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Discussion Starter #1
I called a few dealers in my local (NJ/NY) area in regards to purchasing a CPO 17 750. I was astounded by the responses I got from these dealers because it seemed to me that they did not want to sell me a car. Here are some highlights:

  • Dealer 1: Called, no response (maybe dealer is away/busy/closed- fine). Sent an email and received a response 24 hours later asking me if I would like to come in and check out the car or if I had any questions. I responded with "no need- here's my bank's pre approval" and inquired about the next steps. Then another 24 hours later, an email said someone had already placed a deposit on the car.

  • Dealer 2: Called. Picked up quickly. I asked if the price is negotiable and the rep said yes. She forwarded me to sales and we talked a bit about the car. I had him send me an email with the packages/ options the car had. I looked over his pdf and it looked good. I replied back, "I think you're valuing little high, give me your best offer." The reply back was, "I cannot lower the price, here's my used car manager's number, YOU call him."

  • Dealer 3 and 4: Very similar to dealer 2, except when inquired if there was room for negotiations, they said no and that was it.
Given covid-19 and that these cars have been sitting on the lot since December/ January, I thought making a deal would be easy. It has turned out rather difficult!

I am honestly in no rush in buying a 750 but if and when the opportunity poses itself, I am ready to make a deal. These dealers didn't offer to talk to their manager or even attempt to negotiate a price. There was no "The best I can do is $X off" or "How about this other car?"

I understand dealers aren't in the business of giving away cars, and that's not what I asked of them. All I'm simply asking is "Do you want to play ball?" and the overwhelming response has been "no". I am absolutely confused about this situation.

Whats the rationale behind this behavior? and maybe more importantly, how do I buy a cpo 750? TIA.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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What have you invested, phone calls and e-mails? Zero value. Get some skin-in-the-game.
 

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What have you invested, phone calls and e-mails? Zero value. Get some skin-in-the-game.
What does that mean? Go test drive a car he already knows he wants? I'm asking because I'm in a similar position as the OP (also searching the NY/NJ/CT area, looking for a used M550), and have had the identical experience. :dunno:
 

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I understand dealers aren't in the business of giving away cars, and that's not what I asked of them. All I'm simply asking is "Do you want to play ball?" and the overwhelming response has been "no". I am absolutely confused about this situation.

Whats the rationale behind this behavior? and maybe more importantly, how do I buy a cpo 750? TIA.
My take is that a deal is reached with willing buyer and willing seller. If the price is not right for either party, there will be no deal, COV or otherwise.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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What does that mean? Go test drive a car he already knows he wants? I'm asking because I'm in a similar position as the OP (also searching the NY/NJ/CT area, looking for a used M550), and have had the identical experience.
So you think it’s a buyers market, that dealers are desperate for YOU. Nyaah.

[ Much to my surprise there has been somewhat of a buying frenzy this week. Hopefully, when we get past the initial surge some semblance of normalcy will return.
 

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We receive letters from realtors on a regular basis, asking if we're interested in selling our home. We throw them away.

Were we interested in selling, the letter I'd be watching would say, "My qualified client has driven past and walked past your beautiful home and is prepared to make an offer, subject to a walk through. We understand the current market and have evaluated local comps and, if after a walk through, my client is interested in proceeding, he will be prepared to offer in the $x,xxx,xxx to $x,yyy,yyy range. If you are interested in considering selling your home within this price range, we would welcome the opportunity..."

That would get my attention.

If I wanted to buy a car from a dealer, I'd contact the sales manager and say, "I've viewed that 750 you have listed. It appears to be close to what I'm looking for. I'd like to see and drive the car and, if it feels like it's the BMW I've been seeking, I am prepared to make an offer and drive it home today. When can I see the car?"

Once you've driven the car and engaged with the dealership and they know you're for real, they will be prepared to consider your offer. That's the business they're in.
 

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So you think it’s a buyers market, that dealers are desperate for YOU. Nyaah.
How is expecting a salesperson to do their job being desperate? If I know there is a car I want, I don’t step foot into the dealer until there is an agreed deal in writing.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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I don’t step foot into the dealer until there is an agreed deal in writing.
You expect the dealer’s agent to come to you to execute the “agreed deal in writing?”

I know why business prefer to do deals over the phone, but I - hard of hearing - won’t. I like to parse thoughtless prattle.
 

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You expect the dealer’s agent to come to you to execute the “agreed deal in writing?”

I know why business prefer to do deals over the phone, but I - hard of hearing - won’t. I like to parse thoughtless prattle.
When did I say dealer coming to me? Before coronavirus I would want it in email or text. Now with coronavirus, dealers are offering contracts mailed to me. In addition, I’ve shopped for cars on the other side of the country. Everything was done by overnight mail, phone, and email. I’m not going to fly cross country just to sign a piece of paper.
 

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I've had a dealer bring the car to our home for a test drive and complete the paperwork at our kitchen table. The mechanics of the paperwork and delivery are, usually, easy. COVID notwithstanding.

The problem OP seems to have posed is about sending and receiving signals that communicate to the dealer that there is a potential deal.

"How much will you sell it for?" "Your price seems too high." Are NOT deal starters, in my experience.

"I'm very interested in the car I saw on your web page today. What's the best way these days to do a deal? I'm ready to proceed if the car is right and we can agree on terms."

In my experience, when things aren't smooth, there is usually a problem with the way signals are sent and/or received. Just sayin'.
 

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I think they read your intentions and reacted accordingly:

"Given covid-19 and that these cars have been sitting on the lot since December/ January, I thought making a deal would be easy. It has turned out rather difficult!

I am honestly in no rush in buying a 750 but if and when the opportunity poses itself, I am ready to make a deal."

These folks have a lot of experience reading people.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've had a dealer bring the car to our home for a test drive and complete the paperwork at our kitchen table. The mechanics of the paperwork and delivery are, usually, easy. COVID notwithstanding.

The problem OP seems to have posed is about sending and receiving signals that communicate to the dealer that there is a potential deal.

"How much will you sell it for?" "Your price seems too high." Are NOT deal starters, in my experience.

"I'm very interested in the car I saw on your web page today. What's the best way these days to do a deal? I'm ready to proceed if the car is right and we can agree on terms."

In my experience, when things aren't smooth, there is usually a problem with the way signals are sent and/or received. Just sayin'.
Insight noted. That's probably what happened.

Communication is a two way street and I expected the dealer to keep talking to try to sell me a car. Admittedly, when I converse with the dealer, it's usually concise and to the the point, I do try to show that I am flexible and not looking for a specific numerical value. I definitely can improve sending correct signals. At the same time, I think it is reasonable to expect the dealer to respond with more than a "no".
 

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Insight noted. That's probably what happened.

Communication is a two way street and I expected the dealer to keep talking to try to sell me a car. Admittedly, when I converse with the dealer, it's usually concise and to the the point, I do try to show that I am flexible and not looking for a specific numerical value. I definitely can improve sending correct signals. At the same time, I think it is reasonable to expect the dealer to respond with more than a "no".
It is unusual for a dealer to cut off a potential sale.

I appreciate your introspection.

There are some guys who can score simply by walking up to a girl and proposing, "Let's get drunk and screw."

My preferred approach, and one that seemed preferred by those I approached was, "Would you allow me to buy you dinner sometime this week?"

In my experience, all successful negotiations happen within the context of a relationship. Attend to that relationship and the desired outcome often follows.
 

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[email protected] I'm not sure if BMW NA offers a sales volume bonus similar to used cars that a BMW center can sell a car at a loss and make it up on hitting the sales volume bonus. COVID-19 has changed the current automotive market that dealerships have to maximize the profit per vehicle sold, as dealerships can not rely on volume sales.

Asking for a lower price right off the bat is not proper negotiation, as I recommend you reading Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson.
 

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I'll throw out another point to consider. With email, texts, social media, chain jerking has become a part of life. How many dealers have been fed seemingly good promises, only to have them turn to nothing? Waste of time. My last purchase started with warm emails. They made an offer. I countered. They said their original was final. Radio silence for a few days.

I went down to see the car. Made an offer that was 1.7% higher than my initial offer in terms of selling price. Deal accepted 30 min from closing. Drove off in the car next day. All likely because I was there in person, ready to deal.
 

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Once you've driven the car and engaged with the dealership and they know you're for real, they will be prepared to consider your offer. That's the business they're in.
Not always the case.

My go-to dealer recently pretty much told me to piss off. This from a guy I've bought several cars from. They aren't doing **** for business yet he had no interest in making deal. Didn't even try really.

Instead I'm going to pick up a car tomorrow from a dealer I've never met. The whole deal was completed in a couple emails. Go figure....
 

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Funny you started this thread as I had an interesting Email reply from a dealership yesterday regarding a CPO. When I revealed I was an out of state buyer the sales person sent me this "Also, we do require customers to be here in person to make the purchase to avoid any issues with the car your buying."

I've purchased 4 cars from out of state (3 of them new) and this response was a first.
 

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I had a similar experience yesterday. I located a 540xi executive demo at a local dealership and sent an email inquiry. They responded quickly and answered my questions. I made a written lease offer that was aggressive, but hardly a low-ball. The counter offer was essentially worse than the advertised price of the car (after a back-of-the-envelope calculations). Either they didn't actually read/consider my offer and just sent their opening figures or were sending me a message. Needless to say, I politely declined and ended the conversation.
 

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So, something is in the wind. Experienced, repeat customers are on this thread saying it feels, and is, different now.

Just an uninformed thought... we are in the midst of a paradigm shift, and it's happening while dealers are experiencing economic stress that is different than times past. They can't "put up the balloons and banners" and set up the hot dog cart on Saturday. New inventory is stuck at the port. The factories have shut down production. Nobody wants to get or give the infection.

And we are calling dealers asking for the usual 'Fester low-ball specials.

Setting aside issues with dealer response time and availability resulting from chaos for which they were not prepared, I think there is increased sensitivity on the part of dealers -- sure they want to sell cars -- but they don't need any more hassles or complexities, so we may be seeing some unfortunate knee-jerk resistance from dealers to getting into anything that might feel to them as complicated.

I suppose if I called a BMW Center and asked, "Is the 750 shown on your web site still available at the listed asking price?," I would get a straight answer. And if I said, "Great. When can I come in and test drive it?," I'd get a straightforward response. And, if I showed up for a scheduled test drive appointment and liked the car and pulled out my checkbook and paid the asking price, I'd have a quick and easy deal.

But if I want to play the game the 'Fester way, looks like I'm going to apply some extra thoughtful negotiating skill, starting with reassuring the dealer that I won't be another problem on top of all their other problems.

I'm not saying or implying some of the posters on this thread are, or intended to be, problems. I'm just saying it's time for extra sensitivity, because, clearly, some dealers just aren't in the mood to give us the special treatment. Maybe a big mistake and missed opportunity on the dealers' part.

Keep your eyes on the prize, don't think too much about how it ought to be, and, figure out the magic formula to get what you want. Success awaits, 'cause BMW dealers need to sell cars.
 
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