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Discussion Starter #1
Here's something that I find a little disturbing...
We have placed an order/deposit with a dealer and last we checked, we are number 32 in line. We requested a Silver with the "BC" (#9 or #6 depending on 2004/2005 model year). We thought we'd inquire with a few other dealers, tell them what we're looking for and see what their waiting list was like. One dealer told us they have eighty people on their list! Interestingly, this very dealer contacted us yesterday and told us they had exactly what we were looking for, and it would be MSRP + $2000. They told us "the deal fell through for the person it was for." If this is the case, shouldn't the dealer be moving on down the list looking for someone else to take the car? Does it strike anyone else as odd that this dealer would have 80 people waiting for a Prius and not one of them would have any interest in a Silver with a BC package? How would you feel if you were one of the 80 on the list and you found out that this dealer was out trying to push the car you have been waiting months for, for top dollar? Isn't everyone that is on a waiting list putting down at least $500? Let's see 80 x $500 = $40,000 sitting in the bank collecting interest. I wonder how many other people they can get to stand in line while they auction off their allotment of "Prii." Sounds like a win/win for the dealer. It might pay to call your dealer on a regular basis to see if you're actually climbing up on their "list."
Good luck everyone!
 

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I wish I had a better memory. As I was sitting, and signing at my dealership, last week, the salesperson made an idle comment about another buyer. I forget the exact comment but I remember my response.

"I hope that's not true, because I've been waiting since January"

And the salesperson's very defensive answer

"Oh, no, no, when we get one in, we go down the list number by number until someone accepts it."

Funny, how *I* never got a call... it was only when I called them that they told me they had one.
 

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EcoOne said:
Does it strike anyone else as odd that this dealer would have 80 people waiting for a Prius and not one of them would have any interest in a Silver with a BC package?
It doesn't strike me as odd that, out of 80 people, no one who wanted that combo wanted to pay $2000 over list for it. The choice is now yours :_>
 

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richard schumacher said:
It doesn't strike me as odd that, out of 80 people, no one who wanted that combo wanted to pay $2000 over list for it. The choice is now yours :_>
Indeed, the choice is ours. This was meant more as a warning to those waiting quietly, and I'm not saying that all dealerships operate this way. We have made it a practice to call our dealer once a week. However, to my knowledge, once on one of these so called "lists" we are to purchase at MSRP and not expecting to pay a (to quote this particular dealer) "DEALER ADDED MARKUP $5000 HIGH DEMAND CAR," of which they were willing to knock $3000 off. At least the dealership we hooked up with is not charging anything extra. As much as we want one of these cars parked in our driveway, I'm not interested in paying their markup. Has anyone who has purchased their Prius via the "list," paid more than MSRP?
 

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The topic of dealer ethics has been discussed here quite a few times. Many people feel very strongly that "the market" should determine the price dealers can charge for their cars, while many others are vehemently opposed to this view. My opinion is that free market capitalism is not always right or always wrong. In this case, the more I think about it, the less sure I am that "the market" is actually being allowed to work unfettered. After all, what about Toyota? With demand for the Prius far outstripping supply, what prevents Toyota from charging dealerships more for their alloted vehicles? Are they contractually obligated to provide the dealerships with these vehicles at a pre-determined price? I suppose one could argue that the dealerships entered into the agreement with no guarantees that anyone would ever buy a Prius, so they should be rewarded for their risk. That position may hold for the first deliveries, but what about subsequent allocations? Should Toyota then be able to charge the dealerships whatever the market will bear? I honestly don't know the answers to these questions, but my curiousity is piqued.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Toyota has apparently decided that to get their new cutting-edge-technology car out onto the roads, and establish market share and reputation ahead of the competition, they will sell it well below what the market will bear. They're taking a long-term view. Right now there's a parts bottleneck with suppliers, thus creating a shortage, but once that problem is overcome they see more profit in volume than in mark-up.

Most dealers are satisfied with the mark-up that's built into MSRP, and recognize that they, too, will benefit in the long term from volume.

But a few dealers see an opportunity to put a few thousand extra dollars into their pocket for no extra work, and jack up the price on anyone who does not have a contractual price with them. Greed is not against the law, and in a free-market economy it's encouraged. If we're talking ethics, it's pretty hard to argue that profiteering on a luxury car is wrong, while children go to bed hungry and Vietnam vets sleep under bridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It was only a warning.

Sorry, I did not intend to start a debate of ethics and greed with this topic. Paying a markup is up to the individual and I'd probably pay it myself if I was in desperate need of transportation. My real concern is for those of us that are on the waiting list. I'd hate to think that I've handed over my money to a dealer that is going to hang on to my cash while he is out attempting to sell, the very car I've been waiting months for, to someone who just called and showed some interest in the vehicle. Once again, this post was meant as a warning to those individuals that are waiting on "lists," check your position frequently with your dealer. Maybe you should even have a friend contact your dealer and ask about the exact car your waiting for, as a test. I know that if I had my deposit with the dealer that I mentioned above, and I heard about this, I'd be in his face right now throwing a fit and getting my deposit back. Hey, I know it's a dog eat dog world. I'm just saying, watch your dealer and investment.

I must admit that I'm new to this "list" concept and don't care for how it's handled. Why couldn't we place an actual "order" with Toyota? I know that when I ordered a car from Dodge a couple of weeks ago, also for a high demand car, I spec'd out exactly what I wanted and was given a number that I can use to track this vehicle throughout it's construction all the way to delivery. I feel a bit more comfortable knowing that when that car arrives on their lot it will have my name on it and be waiting for me. There won't be any mad dash between myself and possibly 10 other people to see who can arrive to grab that car first. Maybe we should handle the Prius kinda like that Volkswagon ad, you know, wait at the dealership until one rolls off the truck and run over and lick the door handle!

Ok, my advice one last time, if you're on a list, call your dealer regularly.
 

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mmmm coffee... why does it smell so good and taste like crap... sort of like a dealership :)
 

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There are honest dealers. I read more reports of positive buying experiences than negative ones on these boards. My dealer was very good. He promised me the car in 12 weeks and delivered it in 9. And he never tried to get more than MSRP from me.

But a dealer who decides to abuse the people on his list by taking them out of order, or bumping up those who are willing to pay extra, may not be breaking any law. I blame Toyota for not imposing strict customer-service standards on their dealers. Honda has a much better reputation in this respect. And a direct-order scheme would be much more fair for all concerned, eliminating regional differences and assuring that you'd get the car you want, with a reasonably-accurate delivery date at the time of the order.
 

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Problems in Salem, Oregon

We are also having a problem with the local Toyota dealership. We got on the waiting list in about May for a 2005, and the salesperson told us that no deposit was required. I decided to call and check my status the other day, and they could not find my name or the name of the employee! Fortunately, I kept my e-mails from the dealership. Even with the benefit of the e-mails, however, I am not getting anywhere with this dealership. Not only do they want me to make the deposit--which would be fine, if that's what they said in the first place--but they are also refusing to let me know where I am in the list. I was trying to look up the guy's sales manager, and I see that he is the sales manager. Anyone know where you can direct dealer complaints??
 

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Karl,
I am sorry that you have had to deal with a dealer that has no morals. I hope that this has not turned you away from all Toyota dealers, we are not all like that. You can direct any complaints to:

Toyota Customer Assistance Center
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, INC
PO Box 2991
Torrence, CA
90509
800-331-4331

Again i would like to apologize for from all of the Toyotas that do have something called integrity.

Trever
Toyota West
Statesville NC
 

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The lack of altruism in the conveyance of what would amount, in my book, to a place to send complaint uselessly, seems indicative of the level of concerns needed when dealing with dealers.
 
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