Money Talks Reader Follows Car Advice, Saves $$

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A viewer recently read an article we posted re buying a new car. He used the advice and it helped him drive a hard bargain.

If you’re buying a new car, it certainly pays to shop around: Something that used to mean crisscrossing the city (or even state) but these days can be done via email from the comfort of home. Does it work? Check out the following email we got from a reader yesterday, printed below in its entirety.

I was laid off eighteen months ago, and decided to go back to school and finish a graduate degree. Living on savings, I still managed to pay off my 2005 vehicle in June 2010. Then in October, I had a an unfortunate accident that resulted in a “total loss” of that car. My insurance company handed me a check for $9,600.00, which seemed very fair.

I got Consumer Reports and knew the “bottom line” cost on each potential vehicle I was interested in. For the next few weeks, I tried to find a deal on a either a used or new car, but with the current economy and the higher market in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (4K to 8K higher per vehicle than the rest of the nation) I was having no luck at all.

Then I read the Michael Koretzky article, “How to Get the Best Deal on a New or Used Car” (11-29-10), and decided to follow his advice. I sent emails to all the metro area dealers for three different makes and models – a total of 21 dealerships. I’d already received hundreds of emails from area dealerships, so I used their own email addresses, wrote to each, told them which make/model/trim/options I was looking for, and clearly sent CC’s to every competitor. I simply asked, “Which one of you can give me the best price?”

After several frustrating weeks without a car, I suddenly had dramatic results – in less than 24 hours:

Dealerships of Make/Model # 1 (seven dealers) did not respond to my email at all – to my great surprise. Apparently, they were not used to dealing with customers who knew their facts and expected action this way.

Dealerships of Make/Model # 2 (six dealers) responded to my email, but with the same prices that were highly inflated – even in December – that I already knew were ripoffs. One of these dealerships even demanded that I remove their email address from future contacts like this!

Dealerships of Make/Model # 3 (eight dealers) responded by launching an all-out bidding war for my patronage! One of these dealerships wrote back and said they would beat every other dealership in the metro area, and quoted me a price on the make/model that beat all the national ads and other area dealerships by more than 23 percent.

That afternoon, I drove away in a fully loaded, brand-new 2011 vehicle that had a sticker price of $22,000, that I had just leased at $191 per month for 35 remaining months, and only $178 down! What’s more – they gave it to me at a selling price of $14,500, which according to Consumer Reports, is over $4,600 lower than dealer invoice!

Thanks to Money Talks News I just got the best deal I have ever managed on a brand new car – even without a job!

Thank you Stacy Johnson and Michael Koretzky!

– Eric, Texas

Thanks, Eric! Feedback like this is a wonderful holiday gift for all of us here at Money Talks News. If you have any feedback to share on tips we’ve given that have helped you (or not) we’d love to hear from you too!

Stacy Johnson

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