit different. I had a car I needed to unload, either by trading it in or selling it myself. Selling it myself is obviously the best route, but if you don't have the time and the patience, trade-in is certainly something to consider.

Unfortunately, since I did not really put any down on my trade-in when I purchased it 18 months ago, my payoff amount and trade-in offer from the dealer would leave me with a negative equity on the car. Following are the facts:
Payoff Amount - $14,500
Private Sale (Edmunds) - $13,500
Trade-in (Edmunds) - $12,500
Trade-in (Kelley Blue Book, which is what dealers would use) - $ 9,500

When I brought in my car to the dealer last Sunday, I got what I expected on the car. The dealer offered me $9,000 for my car. I did my homework and was prepared to make a deal if they had offered me $10,000 for it. I thought $9,000 was a bit too much.

I walked away with no resistance from the salesman, which kinda irritated me because I was ready to make a deal if they have been more aggressive. I guess when you are psyched to do something and things don't go as you have planned, it gets me annoyed.

By Wednesday morning, I got a call from the salesman because an EX-L just arrived. He also increased his offer on my trade-in to $10,000, which got me really interested. Sometime in the afternoon, another salesman from a different dealership called me. I told him about the total package Dealer 1 is offering me, and obviously, salesman 2 said he can beat that.

Because I have done my homework, I knew that the only variable in this equation is the trade-in value for my car. Before I go the dealer 2, I called Salesman 1 and told him that I was already in Dealer 2, and about to sign the deal because Dealer 2 matched all the things he was going to give me, plus he was also giving me $10,500 for my trade.

To make the long story short, Dealer 1 gave me $2,000 more from their original offer for my trade, which to me is a fair trade for my car. I didn't want to waste my time in Dealer 2 because they still have to evaluate my car and I don't know if they will really go as high as $10,500 for my trade.

Lesson learned here is, do your homework and learn to bluff just like your salesperson. I'm sure they were bluffing when they gave me their 1st offer on my car to see if I would bite. But since I have my spreadsheets and relevant information infront of me, I was very prepared.

Lastly, just when you think you its a done deal after dealing with the salesperson, they bring you to the business office to deal with a finance officer. The finance officer is just as savvy as the salesperson. I knew exactly what I was going to do in terms of financing, which is through my Credit Union. The finance officer ALMOST convinced me that a higher interest rate loan was better because the downpayment would be lower than I had originally planned. My point here is, make sure you have your spreadsheet with you and calculate using different variables, so you know beforehand what you are up against.

Sorry for the long posting. Have a great day!
 

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Re: Wish I read this before I bought!

Aija said:
I just bought a Pilot EX-L last Wednesday.



....Sorry for the long posting. Have a great day!
Hey - Don't apologize. There's some good experience info here. Thanks for your time. Someone will learn from this...again!! :)
 
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