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Old 02-21-2016, 02:08 PM   #1
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Using the Costco buyer's program

Pretty soon I'll be emailing various local Toyota dealers to see if they have the Tundra we (meaning *I*) want. I've already narrowed it down to what I want, so that part's all taken care of. When I was at one dealer a few months back, they said with the Costco program they have to sell it for $500 over dealer invoice (or some such, don't remember the exact words). They wouldn't give me a copy of that, but did show it to me.

Now, what I'm wondering is if the Costco program worth using? Does anyone have really good knowledge of this program? (I'd say intimate knowledge, but I know that would put this thread off on a tangent by some smart alexs on this list! ) One thought - do they show you a different dealer invoice than what they're actually paying? Just to get more money. I would imagine Costco would audit for stuff like this, but one never knows.

It is really nice not to have to dicker with dealers over the price. I've done it before and could do so again. Would I get a better price not using their program? Several salesmen told us they don't like the program - well, yeah, they don't get as much for the vehicles. I think they were trying to guilt trip us into not using it. Yeah, okay. Supposedly the Costco buying program is very popular and for vehicles sold through it they were #2 in the nation, or some such like that (don't quote me, but it was pretty high up there). So, I'm guessing it's a great deal. We did use it for my FJ, but I've always wondered about it.

Thanks for any insight that others may have.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:22 PM   #2
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Dealer invoice is just a number. The dealer then gets various rebates, bonuses and incentives from the manufacturer, so that isn't what the dealer actually pays.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:36 PM   #3
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Having examined every auto dealer within 100 miles of Baltimore, I can tell you this simple fact. They are in a business of selling and need to make money. The less they make on a sale, the lower you are on their service scale. They realize you can always take it to another dealer, but there again, they have no loyalty to you. A good deal is where both you and the dealer are happy. I also find that they also have the best finance deals with local banks, better rates.
I believe the Cosco deal is an order where they make $500 on the sale, similar to the old UBS of years ago. A flat fee is negotiated, you pay once the car comes in. That said, they are more likely to discount one they already have on their floor plan finance plan, particularly at months end to meet quotas.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:38 PM   #4
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Dealer invoice is just a number. The dealer then gets various rebates, bonuses and incentives from the manufacturer, so that isn't what the dealer actually pays.
Absolutely correct. The invoice price doesn't mean squat. I have used the employees discount when ordering, but still have seen bigger discounts for vehicles on the lot. Loren
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:39 PM   #5
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There you go. That about sums up retail/ wholesale in North America today. When I sold landscape supplies it always felt good to give the
Fertilizer customers the commercial discount when they purchased the full years program, especially when our judicious early purchase program got us free freight and discounted pricing. I personally prefer to purchase locally if I can. It's jobs and taxes paid to the local government. My country lumberyard is only slightly higher than the big box boys, sometimes cheaper, delivers to my home free, gives me nice calendars and lumber pencils and the father and son are the chief and asst chief in the volunteer fire dept. and my annual donation gives me a chance to win a turkey. Can't beat it. If I'm out of contact with current reality, it's ok with me.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:59 PM   #6
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I would never consider a car purchase where I could not negotiate. I have saved many thousands of dollars over the years doing so. There are a lot of things in life that I don't negotiate on, many where it is not an option, but know there is a large margin in vehicle prices, and get your far share of that margin knocked off. Though, I do know my wife too would never want to be in this position, and is glad to have me to do it. Negotiating is fun, saving money is fun.

As well, I would go to a dealer you really like, rather than emailing dealers all over the place. Any dealer can pull from inventory out there. I have done it a few times myself.

Figure out what you are willing to pay before negotiations, maybe make an offer a couple thousand lower, and never go up past what you first set out to pay. This includes any offers like the Costco one, which for me when buying my last truck gave an additional $1,000 off.

Be ready to walk away, especially if they are not giving in price a lot. In doing so, they will go a long ways to keep you there, and to make the sale. I know I bought my 2015 not too long before the 2016's came out, but I still got over $14k off the sticker price (which too means little more than to compare vehicle options).
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:29 PM   #7
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I have used a car broker a couple times. Pals have also used him. David.

http://newcarslowestprice.com/

And they negotiate with dealership.

$159 flat fee that you will most certainly get back, and then some.

The actual dealer brings the vehicle to your house.

You inspect, do a test drive to double check the car, and sign the paperwork. Takes about an hour.

No hassle.

You still get the exact same warranty and dealer support. The broker only does the deal.

Anyone who wants more details should private message me

We paid $1,250 less than Costco or AAA.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:35 PM   #8
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Toyota dealers are not that open to negotiation, I hear.
They don't have to be.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:48 PM   #9
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Pretty soon I'll be emailing various local Toyota dealers to see if they have the Tundra we (meaning *I*) want. I've already narrowed it down to what I want, so that part's all taken care of. When I was at one dealer a few months back, they said with the Costco program they have to sell it for $500 over dealer invoice (or some such, don't remember the exact words). They wouldn't give me a copy of that, but did show it to me.

Now, what I'm wondering is if the Costco program worth using? Does anyone have really good knowledge of this program? (I'd say intimate knowledge, but I know that would put this thread off on a tangent by some smart alexs on this list! ) One thought - do they show you a different dealer invoice than what they're actually paying? Just to get more money. I would imagine Costco would audit for stuff like this, but one never knows.

It is really nice not to have to dicker with dealers over the price. I've done it before and could do so again. Would I get a better price not using their program? Several salesmen told us they don't like the program - well, yeah, they don't get as much for the vehicles. I think they were trying to guilt trip us into not using it. Yeah, okay. Supposedly the Costco buying program is very popular and for vehicles sold through it they were #2 in the nation, or some such like that (don't quote me, but it was pretty high up there). So, I'm guessing it's a great deal. We did use it for my FJ, but I've always wondered about it.

Thanks for any insight that others may have.
Purchased our Subaru using Costco program . Was a good experience. Also received a 500. Cash card after the sale . Pat
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:01 PM   #10
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I did buy a new Nissan using the program and then signed up again when I thought I might be interested in a Dodge Durango(I'm not anymore). I agree with Baglo that "invoice" is an illusion. What a buyer wants is to pay as little as possible and of course the dealer wants to make as much as possible. Also, its often hard to do an apples-apples comparison as cars tend to be equipped a little differently. I would use the Costco program- doesn't cost anything to members- as a barometer, and then make your decision based on things like dealer reputation and proximity to your home. I once heard a service writer ask someone inquiring about warranty work if the car was purchased there.

Costco does vet their dealerships and monitors feedback. Recently when I was calling around about the Dodge one non-participating dealer said they weren't part of the program, but that they offered as good or better deal. As a side perk you also get 15% off parts.

Never any substitute for shopping around and with any kind of negotiating be a "don't-wanter"..i.e. be prepared to walk. I'll never forget my dad's method of buying a car from a dealer: when he decided on a price he was willing to pay he mailed it to them. Not being on their turf has a lot of advantages and protects one from impulse buying.

Thankfully your not looking for a Toyota as there just aren't as many of them as there are Ford & GM dealers so less competition. Our dealer here is pretty bad IMO, evidently Lexus thought so too and denied him a dealership.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:13 PM   #11
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So Pat, did you end up with a six-pack of Subarus or just the one you needed?
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:01 PM   #12
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Never any substitute for shopping around and with any kind of negotiating be a "don't-wanter"..i.e. be prepared to walk. I'll never forget my dad's method of buying a car from a dealer: when he decided on a price he was willing to pay he mailed it to them. Not being on their turf has a lot of advantages and protects one from impulse buying.

There's a great way to buy a car.
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:01 PM   #13
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I was a buyer by trade for many years. Used to go to car dealers and make ridiculous offers for the fun of it. Most enjoyable was buying for others - no emotions in the transaction!!! Best buy I ever got was buying during a snow storm - probably the only sale they made that day. If negotiating is not fun for you, go to Costco or AAA, let them quote you a price, pay their fee and be thankful that you didn't have to play the Auto Dealership game!
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:24 PM   #14
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Toyota dealers are not that open to negotiation, I hear.
They don't have to be.
Glen's right about that, from what I have experienced. They wouldn't negotiate the price. They will however sweeten the pot by giving you a few freebies thrown in, like the truck bed liner and a couple of other things they threw in for us when we bought our 2005 Tundra. We did benefit from an advertised $5000 discount on the previous year's stock, only available while stock lasted. We managed to get one of the very last Tundra's in B.C. in early January 2006.

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Old 02-21-2016, 05:32 PM   #15
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I've used the Costco program to buy 2 cars and 1 truck over the past 12 years. Very happy with the program, included 1 car not on the lot but on the rails which was diverted to me. Still got a few perks thrown in on top of the deal.
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:56 PM   #16
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Another good method is to buy on the last day of month, especially if it falls on a week day. Dealers are offered monthly factory incentives and will sell a car at a loss if it will help them reach the incentive. Weekdays are better because most of their sales are on weekends when they'd be less willing to bend. The key is to find the dealer that just needs one or two sales to meet the quota. A good method is to email a number of dealers a few days before the end of the month and get them competing for your business. Always tell them exactly what you want and you are ready to buy and are emailing multiple dealers looking for the best price. Just don't get hung up on colors and option items you could live without. You might be surprised by the response you get.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:16 PM   #17
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Another good method is to buy on the last day of month, especially if it falls on a week day. Dealers are offered monthly factory incentives and will sell a car at a loss if it will help them reach the incentive. Weekdays are better because most of their sales are on weekends when they'd be less willing to bend. The key is to find the dealer that just needs one or two sales to meet the quota. A good method is to email a number of dealers a few days before the end of the month and get them competing for your business. Always tell them exactly what you want and you are ready to buy and are emailing multiple dealers looking for the best price. Just don't get hung up on colors and option items you could live without. You might be surprised by the response you get.
I found SUV myself then called in morning asking if they honored Costco . They did I wanted a white Forester . There were only 3 in the whole state . I wanted leather also so I ended up with the limited with a bunch of stuff that was already on SUV . Drove down that morning the forester had just come in all wrapped up like a package . They had other colors but I wanted white . Was the easiest deal buying I ever experienced. I have walked away many times and played their games . I really liked this no hassle way . Pat
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:17 PM   #18
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So Pat, did you end up with a six-pack of Subarus or just the one you needed?
Glen I am a little dense sometimes please explain .Pat
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:24 PM   #19
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It's a Costco joke.
You want one bottle of ketchup and you walk out with a cello wrapped package of six.
Anyway, how do you know you got a good deal if you just accepted the Costco offer?
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:30 PM   #20
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It's a Costco joke.
You want one bottle of ketchup and you walk out with a cello wrapped package of six.
Anyway, how do you know you got a good deal if you just accepted the Costco offer?
Your right about that . Had been checking for actually couple years with different dealers . When the Costco deal came up we jumped at it . The only thing was you have to take all this stuff you don't want if there is something like the leather you want . Really didn't want moon roof but if you want leather you get it etc. Pat
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