Did you try using a car shopping service? And did it help?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Rob_v1, Feb 2, 2018.

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  1. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Here's what I've tried:

    1. The email strategy, where I request quotes from multiple dealers for their best out-the-door price. (Not very productive--mostly ignored or overlooked by nearly all dealers). The single dealer who took me up made a good offer, but turned out being far, far away, because of my mistake in addressing the email to a dealer located in a town with the same name as a local one.

    2. Car Bargains. Checkbook's (part of Consumers Union) service. They told me they aren't doing the Clarity yet, and don't know when they might.

    3. USAA. Have received one offer, which is about $500 under MSRP. Don't know whether that includes dealer prep and document fees. I'm guessing not.

    4. Truecar. Generated only emails asking for personal details. Don't know where that might have led.

    Haven't yet tried Costco. Suspect result will be similar to USAA.

    I have visited two showrooms, both owned by the same family. One visit was okay, and they just came back to me rejecting my offer (not even a counter-offer). The other was awful, with demeaning, nefarious behavior on the part of the salesman. I wouldn't go back there even if they offered the lowest price. Their price was better than the first dealer, though. -$500, plus $519 for dealer prep and documents. Kinda like MSRP without add-ons.

    FYI, there's a factory Honda deal now for active military, recent veterans, and retirees. Take out a loan from Honda, and they give you a $500 discount. The salesman claimed I could pay it off the next day with no financial impact. I do wonder if I'm missing something there.

    I may just take the $500 + $500 deal and be done with it. Any other suggestions?

    The skinflint/cheapskate/miser who dealers apparently love to hate. ;-)

    Update: It's becoming apparent that none of these methods work on this vehicle, at least in the Northwest. MSRP without add-ons looks like the best deal possible right now. Was just offered MSRP plus $150, and no other fees or options. That's on an inbound car, with the color I want. Close enough, I'm pulling the trigger.

    As a matter of interest, the salesman told me his invoice is $36,105, and that he has a much better profit margin on most of the other vehicles, such as the Odyssey.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
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  3. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    It really does depend on the region. So Cal is overflowing with Honda dealers looking to make the sale, and there's quite an excess of inventory on dealer lots. I used Costco and got a quote from a dealer that was $1871 below MSRP for the base trim model. I didn't actually go to the dealer to see if that was the actual Costco member price that they have in their book.

    I previously used the email and have dealers try to outbid each other strategy for my previous vehicle purchases, but the email quotes I was receiving were not low enough for me. My final negotiated price with a different dealer that I actually went to ended up being $3000 below MSRP. During the negotiation, the sales manager was not willing to go more than $2000 below (I had offered $3800 below). So my wife and I were walking out on the way to the car when our salesman came out with the final $3000 off offer. I think we just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with the dealer perhaps trying to make quota, and it just happened that the dealer didn't want us to leave without the car more than us.
  4. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Kinda wish I still lived down there! But we still have zero sales tax on the first $32,000 for this vehicle, so that helps. It's still on the boat, so expect a two or three week wait.
  5. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    Considering that the 9.5% sales tax I had to pay pretty much erased the discount I negotiated, I think you have the better deal there!

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  6. cowgomoo

    cowgomoo New Member

    I used the USAA service and received $34,905 + 699 + tax on a touring. None of the other dealers would come close so I took it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  8. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Excellent! What part of the country are you in?
  9. cowgomoo

    cowgomoo New Member

    Georgia. This dealer was in Rome

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  10. aapitten

    aapitten Active Member

    @Rob_v1, sorry to hear about your troubles - I'm interested to see what you learn for future car purchases. I'm in NE Ohio and did the 'email a bunch of dealers' method and actually found a dealer who sold me my Limited at invoice cost (as best as I can tell from looking up the VIN.) It really must be a YMMV type of thing, because I'd say MOST dealers responded to my request and now I can't get a couple of them to quit bugging me.... :p

    Most of the dealers did tell me MSRP or beat it though. Maybe it made a difference because I opened with 'do you have/know when you will have any Clarity's in stock' and then if they emailed back with a yes, I replied with the 'what's your best price, I'm going to the place with the best price' email.

    I've never used the Costco program, but I've looked into it and I don't think they cover ALL models/trims. They cherrypick a few to allow you to purchase through one of their partner dealers. I'd be interested to know if the Clarity is considered 'worth it' enough to them to put on their list.
  11. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    The last time I was in Ohio, a couple of years ago, I don't recall seeing a single EV. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are a lot of them, and you're unlikely to go anywhere without seeing several EVs/PHEVs. The dealers know they'll sell every Clarity they get, and fairly quickly, so why drop the price? I recall in about 1976 signing up for an Accord, and being happy to find a dealer willing to accept only a few hundred over MSRP. (I didn't buy one, in the end). And other revolutionary cars have been like that, so I guess MSRP on a Clarity really isn't bad. I'm also getting a $500 discount by using Honda's financing, even though I don't need it. And Washington still exempts most of the sales tax. So things are really pretty good here! BTW, I was one of the sheeple who showed up at a Tesla store on March 31, 2016 to sign up for a Model 3. That car for the claimed price is still on a distant horizon. The rather impressive Clarity is here now!
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  13. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    In 1977 we couldn't get that elusive Accord either, so we opted for the Civic 2 door hatchback (5sp CVCC) - we routinely got 50 mpg on highway, but could drive UNDER the belly of 18 wheeler (it was so clean running it didn't have catalytic converters). Ahhhhhhh, the good old days...helped us live through the oil embargoes!
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  14. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Does drafting work better when you're directly beneath an 18 wheeler? I wonder how those small cars from the 1970s would do on current safety tests. I'm sure the results would appall us!
  15. Rajiv Vaidyanathan

    Rajiv Vaidyanathan Active Member

    In Minnesota, I ended up with $32,300 + TTL + $99 Doc Fee = $34,993 out the door for the base trim.
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  16. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    That's a really good price. Congratulations! According to Truecar, areas with lots of Claritys on lots (like the SF Bay Area), the selling price is a bit more than $2000 under MSRP for the Touring. Nationally, it's about $1000 under MSRP. When we bought ours, it was showing that they were going at full MSRP, on average, nationally. We were thrilled that our dealer gave us a $2000 discount when we probably would have paid MSRP.
    Rob_v1 and Rajiv Vaidyanathan like this.

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