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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone,,
I have sent individual inquiries via email to Subaru dealers within ~100 miles of my home, asking the same thing: their price of X and X models without moon roof (I know the MSRP), exterior and interior colors on the lot. Few have answered these clear questions but they have started the automatic series of bounceback repsonses, including a standard SOA piece with reasons to buy a Subaru, and a follow up automatic reply from the sales manager to confirm that I got the information I requested.
https://trackeasy.fun/usps/ https://showbox.tools/
If it's this hard to get these answers, I won't even bother vsitiing the dealership. And no, to answer their question, I don't want a certified used car (bigger markup for them). I'll stick with the dealers I've gone to in person where a human provided answers to my questions..
 

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This is what people want, internet sales so.... we get to deal with it. Me I just go look at cars in person and cut a check for the one I want to buy.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT
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As someone that used to own a new car dealership I could tell you there is very little talent left in the industry. I have two properties one in Maryland one in Hilton Head I've bought the majority of my cars in Maryland rather than have to deal with the dealers down here. I fly up to Maryland and drive back where the dealers know me as that's where my business was. Don't feel you have to buy a car in your own town. Our sales department for Subaru in Hilton Head has to be the weakest sales department I've ever seen horrible to say the least in my opinion. Now service department is another story they are excellent. The text make very good money sales people don't for the hours thus no talent. Just my opinion after 40 years in the industry.
 

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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium
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I went to a Subaru dealer down from my house when we were looking and I knew more about Subarus then the salesman did. I then went to one 45 minutes away and had a very good experience. To this day the one by my house is still not that great, if I were to buy another Subaru I would definitely travel to a better deal.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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As someone that used to own a new car dealership I could tell you there is very little talent left in the industry. I have two properties one in Maryland one in Hilton Head I've bought the majority of my cars in Maryland rather than have to deal with the dealers down here. I fly up to Maryland and drive back where the dealers know me as that's where my business was. Don't feel you have to buy a car in your own town. Our sales department for Subaru in Hilton Head has to be the weakest sales department I've ever seen horrible to say the least in my opinion. Now service department is another story they are excellent. The text make very good money sales people don't for the hours thus no talent. Just my opinion after 40 years in the industry.
Man I would like to pick your brain. I've always wondered what is is actually like for a used car dealership in terms of margins and shape of cars etc
 

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Frankly, I am surprised some dealers even respond to such internet requests now. I recall a few (or several) years ago, dealerships were reluctant to work this way or even give their "best price" over the phone knowing the potential seller was in all likelihood just shopping and would take their quote to whichever other dealer and ask to meet or beat that quote there. Lose-lose situ for all dealerships. Apparently things have changed.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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Hello everyone,,
I have sent individual inquiries via email to Subaru dealers within ~100 miles of my home, asking the same thing: their price of X and X models without moon roof (I know the MSRP), exterior and interior colors on the lot.
From my perspective - uh, dude, that's why we have a website. You want to see what I have on the lot or in transit, go there. It'll tell you what we have and what our current internet price is on that car. You want my best price on the car, your butt will be in the chair across the desk from me.

Yes, that sounds like car sales BS, but it's the truth. Your presence IS your leverage. As the salesman, all I can do on my own is give you the price that we have online. (Okay, I may do things a little more than that, but ... I've also been doing this for a LONG time.) Either way, once I hit invoice price plus doc, I can't go any lower without discussing it with the manager - and he's not going to do that without you sitting here, or you talking to him specifically on the phone.

And it's due to the whole internet thing - if a car is priced at $34,000 MSRP, and I tell you IN WRITING that I will sell it to you for $31,000 if you come here, you'll take that piece of paper to your local dealer and tell them to beat it. I'm not blaming you specifically, but that's how customers in general behave. That's OUR reality, on this side of the screen.

Also, keep in most that nearly all emails go into a store with a BDC / call center. Those typically are NOT salesmen, they're just people that have computer and phone skills. They don't have a clue about how to sell a car, all their job is, and how they get paid, is for you to come to the lot. So if they can set an appointment for you to come in, even if the store doesn't have what you're looking for, they get paid their bonus. (Note that this does not apply to ALL stores, but to MOST stores.) All the BDC girl can do is send you the links - she has no clue about what's on the lot, and the only time she actually gets a salesman involved is if you DO make an appointment to come in.
 

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Hello everyone,,
I have sent individual inquiries via email to Subaru dealers within ~100 miles of my home, asking the same thing: their price of X and X models without moon roof (I know the MSRP), exterior and interior colors on the lot. Few have answered these clear questions but they have started the automatic series of bounceback repsonses, including a standard SOA piece with reasons to buy a Subaru, and a follow up automatic reply from the sales manager to confirm that I got the information I requested.

If it's this hard to get these answers, I won't even bother vsitiing the dealership. And no, to answer their question, I don't want a certified used car (bigger markup for them). I'll stick with the dealers I've gone to in person where a human provided answers to my questions..
Many dealers have an internet sales person- that's who you should be emailing.

We bought our 2019 Outback and 2019 Impreza without stepping foot into a dealer until we were ready to sign and drive away was great not dealing with the BS.
 

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Many dealers have an internet sales person- that's who you should be emailing.

We bought our 2019 Outback and 2019 Impreza without stepping foot into a dealer until we were ready to sign and drive away was great not dealing with the BS.
I had a pretty good experience buying our 2019 Outback. I called the local dealer and spoke briefly with a sales rep who was likely in training. I shook my head. I went to an internet web site and asked for a quote. I received quotes from every dealer within 100 miles. After a week of messing with that I got a call from a woman at the local dealer who was likely the internet rep. She was very knowledgeable. I asked her how many outback premiums they had in stock and if she would meet the price of other dealers. She said 35 and yes. I drove to the dealership and met with her. I did a test drive and listened to her pitch which was knowlegable and low key. I showed her the lowest quote I had received by email and wrote a check for that amount plus sales tax. I told her I wanted a gray one and that I would pick it up on thursday. I showed up thursday. She spent about 45 minutes showing me how to set up the computer stuff and providing some basic training on the car. She gave me the keys and waved as I left the lot. Simple, effective and pleasant.

I think car dealers have improved their customer care. Well, at least this one has.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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In Auburn, CA, 2019, I asked to test drive a “3.6R”. The salesperson arrogantly informed me, “It is just 3.6 without the R”. When we walked out to test drive, I pointed at the R on the back of the car he was trying to sell. Whatever he said after that was background noise to me.

The best sales tactic I have ever experienced was at a Honda dealership. The salesperson let me drive a 4 cyl Accord and then a 6 cyl Accord, BY MYSELF. The instant she handed me the keys for the first test drive and told me “Enjoy”, she already had the sale. I just had to figure out which car.
 

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Allowing you to drive the car by yourself is a rare thing these days due to insurance requirements.

In Auburn, CA, 2019, I asked to test drive a “3.6R”. The salesperson arrogantly informed me, “It is just 3.6 without the R”. When we walked out to test drive, I pointed at the R on the back of the car he was trying to sell. Whatever he said after that was background noise to me.

The best sales tactic I have ever experienced was at a Honda dealership. The salesperson let me drive a 4 cyl Accord and then a 6 cyl Accord, BY MYSELF. The instant she handed me the keys for the first test drive and told me “Enjoy”, she already had the sale. I just had to figure out which car.
 

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2019 OUTBACK 2.5 TOURING
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Allowing you to drive the car by yourself is a rare thing these days due to insurance requirements.
It is really not insurance but rather the dealers excuse. More to the point is the fear of theft and the fact you don't know what the people are going to do to the car if you are not there. One would be amazed what people can do to or try in a car they are considering buying and it is not their own. In addition, the car is not going to sell itself and there is much to be gained from a properly conducted test ride with a knowledgable salesperson.
 

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It is really not insurance but rather the dealers excuse. More to the point is the fear of theft and the fact you don't know what the people are going to do to the car if you are not there. One would be amazed what people can do to or try in a car they are considering buying and it is not their own. In addition, the car is not going to sell itself and there is much to be gained from a properly conducted test ride with a knowledgable salesperson.
Yeah, allowing a solo test drive may not work for everybody, but it worked instantly for me. Maybe the salesperson read my personality and had the authorization. I was actually overly careful that I did not mess up anything. Maybe the salesperson read that too. Also, during a test drive, I am only thinking about a few simple things. I figure I can adapt to all the little features. Maybe the salesperson read that too. Anyway, if every salesperson allowed me to test drive by myself, I would be driving off the lot with one of their cars.
 

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I went in and talked to one of my favorite people in the car business today, they happen to be THE internet sales manager for an entire major dealership group in Wisconsin. They literally handle about 1000 internet leads a day. She told me that they close about 8% of those leads and the overwhelming majority never respond let alone set foot in one of tge dealerships.

If you are just quote shopping don't expect to get red carpet treatment, just telling someone you want their "best price" doesn't mean jack ____ if you are not in any meaningful way committed to actually doing business with them.

I loved handing out MSRP quotes to people, I would even bump them up $1000 or so just to get people to wonder what was going on. Then they're like, "OMGosh I know I can get a great deal on a new car from the Outback King, I just gotta get in there and get committed to doing business in good faith!"
 

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As someone that used to own a new car dealership I could tell you there is very little talent left in the industry. I have two properties one in Maryland one in Hilton Head I've bought the majority of my cars in Maryland rather than have to deal with the dealers down here. I fly up to Maryland and drive back where the dealers know me as that's where my business was. Don't feel you have to buy a car in your own town. Our sales department for Subaru in Hilton Head has to be the weakest sales department I've ever seen horrible to say the least in my opinion. Now service department is another story they are excellent. The text make very good money sales people don't for the hours thus no talent. Just my opinion after 40 years in the industry.
Interesting. I’m from Upstate NY and currently wintering in Hilton Head. I wanted a new Outback before I came south and ended up buying one in Savannah. Nobody up North would deal, even the dealers I used to do business with. I knew I was coming south and asked around down here for a quote . Savannah came through. Easy to deal with and a good price. Btw, i never heard back from Peacock Subaru in HH.
 

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Here is my take.
Car dealers suck.
Car salesmen suck.
Buying a car using the old dealer model sucks.
I can’t wait till they all choke.

That said, I know how to play their game when I want to.
I emailed Sales Managers at about 20 dealers in Florida and refused to deal with anyone else. I wrote what car, color and spec Outback I wanted and asked for written quotes.
That done I narrowed down to 2-3 dealers and ended up driving 6hrs to buy car but saved about $5k so worth the drive.
 

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2019 OUTBACK 2.5 TOURING
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Here is my take.
Car dealers suck.
Car salesmen suck.
Buying a car using the old dealer model sucks.
I can’t wait till they all choke.

That said, I know how to play their game when I want to.
I emailed Sales Managers at about 20 dealers in Florida and refused to deal with anyone else. I wrote what car, color and spec Outback I wanted and asked for written quotes.
That done I narrowed down to 2-3 dealers and ended up driving 6hrs to buy car but saved about $5k so worth the drive.
Anybody who realistically thinks they actually saved $5000 after shopping 20 dealers does not have a clue. You actually think one dealer out of 20 was $5000 cheaper than all the others?
 

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Anybody who realistically thinks they actually saved $5000 after shopping 20 dealers does not have a clue. You actually think one dealer out of 20 was $5000 cheaper than all the others?
It is the exception but one can find one dealership that is willing to sell one car at a seemingly unbelievable price. I saw one Chicago area dealership do something similar recently as well.

It is usually due to some extraordinary circumstance. It happened to me when I bought my 2010 Outback and on a rare occasion I have sold a car or two like that.
 

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The best way to avoid being disappointed by the responses of car salesman is to lower your expectations before you talk to them.
+1, and stop believing those published "invoice" prices are what any dealer actually pays for their inventory.
 
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