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Final Price - Tda/advertising Fee Etc?


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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm ready to get an IS350 and I've done all the relevant research etc. I talked with the dealership today and we talked candidly about invoice prices etc. They straight up said they wanted to make a $3000 profit on the car. However, when I added up all my invoice numbers and then added another $3000 to it (not that I really want to pay $3k over invoice), my price was still off by quite a bit.

When I pressed them further, they gave me a list of what was included in their price and here are the details of that:

-Dealer Holdback (to be returned to dealer by Lexus after car is sold) $714

-Wholesale Financial Reserve $357

-TDA/advertising $446

-Destination $715

I realize of course that I have to pay the destination charge, but what're the rest of these charges? They told me that these items are all considered part of the invoice price. Is this true? Can anyone please confirm this from their own experience? I've heard that typically dealership advertising/MACO charges etc are not really legit, but this seems to be even further beyond it.

I'm in Denver, CO so I'd appreciate any advice anyone has for me about this market (specifically with paying $3k over invoice and all these other charges). If anyone has any experience with particular dealerships, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Help me get my dream car! :cheers:

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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm ready to get an IS350 and I've done all the relevant research etc. I talked with the dealership today and we talked candidly about invoice prices etc. They straight up said they wanted to make a $3000 profit on the car. However, when I added up all my invoice numbers and then added another $3000 to it (not that I really want to pay $3k over invoice), my price was still off by quite a bit.

When I pressed them further, they gave me a list of what was included in their price and here are the details of that:

-Dealer Holdback (to be returned to dealer by Lexus after car is sold) $714

-Wholesale Financial Reserve $357

-TDA/advertising $446

-Destination $715

I realize of course that I have to pay the destination charge, but what're the rest of these charges? They told me that these items are all considered part of the invoice price. Is this true? Can anyone please confirm this from their own experience? I've heard that typically dealership advertising/MACO charges etc are not really legit, but this seems to be even further beyond it.

I'm in Denver, CO so I'd appreciate any advice anyone has for me about this market (specifically with paying $3k over invoice and all these other charges). If anyone has any experience with particular dealerships, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Help me get my dream car! :cheers:

I had a somewhat similar experience. I negotiated down to $700 over invoice on a base IS250AWD. When I went in to do the paperwork, the dealer's invoice was a few hundred dollars higher than what I saw on Edmunds.com and Cars.com. They included some Lexus advertising fee in their invoice. I was a bit irritated, but there were a couple of extras they had thrown in that I wasn't expecting, and I think I was still getting a really good deal.

I bet you can get a better price unless there is only one dealer in the area. I think they made about $1400 on me factoring in the holdback + $700 over invoice.

They have to make something - otherwise, we wouldn't have fancy dealerships around to give us free coffee and overcharge us on maintenance.

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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm ready to get an IS350 and I've done all the relevant research etc. I talked with the dealership today and we talked candidly about invoice prices etc. They straight up said they wanted to make a $3000 profit on the car. However, when I added up all my invoice numbers and then added another $3000 to it (not that I really want to pay $3k over invoice), my price was still off by quite a bit.

When I pressed them further, they gave me a list of what was included in their price and here are the details of that:

-Dealer Holdback (to be returned to dealer by Lexus after car is sold) $714

-Wholesale Financial Reserve $357

-TDA/advertising $446

-Destination $715

I realize of course that I have to pay the destination charge, but what're the rest of these charges? They told me that these items are all considered part of the invoice price. Is this true? Can anyone please confirm this from their own experience? I've heard that typically dealership advertising/MACO charges etc are not really legit, but this seems to be even further beyond it.

I'm in Denver, CO so I'd appreciate any advice anyone has for me about this market (specifically with paying $3k over invoice and all these other charges). If anyone has any experience with particular dealerships, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Help me get my dream car! :cheers:

I had a somewhat similar experience. I negotiated down to $700 over invoice on a base IS250AWD. When I went in to do the paperwork, the dealer's invoice was a few hundred dollars higher than what I saw on Edmunds.com and Cars.com. They included some Lexus advertising fee in their invoice. I was a bit irritated, but there were a couple of extras they had thrown in that I wasn't expecting, and I think I was still getting a really good deal.

I bet you can get a better price unless there is only one dealer in the area. I think they made about $1400 on me factoring in the holdback + $700 over invoice.

They have to make something - otherwise, we wouldn't have fancy dealerships around to give us free coffee and overcharge us on maintenance.

What I don't understand is why they're making me pay the dealer holdback in the first place. They're going to get that back from Lexus anyway, so why make me pay them first? After adding up all the extra fees + profit etc, their final price is $5500 over invoice (if you don't include their extra fees in the invoice) and $2000 less than MSRP.

The actual invoice price for the car is $36,500. According to them, the "real" invoice price for them is $38,000 (incl the extra fees). On top of that, they want a $3000 profit, which makes their price $41,000. That's $5500 over invoice. Quoted MSRP is $43000.

All in all, this sounds like terrible to me.

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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm ready to get an IS350 and I've done all the relevant research etc. I talked with the dealership today and we talked candidly about invoice prices etc. They straight up said they wanted to make a $3000 profit on the car. However, when I added up all my invoice numbers and then added another $3000 to it (not that I really want to pay $3k over invoice), my price was still off by quite a bit.

When I pressed them further, they gave me a list of what was included in their price and here are the details of that:

-Dealer Holdback (to be returned to dealer by Lexus after car is sold) $714

-Wholesale Financial Reserve $357

-TDA/advertising $446

-Destination $715

I realize of course that I have to pay the destination charge, but what're the rest of these charges? They told me that these items are all considered part of the invoice price. Is this true? Can anyone please confirm this from their own experience? I've heard that typically dealership advertising/MACO charges etc are not really legit, but this seems to be even further beyond it.

I'm in Denver, CO so I'd appreciate any advice anyone has for me about this market (specifically with paying $3k over invoice and all these other charges). If anyone has any experience with particular dealerships, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Help me get my dream car! :cheers:

I had a somewhat similar experience. I negotiated down to $700 over invoice on a base IS250AWD. When I went in to do the paperwork, the dealer's invoice was a few hundred dollars higher than what I saw on Edmunds.com and Cars.com. They included some Lexus advertising fee in their invoice. I was a bit irritated, but there were a couple of extras they had thrown in that I wasn't expecting, and I think I was still getting a really good deal.

I bet you can get a better price unless there is only one dealer in the area. I think they made about $1400 on me factoring in the holdback + $700 over invoice.

They have to make something - otherwise, we wouldn't have fancy dealerships around to give us free coffee and overcharge us on maintenance.

What I don't understand is why they're making me pay the dealer holdback in the first place. They're going to get that back from Lexus anyway, so why make me pay them first? After adding up all the extra fees + profit etc, their final price is $5500 over invoice (if you don't include their extra fees in the invoice) and $2000 less than MSRP.

The actual invoice price for the car is $36,500. According to them, the "real" invoice price for them is $38,000 (incl the extra fees). On top of that, they want a $3000 profit, which makes their price $41,000. That's $5500 over invoice. Quoted MSRP is $43000.

All in all, this sounds like terrible to me.

Sounds to me like you are getting ripped off. I just bought an IS 250 AWD. Invoice was $35,372, MSRP was $40,502. I bought for $36,150.

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It sure seems to me like your dealer is trying to rip you off. I especially don't understand their position on the Dealer Holdback - are they planning on charging you for the holdback and then getting it back again from Lexus at year's end (double-dipping), or are they going to refund it back to you when they get it?

Were you speaking with a salesman, or were you dealing directly with the sales manager? It's the salesman's responsibility to pass on your offer to the sales manager, who can accept, reject, or counter your offer. If the salesman didn't even present your offer to his manager he is not doing you (or himself) any favors. I would ask to speak to the sales manager directly or find another salesman. At least in my neck of the woods, foot traffic in the Lexus dealership is slow (in comparison to, say, a Toyota dealership); another salesman may be more eager to work with you.

Also, since you're in Denver, I would guess that there are several Lexus dealers in your area. If I were you I would check out pricing at the other dealers - it couldn't be much worse than what your dealer is offering. I wouldn't appear over-eager to buy, and I would be prepared to walk if they're not willing to deal. Give them your phone number and tell them to give you a call if they change their mind. Or better yet, tell the dealer that, while you'd rather have the Lexus, you're going to shop for an Infiniti or a BMW instead.

You have several factors on your side:

- End-of-month is coming and the salesmen want to make their sales quotas

- End of model year is coming, and the dealers don't want to get stuck with last years models on the lot

- Generally weak luxury car sales because of high gas prices

One thing NOT on your side is the relative scarcity of the IS 350 in comparison to the IS 250. If you don't have the need for speed you might be able to get yourself a much better deal on the IS 250 - it's essentially the identical car with a smaller engine. You might even be able to get a few additional options at a lower price, and you'll still have a car which will turn heads...

You didn't mention if you were special-ordering the car or taking it off the lot. Your best deal will generally come if you take a car that's already there. The dealer is paying finance charges for every vehicle sitting on the lot, so it's in their best interest to make the sale.

Good luck to you. Hang tough and you'll get the car you want at a price you can live with.

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They are really trying to sock it to you with their fuzzy math. Even if they sold the car at invoice plus transportation and real costs, they would still get the dealer holdback, so they still make a profit. There's no way you should be paying that. When I bought my IS350 the day of the model introduction, they didn't try to add in any of that stuff.

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It sure seems to me like your dealer is trying to rip you off. I especially don't understand their position on the Dealer Holdback - are they planning on charging you for the holdback and then getting it back again from Lexus at year's end (double-dipping), or are they going to refund it back to you when they get it?

Were you speaking with a salesman, or were you dealing directly with the sales manager? It's the salesman's responsibility to pass on your offer to the sales manager, who can accept, reject, or counter your offer. If the salesman didn't even present your offer to his manager he is not doing you (or himself) any favors. I would ask to speak to the sales manager directly or find another salesman. At least in my neck of the woods, foot traffic in the Lexus dealership is slow (in comparison to, say, a Toyota dealership); another salesman may be more eager to work with you.

Also, since you're in Denver, I would guess that there are several Lexus dealers in your area. If I were you I would check out pricing at the other dealers - it couldn't be much worse than what your dealer is offering. I wouldn't appear over-eager to buy, and I would be prepared to walk if they're not willing to deal. Give them your phone number and tell them to give you a call if they change their mind. Or better yet, tell the dealer that, while you'd rather have the Lexus, you're going to shop for an Infiniti or a BMW instead.

You have several factors on your side:

- End-of-month is coming and the salesmen want to make their sales quotas

- End of model year is coming, and the dealers don't want to get stuck with last years models on the lot

- Generally weak luxury car sales because of high gas prices

One thing NOT on your side is the relative scarcity of the IS 350 in comparison to the IS 250. If you don't have the need for speed you might be able to get yourself a much better deal on the IS 250 - it's essentially the identical car with a smaller engine. You might even be able to get a few additional options at a lower price, and you'll still have a car which will turn heads...

You didn't mention if you were special-ordering the car or taking it off the lot. Your best deal will generally come if you take a car that's already there. The dealer is paying finance charges for every vehicle sitting on the lot, so it's in their best interest to make the sale.

Good luck to you. Hang tough and you'll get the car you want at a price you can live with.

Yeah I'm positive they're double dipping with the dealer holdback. In fact, at the end of our call, he had the audacity to ask me what I thought about all the fees given that this was "new information" I had just got from him. He acted like he just educated me about unknown fees and now that I knew better, do I think the fees are called for? Unbelievable really..

My communication with them started via email with a salesman. I was then promptly referred to a manager who I had all financial discussions with over phone/email. I should mention here that I haven't actually gone in to the dealership and have no intention of doing so until I'm ready to sign etc. There are definitely other dealerships around and I'm going to look around get the price I want to pay for the car that I want.

I'm definitely going to try and swing an end of the model year and end of the month deal if I can but the scarcity of 350s doesn't help at all. Unfortunately, I do really have the need for speed :) so I don't think I could settle for the IS250. In my mind it's always between the IS350 and the BMW 335ci. In the end, I decided I don't want to deal with blown turbos and shoddy electronics in about 3 years time and the IS just makes good all-round sense.

This deal is for a car they had on the lot and were willing to make minor changes for me. eg it has the X-package which i want, but I really don't like the 5 spoke wheels that come with it so I'm having them replace them with the stock 18s which I much prefer. I talked to him about special ordering and he indicated that they'd still be looking at "$3000" profit over their invoice (which is already inflated) so it won't matter much either way.

Thank you everyone for your replies, I hope to be part of the family soon :cheers:

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Yeah I'm positive they're double dipping with the dealer holdback. In fact, at the end of our call, he had the audacity to ask me what I thought about all the fees given that this was "new information" I had just got from him. He acted like he just educated me about unknown fees and now that I knew better, do I think the fees are called for? Unbelievable really..

My communication with them started via email with a salesman. I was then promptly referred to a manager who I had all financial discussions with over phone/email. I should mention here that I haven't actually gone in to the dealership and have no intention of doing so until I'm ready to sign etc. There are definitely other dealerships around and I'm going to look around get the price I want to pay for the car that I want.

I'm definitely going to try and swing an end of the model year and end of the month deal if I can but the scarcity of 350s doesn't help at all. Unfortunately, I do really have the need for speed :) so I don't think I could settle for the IS250. In my mind it's always between the IS350 and the BMW 335ci. In the end, I decided I don't want to deal with blown turbos and shoddy electronics in about 3 years time and the IS just makes good all-round sense.

This deal is for a car they had on the lot and were willing to make minor changes for me. eg it has the X-package which i want, but I really don't like the 5 spoke wheels that come with it so I'm having them replace them with the stock 18s which I much prefer. I talked to him about special ordering and he indicated that they'd still be looking at "$3000" profit over their invoice (which is already inflated) so it won't matter much either way.

Thank you everyone for your replies, I hope to be part of the family soon :cheers:

I could never understand the dealership that thinks that they're doing you a favor by selling you a car. The truth is that it's the other way around - they NEED our business to survive. Maybe this manager needs an education on economics. Given the attitude of this dealership, I would inform them that, unless there is unbounded demand for the car you want, any profit that they make by selling you a car is better than zero profit if they don't. I'm sure you can make a much better deal elsewhere, and when you do I would go back to the dealership and rub it in their faces. I hope this dealer isn't a Lexus Elite dealership...

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All I can say is that I wish you luck. If you shop around with the other dealers you should be able to get the best price from on of them. I recently purchased an '07 IS250 with out the Navi and was able to talk down the dealer to $29,500.00. They advised that the invoice price was about $32,000.00 and of course the lovely MSRPwas $35,000.00.

My only suggestion is to find one of your local dealers to go lower than the others. Once one tells you a lower price be sure to contact the other dealers and let them know. At that point, I would think the other dealers would then start to battle it out for the sale and thus giving you a better price. I would suggest keeping your communication with the internet sales reps as well. I'm not certain if this is true, but I was told that the internet sales reps are able to go cheaper than the regular sales reps.

Good luck. I hope you get what you want!

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Ok here's what they came back with:

Code | Item | MSRP | Invoice

9510 IS 350 Luxury Sport Sedan - 6ECTi 35,705.00 30,349.00

HL HID Headlamps 875 700

NV Navigation System w/AM/FM/CD Changer 2550 2168

PT Premium Plus Package includes Perforated Leather 1290 1032

XE X Package with Sunroof (IS250 RWD A/T and IS350) 1455 1164

?? Preferred Accessory Package 197 117

LR Rear Lip Spoiler 355 246

Destination 715

Total invoice price (incl destination) comes to $36,491

On top of that, they want:

Dealer Holdback 714

Wholesale Financial Reserve 357

TDA/advertising 446

This total comes to $38,008. According to them, THIS is the real invoice price.

MSRP is $43,142

Their final price: $40,000

After this, they've got dealer handing fess of $399 and then TTL + reg etc. That comes to $44,400 approx.

This is still way too much, right?

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Ok here's what they came back with:

Code | Item | MSRP | Invoice

9510 IS 350 Luxury Sport Sedan - 6ECTi 35,705.00 30,349.00

HL HID Headlamps 875 700

NV Navigation System w/AM/FM/CD Changer 2550 2168

PT Premium Plus Package includes Perforated Leather 1290 1032

XE X Package with Sunroof (IS250 RWD A/T and IS350) 1455 1164

?? Preferred Accessory Package 197 117

LR Rear Lip Spoiler 355 246

Destination 715

Total invoice price (incl destination) comes to $36,491

On top of that, they want:

Dealer Holdback 714

Wholesale Financial Reserve 357

TDA/advertising 446

This total comes to $38,008. According to them, THIS is the real invoice price.

MSRP is $43,142

Their final price: $40,000

After this, they've got dealer handing fess of $399 and then TTL + reg etc. That comes to $44,400 approx.

This is still way too much, right?

It's still up there. I would suggest you try and talk them into invoice price. I would also do this via internet sales through your local dealers. Try another dealer and let the other dealer know that you are aware of of the invoice price verses MSRP. I would also let the other dealer know up front that you aren't willing to pay MSRP. Once you get one of the dealers to crack the rest will follow.

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It sure seems to me like your dealer is trying to rip you off. I especially don't understand their position on the Dealer Holdback - are they planning on charging you for the holdback and then getting it back again from Lexus at year's end (double-dipping), or are they going to refund it back to you when they get it?

Were you speaking with a salesman, or were you dealing directly with the sales manager? It's the salesman's responsibility to pass on your offer to the sales manager, who can accept, reject, or counter your offer. If the salesman didn't even present your offer to his manager he is not doing you (or himself) any favors. I would ask to speak to the sales manager directly or find another salesman. At least in my neck of the woods, foot traffic in the Lexus dealership is slow (in comparison to, say, a Toyota dealership); another salesman may be more eager to work with you.

Also, since you're in Denver, I would guess that there are several Lexus dealers in your area. If I were you I would check out pricing at the other dealers - it couldn't be much worse than what your dealer is offering. I wouldn't appear over-eager to buy, and I would be prepared to walk if they're not willing to deal. Give them your phone number and tell them to give you a call if they change their mind. Or better yet, tell the dealer that, while you'd rather have the Lexus, you're going to shop for an Infiniti or a BMW instead.

You have several factors on your side:

- End-of-month is coming and the salesmen want to make their sales quotas

- End of model year is coming, and the dealers don't want to get stuck with last years models on the lot

- Generally weak luxury car sales because of high gas prices

One thing NOT on your side is the relative scarcity of the IS 350 in comparison to the IS 250. If you don't have the need for speed you might be able to get yourself a much better deal on the IS 250 - it's essentially the identical car with a smaller engine. You might even be able to get a few additional options at a lower price, and you'll still have a car which will turn heads...

You didn't mention if you were special-ordering the car or taking it off the lot. Your best deal will generally come if you take a car that's already there. The dealer is paying finance charges for every vehicle sitting on the lot, so it's in their best interest to make the sale.

Good luck to you. Hang tough and you'll get the car you want at a price you can live with.

Yeah I'm positive they're double dipping with the dealer holdback. In fact, at the end of our call, he had the audacity to ask me what I thought about all the fees given that this was "new information" I had just got from him. He acted like he just educated me about unknown fees and now that I knew better, do I think the fees are called for? Unbelievable really..

My communication with them started via email with a salesman. I was then promptly referred to a manager who I had all financial discussions with over phone/email. I should mention here that I haven't actually gone in to the dealership and have no intention of doing so until I'm ready to sign etc. There are definitely other dealerships around and I'm going to look around get the price I want to pay for the car that I want.

I'm definitely going to try and swing an end of the model year and end of the month deal if I can but the scarcity of 350s doesn't help at all. Unfortunately, I do really have the need for speed :) so I don't think I could settle for the IS250. In my mind it's always between the IS350 and the BMW 335ci. In the end, I decided I don't want to deal with blown turbos and shoddy electronics in about 3 years time and the IS just makes good all-round sense.

This deal is for a car they had on the lot and were willing to make minor changes for me. eg it has the X-package which i want, but I really don't like the 5 spoke wheels that come with it so I'm having them replace them with the stock 18s which I much prefer. I talked to him about special ordering and he indicated that they'd still be looking at "$3000" profit over their invoice (which is already inflated) so it won't matter much either way.

Thank you everyone for your replies, I hope to be part of the family soon :cheers:

hey come on now, bmw's are great. my fathers 5 series brothers 05 m3 and other brothers 2002 330i sedan havent broken down or had any type of electronic malfunctions. but i however, am trying to step outside the family circle of bmw's.The only person in my family that doesnt drive a bmw is me and my mother because she ABSOLUTELY LOVES her landrover and i am stuck with a nice but doesnt suit me 99 accord. i myself was considering the 335 but i wanted to be a little bit different than my brothers (and outrun for a much lower price) so during the next week or 2 me and my cousin are going to switch cars to see if i like the feel of and is350 over a bmw. but his is gonna feel so much more different than mine because im only getting the prem package with the heated seats and his has the nav and what not, and he has it on airbags and looks SUPER nice.

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My wife and I bought an IS250 and a RX350 this past saturday. We paid ~$300 over invoice for each car.

We bought a subscription to the Consumer Reports online car buying guide thing. That helped us SO much. After doing all of our research, we went into the dealership that had the exact cars we wanted. They asked what we were looking to pay, we basically rounded up the invoice price to the next hundred bucks. The sales guy came back about 15 minutes later and said, "So you did your homework obviously. How about you add $200 to each car so we can make a bit of a profit and we have a deal." Done. The whole transaction was done in bit over two hours.

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hey come on now, bmw's are great. my fathers 5 series brothers 05 m3 and other brothers 2002 330i sedan havent broken down or had any type of electronic malfunctions. but i however, am trying to step outside the family circle of bmw's.The only person in my family that doesnt drive a bmw is me and my mother because she ABSOLUTELY LOVES her landrover and i am stuck with a nice but doesnt suit me 99 accord. i myself was considering the 335 but i wanted to be a little bit different than my brothers (and outrun for a much lower price) so during the next week or 2 me and my cousin are going to switch cars to see if i like the feel of and is350 over a bmw. but his is gonna feel so much more different than mine because im only getting the prem package with the heated seats and his has the nav and what not, and he has it on airbags and looks SUPER nice.

Heh don't get me wrong, I love bimmers as a matter of fact. An E46 M3 has been on list of most wanted cars for as far as I can remember. My girlfriend has a 2003 330ci and I love driving the wheels off of that thing. The only trouble is that on average, 4 years seems to be time frame before some sort of electronics or something else start to fail on the bimmers. We've had some issues with that car and I've heard one too many stories now of unreliability with them and that just makes me wary. The IS350 is already about $20k out of my price range so it's a big step for me and I NEED it to be reliable. Even the thought of blown turbos sends shudders down my spine.

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Ok here's what they came back with:

Code | Item | MSRP | Invoice

9510 IS 350 Luxury Sport Sedan - 6ECTi 35,705.00 30,349.00

HL HID Headlamps 875 700

NV Navigation System w/AM/FM/CD Changer 2550 2168

PT Premium Plus Package includes Perforated Leather 1290 1032

XE X Package with Sunroof (IS250 RWD A/T and IS350) 1455 1164

?? Preferred Accessory Package 197 117

LR Rear Lip Spoiler 355 246

Destination 715

Total invoice price (incl destination) comes to $36,491

On top of that, they want:

Dealer Holdback 714

Wholesale Financial Reserve 357

TDA/advertising 446

This total comes to $38,008. According to them, THIS is the real invoice price.

MSRP is $43,142

Their final price: $40,000

After this, they've got dealer handing fess of $399 and then TTL + reg etc. That comes to $44,400 approx.

This is still way too much, right?

Horrible, simply horrible deal!

I was quoted $40,000.00 Out-The-Door for a car that was identical, minus the X-Package (around $1100 or so). The car price would be $36,500.00 and some change. You should not be paying more than $41500 Out-The-Door for your car. If I can get that kind of a deal in freakin' Southern California, you sure as heck should be able to do at least the same in Colorado!

And remember, invoice doesn't mean squat. If the dealer tells you they get the car at invoice, they are flat-out lying you in the face. There is a special, DEALER PRICING and it is posted in this section of the forum. Use it to negotiate and don't settle for anything less than $1000 or so below the 'invoice'.

Good luck and...don't buy at this price!

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Heh don't get me wrong, I love bimmers as a matter of fact. An E46 M3 has been on list of most wanted cars for as far as I can remember. My girlfriend has a 2003 330ci and I love driving the wheels off of that thing. The only trouble is that on average, 4 years seems to be time frame before some sort of electronics or something else start to fail on the bimmers. We've had some issues with that car and I've heard one too many stories now of unreliability with them and that just makes me wary. The IS350 is already about $20k out of my price range so it's a big step for me and I NEED it to be reliable. Even the thought of blown turbos sends shudders down my spine.

I'm in the same boat. BMWs (pre-Bangle) are terrific driving vehicles. E36 and E46 were perhaps the best driving ones of them all. I love my E38. However, keeping it running is quickly outweighhing the benefits of having such a 'pimp' (:D) ride.

The only reason I don't drive an IS350 yet is that right now it's a little bit of a stretch for me financially. As soon as I can afford it, I will get it. Good luck to you and make sure you buy below 'invoice'!

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My wife and I bought an IS250 and a RX350 this past saturday. We paid ~$300 over invoice for each car.

We bought a subscription to the Consumer Reports online car buying guide thing. That helped us SO much. After doing all of our research, we went into the dealership that had the exact cars we wanted. They asked what we were looking to pay, we basically rounded up the invoice price to the next hundred bucks. The sales guy came back about 15 minutes later and said, "So you did your homework obviously. How about you add $200 to each car so we can make a bit of a profit and we have a deal." Done. The whole transaction was done in bit over two hours.

Nice! Congratulations on your new rides. This is good info, but I think one key difference here is demand and supply. IS250s have been overstocked lately and 350's are still hard to come by. I've even gone to a dealership and been told that they didn't even have one on the lot! I doubt I'll get anything close to $300 over invoice from any dealer for a 350, but I'm definitely going to shoot for the lowest I can get.

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Ok I'm talking with another dealership and they can give me the exact same car for 39008 ($1000 over dealer invoice) + $399 dealer handling fee + ~$2800 tax = $42,200 OTD. They're willing to do it asap, what do you guys think?

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Ok here's what they came back with:

Code | Item | MSRP | Invoice

9510 IS 350 Luxury Sport Sedan - 6ECTi 35,705.00 30,349.00

HL HID Headlamps 875 700

NV Navigation System w/AM/FM/CD Changer 2550 2168

PT Premium Plus Package includes Perforated Leather 1290 1032

XE X Package with Sunroof (IS250 RWD A/T and IS350) 1455 1164

?? Preferred Accessory Package 197 117

LR Rear Lip Spoiler 355 246

Destination 715

Total invoice price (incl destination) comes to $36,491

On top of that, they want:

Dealer Holdback 714

Wholesale Financial Reserve 357

TDA/advertising 446

This total comes to $38,008. According to them, THIS is the real invoice price.

MSRP is $43,142

Their final price: $40,000

After this, they've got dealer handing fess of $399 and then TTL + reg etc. That comes to $44,400 approx.

This is still way too much, right?

I think a good way to figure out a fair price is to start with:

invoice price + destination + fees the dealer has to pay

From your numbers above, this is 36491+357+446=$37294

Then add a little for dealer profit, and keep in mind that they make a few hundred in profit already if they sell you the car at $37294. I'd offer $37,500, and expect to pay no more than $38,000 excluding tax, title, license. Don't pay any other fees. If they try to get you to pay a dealer handling fee, tell them you'd be happy to pay the $399 fee if they lower the price by $399. Otherwise, go elsewhere.

Tell them that you know cars are selling for this price, and if they won't make the deal you want, you'll go somewhere else. Give them 1 or 2 chances to meet your price and then stop negotiating. Either they will call you back after a couple of days, or you'll probably find another dealer who will meet your price. It's the most fun when they call you back to meet your price after you've bought the car you want for the price you want from another dealer.

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I ended up settling for $39,400 + TTL etc = $42,200 OTD. I know it's not a spectacular price, but I think I can live with it. I sincerely appreciate everyone's advice and encouragement, thank you all :)

PS - I'll post pictures when I pick it up :cheers:

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I ended up settling for $39,400 + TTL etc = $42,200 OTD. I know it's not a spectacular price, but I think I can live with it. I sincerely appreciate everyone's advice and encouragement, thank you all :)

PS - I'll post pictures when I pick it up :cheers:

Congrats on the purchase! Look, you MAY have been able to make a better deal somewhere else, but who knows for sure? Like you say, the relative scarcity of the IS 350 makes negotiating the price a little more difficult. At least you were able to get a better price than you were offered by the first dealer. I'm sure you'll enjoy telling that salesman you saved a grand off his best price by shopping around - especially after he "educated" you on the "true" invoice price. That's what they get by feeding you a line of BS - no sale, no profit, no commission. Sucks to be them, the greedy *BLEEP*s. Fortunately you were able to shop a couple of different dealerships. Here in Buffalo we have the choice of exactly ONE Lexus dealership, with the next closest one being some 80 miles away. Kind of limits your negotiating power if your heart is set on a Lexus...

Anyhow, I'm sure you'll love your new IS 350. When do you pick her up?

BTW, how did the dealer ever explain the dealer holdback to you? If this is money that they do not pay over invoice to obtain the vehicle, but rather they get it paid to them (like a dividend) at the end of the year by Lexus, how did they justify ADDING it to the invoice price and charging you for it?? Still doesn't make sense to me...

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