View Full Version : Pros and cons of auto brokers?
05-08-2005, 07:37 AM
I will be buying a new car soon, and I'm toying with the idea of buying through a broker. Do they actually arrange good deals? What are the pros and cons of buying a car this way?
05-08-2005, 08:46 AM
Pro: Not having to deal with slimey used-car salesmen.
Con: Broker is probably a former used car salesman. :smack:
Seriously, though....My wife has used brokers twice, both times for convienence above all.
The first time she was single and living in Manhattan with no time to visit dealerships, the second was after I'd had an accident and we needed a car within a few short days, and knew that we wanted the exact same model as the recently wrecked one, just a newer one.
So basically for convienence sake, I guess.
05-08-2005, 09:14 AM
You're basically looking for informed opinions. So let's move this one to IMHO.
samclem GQ moderator
05-08-2005, 11:43 AM
I find it unnecessary and indeed less than advantageous.
Unless you are looking for a rare exotic automobile, you can always work a better deal with a dealer.
Very recently I helped buy my gf a car. I got her a deal of a lifetime because I did my homework and took advantage of every incentive associated with this particular automobile. Depending on which actual dealer cost numbers were true, she paid anywhere from $300 below to $200 above dealer cost plus only tax and title charges, no dealer prep bullshit.
She was very satisfied with the deal and I was sure it was the best deal that could be negotiated. I'm pretty dogged and aggressive when it comes to purchasing cars. I am always ready to walk away from the "best deal" the dealer is willing to offer unless they meet my price. It helps when you're not in the market for a car that is in highest demand or short supply.
A broker would have to pad the best deal he can work out with his own profit margin. That always makes the deal worse than what you can negotiate on your own if you are willing to do some homework and stick to your guns.
Long Time First Time
05-08-2005, 03:17 PM
My experience with a broker may be far from typical, but I used one once and it wasn't very good. He was connected to a credit union, FWIW, so that may have been some of the problem.
My number one issue is that he wouldn't lift a finger unless I promised to buy the car he located. No matter what the actual price - I was to trust him that it was competitive. At that point in the original negotiations I said "thanks, but no thanks" and started car shopping. I found the exact car I wanted - a liquid grey, 4 door Ford Focus with stick shift. When I went back to the dealer to purchase the car, they had just sold it, and the salesman tried to entice me with a more expensive version [yeah, I know, I know]. Since I knew the exact type of car I wanted, I went to Mr. Car Broker and he located one, at a very resonable price.
My second issue with Mr. Car Broker is that even though the sticker price was low, he was twice as aggressive as any regular car salesman at trying to get me to get the extended warranty, road-side delux service package, crappy interest rate on the financing (the way the credit union was making its money after all), etc. etc.
To top it all off, they screwed up the paperwork (in a way that looked to me like they were tampering and doing some shady stuff). I haven't been back and got my next car through a regular dealer again.
The Great Sun Jester
05-09-2005, 09:32 AM
Beats the pros & cons of hitchiking.
05-09-2005, 10:04 AM
Broker seems to be a complete waste to me. Buying a car at a good price really isn't that hard:
-Do a little bit of research to find out invoice price, and current incentives (endmunds.com is good for this)
- Put together what you think is a good offer (see below)
- Call, email, fax or walk into a dealer, tell them your offer and if they don't except it try somewhere else. Don't argue, don't talk monthly payments, don't talk trade ins. Just give him a number and buy or move on.
The new car market is tight enough now that if you make a decent offer to a salesmen, the promise of a quick easy sale (and therefore commission) will make him accept. He would rather lose a few bucks in commission if he can sell you a car in 5 minutes, than spend all day negotiating to earn himself a few more.
Best site: www.carbuyingtips.com > great tips, scams to watch out for, and an excel sheet that you fill out to help you figure out a good offer (generally 5% over invoice, minus incentives.)
05-09-2005, 01:44 PM
We used our credit union's car-buying service for both the cars we recently bought, and were quite pleased with the service (they have some sort of deal with AAA). We got a good price for both cars, and we got exactly what we wanted - since we live in a semi-rural area, driving to different dealerships to get the deal we wanted on the car we wanted would have been very time-consuming and a big, big hassle. They found exactly the car I wanted in just one day, with none of that unnecessary optional crap on it that all the dealerships seem to load on the cars they keep on their lots these days. It was delivered to the credit union right across the street from where I work, so I just went over there, signed the papers and drove away in my new car. No hassles, no negotiations, and I love my car. I guess the only downside is that the dealership that car came from keeps sending me stuff in the mail, which is kind of pointless, since they are in GA and I am in NC, so I won't be going there for service or anything else anytime soon.
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