With apologies to any Members of
Music Sojourn who happen to be car dealers:
The next time you are planning
to purchase a new car, BEFORE you vist the dealer, visit
Fighting Chance at
Please visit the Fighting
Chance web site above for an overview of the service,
I'll only detail my results below:
I (Scott) recently used
Fighting Chance's service and methods to purchase two
cars (at the same time), one for our family and one for
my mom, and the results were better than advertised!
(BTW, lest you get the idea that supporting Music
Sojourn is helping me buy new cars,
here's our disclosure of the
pretty modest finances that keep this site running -
click here to read it plus more >>> - fortunately I
have a day job to survive on).
I followed the advice of
Fighting Chance and used the Fax Attack, faxing 18
dealers within a 3 hour drive of home, on the date
specified for best results at the end of March (2004).
The faxes were sent on a Monday, the end of the month
was on Wednesday.
In Pennsylvania, car
dealers are closed on Sundays, so we had already visited
several of the dealerships on the Sunday before sending
out the faxes and, thus had some knowledge of where
several models that met our purchase criteria were.
We also verified the options pricing against the info in
the Fighting Chance package, and it was exact.
In all, I received 8
Reponses/offers to the 18 faxes. I live in the
Pittsburgh, PA metro area, but the majority of the
responses were from a little further out (only 2 of the
closest 6 dealers responded). By early Tuesday, I
had three dealers, with both of the cars that we wanted,
offering them at about $400 over Invoice price (each).
By the end of the day on Tuesday, two of the dealers
were offering the cars at about $100 over invoice (each
Things got really
interesting on Wednesday (remember, last day of the
month). by 10:30 a.m., a 3rd dealer (and one close
to me) agreed to sell the two cars both at Invoice
price. But between 11:00 and 1:00, a full scale
price war broke out between two other dealers.
Both dealers began outbidding each other by phone.
At this point, I had an advantage from having visited
one of the dealers - I knew that one of the dealers had
both cars in the colors and trims that we wanted because
we saw them on the Sunday before, and the 2nd dealer
admitted that he had to get the cars from somewhere
else. So, in order to actually be able to
physically get to the bank, etc, then to the car dealers
to complete the sale by closing, I had to cut the
bidding process off at 2:00 p.m. The final result
was a price on the cars, from the dealer that we saw
them at, of $327.00 below invoice on car # 1, and
$371.00 below invoice on car # 2 (the winning dealer was
approximately 45 minutes away).
And, by the way, the 2nd
dealer didn't give up! They called back and tried
to offer another deal of another $100 off plus 10 free
oil changes! I did not reverse my deal with dealer
one since I had closed the bidding by my word, but found
out later that dealer 2 here was desperately trying to
get one of the cars we purchased from dealer 1 (where we
Remember, I was not
running around to these dealers, they were calling me at
my office while I worked at other things (though I admit
that I really didn't get anything else done Wednesday
after 11:00, but it was worth that time spent!).
So the bottom line for me
was a combined price on 2 cars of $698.00 below invoice
prices, about $1,498 below the best offers made on
Monday of that week, and over $8,400 below the sticker
prices ($4,230 per car - think about that the next time
you hear of $1,000 off the sticker price!).
As for time spent, I
tracked my time on this project accurately (since I do
that for real work tasks, it was easy to do), and my
total time spent was 40.3 hours - but that includes 8
hours spent on Sunday driving around the area to see
cars, and 8 hours on Wednesday to finalize and drive to
the dealer to make the purchase, and drive our new car
home (and they even delivered the 2nd car right to my
door on Thursday!). So, if you assume that I could
have walked into a dealer unprepared and paid the
sticker price less $1,000 per car ($2,000), and my
savings over that was around $6,400, divided by the 40.3
hours spent equates to $160.00 per hour for the total
time spent. Not a bad billing rate!
Finally, in case my
experience is not enough to convince you, those of you
who are Public Radio listeners or Public TV viewers will
recognize another Fighting Chance customer in David
Brancaccio, formerly host of Marketplace on Public
Radio, now co-host of Now with Bill Moyers. See
more info on the
Fighting Chance website here >>>.
And on the lighter side
of cars, I now know that I'm not the only one who
thought BMW stood for "Big Money Waste" or similar -
click here for "The
Car Name Game"
Email Scott at
Support @ musicsojourn (click here)