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  #1  
Old May 14th, 2010, 08:39 PM
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Default Costco Auto Buy Program

is there any additional benefit to getting a car through the program more towards the end of the month???

i saw the old thread about the program and want more updated info...anyone went through it, or specifically through Honda Windward since my spouse wants to get another CR-V?
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  #2  
Old May 14th, 2010, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Not much benefit as the prices are set between Costco and the auto dealer for the "No-Haggle" experience. You may actually get a better deal outside of the Costco program at the end of the month since dealers are more willing to drop prices to get new vehicles out of inventory before the banks start accessing interest charges on the dealers.
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  #3  
Old May 14th, 2010, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Thanks for the info. I'm seriously thinking about buying a Honda Fit and keep putting it off because I'd rather have a root canal than go shopping for...anything. Especially a car! I'm starting to do some research in Consumer Reports but, honestly, the thought of walking into a dealership and the whole manipulative process is very disconcerting.
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  #4  
Old May 14th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Tutu, I think the new Honda Fit is a fabulous car. I have looked at them seriously. The rear seat can be configured in numerous ways for passengers, hauling, or whateba. People are reporting in the high 30's on the highway. The biggest complaints are that they are a little noisy on the interior and the ride is kind of jittery because of the short wheelbase. Should work great for Oahu. Go to Edmunds.com and search the forums for Honda Fit to get the lowdown on the car.

Tutu, avoid the whole salesman routine. Shop for your car over the Internet or through the Fleet Manager. Every dealer has Internet sales and you can avoid the greasy haired kid or "Hi I'm Tiffany. You look like a man who knows what he is after." Yeah, right.

I have decided to purchase a used Ford Escape Hybrid from a private party. It's just "mano a mano" in those transactions.

I've found that the discounts through the Costco program are mediocre at best. You can get a better deal by hard negotiating.
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Last edited by matapule; May 14th, 2010 at 11:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old May 14th, 2010, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Go at the end of the month where it's more important for the salesperson to raise their sales count to the next tier rather than holding gross.

Check safety check decals for the oldest "new car" on the lot. Older stickers mean they've been on the lot too long and the bank's dealer center will start charging interest to the dealership.

These are the two hottest things to remember when buying a new car.
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  #6  
Old May 15th, 2010, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

wow, since the only HONDA dealer participating in the Costco Program is 'Honda Windward', what are we to do?

We will be meeting with the contact rep there in the next 1-2 days, or we should tell them to wait, we'll hold out for close to the end of the month and then also ask the Internet Specialist ..as to who will give us the better deal???

Please people, those who really participated in the program, what do you have to say? use it or negotiate on one's own...?
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  #7  
Old May 15th, 2010, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

I checked to see what Mazda dealer was participating in the Costco program. It was the dealer on Kauai as neither of the Honolulu stores, JN or Cutter, were involved.
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  #8  
Old May 15th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaiiguy View Post
Please people, those who really participated in the program, what do you have to say? use it or negotiate on one's own...?
I did participate in the program on two different cars at two different dealerships in California. In my opinion the deal they offered me was okay but not the best deal (both offered me the car at the exact same price so that means some formula was used). I checked on Edmunds.com for the actual buying experience of those who purchased that specific model. People who dealt direct with the dealer were gettinng a better deal than the Costco program was offereing me. I decided to walk. I am going to buy a used car.
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  #9  
Old May 15th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

i used the costco program last year when we purchased our odyssey... i need a people mover!

when i purchased my forester in '05 i contacted the dealership and asked for the fleet/internet sales department and was given a price. they asked if i had a costco membership and was then given a slightly better price.

i used costco, specifically for the van, because i had always seen the ads in costco and wanted to try it out. i also called other dealers talking to their fleet/internet sales department. i found costco to be a little better. also, costco prices were much better then my credit union.

for the amount of time i put into buying the van i was very happy.

i feel that if you are looking to get the very best deal then you may find yourself at the dealership for HOURS.

for the time i was at the dealership, under 2 hours, and the price given, $1500 under their "invoice", i was very happy.

also, i was given/offered additional discounts for accessories at the time of purchase because of the costco program. even with the additional 10% or 20% off of their dealer retail prices i declined all except the 7 year/120k warranty - i drive a lot!

online prices for accessories are much better but shipping to HI may negate any savings.

good luck with your purchase!!!

joel
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  #10  
Old May 28th, 2010, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

O.K. , we had decided to hold off going to Honda Windward until late June...I'm thinking that'll be a even better incentive for the dealer to 'bend our way'..due to being at the end of the month AND it being the end of the fiscal year (if that plays a part...).

When I submitted the email application to obtain a authorization number, that contact person from Honda Windward called/left a message within 6 hours of receiving our info from Costco...but the strange thing is that we have not heard back at all from him by phone, email, etc..

I'm thinking this must be a really bad deal for the dealer, and the contact person in terms of commission as there has absolutely been no follow-up by them since that one call left to my spouse. Compared that to the Internet Dept which I inquired one night about 1 1/2 months ago with a 'pop-up' screen asking if we had any questions on their vehicles (which I replied)...This Internet Dept contact person has emailed me on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 30th day...now that's being in contact!!!

Does this mean anything? Maybe they not interested in following up with the Costco Auto Purchase since they won't be getting much out of it?
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  #11  
Old May 28th, 2010, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

I'm following this thread closely, hawaiiguy! I picked up the Costco Auto Program brochure today. Once you submitted your info to Costco, how long did it take for them to respond with an authorization number? And were you able to see a price before Costco contacted the dealership?
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  #12  
Old May 28th, 2010, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

got the authorization number immediately after filling out the costco membership #, etc. on their website and pressing 'enter'... then pops your authorization number...

no, not able to see a price, as that 'sheet' will be provided when you actually meet with the contact rep... and again, we just holding off about a month...

Last edited by hawaiiguy; May 28th, 2010 at 01:37 AM.
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  #13  
Old May 28th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
Once you submitted your info to Costco, how long did it take for them to respond with an authorization number? And were you able to see a price before Costco contacted the dealership?
In my case it was 24 hours. The Costco rep has been following up a minimum of every two weeks. I sent an email that said I purcased a used car. They followed up with a thank you and to keep them in mind for a future purchase. I will.
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  #14  
Old June 23rd, 2010, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

ok, we are ready to make contact with the costco rep...

but i see on the dealer's website that they don't have *white*, which is the color my wife wants for her SUV.. what now? we are in no rush, so will they have to order from the factory and we just wait? do we lose any bargaining power because they don't stock it?

Craig, is *white* a color that is not readily in demand?
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  #15  
Old June 24th, 2010, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

actually White is THE most popular color along with silver. Because white is very popular, it may be a way to have you come down to the lot and negotiate rather than using the Costco no haggle program if you want that color. Costco is fine but when it comes to servicing, you may not get the special treatment a sales associate will give you after the sale. If you buy a car from me, I will personally handle your service needs for as long as you own it. You'll still pay for it, however isn't it nice to pick up the phone and tell me, "Craig, set me up for a service appointment!" and let me take care of everything including pick up and delivery. Yes I will go out to your home or business, pick up your car and return it when it's done.

When you buy a car from a computer, there's no human interaction. Yes there's an internet sales manager, but are they commissioned? No they get a salary. Sales associates work hard to get and keep your business and your referrals, at least the ones with integrity.

My feelings are that right now many of Hawaii's auto dealers are into their summer sales and quite a few are running ads below MSRP to drum up sales. Because the Costco program locks in a negotiated price between them and the auto dealership, these summer sale prices may be in some instances, lower than the costco price.

As for advertised deals, check if there's a stock number associated with that particular "Ad-Car". That advertised price may only be on that particular vehicle and not on the entire lot of that model car.

Regarding the Honda Fit...that is one impressive little car. Big on passenger space and even good size on some cargo, but not both. As Matapule did indicate the Fit can have a loud interior noise, but that may be due to the trim. If it was the Sport model, those use tires that are lower in profile than the base Fit and can result in more road noise. This car was meant to be low cost and typically installing better tires can reduce road noise significantly.
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Last edited by craigwatanabe; June 24th, 2010 at 03:28 AM.
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  #16  
Old June 24th, 2010, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

>>>Costco is fine but when it comes to servicing, you may not get the special treatment a sales associate will give you after the sale. If you buy a car from me, I will personally handle your service needs for as long as you own it.<<<

And get jacked?

I bought my car from a "dealer" (Servco) and I got no "special treatment." Servco screwed me as far as I'm concerned in terms of "service." Close to $150 for standard "service" in Honolulu, but when I moved to Seattle and got my car serviced here at Toyota of Seattle (exact same deal -- oil, tire rotation, etc.) it costs me $50 (plus a free car wash coupon at Brown Bear).

Oh, and I got my recall notice from Toyota of Seattle TWO MONTHS before Servco notified me, even though I bought my car there and notified them of my new address.

Oh wait, there's shipping.
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  #17  
Old June 24th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by dick View Post
[...]
I bought my car from a "dealer" (Servco) and I got no "special treatment." [...]
I'm thinking "special treatment" (extra customer service), as Craig described it above, is more the decision of the salesperson than the dealership. It sounds like Craig would rather oversee his customers needs than leave it to the dealership...while throwing in some extra perks. Dick, it sounds like you didn't have a salesperson with the same philosophy.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

[QUOTE=craigwatanabe;257391]

My feelings are that right now many of Hawaii's auto dealers are into their summer sales and quite a few are running ads below MSRP to drum up sales. Because the Costco program locks in a negotiated price between them and the auto dealership, these summer sale prices may be in some instances, lower than the costco price.

QUOTE]

You are so right...i was VERY DISAPPOINTED at the Honda dealership (the one and only guy for the entire state) for the time I had to spend there (over 3.5 hours), then to hear it all at the end (finally) how much is the Costco Pricing and how much they were going to give on the trade-in... HA!

Why, it was four digits *over* the dealer invoice price!!! There was hardly anything between that price and MSRP!...

I am trying other venues, like internet pricing, etc...on other dealers... before the end of this month!
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Old June 27th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

I wanted to avoid the whole car buying experience, so I went with the Costco program to get my Hyundai. Seriously no pressure and the prices are set with a fixed markup. If you don't mind or relish the haggling experience then the Costco program isn't for you. I don't mind paying a fair price (ymmv) and I hate the whole back and forth bs with regular buying, so the Costco program was perfect for me. If I wanted to squeeze nickels then I would have bought used, not new. The only haggling with the Costco program is with the extended warranty offer and if you have a trade-in. All in all, I actually enjoyed my Costco/Hyundai purchase.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by bueller555 View Post
I don't mind paying a fair price (ymmv).
I work out at the gym with a guy who retired from the auto dealership he owned. He owned a Japanese auto dealership and participated in the Costco program. I asked him what a "fair price" is for both dealer and buyer. He said "dealer invoice" is a fair price for everyone. He loved when Costco buyers came in because the Costco price is over invoice. He said that auto dealers make their profit on manufactuer incentives and rebates and service work and used cars. He said anything over invoice on a new car is gravy.

I dunno, that's just what he said.
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  #21  
Old June 29th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by matapule View Post
I work out at the gym with a guy who retired from the auto dealership he owned. He owned a Japanese auto dealership and participated in the Costco program. I asked him what a "fair price" is for both dealer and buyer. He said "dealer invoice" is a fair price for everyone. He loved when Costco buyers came in because the Costco price is over invoice. He said that auto dealers make their profit on manufactuer incentives and rebates and service work and used cars. He said anything over invoice on a new car is gravy.

I dunno, that's just what he said.
it's fair for the dealership however it's not fair for the sales associate making a living selling the car. When buying thru the Costco program, all leads go directly to the dealer's internet manager where sales associates commission is typically deleted. Almost like buying direct (well sorta).

Manufacturer's incentives are simply buy backs that allow the dealership to lower the cost of the vehicle and recoup thru the manufacturer who "Buy's back" the difference just to move merchandise.

Service work is always considered in the purchase of a new vehicle. Service contracts is how the Service Department makes money. It's also a way for the new car owner to have one place handle all of their servicing needs with all service records. It's more expensive but some really like that convenience.

As for Gravy, the only gravy is the "Dealer Markup" that is clearly identified on the dealer sticker (that thin window sticker next to the Monroni sticker that identifies the standard features that came with that vehicle from the factory). There are dealer add-ons such as protection packages (that can include mudguards, floor mats, side door guards), trim package add-ons such as foglights, alloy wheels and others. The Dealer Markup allows room for negotiating so a dealership can "Hold Gross" and return the highest possible profit margin. Is that bad? Considering many hardware stores mark up their power tool accessories over 100% and their tools themselves close to 40%, the Dealer Markup is considerably smaller percentage wise over MSRP.

It's the cost of doing business. You don't go into business to simply break even, you have to allow a profit margin or else why be in business? Costco uses fleet pricing to ensure the lowest possible price for it's members. But that also means that only a select amount of vehicles can be sold in this pricing scheme. That means Costco is limited to the number of vehicles it can sell at these prices...nationwide.

One of the reasons why people buy from a dealership is the trust bond between the buyer and the sales associate. A good car sales associate will be there for the buyer long after the sale for two reasons: 1) to establish a long term repeat and referral business relationship and 2) to provide a liason between the service department and the buyer.

Many times the sales associate will go out of their way to ensure prompt and courteous service to their customers. For example, if you work and can't get off to bring in your car for servicing, I will go to your workplace, pick up your vehicle, have it serviced and return it at the end of your work day. No charge on the pick up and delivery service. The service department can only offer a shuttle service or a loaner car (if one is available). Try getting that thru the Costco program.

It's the human touch that allows car dealerships to stay in business. Yes you will have a few bad dealerships and even really bad managers and sales associates, but like a good mechanic, doctor, dentist, plumber, whatever the profession, you search out the ones you can trust and stay with them.

And by the way, Tony Honda isn't the only Honda dealership in the state of Hawaii, Fletcher Jones operates Big Island Honda as well as the Mercedes, Porsche, Land Rover dealerships on Oahu.
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  #22  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Costco Auto Buy Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by matapule View Post
I work out at the gym with a guy who retired from the auto dealership he owned. He owned a Japanese auto dealership and participated in the Costco program. I asked him what a "fair price" is for both dealer and buyer. He said "dealer invoice" is a fair price for everyone. He loved when Costco buyers came in because the Costco price is over invoice. He said that auto dealers make their profit on manufactuer incentives and rebates and service work and used cars. He said anything over invoice on a new car is gravy.

I dunno, that's just what he said.
You can say that again!!! the Costco price was four (4) digits over the invoice price...so much that heck, I'm really only saving less than $600 over MSRP...

Decided to go to Pflueger Honda, we wheeled and dealed there late Sunday afternoon, and got a very good price and the suv we wanted...even though we were trying not to haggle in the first place, hence trying out the Costco Program... Our sales person at Pflueger Honda says they honor Sam's Club Auto Program, which is 3% over invoice...now THAT would save us (if we were members, but we aren't) some money...but he also mentioned 'No further haggling' (on the Sam's Club Program).
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