By on August 26, 2019

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]

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41 Comments on “How C8 Corvette Shoppers Are Circumventing Dealer Markups...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Knowing which dealers are not marking up is going to be a strong negotiating tool anyway. If your dealership wants to mark up the price of what you want, just stand up and start walking out. Point out very loudly that you could drive to x dealership, so many miles away, and trailer a new C8 back for less. (Tens of thousands less if the mark up is that high.)

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Start to walk out? Go ahead. I guarantee they’ll let you get back in your truck, make it to the street and vanish out of sight.

      It’s not a Sonic we’re talking about.

      The markup is very telling of how badly they don’t want to sell it to you. It can be in the “showroom”, but that doesn’t mean it’s “For Sale” for sale.

      Call it a “tipping point”.

      If each dealer is only getting 2 Corvettes (on average) between now and November, once they’re gone, what will they have to look at until then?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Start to walk out? Go ahead. I guarantee they’ll let you get back in your truck, make it to the street and vanish out of sight.”

        Do you think they’re going to let you just walk when you ANNOUNCE, LOUDLY, that you can buy the same car for $5k to $30K less? Or did you just ignore that statement before?

        Hey, if the dealership is willing to let you get away Scott-free, then you certainly don’t EVER want to do business with them.

        • 0 avatar
          pinkslip

          LOL. Oh, well if you’re going to “announce” it…

          “I declare bankruptcy!” – Michael Scott.

          In reality, dealers already know how many allocations GM gave them. If a medium size dealer gets 30 C8 allocations for the year, they will not be as flexible on pricing as a larger dealer with 60 allocations. Market has an effect, too. If you’re in a snow belt state, a dealer may want to unload their sports cars before the weather turns. While a California dealer can sell sports cars year-round. Most dealers already have more deposits than allocations.

          The dealer asking for $10k over MSRP knows there is a dealer down the road who will sell at MSRP. They will just wait for a customer to come in who doesn’t know that. It will only be once the medium size dealer gets enough allocation, and/or demand drops enough for them to worry about paying flooring costs, that we see discounts become the norm.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And that dealer selling at MSRP is going to get the profits now while the other one might get his extra profits later. As a buyer, I will go to the dealer selling at MSRP, even if it means driving too moles or more AND renting a truck/trailer to bring it back home. $200 or so for the drive is a heck of a lot cheaper than $5K-$30K to stay local. Especially if you already have the cash in hand (pre-approved loan, etc.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Anyone paying markup deserves to pay markup. There are no victims here.

    Dealers can charge whatever they want, but it doesn’t mean I have to pay it.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      It seems like Ford has killed off any number of affordable performance cars because their dealers let them sit in inventories waiting for someone who’ll pay the markup they heard some other dealer received on the first car off the truck. A few years ago, I went to a Ford dealer to look at a truck for work only to find six two-year old Boss 302s waiting for someone to pay five figures over list. The car was dead by then because of soft sales, but ZIRP let the dealers sit on the ones they had. Ford lost out and their customers lost out.

  • avatar
    Fred

    You could wait a few years, I’m sure the markup will be gone by then and maybe they will fix any new model bugs that around. Heck maybe a little depreciation on a used model.

  • avatar
    JMII

    As a member of that forum I can also tell you there are a select group of Corvette dealerships with Corvette specific sales people that are super knowledgeable. Going to your local Chevy Dealer is not really a good idea when it comes to this kind of purchase. Lets face it a guy who sells pickups and SUVs all day is likely not well versed in the Corvette world. Way too many horror stories about dealerships that don’t understand how the dry sump oil system works or even how to jack up a composite body car.

    Also you can order from these dealerships and have the car delivered to your local dealer. So if your local store doesn’t play ball just bypass ’em.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    This assumes that GM will build any of the lowball stripper cars and the wait is likely to be toward the end of the run when the well-priced units (profit packed) will be sold and built.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    I am pretty sure that Chevy Guy on youtube is one of those dealership/salesman – he seems to be one of the few salesman on the planet that is honest. I loathe today’s GM products but I’d buy a used car from him in a heartbeat.

  • avatar
    twotone

    My guess is the first 100 sold will be flipped within a week @ MSRP +$20k. Wonder if Chevy will have a “no-flip” clause in the agreement like Ford did with the GT.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      A coworker already mentioned doing that with his order. However the GT required Ford to select you, thus they didn’t want just anyone owning one.

      The C8, while clearly getting plenty of attention, will be just another Corvette at the end of the day. Anyone overpaying is foolish. I bought a used Premier Edition C7 (#380 of 500) for the same price as all the other ’14 Z51 3LT units with similar mileage.

      What will be interesting to see is if GM ups the C8s price significantly in 2021 if the initial run is sold out.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    or maybe this is just pr to gin up demand for the Corvette

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    Yeah, but in states such as AZ and NV, you may see MSRP plus $5,000 mandatory “Desert Protection Package”…it will be real interesting to hear the stories when they first ones start getting delivered next year…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The best way to avoid the markup is pretend it doesn’t exist, or until the 2021 MY is shown. By then you’ll also see what’s new about it, and or possibly a manual trans option.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I thought GM claimed all the 2020s were spoken for the day after pricing was announced. What they didn’t say, and no ‘journalists’ present at the announcement asked, was how many cars that constituted. Now it sounds like there are still 2020s available, but still no word on how many cars they intend to make.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Anyone who pays markup on a very early car is paying to have the car during the period when no one else has it. That short period of time is worth the price to some people.

    Anyone who pays markup at any other time is a fool.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      That’s why you’ve got to figure out what the right amount of attention is to pay to your children. If you get it wrong, they could grow up to be that guy.

  • avatar

    I was interested in an ATS-V until I saw that Cadillac dealers didn’t have many and those few were substantially more expensive than the Benz I ended up buying. We won’t waste time comparing interiors…

    I enjoyed the Mugen Civic at my Honda dealer a few years back, priced to near M3 levels. You gotta be fanboi to make that choice…

    My local Chryco dealer had a 392 in Plum Crazy on the sales floor for close to two years (!). By the time the price dropped the market had way cooled.

    I guess they all figure they’ll wait for the one guy who has got to have it at any price, but clearly they have to be willing to wait…..

    The C8 will cost more earlier, and less later. If you have to be the first on the block, you’ll pay.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Corvettes do not historically have very good resale value. A beautiful turquoise low mileage 1991 featured on Barn Finds just sold for like $5,900. Even the 1960s variants lag behind their Chevelle, GTO, and Mopar counterparts. Once the hype dies down this will be no different.

    So anyone willing to pay a big mark up for this deserves to be parted from their money IMO. Dealerships have families so if someone can just throw money around like that, what’s so wrong here?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Ain’t that the truth. I’ve never lusted too much after Corvettes, but late C4s and early C5s are such a bargain I’ve had to restrain myself.

      Meanwhile, the car I do lust for, the 2nd gen Viper in GTS form, is headed for unobtainium prices.

      • 0 avatar

        I missed the 25K OG NSX, I know how you feel.

        • 0 avatar
          cognoscenti

          I also missed out on the first-gen NSX. I was even an NSXPrime member during the time that they were hovering around $25K, but foolishly waited for the facelifted 2002 to come down in price – it didn’t. Now, why bother? 290 HP is feeble. You have to go talk to Lovefab for turbocharging, and once you do that you’ve ruined the value of your NSX.

          As for the C8, just wait five or six years and buy one off-lease that is two to three years old. Voila! Affordable mid-engine supercar.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      We seem to have lost all salt for personal responsibility in this country. In my day, someone would be allowed to fall flat on their face in hopes that they’d learn a lesson. Now, we have to protect everyone.

      If some knucklehead is willing to pay extra money to own a car that’ll probably be worth 15 grand in 7 years, I just cannot have sympathy. They’ve obviously got the money to burn, so why not let that money be redistributed?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If I had roughly $10K burning a hole in my pocket I’d love to pick up a 1996 C4 with 6 speed manual. Lots of garage queens out there in that generation and the estate sales are starting for the original owners.

        (Sure the interior was crap in that generation but but the engine/trans are worth what you pay for the car.)

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          To jump off my soapbox, yes the C4 is a really good deal right now. Heck I’m even thinking of picking one up. The 1991 facelift made the styling tolerable (almost attractive even) and 8 grand will get you something very nice. A steal if you ask me in this era of $25,000 rusted Mopars.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “They’ve obviously got the money to burn, so why not let that money be redistributed?”

        Everyone hates car dealers and it’s an opportunity to look like a hero.

      • 0 avatar
        Dartdude

        You are so right about responsibility. It’s the reason this country is going downhill. Let’s let stupid kill off stupid!

  • avatar

    The beater vette idea is fun but I need a garage space for it….like a boat you need to dock it…..

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I’ll leave the markups to the YouTubers… seems they all got on the waiting list… so they’ll all have “content” to put out. They all did the same thing with the new Supra. Whatever. They can afford it.

    I tend to be more of a bargain shopper, though I WILL spend money when the right vehicle comes along. I paid top dollar for my ’04 C5 Z06… 1 owner, documented maintenance history, immaculate condition, & only 8600 miles.

    Bought a leftover ’17 Focus ST last fall for 25% off MSRP… an average deal… nothing spectacular.

    Got almost 25% off when I bought my ’16 Ram 2500 crew cab 4×4 6.4L Hemi. Was the best buying experience I’d ever had.

    Deals can be found. Some dealerships are easy to work with, others are gonna fight for every penny.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    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.

  • avatar

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


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