Letting the Cat Out of the Bag: How the Auto Industry Redesigned the Dealer Invoice Price When the Internet Arrived Paperback – 26 Mar 2014
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About the Author
James Bragg has been a full-time consumer advocate/activist for over 20 years as the day-to-day, hands-on founder-manager of Fighting Chance.com, a national information service that's helped over 125,000 consumers buy or lease a new vehicle. Much of his knowledge has come from his personal contacts with tens of thousands of those customers. His objective has always been to uncover information and develop negotiating strategies that help consumers get the best deal available, often revealing truths no other information source is providing. His penetrating, "outside-the-box" analysis and recommendations fly in the face of over 30 years of conventional wisdom about how to buy a new car. He's the author of the Car Buyer's and Leaser's Negotiating Bible, a Random House publication that notched 65,000 sales over four editions. He now owns the rights to the book and plans to update it. His business background is rich and varied. He's been a Procter & Gamble Brand Manager and a Hunt-Wesson Foods New Products Director, and he's managed the national corporate and regional dealer advertising programs for an auto brand. Mr. Bragg is a graduate of Phillips Academy (Andover), Yale University (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Harvard Business School.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
we paid 6.8% below invoice, minus 1250 dollars in dealer incentives, for my wifes new car. we bought a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4L FWD with Popular Equipment package and some accessories. having consulted a few of those websites that claim to show fair price, we paid 1300 less than the lowest one.
buying the car was a 3-day process. purchased the ebook on 12/29, and read it in one sitting. it's riveting. overnight on 12/29, i made inquiries regarding vehicle price via dealer websites. on 12/30 and 12/31, i negotiated with dealers solely through email. at 630 PM, on 12/31, i called the lowest bidder and let him know my wife and i were on our way over. we arrived at 730 PM, just 30 minutes before closing time, on New Year's Eve.
we were given 4 vehicles (different colors) to choose from. we were out the door by 930 PM.
why go to the dealer to purchase so late on New Year's Eve? this was not planned, and we apologized for it multiple times. 3 salespeople at 3 different dealers urged us to run and take that lowest bid as fast as we could. those salespeople claimed that the lowest bidder was certainly losing money on the deal. the lowest bidder (who we purchased from) also claims that they lost money on the deal.
why would they sell a car at a loss? i'm not sure, but there are some good potential explanations offered up in the book. i can tell you that the gentleman who sold the car needed that sale to make his bonus. according to what we were told, 2 other salesmen had made their bonus earlier that day. how heavily those bonuses played into their low bid, i cannot say.
as a sidenote, i did purchase the 40 dollar package from James Bragg's Fighting Chance website. i didn't order the package until overnight on 12/30, and received it early in the afternoon on 12/31. basically, i used the package to verify that some of the bids i received were pretty good. this was worth the 40 dollars to me. the package does provide a step-by-step process for getting the best deal on a new car. i just hadn't left myself time to use that step-by-step process.
What the book doesn't tell you is how to actually go about getting the best price, that is something you can probably figure out yourself (multiple dealers vying for your business !), or buy a complete report for the particular car you are considering and the strategy is included in the package. $39 for the first car, $15 for subsequent cars through the FightingChance.com website.
All in all it is worth knowing this information to understand that the invoice price is a scam and not indicative at all of what the car cost the dealer.