Price, Why Do You Need a Price?!

30 Sep

Just back from 4 lovely hours of car shopping. I hate car salesmen so much right now I cannot even see straight.

You see, it seems that the real price of new cars in this town is a closely guarded secret. We called Reno Toyota asking for a price on a RAV4, and they said they don’t give prices over the phone. So we had to come into the dealership. We did so today, and asked for a price. They then told us to go on a test drive.

Which we did, and then we asked for a price. The salesman disappeared for like 20 minutes, then came back asking for our drivers licenses so that he could run our credit report and start the paperwork. He seemed shocked that we needed a price BEFORE we’d agree to buy the vehicle.

We repeatedly asked for a price, and were finally told that only one person could give us a price, and he was with another customer. By this time we had been at the dealership for two hours. We then asked if they could call us with the price, and were told TWICE that they would call us today with a price.

And they didn’t.

At the Reno Honda store, we didn’t have much better luck. We test drove a car, and then asked for a price. This time, we were told the MSRP, and then told a price that we totally thought we could live with. The man then disappeared for a good 30 minutes under the guise of checking available inventory for what we wanted. At this point, I had Baby On The Edge. I was doing everything in my power to keep her from having a melt down.

When the man came back, I thought we were going to start drafting the paperwork, but instead another man approaches and asks, “where did you get that price?”

At this point, I unleashed my wrath on them. “We have been waiting almost an hour with a cranky baby for your price, and you still haven’t given it to us. Do you know how hard it is to keep her from having a meltdown while you’re just wasting our time?!”

That interaction left with us storming out with a screaming baby and two salesmen following us out trying to win us back.

And now it’s plainly obvious to us that we must go outside the city limits in order to buy a Honda or a Toyota, as the dealers here have such a trapped market that they treat you like crap.

Tomorrow we’re driving to Carson City to meet with a guy who promised he could “come close” to the price we want to pay. If he starts doing this price dance with me tomorrow, I’m afraid I just might go postal.

I used to work for an auto manufacturer. I have spent a lot of time in GM dealerships, and NEVER saw customers being treated this poorly, and never saw them treating the actual price of a vehicle like a closely guarded secret. Granted the demand on GM vehicles may not be as high, but still, this is absolutely insane.

2 Responses to “Price, Why Do You Need a Price?!”

  1. Nathan October 13, 2006 at 11:38 am #

    Here’s what you do. Send a fax or email to 3 Toyota Dealers in your area. Tell them exactly what you are looking for. Features,etc. Tell them you are contacting all 3 and you want to get the best price. We did it for our Honda Accord. 3 out of 4 dealers responded within 4 hours and we went with the lowest price. None of the crap you went through.

  2. ET October 13, 2006 at 11:43 am #

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