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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I hear (read) people are getting below MSRP and dealerships clearly have cars in stock, I'm thinking it's time to get that Prius in black with all the trimmings.

Please post information on dealers with best prices. I've read of $800 and $1000 under MSRP, but when I contact dealerships like 101, Capitol and Fremont, their Internet sales people start with the "very popular, wait two or three months" nonsense. I don't see the need to buy from outside the area, but maybe that's still necessary.

Advice, as ever, is much appreciated.

Cheers,

Adam
 

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Are you sure it's price you are looking for, or are you more ticked at the wait time?

Unfortunately, in regard to waiting time, the salespeople are correct, and you'll get that from any dealer. Unless you get lucky like I did and are not too picky, you DO have to wait several weeks at least (they told me 6-8 weeks) to get the exact model with the options you want...that will be the case no matter where you go. When I walked onto the lot they just happened to have an AM model available that a different customer had ordered and then decided they didn't want because they didn't like the color.

So when you call, if you want one NOW, you have to ask if they have any used 2004 ones available, or say you don't care about color or options and ask if they have any available that maybe another customer didn't want. And perhaps you can ask to speak to someone who ISN'T necessarily involved with internet sales.

I had a great experience with Toyota 101, though, when they sold me the unwanted AM model...call and ask to speak to Scott Workinger specifically and tell him Paul & Joan referred you.
 

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Prius available for immediate delivery.

I just had my 20,000 mile inspection at Toyotatown in Stockton I was told that they have several Prius cars available for immediate delivery. Call Asif for info. [209] 937-0488.

Arizona Charlie
 

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I ordered my Prius mid-April and am still waiting for it. I hired my Credit Union's car buyer expert who shopped around and got me a price of CDN$2,200+ under MSRP. Of course, I still have the 6-8 week wait like everyone else.

So the buyer did a great shopping job for me - much better than I could have ever gotten on my own. In this case, it's likely because the dealership is pretty much brand new (and located in an isolated spot outside of the city) and probably wanted/needed to get its sales numbers up. The credit union buyer negotiates directly with the dealership Manager and not with Sales. They would get a fair amount of business through the credit union so that surely was an important factor in the pricing. I don't see myself getting this kind of price on my own, even though armed with all this info. And I bet this was the only dealership that would have sold it below MSRP - and there's no way I could have negotiated any deal with them over the phone like my buyer was able to do, because of his relationships with dealers around the city and potential volume he can offer.

So the moral of the story is use a Buyer (recommended!), or at least try out the newest dealerships in your general area.

P.S. I'm intending on buying my extended warranty from the dealer closest to my home (if the price is relatively right) to help build some relationship with them, since the car won't be from that place.
 

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By the way, using a Credit Union car buyer is pretty much free as, for these kind of deals, most dealers waive their administration fee which covers the $100 fee for the buyer's services.

The buyer also shares with you the actual Manufacturer's charges to the dealer, so you can see exactly how much profit is going to the dealer instead of how much is the price below MSRP - where you don't really know how well you are negotiating or not.

When they make a deal, you aren't bound by it at all and in my case I had a month to decide if I wanted to take it, which I did! :)
 

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My last two cars, including my new 2005 Prius, have been purchased from Hammer Auto located in Palo Alto. After giving them the specs of what I wanted, they had found one in about four hours and I picked it up the next day.

My prior car, a 2000 Audi TT was delivered within three days (the waiting list at that time was over 6 months at all Bay Area dealers).

I saved money on both.

My folks, who live in Washington state, recently bought a Camry from them and they saved some insane amount of money. My father (who is Scottish - all stereotypes apply) had already gone through the negotiating game with all Toyota dealers in a 200-mile radius.

Hammer is an auto broker, and after my experience with them, I'll probably never go back to retail car dealers again, except for warranty service (which is where they make their money anyways).

Disclaimer: I'm in no way associated with Hammer except in that I'm a very, very satisfied customer.

-brooks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Well, this will be something of a Prius expedition weekend, hopefully shopping as much by phone and keyboard as possible.

Thanks for the advice and ideas so far.

I'm still looking for a dealer with a Black BC in stock ... by the way, if anyone wants a Silver BC arriving in four weeks, I have a lead on one ... :)

Cheers,
 

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What I've Learned

Now that I hear (read) people are getting below MSRP and dealerships clearly have cars in stock, I'm thinking it's time to get that Prius in black with all the trimmings.

I've been investigating the Prius in the Bay Area for the past week or so. Here is what I've learned:
  • Toyota plays games with Options packages. You can't get package #5 (AI), for instance, anywhere in the CA region. But if you drive to Reno, no problem! (NV is in the Denver region.) CA emissions should be no prob for a car purchased in NV, as far as I can figure, since the car has '50 state emissions'.
    [/*:m:ulaci7eu]
  • Cars on-lot: yeah, dealers are starting to have cars on the lot that stay for a couple of days before they sell.
    [/*:m:ulaci7eu]
  • MSRP: I have not seen or heard of a Prius selling for under MSRP at any of the dealers I've been to -- including the ones up in Auburn and in Reno/Carson City. In fact, the dealer in Carson City adds a $1000 markup (although the salesperson implied that was negotiable)!
    [/*:m:ulaci7eu]
  • Given that you want an option package that's available in CA, and that no one but no one is selling for under MSRP (someone please correct me if I'm wrong about that!), I'd say Toyota 101 is your best bet. The salespeople are not on commission, so they're the easiest to deal with.
    [/*:m:ulaci7eu]
  • Ordering: as near as I can tell, you should not have any serious trouble getting a black model with package #6 ('all the trimmings'), even if you have to order it. Check the dealers; they all have lists of the cars that are due to arrive, and I know I've seen a black #6 recently (I think it was at Toyota 101). A black #6 is due to arrive at Carson City as well. Yes, there's a wait if you order, but it's 4-6 weeks from what I was told (they could've been misleading me, of course).[/*:m:ulaci7eu]
 
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