Truck-Buying Journey: Time to Pull the Trigger. Or Is It?
After eliminating one of the three dealerships I reached out to, and bouncing a few offers via email, it was time to get serious about our new Ford truck.
I previously shared with you the reasons why I’m looking for a new Ford F-150, and even showed you the best way to negotiate a lease or purchase in the era of online shopping according to a successful car salesperson.
I’ve bought several vehicles in the heat of the moment before, and each time I’ve regretted it. Therefore, I was determined to go about things in a systematic manner this time around. After being ignored by one dealership, and the other constantly trying to bump me down to a basic truck, I had my sights set two particular units.
Kicking Things Off
I set foot at dealership number one, where I was quickly greeted and shown to the unit I had inquired about. For obvious reasons, I decided to fly under the radar and hold back exactly what I did for a living. I wanted to be treated the way average consumers would. Right away some of the key points about the new F-150 were brought up, such as its aluminum construction, safety, and how much better the truck looks than any of its competitors. So far so good.
Of course, I’d already driven these trucks for work before, and seen tons of photos on the dealer’s website. I was much more interested in seeing numbers on a paper.
After checking out hundreds of XLT model trucks online, and receiving several estimate lease payments, I deducted that the right truck for me would sticker for around $50,000. Of course, I would rely on Ford corporate and dealership incentives to bring the price of the truck considerably — right down to the $41k-$43k range. Only then would things fall under my desired payment range.
This came as a nice surprise. I initially set out to find a truck in the $45,000 range which I could negotiate down a couple of grand. After seeing the average incentives on XLTs ranged between $7,000 and $9,000 off MSRP, I was able to look for a nicer, better equipped truck and not spend more than I originally wanted.
Of course, this made me wonder just how much room dealerships had to negotiate with such enormous incentives up front. I was about to find out…
The first “let me talk to my manager” phrase was uttered. I sat in ridiculously uncomfortable chair while the salesperson ran to what they call “the tower” and got a lease estimate on the truck. Upon analyzing the quote, I realized it was the same I had been given online (which was too high), and they hadn’t modified the price one bit. After inquiring about a lower payment and lower final sales price, the salesperson asked me if I was ready to buy that same day? To which I answered: “No.”
He of course, didn’t seem too pleased with my answer. He proceeded to tell me that he wasn’t comfortable giving me his best deal if I wasn’t ready to buy. He also made it clear that in doing so, he would only fuel the other Ford dealership I was pitting him against. My response was something along the lines of: “You are absolutely insane, and you don’t have the slightest clue that your job is to lure me away from the competition, and not rule yourself out,” which I said in a polite but slightly annoyed tone.
Of course, I left the dealer within 120 seconds.
I went to the second Ford dealership, the one where my favorite truck (so far) resided, and also where the lease quote had been slightly more favorable. It had to be one of the smallest dealerships I’d ever visited, let alone a Ford dealer, which are typically massive. A salesperson greeted me and I quickly brought him up to speed. He led me over to the truck I inquired about, and I confirmed that it was, in fact, a Ford F-150.
I asked him for a follow up to the online negotiations that had already taken place, so he went and fetched a new lease estimate. I analyzed it, and discovered the final price hadn’t come down, and the monthly cost was in fact higher than I had already been quoted via email — by nearly $50 bucks!
I mentioned that the online sales manager (who wasn’t available at that time) had already quoted me a lower price. He looked puzzled, ran back to the tower, and came back with the same quote I had been previously shown. Uh, okay?
After a few more trips to the big boss and even a visit from the man himself, we arrived at a price that I was happy with. I thanked them, they thanked me, and I told them I still had one more thing to do before committing. They look confused…
Perhaps I should’ve mentioned I had a trade, no?