Originally Posted by bim
Did you go through an Internet car buying service (carsdirect.com, autobytel, etc..) or did you deal directly with the dealer (internet sales rep)?
Also, any advice on negotiating with the dealer to achieve similar result to yours?
I did not use a service. I did the research online--Edmunds etc. and looked at the how many cars were in New England using Subaru.com. I could see inventories were high, which suggested the Baja isn't selling all that well in NE. There were several 04s still around when I was researching and I could have done even better on one of those but I wanted an 05.
I believe the dealer invoice stated on various Web sites is higher than what it really is. In addition, all dealers have "hold backs," which some sites say the dealers rarely figure into their negotiations, but some certainly do. Ergo, dealers can sell at or below "invoice" and still make money.
Once I had a sense (a guess, really) of what I might be able to get the car for, I contacted several dealers via e-mail and asked for their best offer. I countered with my offer until I got close to my price. I went to the dealer who was most flexible and responsive via e-mail and said I was ready to buy, right then and there (after a test drive). We went back and forth on the price a little bit more and sewed up the deal. Basically, the dealership asked me just how much profit I thought it was entitled to and I said a couple-few hundred bucks.
If the dealership doesn't have to spend any time selling you a car, it is more inclined to deal.
It was a bit more involved than that but those are the main points.