I know this post is VERY long, but it is also VERY important that a lot of people read this. Thank you for your time and consideration with this post.
Not sure how outrageous the markups were in your area, but I am getting a really good and fair deal with Roadshow MINI in Memphis. I bought the MINI of my dreams while it was on the boat and is now on its way to the dealer 2 weeks after I "placed my order".
My penalty for cutting to the front of the line and not having to wait 10 months is that I have to pay Roadshow MINI $398 (instead of several thousand dollars) for them NOT to do any sort of dealer-installed package. The ones that make it to the dealership without having a confirmed owner I believe end up with a dealer package of CD changer, floor mats, shiny valve stems, etc for a little bit more, but still not anything extreme and probably a better value than my personal situation because you would be getting something that you might have installed anyway.
Dorian there is great, and has made a long distance out of state sale a real breeze, and it is worth calling her up just to hear a pretty Southern voice
I'll have my Brit Green MCS as soon as I can get to Memphis to pick it up. By the time I get the new car home late that first night, the engine will be 2/3 broken in with smooth highway miles to prevent the urge to go beyond reccomended rpms for the first 1000 miles or so.
I encourage everyone on long wait lists to shop around. Travelling a little ways to pick up your new car and enjoying it this summer might be worth a couple hundred bucks to a lot of people, and the trip to visit a part of the country you might not have seen will make that first experience all the more fun.
BMW is going to service and do warranty work on your MINI for free at your local dealership regardless of where you actually buy it, so why show loyalty to a local dealership who is taking unfair advantage of their favorable supply/demand situation? A lot of VW dealerships played the same mean games in 1998 when the New Beetle was launched, and that, along with the way VW treats its most adoring enthusiasts these days, are the reasons that I simply will not own another VW/Audi product EVER again.
It's only costing me about a dollar a day over MSRP and I will not have 10 months of sleepless nights longing for the car of my dreams. Seems like a fair deal to me considering that the dealer markup above invoice is really tiny to begin with, making it probably a frustrating situation for salespeople who simply cannot provide enough cars for the demand while not making very much profit off of the pre-ordered vehicles.
A good dealership like Roadshow seems to be smart enough to realize that they can be real leaders in the MINI marketplace while also being fair businesswomen and long-term planners by putting their customers ahead of the easy short-term buck by giving a guy like me a fair deal in my particular car-buying experience.
If more people can find ways to arrange a fair deal for their MINI like I have, it will make it just a little bit harder on those dealerships that are harming the MINI image by taking extreme unfair advantage of their customers.
I will always turn to the people who treated me fairly from the beginning for my future MINI and BMW needs, and will remember for a long time how I was treated by other dealerships when I went shopping around.
I know that this changes little about the serious demand problem right now, and I cannot make BMW produce more cars for Dorian at Roadshow to sell to everyone reading this post, but there are cars without confirmed buyers being delivered to showrooms across the country, and I just feel that those poor orphaned MINI's should not be used to take unfair advantage of the people who desire so much to adopt them and bring them into their families.
The following is a challenge to BMW, MINI-USA and every dealership, salesmanager, and salesperson in America. Please take it to heart:
I am challenging all of the dealerships in the US to think about the bigger picture and the reputation you want to be known for in the next few years, instead of worrying about how big you can make your Christmas bonus this very first year in the MINI marketplace. You have a LOT of time to sell these cars, and a couple thousand dollars here and there right now just is not worth the damage you are doing to your long-term success.
If I was BMW or MINI-USA, I would take serious action and cut back the supply of cars to unscrupulous dealerships that are harming my well-thought-out plans for business success. Launching into this world something as revolutionary and special as the MINI should not leave a bad taste in ANYBODY's mouth except for those dealerships and salespeople who care more about the fast and easy buck than their long-term reputation and image as well as that of BMW and MINI-USA.
If you are a salesperson or salesmanager, here is one nice tid-bit to consider and haunt your dreams tonight:
The next potential customer you offer an unfair deal to might very well be a "secret shopper" for BMW who wields a LOT more power than a small fish like you should ever want to feel directed at yourself. Think about that, and take great care with your penmanship as you sign your name at the bottom of your next unfair sales contract, because it might very well be your last if what I have written here today finds its way onto the desks of and is taken seriously by the BIG FISHES at BMW and MINI-USA.
I can promise you that with the economy and car marketplace as it is right now, you do not want to find yourself trying to feed your family by selling the New Beetles that nobody wants anymore at or below invoice.
Even if BMW and MINI-USA follow none of my suggestions, you still make a choice every day about the reputation and image you want to be known for in the MINI marketplace, and you can make a positive impact right now by choosing to be fair to the next and every other customer that walks into your showroom. You have absolutely nothing to lose by matching your business practices to the reputation and image that we all want for the MINI
Last edited by YuccaPatrol; Nov 25th, 2002 at 02:39 PM.
yeah, the cars on the lot all had lojack + this + that = another couple grand or whatever.
to be honest, that doesn't bother me. if i have to pay a little extra and get *something* from it, whether i actually want or need that, i'm ok. if its purely a markup, thats what gets me.
yucca, i actually recognize your name from the vortex! didn't know you are going mini, but then, i don't read the vortex a whole lot these days. (i'm joshr there, too).
i pretty much feel the same about VW/Audi, although a) i've been happy with my Audi, and b) i have found a vw dealer (capistrano vw) that, at least in relation to others, doesn't suck quite as bad. i don't think i'll ever buy another VW though, no matter how tempting the GTI is with regard to my current price/performance target.
right now i'm driving an S4. looking for something new, and the mini and wrx are on my list (i know, pretty different cars, but similar in some ways).
the reality is that i can't do anything until i sell my S4, although maybe thats a sign that i should put down a deposit on something far off, and if i sell my S4 earlier either rent a beater for a while or look harder for something with a sooner delivery possibility.
but *anyway*, yeah, it sounds like some legwork is my only option.
03 MCS, DS/Black,Prem,Sport,Cold,Nav
03 Honda Pilot EX-L, Redrock Pearl, DVD
73 BMW 2002 tii, Polaris Silver
The advantage of accepting dealer packs vs additional mark-up is in arranging a loan. Most lenders will base their loan on MSRP, so you are on your own for dealer mark-ups. With dealer "options" value is added above MSRP and that cost can be funded by your loan.
For me, the Lo-Jack, Paint Protection, Floor Mat package was tolerable, although the floor mats are the only part I really wanted. I have a friend who's company competes with Lojack, so I really didn't need the LoJack, the paint protection is OK, but I plan to Zaino my MINI this week. On the other hand, the added cost was OK with me to get my MINI.
Irvine treated me well, and all was fair, no nasty surprizes, and they were thoughtful throughout.
to be honest, the guy i talked to was friendly, upfront, willing to help out, and seemed reasonable. he took me on a test drive right away, answered all my questions, opened up several cars for me, etc.
i didn't get into too many details, and didn't begin to 'deal' so maybe the situation will be different when (if) i sit down across from him and start to talk turkey.
03 MCS, DS/Black,Prem,Sport,Cold,Nav
03 Honda Pilot EX-L, Redrock Pearl, DVD
73 BMW 2002 tii, Polaris Silver
I worked with David Kuharich. I noticed a couple of "typical overeager car salesmen" when I was last there, that may be the problem.
You may want to tell them that you have heard from past buyers and that is why you went there. That input of word-of-mouth advertizing does not hurt. They will understand that it cuts both ways, good news and bad.
I'm all for capitalism, but just someone should point out: Any dealer options are just profit, but its veiled profit. Things like LoJack and Paint Sealant have huge markups. There's a signifigant markup on the MINI accesories, so even if they tack them on at MSRP they're making much more then the few % they make on the car itself.
This isn't to say they don't have some value, as well as the realization that if you jump ahead in line you should have to pay for it.
Small example of this, I pointed out to the Cleveland dealer (classic) they were charging much more for their 'mandatory package' then the buffalo (towne) dealer 3 hours away. The owner of the dealership was there, and said oh, no problem, he'd match the buffalo price. if there wasn't just a loss in profit, but an actual loss, he probably wouldn't have been so quick to do that.
Happy car shopping whatever you do.
Magic 8-ball was correct. All be in awe of Magic 8 ball.
I never said that the dealer packs did not = additional profit. Indeed, Lo-Jack and paint protection are high profit items indeed. The other dealer close to me offered a best deal with the same packs at $400 more than Irvine.
I have always done invoice based deals buying a car until now. Heck, my best deal was really and truly 200 below the dealers cost including holdback. (Dealer's contract guy did not keep up with the factory rebates and under-priced the car. The sales guy had dealt with me before and realized I knew they screwed up once their error was discovered. It was funny, but the deal was honored.) I recognized that if I wanted a MINI, my negotiating position was weak. It becomes a matter of what the car is worth to me. Deals in So. Cal. were going to be take-it-or-leave it. My decision is that it was worth the additional packs.
800+ miles in to the MINI, I remain quite pleased with my decision. You mileage may vary.
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