Question on negotiating discounts off MSRP

What we are talking about here are two different things… What you’re talking about isn’t an issue of justification rationale, it’s an issue of an unrealistic target.

The point I’m trying to make is that if you have a realistic target price, the justification for how you get there isn’t relevant to the discussion.

If the salesman is turning down a reasonable offer because they don’t like the justification, they’re putting ego over business.


We are talking about the same thing. I am just adding that most of the time when a buyer uses that line, it is usually because their target doesn’t lie in reality. Therefore, the sales team is instantly turned off whether the your targeted price is realistic or not. And in my opinion, the buyer presents themselves as unreasonable and difficult to work with if they can’t give a better justification for their price.

I don’t doubt that there are a lot of people that come in with totally unreasonable expectations and spout bs reasons for why they think they should be where they are.

With that said, if I go to a dealership and say “here is my offer, if you’re willing to do the deal, I’ll be there in an hour to take delivery. Yes or no?” And the dealer decides to make things more complicated by trying to dive into my justifications instead of just answering the question, they’re the ones making the interaction more difficult than it needs to be.

Well Jeter and the Yankees were quibbling over millions. When you adjust to scale, average Joes and dealers quibbling over thousands doesn’t seem that different. And you’re missing what I was pointing out: Sometimes the best offer you have is the one that’s right in front of you. And that works both ways. It may not be worth a dealer’s time to sit and wait for a better offer. It might not be worth the customer’s time to grind for a better price either.

Here is how that interaction typically goes:

Sales person (SP): How did you come up with that price since my manager is going to ask me?
Buyer: I have been shopping around and this is a fair price/I am have been doing a lot of research.
SP: Great, let me see if we can get this deal done.
Manager: This guy is informed and ready, lets try to make a deal. Prints out quote that is somewhat near the buyer’s initial offer


SP: How did you come up with that price since my manager is going to ask me?
Buyer: That is just what I want to pay
SP: Great, let me see if we can get this deal done.
Manager: What the buyer wants to pay doesn’t matter. I want a 15" dick but that isn’t happening. Go show him TrueCar (or Edmunds, KBB, etc) and get a better offer. Prints out quote for MSRP plus max rate.

Exactly this! It’s easy to forget the 1% rule on a site like this.

Users such as @mllcb42 have leased tons of cars and know everything in-and-out, so they can easily make an informed offer and have it just be “Yes” or “No”.

For every one person like that on LH, there are 100 lurkers reading this content (literally 100x, not an exaggeration), and they lack the experience and acumen to do research to make a realistic offer, EXACTLY has @wam22 has outlined.

Dealers know this: they know that most offers are pulled out of the customer’s ass.
One out of 100 offers they get are qualified from a guy like @mllcb42, but the rest are completely noise based in nothing. Just like the dozens of LH customers that text me every day about % off.

So the dealer, if they’re a good salesperson, is going to press “How did you get to that number?” and they’re going to try to keep you around even if your offer was unrealistic, just to get you to buy something, because their data shows the more time you spend in the dealer the more likely you are to buy.

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The whole point of a resource like this site is to help people know the in-and-out though. Setting people up with the tools and the direction to be successful is why we share information. I’d much rather point someone in the right direct on how to get to the right place than to ignore it because some aren’t going to take the time to learn. Those people aren’t going to pay attention anyway.


I completely agree with that statement, which is why I am disagreeing with you. Just saying “This is what I want to pay” will stop a potential deal from happening.

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That’s why we’re all here. Just understand that you are personally, at least 2 standard deviations above, in terms of maturity of your car-buying process, from the average person.

The gap between someone that knows nothing, and your level, is too great, for a newbie to be successful following only your advice.

There are half-steps, which is why I recommend targeting a deal that is decidedly fair, but also not targeting the absolute lowest every time. Many of these people cannot keep up with you, and I’ve seen what happens firsthand when they try. They don’t drive off with a car for quite a while.

There are couple different types of discounts you would be looking at:

  1. Manufacturer to customer incentives that as long as you meet the fineprint, you get the discount.
  2. Dealer to customer incentives (these could be as simple as this units old, we need to move it or undisclosed mfg to dealer discounts, etc).
  3. State and federal incentives for EVS.

My experience has been that all of those discounts go hand in hand in consideration of inventory.

3 does not exist if there is not a strong push to move EVs and thats their plan in the future but soley from the gov. This discount usually only affects discount 2 primarily.

1-2 and their amounts continuously change depending on internal metrics. For instance a dealer has no reason to bump their dealer discount, if the factory has removed their own incentives. Sometimes the inventory is low and although the discount 1 is high as they can be, discount 2 is nonexistent.

What I would personally do after finding out my rv/mf for my zip, would be to look at inventory and compare monthly sales data. If enough inventory exists then find out what incentives I qualify for and then begin the process.

I tried hacking a M4 CS for myself when I worked for BMW and I gave up after a few tries (and I could search the entire country with a few clicks). I couldn’t get that extra 2% I was looking for based on a few deals here (my justification) and I did not want to devote the time to contact 15+ dealers and wait for months since M4 production was stopping and I wanted a particular color combo.

Does the whole its been on your lot for 9000 days get the job done though? Usually it seems like I would get the canned, well there is butt for every seat and I`m sure I can sell it tomorrow.

Depends on the car. For a 911, someone will buy it. For a normal X3, they want it gone.

I get what you’re saying, but it’s not likely I’m proselytizing someone complex process. There are people that come here to learn… And they will get it. There are people that will ignore it, and it doesn’t matter what we say. They’re still the ones that are going to come in saying they want 20% on a new bmw because the sky is blue.

The people that can follow half steps can also follow whole steps. The rest aren’t going to listen either way. I get what you’re saying and dont disagree that it should work, but after trying to help people here, I’m left with the attitude that I’ll do everything I can to help the people that want help and the ones that fight it are a lost cause, no matter how much I try to meet them in the middle.

A counter point to this would be that many sales people use qualifying questions to feel out a potential customer and gauge their confidence in their offer. Someone who does not project confidence in their response or just spergs out with a bunch of data points will either get rolled over by a dealer or respectively treated like a nutcase and ignored. In my opinion the best way to present an offer with confidence on a NEW car is to keep it short and sweet. The worst thing you’ll get is a “No.”

No. The worst thing you’ll get is “If I could, would…” type situation where you get detained for 3 hours and gouged on the quote you ultimately see.

Or a bunch of sass lol

These cars were definitely no Porsche lol

Part of that, as well, is being sure to show seriousness. Rather than play games with the salesman, letting them try to sort out if you’re serious or just trying to get a quote to shop around, tell them.

It’s one thing to make an open ended offer, it’s another to say “this is the price I’m willing to pay and if you say yes, I’m on my way to sign the paperwork”.

There’s way more beating around the bush that goes on than needs to.

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If you could add a little context as to what make / model and region you are in along with number of dealers you engaged with, it would help us out in order to maybe provided you with constructive feedback.