For everyone complaining about the final price of the auctions, stop and look at the starting bid price and think about what MSRP is for a #9 Prius. If they were trying to stick it to someone, do you really think the auction would have started at $15,900? Ebay is an open market at work. The dealership isn't asking anyone to pay more for that Prius -- the people who bid this thing to $30k (or more) are doing it because they choose to pay that much. If you're a dealer, and somebody comes to you offering you thousands over MSRP, I'd call you crazy to not take it. "A fool and their money..."veggivet said:Assuming this particular dealership is having a tough time moving their allocation, I find it hard to believe other dealers in the Southeast wouldn't be interested in this car for customers on their respective waiting lists.
Award,award said:Flame on, but even not already knowing Mr. Bell and the folks at Tuscaloosa Toyota (who sold me my '02), I'd think Ebay is a smart move for any dealer that the '04 hounds haven't found yet.
award said:It is painfully obvious that Toyota's distribution system does not do an effective job of getting customers the cars they want in a timely manner. It's also apparent that there's a vocal bunch of folks here that dislike the idea of any dealer trying to cast a wider net for customers (i.e. Ebay) who want a particular car.
Preferencing doesn't work, and it sure looks to me like we already have "widespread dissatisfaction" -- pick any number of threads here or elsewhere for evidence of that.
Ebay is unpopular for at least some part of the customer base, but not all -- otherwise it would not have been bid up to $30k.
Don't get me wrong: I never said I liked the Toyota distribution system or the Ebay approach. On the other hand, giving away guaranteed sales is not going to pay the bills and keep you in business. What else would you propose to get the right cars to the right people? If you've got a better idea, tell Toyota.
Well, I posted this on December 22nd. Not surprisingly the nice foks down at Tuscaloosa Toyota have yet to return my e-mail. I am disappointed that Toyota USA has neglected to respond as well. I've been very busy of late but as soon as things settle down I plan on calling their customer service center to see if I can get a human to talk to me. Did anyone else call or write to either place? If so, did you receive a response?moocatdog said:Toyota doesn't make it easy, but you can find an e-mail link by navigating like this: toyota.com>FAQ>corporate information>contact information>e-mail toyota.
Here's an actual link (I think):
Their 800 number transferred me to the Toyota Customer Assistance Center, but I don't have time to wait on hold right now.
I hope you will all take a minute to write to Toyota, USA and to Tuscaloosa Toyota and let them know what you think about this eBay auction--positive or negative.