Originally Posted by woodygg
I posted this on another thread... if you want the best price, and to know you got the best price and not play the negotiating game, this is how you buy a car:
1. Go to edmunds.com (yes, there's other websites as well, this is just the one I use) and get the information regarding how much the dealer is paying (it will be within $100 or so). NEVER buy a car without doing this. Information is your friend.
2. Check on edmunds.com for the current, if any, incentives being offered.
Now, only you can decide what a good deal is - meaning how much the vehicle is being marked up. Much of it is timing, supply/demand and how patient you're willing to be. When I was looking at a tacoma, they were scarce for the one i wanted, so i was only able to get it down to $500 over. any other model and i could've gotten it for $100 over.
Now - this is how you do it (I have a lot of experience in this business) - you find out if the dealer has what you want (internet, swing by the dealership - (which I don't do), etc.). I can often find what I want by checking their inventory online. Call and ask for the fleet manager (don't do this until you know exactly what you want - they don't have time to play the game). Tell him what you want, can he get it and how much over invoice is it? They will tell you it's $X over, take it or leave it. They've all even faxed me their invoice, which I ask for. NEVER talk to a salesperson first, they will want in on the deal and potentially complicate it. At this point, you're making and educated decision.
Now, some may point out that dealerships get holdbacks, etc. You'll generally never get that, don't even bother. IF you follow this method, you'll be getting a great deal and know it, not hope.
I'm one of the lucky ones that did get to dig into dealer holdback. Their cost for my truck was $21532, and I got it $200 below that number.
The thing is to make sure that you have every bit of information available that you can get your mitts on.
Right now is a good time to push hard to get every penny you can work out of them due to the negative press. As another poster said, his buying right at the 11th hour of making quota helped him as well.