How C8 Corvette Shoppers Are Circumventing Dealer Markups

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Back when the Dodge Demon originally launched, Fiat Chrysler indicated it would do everything it could to prevent dealer markup. As one of the car’s best features was its comparatively low MSRP, at least for the amount of power Dodge was offering, FCA didn’t want price gouging sullying the monster’s good name. Besides, the factory isn’t seeing any of that extra cash so there’s no incentive for it to support markups.

Unfortunately, gouging still took place. Some dealerships found a workaround by having intermediaries on eBay auction off the right to buy one of their Demon allocations — resulting in customers paying tens of thousands in bidding wars to have the opportunity to purchase the car at its “fair price.”

While grimy, it’s not much different than dealerships automatically tacking on premiums to the likes of the Honda Civic Type R or Toyota Supra. Pretty much every manufacturer building a rare or coveted automobile takes some precautions these days, but there’s always someone waiting to screw you. For example, Porsche is pretty good at selling its rather expensive vehicles at MSRP, yet rarer models are frequently flipped online for a small fortune.

Hoping to cut markups off at the ankles, a subset of buyers interested in Chevrolet’s new Corvette have been busy strategizing — resulting in an effective-sounding plan.

A coalition of ‘Vette lovers assembled on the Corvette Forum to establish a list of storefronts that are actually willing to sell the C8 Stingray at MSRP. Originating at the start of August, the thread has been routinely updated by posters eager to notify other readers about the status of locations for the whole month. Some dealers have even used the forum to notify shoppers that they will be selling the 2020 Corvette sans markups and would be happy to have more business.

The list also includes dealerships that are not selling the C8 at MSRP as a warning. Posters were citing markups anywhere from $5,000 to over $30,000.

If you happen to be in the market for the new Stingray, the axiom “knowledge is power” definitely comes into play here. At the very least, this thread could be a handy tool on where to begin your shopping journey. Assuming you don’t live near any of the “good” dealerships, you might also be able to use the list as a bargaining chip during negotiations.

[Image: General Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Aug 30, 2019

    I offer my four local dealers MSRP + $5K and got reject by the new cars sales manager. He counter offer MSRP + $10 K! I try to divide the difference but he held at $10K! I eventually had enough and went another dealer till there were not more! Gave up on buy a C8 and purchase a Range Rover Sport SVR.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Aug 30, 2019

      Whatever floats your boat but a RR and C8 are two completely different things.

  • Voyager Voyager on Aug 31, 2019

    WHY, in heaven's sake, would you wanna buy the ugliest Corvette yet?

  • Arthur Dailey 'The capitalists will sell use the very rope that we use to hang them.' In our household we have cut down our shopping/spending and pay more to purchase products from 1st world nations or 2nd world nations that are our 'allies'. That also means quite often only buying and eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Just like our parents and grandparents did.At least TTAC published an article on May 21st regarding LAN transformers that contravene the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act being used in some BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and VW products?
  • ToolGuy I wouldn't buy any old Chinese brand of vehicle, but the right EV at the right price, maybe possibly yes. If you told me this would alarm Ford and torque off FreedMike, all the better. 😉P.S. I would *definitely* consider an EV made in Taiwan. Take that, paramount leader!P.P.S. China batteries/components to convert one of my ICE vehicles to EV? Yes.
  • Wolfwagen I expect Renault to be less popular than Fiat
  • ToolGuy Helium-3, baby!
  • Roman Our 1999 Pontiac Sunfire Gt is still running without any issues. 25 years and counting.
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