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I live in the Atlanta, GA area and have been on a waiting list for the past three months, for a while package 7. The dealer didn't have any idea as to when the car would be coming in. Called the President of Southeastern Toyota Distributors, and he didn't know when it would be available.

Last Saturday, after thinking about other options for me (such as another car altogether), I decided to wait for the car. My wife started calling all the dealers in Georgia, TN, LA, and TX. She was told by one of them that staying out of southeast was a good idea. She then called Hartford, Ct., the dealer had a car not the color or package I wanted. She then called Alexandria Toyota in Virginia, and they had the exact car we were looking for. The salesperson, John DeMoss, was extremely helpful, as we did the entire transaction over the phone. I paid MSRP for the car, and after giving a deposit, and faxing the paperwork back and forth, we flew up to Virginia and drove the car home.

My advice is to wait for the car, it's extremely worth it, however, call, call and call again, and keep looking for a dealer who has the car.
 

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Congratulations! Your perseverence has been rewarded and, for those willing and able to shop further from home than usual, your advice is excellent.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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I've been to two dealers in Richmond VA trying to just see a Prius. Both had one, but it was always "out."

At Haley Toyota I waited one hour for the "out" Prius to return. they could not tell me when it left, who had it, or how long they had been gone

I got the distinct impression, while watching RAV4 and Corolla shoppers getting coffee and donuts offered to them while I was ignored as "the Prius Guy" and had to buy my own diet coke out of a machine down the hall, that they were not interested in adding me to any list.

So far Toyota has not impressed me with any protocol for handling customers interested in a high-demand vehicle.
 

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RichmondVAGuy said:
I've been to two dealers in Richmond VA trying to just see a Prius. Both had one, but it was always "out."

At Haley Toyota I waited one hour for the "out" Prius to return. they could not tell me when it left, who had it, or how long they had been gone

I got the distinct impression, while watching RAV4 and Corolla shoppers getting coffee and donuts offered to them while I was ignored as "the Prius Guy" and had to buy my own diet coke out of a machine down the hall, that they were not interested in adding me to any list.

So far Toyota has not impressed me with any protocol for handling customers interested in a high-demand vehicle.
All due respect, what do you expect them to do? Listen, if you check around a while and ask around for recommendations you'll probably find a salesman at a dealership somewhere near you that is a real Prius nut and is happy to work with you and spend time with you and answer your questions. But, if you walk into a dealership cold (i.e. no appointment for a test drive with specific sales person), and the dealership has no Prii on the lot available to sell, you can't, realistically, expect a salesperson to sit around chatting with you about a car you probably know more about than he does and has no chance of selling to you any time in the next 6+ months. These guys work on commission. If they're chatting you up and getting you hot cocoa they can't be brow beating the next sale that drives up to the door...that's how they put food on the family table.

Toyota screwed up royally as far as estimates on sales...they regret it, I assure you. If you're a serious buyer despite the wait, do your leg work, ask around, follow a prius when you see it on the street and ask the guy who his salesman was, how much he paid, etc... Then call that dealership, ask for that salesman, ask if they have a Demo or TRAC car. Make a specific mutually agreeable appointment to meet and take an extended test drive (or to rent the TRAC) and talk and make a deposit and such.

This is a pretty unique circumstance and stomping your foot b/c you're not being treated special as a Prius Guy won't get you anywhere. If you're eager to buy NOW, then you've got a LOT of work to do and a lot of disappointment and being put-off to deal with. Start sending e-mails and making phone calls to EVERY dealership within any distance you're willing to travel (the author of this thread is a GREAT example of what can be accomplished). Be willing to compromise on the color, decide what you're willing to pay. If you can compromise on the package that'll help too. Make it clear up front what 'extras' you will and won't accept. Deal directly with the fleet or internet sales managers to avoid sales people who don't give a damn b/c you're not going to make them any money in the immediate time frame.

Good luck, hang in there, and try not to get frustrated..
 

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What a patronizing answer efusco!. I did not stomp my foot, whine, get in the way, or in any way impede the "putting food on the table" process at either dealership.

It would have been nice, instead of being basically sidelined, if someone had :

1. Greeted me and said something like, "Oh yeah, the Prius, they are popular and we have none available now. There is a waiting list that I could put you on and give you a call when supplies get better. Let me get your name and phone number."

2. Offered me a Prius folder/handout.

3. Offered to show me a comparably equipped car so that they could show off such things as the GPS system, the entry/lock thingy, etc.

Even if my name and phone number went in the trashcan after I left, I could at least believe that they were looking forward in time to when they HAVE units to sell and WANT my $25,000 odd dollars. If you read my post, you'll see that they could not even make the effort to tell me whether or not the demo they had would be back on the lot in a reasonable timeframe, or even where it was. For all I know the boss's daughter had it out at the Burger King picking up lunch for the boys.

As for the appointment thing... its not the doctor's office....

In any case, I can wait til things cool down - its just a car after all.
 

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RichmondVAGuy said:
It would have been nice, instead of being basically sidelined, if someone had :

1. Greeted me and said something like, "Oh yeah, the Prius, they are popular and we have none available now. There is a waiting list that I could put you on and give you a call when supplies get better. Let me get your name and phone number."

2. Offered me a Prius folder/handout.

3. Offered to show me a comparably equipped car so that they could show off such things as the GPS system, the entry/lock thingy, etc.
Yes, that would have been nice and a good indication that the dealership was one with which you would want to do business.

In any case, I can wait til things cool down - its just a car after all.
Great! That means you have plenty of time to find a delaership that treats you with the courtesy and respect you deserve. Good luck and keep looking.

Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Thanks Moo.

I wasn't treated badly, just not treated...lol

It seems to me that, in a day when the average customer knows more/comes better prepared to spend money, a dealer would be interested in building a relationship even if it didn't mean a sale right then and there.
 

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Sometimes you get lucky

I agree! Luck has alot to do with it. Be willing to look around often and sometimes you fall into what you want. I tried the internet route and had actually given up. I decided to buy a Camry. I checked for a model I wanted on the internet search and cold called a dealer about ten miles away. I asked about the Camry and in passing mentioned that I really had wanted a Prius but knew there was no chance. He then asked me what color and package I was looking for. I told him and he replied that he had just gotten one (the color and package I wanted) and the buyer changed his mind. I bought it on the spot. Went right to the dealer and drove it home 5 hours later. What I didn't find out until after I paid for it was that the dealer had made calls to the other people on his waiting list and I had bought it before they responded. Apparently the salesman goofed. It was plain dumb luck. While I feel bad for those waiting, I wouldn't give up my Prius for anything. It is a great car and worth the wait.
 

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Sometimes the laws of supply and demand are downright ugly. I would guess that Toyota is slapping together Prius's as fast as they can, and if they "run out" of silver paint then 20 more get painted red until the silver stock comes in, etc. Markets moving the most cars get the bigger allottments.

Hence no real pre-order arrangements are possible with dealers, they can work call lists with no repercussions, and we all hope that when the call comes we can answer and get there ASAP.

Yet another reason to wait until the supply grows to meet the demand better and negotiation room re-materializes when dealers have them on the lot and they are not being snapped up at any price.

The Prius is the cabbage patch doll of the car lots..lol
 

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Re: Sometimes you get lucky

EMSChief said:
. ...What I didn't find out until after I paid for it was that the dealer had made calls to the other people on his waiting list and I had bought it before they responded. Apparently the salesman goofed....
I guess those folks feel good that the $500-1000 ransom the dealer is having fun with is working well for them.
 

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What a patronizing answer efusco!. I did not stomp my foot, whine, get in the way, or in any way impede the "putting food on the table" process at either dealership.
I'm sorry to offend, and I didn't intend to be patronizing. Your expectations, as you listed in your response, are not unrealistic at all. And you're quite right that you deserve to have all that done. I think I took your comment about the corolla folk getting coffee and cokes to mean you felt you should have been wooed just as much.

I think some of the follow ups to your reply to me are accurate. There are some very good salespeople at some dealerships...it's unfortunate that there can't be more consistancy across the board, but since these places are independently owned Toyota corporate's control is pretty minimal so there tends to be a lot of varience depending upon the management and reimbursement. That breeds bad attitudes and therefore bad customer service on the part of the short sighted salespeople.

I think I lost you with the first sentence of my original post--I encourage you to go back and try to absorbe the content of the rest of the post--it wasn't patronizing and I think it could be helpful to you--that's actually what I intended but obviously missed my mark.

I'm not sure why you're put off by the idea of an appointment. That is not an uncommon way to get the kind of service you deserve and it's a great way to establish a good relationship with a salesperson who will know you, remember you, and hopefully be of help to you in the future. They know that you're a serious buyer (b/c they know you didn't just drop in on a Saturday morning trip to Sam's and that they'll probably never see you again). I honestly think there's good value in this kind of arrangement and when there is only one Demo car on the lot it's a great way to be sure you get to spend some 'quality time' in it.

I again, sincerely, apologize for offending you and I hope you'll accept that my comments were not intended to be demeaning or patronizing, I just had a sense that your expectations were a little unrealistic--I see now that they weren't and feel bad about misunderstanding.
 

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hey fusco... no hard feelings here....

Richmond is a weird car market.... a few dealers run almost all the shows so to speak. Poor competition.

I'm going to spend some time calling around, as you and others suggest. I am in now hurry really. May make the appointment as you suggest, and see what happens.

Do enjoy reading these posts though. One of the good thinsg to come out of technology!
 

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Well, made the appointment with the dealer closest to me and went in... The "Prius expert" was gone and had the car with him making a service call to a Prius owner's house?!

Could not believe it.

Oh well
 

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Our Experience finding a Prius. We live in the Intermountain West. After my wife finally convinced me we even needed a new car, I first dealt with a local internet dealer then went to the other dealer in town as we didn't feel as comfortable as my wife would have like with the first dealership. Got on the waiting list with a preference for a Salsa Red package #7. Then got offer a blue package #7 by the first dealer. That was one of three no sale colors for my wife. If she only knew!!! Anyway after waiting for a time, my wife also got frustrated with a bad case of Pre-Prius syndrome. So I got on the internet and buytoyota.com. was able to find Priuses in various places (Texas, Fla., North Carolina) but ended up calling half a dozen dealers in Minnesota. Friends and family live there. Same day got several calls back and one dealer had a TRAC Prius (with a moderate amount of milage) who was ready to sell for not much over Invoice, (that is INVOICE not MSRP!!!) How could we turn that down. Deposit paid and will be pickup as soon as dealer's replace comes in which is due in soon.

Moral: If you want it bad enough and willing to shop nationally, there are still available cars with credible dealers and no gouging.
 
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