It's great you dropped in here, (***************** is another super resource) and welcome to this forum.
You are looking at a REAL luxury and safe car to buy.
Familiarize yourself with the dealers price as best you can, looking at vehix.com, edmunds.com etc. and the resources that have the prices. You COULD engage a broker for this, but there's no reason you can't handle
it all by yourself, if yougo in well informed.
Buying a model that has sat for several months on the lot can help, as they've been paying flooring costs on it for a long time and they might want it gone.
For some makes of cars there is a way you can look on the dealer's stock number and tell how long the car has been on the lot. I don't know how it works for Mercedes. It should be pasted on the windshield of the car.
Shopping on a rainy day, or the last day of the month always helps. If you are negotiating figures, don't forget, you are at the advantage if you stop talking first. If possible, figure out how the salesman is paid,
either by commission or by unit sales. If you are lucky enough to get a salesman paid by unit sales, like a flat $300 per car sold, that is LOTS better for you, as he won't care much how cheap it gets sold, as long as it GETS sold. A commissioned guy has the incentive to make himself a bigger profit if he can, so will be harder to get a better price from. I happened to buy from a Unit Sales compensated guy once and couldn't believe the deal I got.
Don't forget to avoid some of the Finance Department's tricks like selling you scotchgarding and other goodies you really don't need. People sometimes forget you have to negotiate prices twice, once with the Sales Department, and then again in the Finance Department. So be ready!
You didn't mention if you are leasing or buying, if buying a Credit Union or your own bank bight give you a better deal on financing if you buy, on the loan, but don't forget you can always sign the papers and take the dealer's financing, and then within 3 to 4 days (check) you can go to your bank or CU and refinance for
a better rate. I have done this.
With leasing, I have never done it, but think the money factor, residual, excess mileage figure, and actual beginning agreed selling value of the car are ALL things negotiable. Other p eople here are probably more clear on it than I am, but all the information is available on the net about leasing.
Besure the Predelivery sheet is fully filled out and do a careful inspection of the body and interior of the car before accepting it, insist it is clean and in perfect cosmetic condition throughout, check it in good light, not at night or in the rain.
Part of the paperwork will be a "due bill", so on this piece of paperwork, they are likely to gloss over, it is your one and only chance to GET IN WRITING any extra promises they made to close the sale, like a nice free keychain or two from the parts dept. or boutique, an extra set of keys, touch up paint, dealer accessories like HD floormats, a custom license plate frame, a little model of the car, free or
at dealer's actual cost,
or anything else you think you'd like to have, it's pretty likely for a car this expensive. Youve got to have these things in writing to claim them when the car is sold or later, or you won't get them.
Think hard about the extended warranty if offered. They are expensive, but they give piece of mind, and repairs are EXPENSIVE on these cars. remember the price on these are NEGOTIABLE also, just like the price of the car, there is huge profits to the finance dept. to be made when they sell them. they will piously deny they are negotiable, but in fact they are. I would probably buy one.
Since you are looking at new, and aware of the dealers holdback, factory to dealer incentives and other variables, like dealer's advertising fees
you can be polite but firm and a knowledgeable bargainer here.
You can sometimes save by buying from stock, especially OLD stock, as stated, but dealers can "trade" cars with otherdealers (There are over 20 dealers in So Cal) to get you one with the color and options you want, sometimes, and remember if it's for your wife, they are very sensitive to color and upholstery selection, usually, so it is important.
There is a poster on MercedesShop - Mercedes Benz Parts and Technical Information
called ASHMAN, whose brother is a sales rep for Beverly Hills Mercedes and that might be one avenue to pursue
I went to Southern California for mine and got a VERY good price from House of Imports in Buena Park, down in Orange County near Disneyland off the 91, and it was not too hard because I bought one that had been on the lot over 4 months and they were tired of looking at it, and also they were the #1 Volume dealer in the Country for Mercedes so they could give good deals.
For what it's worth, I like the service department
at Beverly Hills Mercedes, andW I Simonson in Santa Monica, but House of Imports not so much. and I have heard the Service Dept at SilverStar in Thousand
Oaks is to be avoided.
Though my experiences were some time ago, maybe things are different. MB of Laguna Niguel isw supposed to be reputable place. Fletcher Jones of Newport Beach has had some bad reports, even though it is a huge place.
I hope this provides a good jumping off point for you, you're lucky to be in SoCal, there are LOTS of dealers and cars to pick from if you want a Benz.
I have heard preliminary reports that the '07 models have better quality than the '06 cars, but there is no real evidence out on that yet.
Before you drive away with the new car, a good dealer will introduce you to the parts, service and body shop managers, to attempt to make you comfortable with the dealership.
Have fun shopping, you should do just fine