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Old 06-29-2004, 05:27 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member Sales Rating: (0)
Member#: 64238
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Jose
2005 2.5 RS
Crystal Grey Metallic

Default One man's trek across 5 dealerships in the Bay Area...

Well, I'm happy to announce that I've joined the Impreza ranks with my new 05 Impreza RS Sport today! Let me tell you, it was no easy task with plenty of risks involved...

Let's see, it started the second week of June when I learned about the Impreza and what a great deal it was performance/feature wise. Decided to head to Stevens Creek to check out the cars. I hadn't learned about their bad reputation from the forums... nor had I learned about this forum prior. Anyway, went with my girlfriend to look at the RS. We got some guy that looked like Bernie Mac to "help" us. He couldn't tell the diff between the 04 RS and the 05RS. Granted, they do look similiar but that's no excuse for somebody selling them! Anyway, assistance was pretty crappy just because the guy was so damn curt. I asked questions like, "Do you like this car?" expecting some features to be advertised. All I got was a "Yes." Nothing more nothing less. Most of my questions were address with single word answers. I'm not for the small talk from dealers since they're mostly insincere but this is ridiculous! Maybe it's because I didn't look like a prospective buyer (since I'm in the early 20's) but who knows?

About four days went buy and I started reading up this forum... thank god for that. Found out Santa Cruz Dealership was pretty good especially Charlie that works there. I went up there with my G/F and we saw the car I wanted right away. Looked closer but it wasn't an automatic (yes I got an automatic) Charlie came buy and greeted us but not in the typical car salesman way. He just said hi and welcomed us to open the car and look inside. That's what I like, no pressure and the freedom to look around without somebody hovering over me. We asked him about getting the car that we wanted and he offered a veeeery reasonable price. We took down the price and he showed us the new legacy (absolutely gorgeous IMO) and his car. This was a big thing for me since I'd like to buy a car from somebody who owns a Subaru. Since we didn't know of any good restaurants in the area he helped point out some good ones. We headed off to eat afterwards. Definitely great dealership and salesman.

I had my mind pretty set on this car now so I decided to go get an opinion from my mom. I dragged her back to Stevens Creek (fully aware of their reputation now) just to show her some of the cars. Didn't like it too much but she said it was just because it was too young for her. That's ok with me. She was approached by a salesman and she redirected him towards us. He greeted us and offered a test drive. Decided to take it. The car I wanted was in the lot in El Camimo since that's where they store their new cars. So we hopped in an 04 RS and he drove us there. Let me tell you, I was afraid to buy any of their cars after I saw how he drove, he gassed the car very hard and pushed the car. We got to the auxillary lot and he grabbed the car. It wasn't PDI'ed yet so yea... not sure if I was supposed to drive it or not. Anyway, we just went straight down El Camino Real, Turned on Saratoga, Turned back onto Stevens Creek, and went back to the dealership. Didn't get a chance to see what was so special about the car... felt just like my G/F's Civic VP if anything. Before I continue, let me talk about this guy. This guy is the epitome of all the stereotypes of salesmen that I hold in my head. The first thing that tipped it off, his double diamond earrings. Wow, he certainly can talk on and on about everything. My g/f was wary of him at first but then she got pissed of at him later. We were looking underneath the hood of the car and he was explaining everything. I asked if that thing was the intake, and he said it was. He then turned to my g/f and told her, "Heh, I'm sorry you must have no idea what we're talking about." Well, let me tell you, she knows her cars... as much as me. Not everything, but enough. He started spewing out all the oriental languages to "befriend" us but I just sighed in my head. Well, enough of that. We got back to the dealership and he asked if I wanted to see some number. I said sure since I just wanted to see how about how much it would be. First number I saw was $22k msrp. The sticker price wasn't even that much!! It was like $19800 with all the options and fees included already. I said that was too rich for my blood and he brought the price down to $21k. I still refused. He then said he was going to bring the "fleet manager" to talk to me. I kept asking him for a price but he never directly answered the question. He always said something like about this much and about that much. He settled on $20k. I got up and left after having felt pressured to stay in my chair. We went to go look at the sticker price to make sure it was what I saw, indeed it was. He came chasing after us and offered it at the sticker price and said it was a deal only if we buy today. I was like, sorry I have to go now. He gave me his card. I looked at his position. Turns out this "fleet manager" was a sales and financing associate. That left a bad taste in my mouth for a while.

The hard part about buying my car was trying to find the damn thing! NOBODY has it! It's hard as hell shopping for a car when only 2 dealerships have it since they know their power in controlling the supply. Only Stevens Creek had my car in the bay area.

Anyway, a lot of nothing happened after that since it was finals week (= After it was done though, I decided to check out Albany Subaru since they said they were "getting the car in tommorow." I decided to check them out the next day. Turns out the car that was coming in was actually in Lake Tahoe. They said they can get the car here but it would have 165miles on it. Um hell no? I asked him if he was getting the car in still. He said yes. I asked him to call me when he gets it in and he said ok. He never called back and their inventory never said they had it. Liar liar pants on fire. But then again, he had so much gold paraphanalia on him that I don't think he could've caught fire... ahh yes, my stereotypical car salesman.

I was sending out e-mails to everybody in California and my g/f was calling everybody. Most of the people gave prices over that of Santa Cruz's and many said they can't even match the price. I had plenty of shady responses.

My g/f said that Downtown Oakland had my car in stock for a sub-$20k price. She confirmed all my specs with them and they said yea. Decided to call in again to confirm and turned out they didn't have any 05's in stock. So much lying....

Anyway, after realizing I couldn't get the sport package for cheap, I decided to bump it down to the basic RS. Only Livermore had it in my area. So my mom and I drove up there. Sure enough they had the car in the lot. Still wrapped up in it's entirety. with only 5 miles on it! I was ready to buy on the spot. The thing I liked about the Livermore dealership is it's HUUUUUUGE lot. The cars are a lot easier to check out with the extra space. Apparently they used to be a couple of other dealerships but they moved out. Certainly nice, but where are all the salesman. Certainly took an ego bite to try to find a salesman when I'm used to be stalked by them. Anyway, met up with this guy. Seemed like an honest guy. Gave me a price the same that Santa Cruz had given me and they had it in stock. Sign me up! We tried to negotiate but he didn't budge. Said we were going to check out Hondas and he showed us their sister Honda dealership. We drove around for awhile and decided that we might as well check out the car since it had my car in stock. We came back and he gave us this look that just made me want to slap him. It was kind of like the I-knew-you-guys-were-going-to-come-back-since-I'm-the-only-one-that-has-the-car look. I bit my ego and went to look at the car. Damn nice. We came back to ask about financing and OTD price. APR was damn high and he wouldn't budge even a couple cents on his price. We left.

We came back the next day with my g/f to get the car. Turns out they don't have any service guys working to PDI the car. So I said I didn't want to get the car now. They said they'll call Honda to see if they can service the car. This just sounded bad to me since Subaru mechanics service Subaru Cars and Honda mechanics service Honda Cars. Not the other way around. They said I can probably pick it up at 4 later that day. I went home to relax and stuff then they called me at 4 and said it was done. I drove up and checked out the car. Found a huge (probably not that big but big in the sense that you're going to be paying $20+k for it) scratch on the door. I was like, I'm not paying your price for a car with the scratch on it. He apologized but he didn't even offer a discount for it! He said, "It would have probably happened eventually anyways." That just made me want to slap him. I told him I didn't want the car until I see them fix it since they were going to have to fix it to sell it later anyway. He said I could leave a $500 deposit so the car wouldn't be on the market. I was wary at first but I didn't want to lose it since they were the only one that had it. I left it then I left livermore.

So about three days passed and I was going through my e-mail quotes from the dealerships. I ran across the Stevens Creek one and it seemed like a really good deal for the sports package. It was basically $500 more than the RS instead of the typical $1000 more. I thought to myself, it's too good to be true. But I decided to respond to the quote to give myself "peace of mind" that I had exhausted all my sources. And frankly, I didn't care about the reputation if they gave me a good price with no strings attached. I made an appointment with the guy and I came in. When I arrived, the car I wanted was PDI'ed up, washed, and waiting for me. He gave me the keys (without asking for license or anything) and let me drive it. The car only had 5 miles on it. Got a much better drive this time since I was able to feel the car more. We got back, and I asked him if the price he gave me over the e-mail was right. He checked his e-mail and said yes. Negotiating done. I liked this guy since there was very little small talk and to the things that matter. No tangents or anything. He said he would forward me to the finance guy to finish the payments while he checked the car again and filled it up with gas. Great guy. Finance guy... another story. I already knew what this was going to be, trying to sell protection plans and stuff for the car. Already had my mind set on know but he kept pushing for about 10 minutes. He said that he needed to make one more sale to meet this months quota to earn his pay. Right... the paperwork started off easily... but I read everything since I heard that Steven's Creek tries to pull fast ones on you from the other posts. Everything seemed fine until we reached the last one. From what we read, it said that we were financing. I was like, I'm paying for this in full so why does it list financing. He just kept repeating the same thing over and over again and we got pissed off. He started yelling back at us and gave us so much attitude. We talked to the manager and got everything settled out. Manger was a nice guy. The customer service guy made the night the best. He knew everything there was to know about Subarus since he drives/races his STi. He gave me tips and where I can get aftermarket parts and stuff like that. Very knowledgable and friendly guy. All in all, it wasn't toooo bad of an experience. Out of the 7 guys that helped me, I would rank three of them as very helpful.

So in summary:

Santa Cruz - Great dealership and great salesmen. Didn't buy from them since they didn't have the car in stock.

Albany - Lied about inventory. Only talked to one guy so that shouldn't represent the whole dealership.

Downtown Oakland - Lied about inventory. Only talked to one guy so that shouldn't represent the whole dealership.

Livermore - Huge lot means large inventory and easy browsing experience. Had some bad experiences with the service department... well actually the one at Honda since they sent the car there. Salesman was kind of snooty in the sense of "I don't need you" and "We're too good for you."

Steven's Creek - With three good guys out of 7 guys that helped me, I can imagine why they got themselves a bad reputation. After the first 3 salesmen, I was turned away but the good deal pulled me back. Just depends on the person you get I suppose.
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Old 07-14-2004, 07:45 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member Sales Rating: (0)
Member#: 65873
Join Date: Jul 2004

i bought my 04 wrx sedan at albany!
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