By on October 24, 2016

fusion-hybrid-window-sticker

It was called The Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 and it was sponsored by Almer Stillwell Monroney, the Senator from Oklahoma who preferred the colloquial nickname “Mike” and whose other legislative priority in 1958 was to create the FAA.

We owe Mike Monroney a lot. He was from that long-discredited and long-forgotten breed of old privileged men who believed there was such a thing as the public interest and that they had a genuine duty to act in that public interest. As with Rudolf Diesel, history has paid him the supreme compliment of omitting capitalization — it’s common for “monroney” to be used in correspondence or business as a mere noun denoting the window sticker in a new car.

We take the monroney for granted nowadays. There are few of us left alive who can remember the days when a car did not have its price and equipment fully and forthrightly glued to the inside of its rear passenger window. In fact, very few of us take the window sticker at all seriously. Everybody knows that in the modern car market the dealer invoice is the “real” sticker, unless you’re talking about a Ferrari or something where the MSRP is just a starting point for further discussions based on one’s history with the marque, the dealership, and/or Goldman Sachs. But the protection and information offered by that label in the window is real, it is meaningful, and it is absolutely critical to any remotely ethical business transaction between the dealer and the consumer.

Would you be surprised, therefore, to find out that there is a massive motor vehicle retail chain in this country where Almer Stillwell’s second-greatest idea simply does not exist? And would you be not particularly surprised to find that the absence of the monroney leads to consumer abuses ranging from misleading pricing to deliberate mislabeling of a vehicle’s model year?

Some of you doubtless already know the answer to this. Motorcycles are specifically exempted from the provisions of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958, and virtually every new piece of state-level legislation since then has also specifically exempted motorcycles. Before we get into what this means for the prospective motorcycle purchaser, we should ask why this should be a matter of concern for someone who doesn’t ride a bike and has no plans to ride a bike. The simplest answer is this: Not everything that fits the legal definition of a “motorcycle” is really a “motorcycle” as we know it.

Take, for example, the Morgan 3-Wheeler: it’s a motorcycle as far as the law is concerned. The Elio? Also a trike. The Polaris Slingshot? As my son noted, in his outdoor voice, when he saw a line of Slingshots with their owners at a Quaker State Bike Night… “those aren’t motorcycles, Dad, so why are they here?” But in the eyes of Justice, a Slingshot is a motorcycle. So even if you don’t think motorcycle laws are important now, you might find that our post-abundance future will offer you a few opportunities to see how the law applies to you. It’s also interesting to see a sort of root cause for how the relationship between auto dealer and auto buyer became so strained; after all, the problems facing a new-bike buyer are very similar to what a new-car buyer faced in 1955, prior to the current laws.

I can tell you how it applies to me: I’ve been rather idly shopping this year for a Kawasaki ZX-14R motorcycle. The retail price of a 2016 ZX-14R is $14,999, plus a destination charge of $360. That much seems simple, but what’s this little cross mark at the end of the price on the Kawasaki website?

dealer

“Dealer sets the actual destination charge, your price may vary.” With that single sentence, we are truly well clear of the boundaries set by Senator Monroney. In the car business, the destination charge is listed on the sticker, and it is fixed. In the motorcycle business? It’s all up for grabs.

Yet even this is an improvement over the situation in the pre-Internet era. Back then, the MSRP of a bike wasn’t available online — and you sure as hell wouldn’t find it in most dealerships. Instead, you had to ask a salesperson. There are no window stickers on motorcycles. I’ve written before about how as a teenager I was terrified of motorcycle salesmen, but even as an adult I was annoyed by them. Some salespeople would quote you the MSRP, some would start asking you questions instead of providing information; others would engage in the time-honored powersports sales technique of “disqualifying the customer” and/or suggesting that the motorcycle in question was a bad choice.

When I went to a big-box multi-brand dealer a few weeks ago, I was hoping to find a 2015 ZX-14R in stock. The 2015 ZX-R differs from the current 2016 model in two important respects. To begin with, it has an extra ten horsepower, thanks to Kawasaki’s decision to fit improved Euro-compliant catalyst hardware on the new model which chokes it from a stunning 208 horsepower to a merely acceptable 197 horsepower. The second is that there is a $2,500 rebate on the 2015 model compared to the $2,000 rebate on the 2016. Visually, however, the bikes are almost identical.

I was dismayed to see that both of the green ZX-14Rs on the floor were 2016 models. Each of them sported a “2016” tag and a “$2,000 OFF” tag. Note that “$2,000 off” is fairly meaningless if there is no other price information on the bike, which was the case. Yet the Aspie in me thought that there was definitely something off about the situation. One of the bikes had green-anodized shock adjusters and the other one didn’t. So I checked the frames. Yup, the bike with the green adjusters was a 2015, not a 2016.

Mislabeling a 2015 bike as a 2016? That’s go-directly-to-jail territory for auto dealers. But in the motorcycle game it’s just another day at the office. I started checking the other bikes around it. Sure enough, it wasn’t the only one to be promoted to 2016-model-year status through the flick of a Sharpie on an inventory tag. I alerted the dealer to the “mistake”, and we started to talk price.

At this point, I’ll mention that I was in near-simultaneous communication with another Kawasaki dealer, this one in Bloomfield Hills. They were much cheaper on the ZX-14R. Or were they? Here’s the final pricing breakdown from both dealer:

Ohio dealer: $13,499 transaction price. $2,500 rebate. $249 doc fee. $360 destination. Prep waived. $18 tag fee: $11,626.

Michigan dealer: $12,499 transaction price. $2,500 rebate. $625 destination. $334 prep. $190 doc fee. $70 tag fee: $11,218.

It’s worth noting that the Michigan dealer would not disclose the precise amounts of those fees to me until I stated that I was only willing to buy the bike via faxed purchase order. They spent a considerable amount of time trying to get me to “just come on up.” One salesperson at another dealer I called said, “We can waive all the fees, but we can only do it for people who have already put a deposit down.” Think about that.

I was pretty annoyed by the whole process, so I called time on it for a while. Little did I know that Mrs. Baruth was making the same calls, and with slightly more effectiveness. She was able to get the destination waived at the Ohio dealer, effectively matching the Michigan dealer’s price. And it was thus that I became a ZX-14R owner, to the immense and everlasting satisfaction of my inner 12-year-old.

It’s worth noting that Danger Girl and I held pretty much all the cards in this transaction. A 186-mph motorcycle is a tough sell in the Midwest when winter is perhaps thirty days distant. The ZX-14R, like all of the sub-$20,000 superbikes, is suffering from low demand as the economy fractures. The young men who used to buy these bikes don’t have jobs; the one-percenters ride Ducatis, MV Agustas, or Beemers. We had no plans to finance the vehicle, so we couldn’t be pressured into a deal that we didn’t like just because a dealer had crippled our credit ratings while looking for financing.

(That, incidentally, is exactly what happened to me in 1995. I wanted a new FZR600 for $4,999. My dealer ran my credit to thirty different banks, making it impossible for any of them to approve me. Then he told me that his “buddy” at the “LoanZone” could approve me at 23.99% over 36 month. Needless to say, I never became an FZR600 owner.)

Most importantly, however, we didn’t need the ZX-14R. Nobody needs a ZX-14R. It has no practical value whatsoever. My worst-case scenario regarding this purchase was that I’d forget about it, continue to ride my other bikes until the spring and then think about the whole process again. That’s rarely the case for lower-income families who absolutely need something like a minivan to get them to work and school.

So in the end, I didn’t suffer very much because Senator Monroney didn’t extend the protections of his Act to the two-wheel set. But it was a sobering reminder of the predatory manner in which dealers will behave if the rules are taken away. And it’s also a worrisome look into a future where our candidates for major office are typically either businessmen themselves or entirely the servile creatures of Goldman Sachs and the like. Not to contradict Charles Dickens, but sometimes the law is not an ass. Sometimes, the law is rather astounding.

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60 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: The 1955 Auto-Buying Experience Is Available To You In 2016, But You Won’t Like It...”


  • avatar
    tonycd

    “My dealer ran my credit to thirty different banks, making it impossible for any of them to approve me.”

    It’s outrageous this practice is even legal. No wonder the lending industry is trying to gut the powers of Elizabeth Warren’s creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, before it gets around to outlawing abuses like this.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Indeed, financial history is full of pre-regulation stories of all kinds where the consumer is royally screwed over by a bank/loan/credit/insurance agent six ways to Sunday. The three bad apples (or in banking, maybe six) of every ten make the protections necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Sadly, this part of the story IS the consumer protection. Banks can’t deny you a loan at one dealership, then approve you at another on a similar car with similar terms. It prevents banks from favoring one dealer over another. Weak finance managers that don’t know their banks and how to properly structure deals can mess people up by sending poorly structured deals to the banks and getting declines. It’s not usually done on purpose, but just someone who is terrible at their job.

      Heck, I have a 767 credit score and my local GMC dealer managed to get declines when they were working on financing for me. That takes real talent. Needless to say I didn’t buy there.

    • 0 avatar
      matt3319

      I just bought a new ’17 VW Passat R-Line. I have decent credit at 730+/-. The finance guy started sending my app around. I’m new this because my credit protection company started sending me alerts. After the 5th alert I walked into the finance guys office and said stop. By the time I asked him to stop I had 7 alerts. I asked the guy why so many? To get a competitive rate. All 7 approved me. We all know the finance guy was looking for the best deal for him and not me. I asked him to show me the rates. All were around 2-4%. Then I noticed my credit union was in there. I naturally took that one because I called my while with this guy. It was at 2.15%/60. But I got a .85% deduct for several things I do monthly like use debit card 5 times and have direct deposit.

      I guess what I’m saying is many people don’t know the finance guy can submit to so many places to suit him. Well later in the customer knows because he gets denial letters stating why he was shot down.

      I don’t know if there is a limit on how many places can be sent to. There certainly should be.

    • 0 avatar

      FICO scoring treats multiple inquiries for the same type of loan within a 30 day period as one inquiry and it shouldn’t affect your credit score anymore than one inquiry for a loan. That probably wasn’t the case in 1995 – I’m not even sure how widely FICO scores were used back then.

      http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-checks/credit-report-inquiries/

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    This all gets back to the sheer idiocy of pricing in North America, as an Aussie living here it bugs me to no end to have to do so much work to figure out the price of anything.

    Back home the price is the price listed, done, no extra taxes or other bs. Nfi why it is so Complicated here.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Tax rates vary by locale, so there is no way to advertise a single price.

      Car sales are more complicated, as the taxes are determined by the location where the car is registered, not where it is sold.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It depends on the local and which of the taxes you are talking about. In my state the sales tax is due based on where the consumer takes possession of the vehicle while the registration taxes are based on where the vehicle is garaged. Many dealers in the more remote areas love to advertise their local tax is lower than in most locations in the metropolitan area. It can be up to 1% or maybe more. Driving an extra hour or so there and back could keep a couple hundred bucks in your pocket.

        What is interesting is that the local sales tax portion in some areas includes a PTBA (Public Transit Benefit Area) tax and in other locations the PTBA is part of the registration taxes.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I’ve bought two cars in Washington from makes that had rural dealers, and in both cases the winning city-area dealers offered a price that was easily enough lower to make up for the tax difference. It’s hard to compete with volume — the winners were the highest-volume Subaru and Ford franchises, respectively, in the state.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Why, you ask?

      Americans, as a hodgepodge of traders and merchants and the lower class desire to feel they’ve got a “good deal.”

      Even if they get the same deal they would’ve got without negotiating, if they got something “on sale,” they feel better about it.

      “You can purchase Car A for $25,000 with a 20% discount!”

      “You can purchase Car A for $20,000!”

      Nine of ten times, they’ll work to make the first option happen, and drive right by the second option.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        One just has to look at JC Penney to prove that out. For years they had ads full of 30-40-50% off a particular group of items for a week or two. Next week they would have a slightly different mix of products at those limited time reduced prices. Fact is that they found that of those 100 sweaters with $39.99 price on the tag they typically sold 2 or 3 at that price. The other 97-98% were sold during the time they were 30-40-50% off.

        The CEO decided that consumers would like simple every day pricing. So that $39.99 sweater was repriced at $24. Sales dropped to all time lows and it only took a few months before people were fired and they put the tag price on that sweater back up to $39.99 and put it on “special” one week out the month when they again make virtually all of their sales.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That’s a very good example. Also hilarious that they hired back their old CEO after their sales started to falter.

          I can imagine how that sheepish phone call went.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Another great example of a time proven way to drive sales is the limit, though it works best in the grocery store. Put the 12 pack of soda on sale at $x and out of the 1000 people who bite they may average 2.5 units per order. Put in on sale at $x, limit 4 per customer and the average units per order will climb and the total number of orders will also climb.

            My MIL falls for that all the time and She’ll make multiple trips to purchase the limit because it has to be an incredible deal if they are putting a limit on how many you can buy.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I remember having to get in a separate line from my mom at Kroger holding soda, when there were Pepsi brand 12-packs, on sale 2 for $4. A case! For four dollars!

            *Limit four

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          There is a minor automotive connection to the JC Penney meltdown. Toyota is building their headquarters directly across the street from the JC Penney headquarters. Lowered expectations JC Penney has no need for so much space, so it plans to develop part of its land as retail and office space. http://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2016/03/07/penney-seeks-approvals-for-big-plano-office-and-retail-complex-at-legacy

      • 0 avatar

        The higher sticker price with discount also leaves some room if the buyer is trading in a car they are upside down on. The bank will finance the $25k sticker car for $25k, even if it’s really $20k plus the $5k that the buyer owes on their Dodge Journey.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the US has no federal sales tax, and sales tax can vary wildly by state.

  • avatar
    notwhoithink

    Yeah…I’ve always heard from “credit experts” that multiple pulls within a short period of time (usually a couple of weeks) are considered as a single pull for the purposes of your credit score. It is assumed that an informed consumer will be shopping around for the best rates. I know Jack’s a smart guy, and since he’s worked in car sales I’m sure that he’s probably aware of that. So my only assumption is that there is probably more to the story than just the quick blurb mentioned here. Maybe it was the sheer quantity of inquiries, or maybe the dealer spaced them out so that they exceeded the typical window?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’ve had mixed experiences with this. There must be some flaw in the algorithm that identifies multiple pulls as related. When I was shopping for financing to buy my Lexus, I applied with multiple banks, and my score got dinged for “too many applications” and took a few months to recover. But I haven’t had this happen with other transactions.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Was your score dinged on one of the online sites like Credit Karma or did you see your actually score?

        There are almost countless ways FICO scores are calculated, and the formula for a home buyer is different from a car buyer is different from a credit card application. Same report, same data, same agency, different scores.

        Even if you get a consumer provided true FICO score from say your credit card company, it doesn’t show the whole story.

        Credit Karma showed me being zinged a couple of years ago for the multiple applications my wife and I made mortgage shopping. In the “real” calculation it doesn’t impact it at all.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Actual score as reported by one of the bureaus (can’t remember which now). I didn’t sweat it much since the score was still easily in “credit won’t ever be an issue” territory, but I was surprised and a bit annoyed.

          I didn’t apply through multiple lenders for my most recent mortgage (used the same lender as last time, who has excellent customer service and gave me great terms) but I had no problem with two previous rounds of mortgage applications.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      As a former employee of Ford Credit and BMW Financial, as well as multiple dealers, I can tell you that there are ways to create patterns that do what you want.

      Shady dealers will pull five good banks then ten subprime lenders. Which makes it look like the good banks are turning the buyer down.

  • avatar
    ant

    ” some would start asking you questions instead of providing information”

    This in particular really annoys me. How much I can pay every month is a different question than how much I am spending on a car. How about you tell me how much it costs first, then we’ll figure out how I will pay it, ok, buddy?

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    If the MSRP is negotiable and bears no resemblance to the actual price paid then why does the buyer care what it is?

    I like having all the equipment listed in a standardized way, but for most new vehicles MSRP is arbitrary and contains no useful information. What’s the point of publicizing it?

    As a buyer, I’m willing to pay X dollars OTD for Y bike. If the dealer agrees to a selling price <X then we have a sale, if not then we do not. MSRP Z is not part of the equation either way, nor is the specific constituents of that OTD price. Fees, prep, labor, hardware – it's all just money.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The MSRP isn’t completely arbitrary. It’s not as if you’ll find one that is double the invoice price.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Both MSRP and Invoice are largely unrelated to the actual price paid.

        What useful information do they provide to you as a buyer?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Invoice is quite useful, and I certainly use it.

          MSRPs are often within 5-15% of invoice, depending upon the type of car.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Honestly, how do you use it?

            Does the manufacturer-selected MSRP or Invoice price change the amount you are willing to pay for a given car?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you have some reasonable guesstimate of the wholesale price, then you can reduce the odds of overpaying. Isn’t that obvious?

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            If you are willing to spend 30 minutes searching “(Make) + (Model) + ORD Price” in Google you will have a much more accurate idea of what the market looks like and what a good price is.

            Every decent model-specific forum has a regularly updated purchase price discussion thread.

            Some vehicles routinely sell for right around invoice, other vehicles for much less. The same effort required sort that out will tell you what people are actually paying, which is spectacularly more useful.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Why would I want to pay what everyone else is paying if I can pay less?

            Car prices are largely a matter of individual negotiation; supplies are not constrained for most models. Some people will pay more than others just because. Having a feel for what a dealer is capable of doing is more useful.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      The point of the MSRP???

      Well, if you lease everything starts or I should say end with this number. The residual is calculated off the MSRP. The payments are calculated from the adjusted gross capitalization cost.

      So, yeah the MSRP is a good number to have published on the window.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Is there anybody outside dealers and their bought-and-paid-for state legislators that believe the tripe about how dealers are a pure and virtuous good, and therefore we must be “protected” from manufacturers removing these ever-annoying and duplicitous middle-men?

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    I, personally, for one could never imagine actually buying a new motorcycle from a dealer. Mostly just the shadiness every powersports dealer I’ve visited has given off.

    I’ve bought both my motorcycles off of Craigslist, and sold my first one when I was ready to get rid of it on there as well. Yeah, Craigslist can probably be pretty shady too, but buying/selling those bikes really wasn’t all that bad. Didn’t have any problems, and saved a ton of cash. My SV650S I bought this summer -a dealer here wants nearly $5000 for, I bought mine for $3400. Not an insignificant amount of money saved.

    The amount of money they want for new motorcycles is crazy in general though, especially in the midwest, like you said. I also couldn’t imagine buying a new crotch rocket let alone something bigger then a 600. The amount of power is insane, I actually downgraded(power wise) when I got my SV650S from a CBR600f4i just cause I can’t imagine needing that much.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      To ride a ZX-14R is to ride the lightning.

      It makes the Huracan I’d been driving the week before feel like a Yugo.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I also went from a ’97 TL1000S to a VFR 800 in a small attempt to downgrade in power. My VFR (identical to Jack’s except for colour) made barely half the power of a ZX-14 and was likely heavier, and I still found I couldn’t keep myself from doing inexcusable things with it on public roads. 0-60 in well under 4 seconds, low 11 second quarter mile, and a top end a little shy of 150.

      For me personally, wondering when I was going to be arrested or become street meat whenever I tried to exploit even half the potential of that bike, which I was nowhere near skilled enough to reasonably do, became too stressful. I don’t regret the fun I had over about 25k miles in my 20s, but after my second minor accident (during which I wasn’t doing anything particularly stupid or illegal), I decided to hang it up while I was still ahead.

      A 45 MPH accident caused some minor skin loss, an unnecessary ambulance ride, and a totalled five-figure bike. I don’t want to experience what happens in a 120+ MPH one. Maybe one day on the track.

    • 0 avatar
      everybodyhatesscott

      I’ve bought 2 bikes off ebay and 2 off craigslist and sold 2 on craiglist. All were good experiences with fairly nice people. Now, I did nix one craigslist transaction last minute because the price was almost too good and the guy selling it seemed shady. Not only are the bikes cheaper, the sales tax in IL on a used private party bike is $25 when the dealer is 8% or so. That makes a bit of a difference on an $11,000 bike.

      I just got a yzf-r1 and yeah, it’s too powerful, but I wanted to try one once. Plus I wanted to do it while my body can still take that riding position.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    dealer wanted 500 setup and 500 delivery on a $2500 scooter. thats not counting tax, title, license, etc. so more like $4000 out the door for a yamaha zuma 125. not a hot seller, and they had tons of them in stock.

    immediately talked them down to $3100 out the door, then ended up just leaving because i really didnt “need” to spend that much money when i already have a perfectly good TMax 500

  • avatar
    dwford

    In any sales situation, the salesman will exploit the lack of knowledge on the part of the customer, if given the chance. But it is 2016 and all the information is readily available. Anyone who gets screwed over by a shady salesman was kinda asking for it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Ruggles 2.0 has surfaced, everybody!

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It’s readily available to anybody with a desk job at which they can surf the Internet all day, the education to be able to make those searches and weigh the information available, and the bargaining power to make their bargain stick.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Indeed. None of this applies to older people of the pre-Internet age – or people like my parents whom are not very computer/car savvy.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed too. Most people who don’t read this board (normal folks) don’t obsess about models, marketing, sales positions and the whole industry. They just want to get to work or grandma’s…and view the dealership experience like root canal without drugs.
          The b/b view it as root canal with good anesthesia and the morbid fascination of a 12 year old looking at roadkill.

          If you’ve ever gone car shopping recreationally with someone in the normal category just to watch the show, you know what I mean.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    RideNow Powersports is a big dealer chain in AZ and NV.

    They have a brand-new 2014(!) Suzuki Burgman 200 leftover. That’s THREE model years old now!

    MSRP: $4,999
    Price on their website: $2,644. Why, that’s almost half off!

    But then there’s the disclaimer:
    “Advertised pricing excludes applicable taxes title and licensing, dealer set up, destination, reconditioning and are subject to change without notice.. Pricing may exclude any added parts, accessories or installation unless otherwise noted. Contact dealer for details. ”

    I went in there a year or so ago, when it was only two years past due. The out-the-door price was north of $5k.

    If I *really* wanted it, I’d walk in with $3500 cash. Maybe I’d get it, maybe not. Either way, RideNow is a slimeball dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Hezz

      RideNow is all the way up here in WA now as well. They have the multi-line dealership in my town that has almost every brand, and they have a terrible rep here as well. I got about ten minutes of high pressure sales pitch a few years ago when I sat down on a showroom bike while waiting for my filters from the parts counter.

      Learned my lesson, order filters from Amazon.

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    I’ve been to the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center many times in the last 10 years and never knew this little piece of history. Then again, I was never interested in Oklahoma in general. But I’m glad to have read it; now I have trivia to throw around at work.

    Bought a car on a loan a year after my divorce and paid 25% interest because my credit was so shot. It didn’t really have anything to do with too many pulls; it had to do with my ex letting the house, on which my name was still attached, almost go into foreclosure after I gave it to her in the divorce. Bitch.

  • avatar
    Luke

    This is the exact reason why my attempts to buy a new boat have completely thwarted and erased my desire to buy a new boat.

    Hands down, the shadiest sales people and dealings I’ve ever been a part of.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah I worked part time as a boat broker years ago. And sold new boats for a while as well. I saw some ummm interesting things as a broker. Selling new boats I luckily worked for a place with flat rate one price model so very few shenanigans. But you can get into some interesting places with outboard motors as some of the makers sell them with model years others don’t, so even at wholesale we weren’t sure when the motors we got were actually made. This was more problematic in that some states required the motor to have a year and be registered separate from the boat.

      I haven’t seen wholesale prices on boats in years but back in 2001 I knew a few dealers who were pulling 30-35% on some of the new boats they sold. I think the average was 15-20% which from the auto world is crazy, but most dealers don’t sell that many boats in a year.

  • avatar

    You can always refinance your car loan, at your leisure, assuming you aren’t credit challenged.

    After I got the deal I wanted on my last car, the F&I guy told me the best he could find was a 5% note, even with my tres bien credit score. Really ? Well, my bad. I just assumed that I’d get a rate commensurate with my credit…wrong.

    Took the car home, and got a refi for half that, and took a year off the note-didn’t even make ONE payment on the dealer’s note.

    If you have a good score, your credit union, local bank, or in my case, car insurance company will be happy to lend you the money.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    The window sticker? You mean that thing that many dealers here have taken off every new car on their lot? Makes it hard to be a window shopper and see if they have the car you want on the lot.

    Dealer cost if also not a common thing for Canadian shoppers to know. So probably another thing that makes the seller’s life easier.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Wow ~ lots of info here .

    I’m one of the Old Geezers you alls make so much fun of, the two new Motor vehicles I bought alone were Motocycles and I paid cash and flat refused to pay the B.S. additional charges, got out the door in O.K. shape not really knowing what I was doing .

    Unlike most every where else in the world, Motocycles in America are _luxury_ items ~ no one (not even me !) _NEEDS_ a Moto, you just want one because it’s easily cheaper to buy a car for transportation .

    I too nearly killed my self on a too fast Moto so now I drive my slow Motos too fast for my own good and have serious fun doing so .

    -Nate


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  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States