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Honda (car) Dealers....(22 posts)

Honda (car) Dealers....asphalt assault
Jan 22, 2004 5:24 AM
Has anyone had any luck with getting a Honda dealer to deal off the sticker price?

I rolled into a dealer to trade in my wifes Caravan on an Odyssey. They super low-balled me on the trade allowance and naturally I balked, they came up 2k on the trade but wouldn't budge off the sticker on the Odyssey. I ended up tossing in a couple grand more out of pocket to get the payments where I needed them to be and I drove out with a new van that day. All's well that ends well I suppose but I can't help thinking that I paid a bit much.

I am full aware that when you have a trade you are in a lousy bargaining position but I had no choice because the Caravan had some (very expensive grrr) mechanical problems that I didn't want to deal with. Luckily, I was able to mask the problem to dump the POS on a dealer but there's no way I could sell it myself to some soccer mom in good consience.

I'v always heard that Honda dealers "don't deal" and I'm wondering...for future referance...if anyone here has any luck. Honda's coming out with that snazzy looking new SUT in 05 and I might be talking to them about buying one...WITHOUT a trade in this time;)
Ooops, I ment to post in non-cycling forum..nm..asphalt assault
Jan 22, 2004 5:29 AM
Honda is the best...Marketing Dept
Jan 22, 2004 7:48 AM
Rule #1 NEVER take in a trade unless you want to almost give it away. You should not be offended by the price allowance, that is how they make a living.

Rule #2 Supply and Demand baby. I prefer to own nothing but Honda. Simply the best (reliable) car ever made. 300K and still going on my car. If everyone wants one, why haggle. If they don't sell it to you, they will sell it later that day to someone else.

What you need to do is go in without a trade. Ask for extras, like 20 oil change coupons, 20 car wash coupons, full tank of gas... Kind of like when you go to the LBS, don't haggle over the bike price but ask for deals on clothes and stuff.

Hope this helps!!
Yes and no...koala
Jan 22, 2004 8:27 AM
I work for Toyota and the new Sienna is hotter than the Odyssey now. Local dealers are selling the Odyssey for 500 over invoice. Local Honda dealers are also being investigated by the attorney general for price fixing, not uncommmen in our busines, maybe thats whats going on.
Toyotas , Hondas , Volvos ,Saabs Mercedes, Bmw and more can all go over 300000 miles with proper care.
You can take solice in the fact that there is not as large a markup in the Honda as there is in other brands and as stated above, its a great vehicle.
Law of supply and demandheckman
Jan 22, 2004 9:16 AM
is at work. I own 2 Honda's, an Accord and an Odyssey. When we bought the Accord, we had no problem getting the dealer to come off sticker by about $2200, using the pricing data available on I also used the same strategy when helping my mother purchase her Accord, with the same results.

However, when we decided to get a minivan, we looked at the Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna. In both cases, we could not get any of the local dealers (Jacksonville, FL) to come off of the sticker (plus dealer markup) price for any vehicle. Prices ranged from $500 to $3000 above sticker, depending on what dealer "options" had been added to the individual vehicle. It was basically take it or leave it, because someone else would come in and pay that price.

I ended up finding a dealer in Ohio who would sell me a van without any dealer options added, for slightly lower than sticker, provided I was willing to take a color that was not my first choice. I flew up to Ohio and drove it back to Florida, with the price of the van and plane ticket still lower than what I would have paid locally.

I would say that your experience is not unique, at least as far as the Odyssey goes.

Simple answer..They don't have to............Len J
Jan 22, 2004 9:38 AM
they can sell the cars without discounting.

re: Honda (car) Dealers....Snowbird
Jan 22, 2004 11:52 AM
Honda's reputation and sales performance are not as great as they once were. In addition the Oddity is getting a little long in the tooth. Check out this rant from Aoutextremist
NO NO NO! You can ABSOLUTELY get an Odd'y for <MSRPshawndoggy
Jan 22, 2004 4:18 PM
What the other posters are saying was absolutely true between '99 and 2002. However, with the release of the Sienna, Odysseys aren't moving like they were for Honda. My local dealer (Reno, NV) gave me an e-mail quote (no haggle) in about 15 minutes for 2K under sticker for an EX with leather and DVD. The Honda website is a good resource for manually inquiring with your dealers.

But check for the straight poop about who's cheapest in your area.

That was in April. Best auto purchase ever. the DVD with two kids on a road trip is heaven for my wife and me. Heaven! It gets reasonable mileage and swallows tons of cargo. Anonymous to cops and good for 85 mph all day long.
Yeah but, did you have a trade in?....roadkiller
Jan 22, 2004 6:05 PM
They wanted to give me 5k for my trade and I balked so they gave me 7k trade and nothing off the sticker. As I mentioned above, the Caravan I traded in had some BIG problems. I was able to mask the biggest problem to slip it by on a trade in...they just wholesaled it anyway.

Whenever I can avoid trading in, I do. This time I had no choice.
(they won't but) you MUST treat trade in independentlyshawndoggy
Jan 23, 2004 9:56 AM
I got the price quote on the Odd'y before they knew what I was bringing in as a trade. So that part of the deal was settled before I walked in the door. At that point I told them low book for the car (which I had printed out for them from Edmunds). They tried to lowball anyway, I got up to leave, they caved. Deal done. Don't really enjoy the dance, but one must understand that no dealer will just give you the deal you deserve -- they will always try to get you to come to them, always.
re: Honda (car) Dealers....Frank121
Jan 22, 2004 4:23 PM
I bought a new 2003 Honda CRV EX last spring for $2000 off sticker using the info I got from also. Dealer still made some money, got a vehicle off the lot, and I got what I wanted for what I was willing to pay.
re: Honda (car) Dealers....coonass
Jan 22, 2004 5:48 PM
Price out the car & options on the Internet, then sit back and wait for the dealers to match the price....I bought my Honda Passport this hassle all agreements were made on the telephone and they delivered the exact car (SUV) that I requested. I get 21 mpg in the city and 23.5mpg on the Interstate (>70mph) I'm single, so I just open the rear-door and slide my bike in the fuss, no problems!! (I sort of wanted a Toyota, but they wouldn't back off a nickle and I'm very happy with the Honda)
Fundamental Error Herepitt83
Jan 22, 2004 6:41 PM
IGNORE negotiating based on a payment. That's irrelevant.

Best method not to get ripped off:
1.)Know the fair market value for the car you're buying and the options / packages. Print this from or (less useful than it used to be)

2.) Know the fair market value / top dollar you can expect for your trade.

3.) Find the car (color, trim, etc) by searching the internet listing of what's in stock at dealers you'd shop from. Most makers will give current inventories at your local dealer. You may not know all the options, (standard tranny vs. auto, etc) but you get an idea of what's there. If they've only got one and you don't want it, try another dealer.
3a) Ask for a quote. Can't hurt, but it'll never be your "best deal".

(You still haven't left home)

4.) Go to the dealer. Refuse to begin with any financial info. If they begin with a credit application, tell them no. You now want to look at cars; that's all.

5.) After the salesman calms down, look closely at the car. Do you fit? Does the seat adjust easily for 2 drivers? Can you put your CD's in the storage bins? Stuff you'd never know from a picture. Live in there. Be sure you can sit / see, etc. I've "known" I was buying a certian bike or car and, when I actually got in there, knew I never would.

6.) Both of you drive the car. Self explanatory. Still like it as much as last week? On to section 2.

How to do the financial deal:

1.) You talk about the price of the car in dollars. That simple. Dealers are VERY UNCOMFORTABLE with this. Start with the TMV or $500 over invoice, which ever is lower. Or, make them toss you a figure (you have printouts) If the start with "How much a month" or "X+your trade", explain it to them. You are talking about how much their car costs; nothing more. They HATE this; you'll need to be persistant here.

2.) Once you agree on that price, you talk about your trade. Offer them near top dollar. Sympathize that they'll need to pay some kid minimum wage to wash your car so they can sell it (recondition). Move a little, but don't get screwed. If they go below 80%, remind them that you have other options. Again, that folder which you look at but never show them.

3.) Arithmetic time: {New car price}-(trade+cash down)=balance due. Now you can think about payments.

Finance guy (Paid criminal).
1.) Make sure you know your credit score ahead of time. They will always screw you here. You'll "not qualify" for the 0.9%, but I can get you a good deal at 6.9. Be sure of what you're getting and be sure you can't do better at your credit union.

2.) You know how much money you're financing; make sure the payment is reasonable. Don't take a 72month loan if you could afford / stretch to afford 48.

3.) Read carefully. Watch out for "dealer prep" (most manufacturers include this in the sticker price and you should not double pay). Refuse VIN etching; that's your right in most states. If "it's already on there", tell them to remove it (They won't of course). Don't pay it: That's a re-hash of the "Clear coat protection" scam of the '80's (see Fargo)

There's a few websites which espouse this. It's worked the past couple times. My Toyota dealer was a hoot. They were getting quite PO'ed with "my attitude". My wife was a bit uncomfortable, but I explained this was the process I was following. They balked; I walked. Nissan came around to my way unwillingly. VW knew he had nothing on me and agreed to my terms within the first 5 minutes.

If nothing else, you feel like you controlled the process rather than getting keys, papers and a payment book along with that shoe in your a$$.
Fundamental Error Herekoala
Jan 22, 2004 7:03 PM
Being in the business some of what you say kills me. Its a new world and every dealership is not the same...
Helpful Website-key is to deal with the Internet ManagerRushfan
Jan 22, 2004 7:35 PM
I'm planning on getting an Acura RSX shortly and started digging around. This website ( had some info that has helped. The key point is to deal with the Internet Manager. The local Honda/Acura internet manager quoted me 2% over invoice for an RSX, and 4% over for an RSX-Type S. No haggling, no BS.
Kills you how?pitt83
Jan 23, 2004 5:29 AM
Meaning, am I way off base from reality or kills you from a business standpoint? Agree 100% that every dealership isn't the same. I can almost immediately tell which type of dealership I'm at.

I was trying to illustrate / reveal some of the tactics which some dealers will use to short term rip off any one who walks in the door. I won't do business with these types; they are what can give the car buying experience such a foul taste. Arming yourself with a strategy (the dealer has one for you) to buy is a good idea. Hopefully, you'll never need to resort to some of these tips.

I feel that this strategy has gotten me a fair deal and an understandable transaction.
Kills you how?koala
Jan 23, 2004 6:34 AM
Its just that when people expect a bad experience or have a bad attitude their expectations tend to be fulfilled. If you go with a good attitude and are informed and calm, eveyone has a good experience. Ill be the first to admit dealers dont want to put money in used cars because thats where the dealerships make most of their money. Just go to, be honest about the condition of your car,plug in a trade value, and hold out for that separately and then have them tell you the discount on the new one. Realize that dealer advertizing is paid by the dealer in most cases(see MSN) and get an invoice off the net. Just dont ask for a trade value thats inflated and ask to pay invoice on a Toyota or Honda. Unless the dealer has hidden money(unlikely at Toyota) it aint gonna happen.
Oh, and our finance guy is not a paid criminal...koala
Jan 23, 2004 6:43 AM
I just hate the generalizations. We dont wack anybody. If you come to my store Ill show you the actual invoice. If you think that its not real go to the attorney general and we could be shut down. We wouldnt risk that considering we have the most profitable service and parts departments in our 17 dealer district. Id have to say more than half of the dealerships I know of are reputable. Hell, its the same with any retail business, there are good ones and bad ones.
And here's our common groundpitt83
Jan 23, 2004 9:22 AM
You're exactly right. That's what I'm seeking too. Everyone is happy; I got a fair deal; you made some profit. That's how it's supposed to work. I know you're making holdback, that invoice doesn't always mean invoice, etc. That comes from, as you say, being informed.

But, some dealers get greedy and shady with it. It's easy to do. The "How much a month", "VIN etching", "clear coat", "certified used", "Let's inflate your income on the credit application", tricks really give the industyr a bad reputation. For good reason; their plain deceitful.

Treat me with respect as an informed consumer and without that rubbish and I'm happy.
And here's our common groundkoala
Jan 23, 2004 10:01 AM
Agree with everything you said in last thread except certified used. Its a real expense(400 plus) and on Toyotas extends the powertrain to 6/100000 no deductible. Will you need it? Probably not on a car thats been taken care of properly. Five year/ 60000 powertrain comes from the factory anyway.
I want to know why, WHY?53T
Jan 23, 2004 7:31 AM
Why are car dealers like this? I understand that they are all different, but in many ways they are all the same. It is not even the actual dealer; I have bought cars right from the boss, and they are real people, pillars of the community, but the hired help all seem like ex-cons.

Why is this???

Is it because of the price of the purchase? When you buy a $20,000 diamond you don't get this kind of underworld customer service. It is clear that there are not too many purchases in this price range. Houses are much higher, and that process is surrounded by another type of criminal (lawyers). Realtors sometimes remind me of car dealers, but never as creepy.

Someone explain why!
I want to know why, WHY?koala
Jan 23, 2004 7:44 AM
Unfortunately what you have experienced is old world car sales. Part of the reason this still exists is because it works-on uninformed or naive people. Again your generalizing the visual of the greasy haired used car guy who would sell his sweet grandma up the river. Go to a nice import or high line dealer and you will see the future of car sales. 20 percent of my sales staff does business totally over the phone-we meet you when you pick up the vehicle, and everything is done by fax or e-mail.