01-21-2005, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
This is great. My wife wants to get a new car, so she decides that she wants a small SUV and settles on the new Honda CR-V EX 4WD (she wanted the 2wd base model, but I talked her into upgrading). Now, I'm not a big fan of this type of grocery-getter, but she shot down my suggestion of the Jeep Liberty with the 2.8L 4 cyl. turbodiesel (160 hp, 295 ft-lbs of torque), so I offered to start searching for the CR-V online. I sent out requests for internet price quotes and I got two solid replies. The first one, from Hall Honda here in VA Beach, was $100 over invoice, which I thought was a reasonable first offer. The second quote came from Barbara Scalone at Richmond Honda, and it made me laugh. The price was exactly full MSRP, about $1400 more than Hall, and the vehicle was an hour and a half away. Since the CR-V EX has a ton of standard features and very few options, I replied that I would like to Barbara to email a photo of the window sticker, or at least send me a list of all the additional options included. This was her reply:
Chris, responding to your window sticker request, why not just give me your address and I will mail you a brochure? We normally add an accent stripe, wheel locks, and door edge guards for $24,272 including freight. Of course, we are a negotiating dealership so we are not offended by the negotiation of this price.
Well, that really pissed me off, because the idea behind internet quotes is that they are supposed to be substantially less than the sticker price because internet shoppers tend to thoroughly research a product before they make a decision, and they generally aren't impressed with some wheel locks and plastic trim. With this in mind, I sent Barbara a cordial response:
So you want to tack on $50 in frivolous options and charge $407 for them, but your internet customers will get that stuff for free if they go ahead and pay the vehicle's FULL MSRP! That has got to be one of the dumbest new car scams I've seen in years. While you may not be "offended by the negotiation of this price," I am offended by the price itself. You have clearly failed to understand that internet customers tend to be far more well-informed than the typical rube who walks onto a car lot and happily pays the sticker price because he has no idea what the invoice price is and has never heard of "holdback." For instance, the sticker price on my 2003 Dodge 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 (w/HEMI) with 16 miles on the odometer was $34, 185. Did I pay that much? Of course not. The final sale price was $25,585 out the door. Why? Because I did my homework. The deal was so good that I flew down to Houston, TX to buy the truck and drove it 1500 miles back to Virginia Beach. I have no problem traveling long distances to get what I want, but your ridiculous price quote won't even get me off the couch, much less up to Richmond. Next time you're on your way to work, stop off at the Clue Store and pick up their top-of-the-line model. It may just keep you from looking stupid the next time you decide to insult a potential buyer's intelligence.
Have a great weekend,
I know that this isn't for a Dodge dealership, but Richmond Honda is so pathetic that I just had to warn everybody in case someone you know is thinking about buying a car there.