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Discussion Starter #1
I invite you to help with a choice - Pseudo poll

Which dealer would you pick?

I'll share a story with you... It's a little long.

The dealership (D1) in my neighborhood was playing pricing games. I gave Sales Rep#1 at D1 the specs on the car that I was looking for and they took a while to get back to me.

In the meantime, I went to another dealer (D2) who offered to build the car for me at $300 above invoice. Very polite and very direct. Plenty of time to chat. No games.

Sales Rep#1 at D1 finally called with $700 off MSRP. I asked them to do better and they never got back to me.

Sales Rep#2, from the same D1, given my internet "Request for Quote", called me with 2% above invoice. I told Sales Rep#2 of D1 his colleague Sales Rep#1 and that D2 had given me $300 above invoice. Sales Rep#2 then offered to match the price just for the sake of not having someone else sell me a car.

D1 is much more convenient to my home, but I feel that their sales tactics are bad and may be the same with service. D2 has been great on the phone - more honest seeming.

D1 will shuttle customers to and from home for any service appt regardless of what dealership sold the car. D1 will provide a Volkswagen loaners to cars purchased elsewhere, MBs for thier own. They are only 10 minutes from home.

D2, while being a really good sales experience and a bigger dealer, is 1.5 hour round-trip.

With the above implications, I could buy from D2 and service from D1, when going back to D2 is not convenient.

--> With the same price offered, what you would you guys do?

- SonofC320
 

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2002 C320 Sport
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Dealer 1

I would go to the dealer closer to your home. You get a more personal feel from them if you have frequent visits. They will begin to know your name and greet you every time you come to service your car or get your car washed. It is also a plus to get MB loaners.

P.S. Bigger does not always mean better.(you are more like a number than a person.)
 

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I don't envy you for having to make that choice. It's a classic dilemma.

Of course my f...


I don't envy you for having to make that choice. It's a classic dilemma.

Of course my first recommendation would be to look for D3, with a clean sales policy, but located closer to your home. But you may have tried that, and there may not be a D3.

I wouldn't want to do business with anyone who uses this kind of sales tactics, combined with sloppy attention to customers.

So I wouldn't want to buy a car from them - but I wouldn't want to use their service shop either.

Of course that's easy to say if, like me, you live in a city with at least half a dozen Mercedes outlets within half an hour's drive.

If you think you'ill use D2 for service and repairs as well, I'd prefer to buy from them. If you feel that, over time, the drive will prove too long, then go for D1 right away.

There's also an unknown element of risk involved: bringing the car to a scheduled service is one thing, but what will happen if it turns out to be a lemon (yes - Mercedes has its share of citrus production), and you have frequent unscheduled visits to make? Will you still use D2 every time? Will D2 come and collect the car if it doesn't run at all (which is unlikely, but ...)?

Counting in that risk, I'd probably stick with D1, despite all reservations. Again - if you're going to use their service, you're certainly better off buying from them in the first place. The VW replacement for cars bought elsewhere wouldn't bother me as such, but it shows very clearly that you'll be treated as a second-class customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: I don't envy you for having to make that choice. It's a classic dilemma.Of course my f

I don't envy you for having to make that choice. It's a classic dilemma.

Of course my first recommendation would be to look for D3, with a clean sales policy, but located closer to your home. But you may have tried that, and there may not be a D3.

I wouldn't want to do business with anyone who uses this kind of sales tactics, combined with sloppy attention to customers.

So I wouldn't want to buy a car from them - but I wouldn't want to use their service shop either.

Of course that's easy to say if, like me, you live in a city with at least half a dozen Mercedes outlets within half an hour's drive.

If you think you'ill use D2 for service and repairs as well, I'd prefer to buy from them. If you feel that, over time, the drive will prove too long, then go for D1 right away.

There's also an unknown element of risk involved: bringing the car to a scheduled service is one thing, but what will happen if it turns out to be a lemon (yes - Mercedes has its share of citrus production), and you have frequent unscheduled visits to make? Will you still use D2 every time? Will D2 come and collect the car if it doesn't run at all (which is unlikely, but ...)?

Counting in that risk, I'd probably stick with D1, despite all reservations. Again - if you're going to use their service, you're certainly better off buying from them in the first place. The VW replacement for cars bought elsewhere wouldn't bother me as such, but it shows very clearly that you'll be treated as a second-class customer.
Hi. You're pretty funny. [:D] (in a good way).

"Citrus Production" - FUNNY!!!

The foreseeable future shows that if we buy the car from D2, it will be serviced at D2 whenever necessary. In about 3+ years or if D2 service proves to be terrible, we'll go to D1 for service. If the car does not run, MBUSA will have the car towed to either dealer. D1 will provide a ride to/from your home instead of waiting for a loaner car to be available if we wish. Hence, if we go back to D1, having bought the car at D2, they'll at least give us a ride.

Can't really say much about either service department.

Yup D1 is certainly more convenient, but good thoughts are not associated with them.

D3 is the same company where I bought our BMW and I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot poll.

- SonOfC320
 

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Strike the best deal you can at the place you'll want service.

If you are upset about how the sales people have treated you, then you may not be getting the best deal. They should have to put up with you because you've done the research, know what you will pay for what you want, and are in the best bargaining position because, known only to you, they have the very car on their lot that you actually want and will buy that day if they give you the price you know you can get. And, if you do not get that price, you're supposed to be walking away no matter how nice they are.

That's what the books say about how to get the very best deal. I'm not a super bargainer, but I've read the books. We got $3.5K off a ~$40K '02 C320 (moonroof, leather, power seats ... about everything but Command). We purchased in about the middle of May '02-- I do not know how that compares with the amounts over invoice that you've been offered, but I would think now is as good or better a time for the buyer as it was about a year ago--you might do better. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Strike the best deal you can at the place you'll want service.

If you are upset about how the sales people have treated you, then you may not be getting the best deal. They should have to put up with you because you've done the research, know what you will pay for what you want, and are in the best bargaining position because, known only to you, they have the very car on their lot that you actually want and will buy that day if they give you the price you know you can get. And, if you do not get that price, you're supposed to be walking away no matter how nice they are.

That's what the books say about how to get the very best deal. I'm not a super bargainer, but I've read the books. We got $3.5K off a ~$40K '02 C320 (moonroof, leather, power seats ... about everything but Command). We purchased in about the middle of May '02-- I do not know how that compares with the amounts over invoice that you've been offered, but I would think now is as good or better a time for the buyer as it was about a year ago--you might do better. Good luck.

I know what you're saying. However, the dealer who offered me the best price (D2) is also the most straight forward thus far. My research had shown that the 2002 C-classes had MB incentives of $3500. Bravo to you for getting your dealer to give it up. Unfortunately, no dealer has been able to get any closer to invoice on the first shot other than this one. The fact that this is a 4 Matic in the Northeast makes it a little difficult too.

Long story short... two of the three local dealers (D1 & "D3" - other than D2) are now offering either to match or beat D2 by a little. However, D3 forces me to drive a bit in the wrong direction and D1 stated that they would reluctantly do it just to keep D2 from making a sale. For approx $100-$200 savings, it just doesn't seem natural to deal that way.

-SonOfC320
 

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Re: Re: I don't envy you for having to make that choice. It's a classic dilemma.Of course my f

D3 is the same company where I bought our BMW and I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot poll.
- SonOfC320
Well, here's some general advice from a 5'9'' Pole (OK, only half-Pole, the other half is Austrian [:D] ):

Go by your gut feeling. If you don't feel comfortable with D1 and D3, and if you are confident you will be able to use D2 for service, buy from them.

After all, a Mercedes is more than just an ordinary "car". You wouldn't want to buy an Armani suit from a corner dime store (or only if it was REALLY cheap, not for just 20 bucks off the mid-Manhattan price). Pleasurable buying is part of the overall ownership experience associated with a superior brand, as is pleasurable servicing.

Just my two bits.

Enjoy your new car, as I enjoy mine (I didn't even shop around, but went straightaway to the largest dealer in town and got 2 % more off than what ordinary people are reported to get, which is good enough for me in that department - but then I have no Scottish ancestors [:D] ; and I still find it a pleasurable experience to go there for service once in a while, although I have a smaller and less prestigious garage around the corner; however, if my car had turned out to be of the citrus variety, I'd probably patronise the more convenient nearby garage).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, D1 finally came around and offered the car at about $50 less than the other dealer...

Well, D1 finally came around and offered the car at about $50 less than the other dealership. They cited that they would never ordinarily sell a car optioned as we wanted for such a price. The General Manager would only be doing so to make it up to us.

BTW, I mentioned to this Sales Rep#2 at D1 that Sales Rep#1 said the General Manager was the person who initially said $700 under MSRP was the best that they could do. Sales Rep#2 said that the General Manager had not been involved in this previously. Real nice.

So, although Sales Rep#2 was scratching his head about what else could be done, I told them that it looked like I would pass since their offer was barely better and that their prior dealings with me seemed less than fair.

Unless the bottom falls out or something spectacular happens, D2 it is.

- SonOfC320
 
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