Day 1 of my visit to Longo Toyota on 7/6/14.
I do regret to give a 1 star review from my visit yesterday. Here's my experience. Yesterday (7/6/14) my wife and I walked into Longo, went up to the receptionist area, and told them we were looking for a Camry. It didn't seem too busy and we were quickly met a salesman who I believe his name was Danny Choi. Told him that we were looking for a 2014.5 Camry SE Magnetic Gray. We drove into the parking garage and were shown the car. I believe that MSRP was $24,875 with $500 alarm that can be taken off. It was new with only 4 miles. We test drove it and it was nice. After we got back they ran our credit (810/820) and we did qualify for the 0% APR at 60 months and as low as $0 down.
I prepared myself by reading articles on “how to buy a car” and “how to deal with the finance guy”. I’m on car forums and see prices people paid out the door. I do take into consideration that they have different tax rates and fees. Here are my numbers of what I consider a good deal. Keep in mind that this shape Camry will be discontinued in 1-2 months and I think dealers would want to rush these out the door.
Camry SE with MSRP $24,875
under 20K OTD: Great deal. Maybe people with cash and hook ups with salesman friends, black book pricing?
20-21k : good deal
21-22k : fair deal
22k+: good deal for Longo and $ for salesman
22,700: internet sales out the door price
So it is my first time buying a new car. When it got to negotiating I threw out a price. I know it was lowballing because negotiating is meeting in the middle right? Keep in mind I already had an online Longo internet quote for $20.388.88 plus LA taxes so $22,726.83 OTD. I had to beat this price. Here’s how I would presume the negotiation would go in my head and that we would meet in the middle somewhere:
Me: $17,000 OTD
Me: 20 firm
salesman: 21 firm
Me: 20,500 and we have a deal
SO HERE’S HOW IT WENT: I told him I wanted it for $17,000 OTD. Thank you for not laughing at my low ball offer. Danny Choi remained professional. He said that was too low, it's a 9K difference. I eventually said how about 20K OTD. He still did not come back at me with any lowered price from MSRP. He just said that price was too low and he can do 22k plus tax and fees. I mean after test drive and running our credit, you would think we were serious right? I told him I've seen Camry's offered around this price on sale at other dealers (i.e. Claremont Toyota $19,388 before tax w/ $1,500 cash back i think.). I've gotten Truecar quotes for 19,750 before tax (Moss Bros Moreno Valley) and 20,050 before tax (Manhattan Beach Toyota). When you get to the Truecar dealer, I read that they commonly claim that it is missing items and cannot honor the price. Sounds believable. Anyway he told me to go buy them there because they can't sell them for that price here. I'm really not promoting Claremont or Moss Bros. Look at their Yelp reviews to see for yourself.
I gave a 20K OTD price. And 20K plus taxes and fees are probably $22K at the truecar dealers. There was a 2K negotiating window and he still didn't give me a lower price and we could start haggling. He just didn't provide me a lower price on paper so we could haggle back and forth and sent us on our way. I mean 20K OTD with MSRP 25K is a 20% discount which was my target price. I did not print out any of these offers. I guess I should have?
After leaving, it was very confusing for us and we're trying to reflect on what happened. We could not get a deal with the largest dealer in the US. A dealer that can easily beat other dealers. He did not even come back at me with a lower OTD price. He did not even go to his bosses to get a price. HE LET US LEAVE SO EASILY. TALK ABOUT NO PRESSURE!!! NOT EVEN A BUSINESS CARD. NOT EVEN A THANK YOU OR GOODBYE HANDSHAKE. I can only come out to believe that they didn't want to sell me a car and would want to sell it to other people with lower credit so that they can charge APR and make money on that. Also it was 7/6/14 and not the end of the month. Maybe that's why they're under no pressure to sell. Maybe they want to sell to un-informed people. Toyota has ended the month of June 2014 with best ever sales.
BTW, My sister got her car new here 9 years ago. It was a new 2005 Camry LE with MSRP of $22,500 and was purchased for cash out the door at $18k even. Thats a 20% discount.
UPDATE: 2nd visit to longo on 7/7/14 a day later. It's the last day to get the 0% APR
So it's 7/7/14 after work around 5pm. I called, asked for someone in new car sales, and was transferred to Kevin Lai and I told him about yesterday and he seemed understanding. He was able to look up my info and see who my salesman was, Danny. Danny probably put in a summary report on me. Kevin told me to come in and they will try to work out the price, so I made an appt with him between 7-8pm. I don't know why I was going to meet Kevin Lai since he's a portfolio manager in the Business Development team. Got there at 6:55pm. Waited until 7:10pm. Baltazar Olmos met with us because Kevin was off already. So Bal introduces himself and says give him 5 minutes while he finishes up something. Comes back 10 minutes later and we're at his desk, this time on the right side of the dealership. We could see the manager’s “deal or no deal” room. It had a giant number of 877 on top and 1200 on the bottom. My guess is they have sold 877 new and used cars so far 7 days into July and a target of 1200 for the month of July. Seems to me that so far they're on target to pass the 1,200 sales mark for July. This means less leverage/negotiation room for buyers and more power to the salesman.
So I start with an offer of 21K out the door. He says that’s too low. I tell him to take it to his boss. He goes to the "deal or no deal room" and Bal and Danny talk it up for a while. I believe they’re talking to Jeffery Yip also. Bal and Danny are in that room talking longer than the time we spent with Danny in total yesterday. Then Bal comes out with an offer of 23 something OTD. I told him that was too high. Then he says my manager didn’t like your yelp review you put up. DUN DUN DUN!. Yes but I came back to try and work things out. I move to 21,500. He comes back and says 23,980. I say 22k. He comes back and says 22980. I say 22500 is my final offer. He comes back and actually somehow it increased to something like 23300 I think. Their internet sales gave me a price of 22,726 OTD and Bal couldn’t even beat that. We walked away at 8pm. I believe we were income discriminated and now I am blacklisted now from the dealership. That’s ok. I have blacklisted you too.
Afterwards, my wife asked me why did you want to go to Longo again after we couldn’t get a deal the first time? I wanted to go because we both have had friends and family that have bought here. In my head believed in Longo. I had idolized Longo. I used to buy parts from there, check out the cars, and told myself one day I would buy from Longo. So we went again.
After that ended it was 8pm and we headed to Claremont Toyota to look at their $19,388 Camry SE special. MSRP window sticker says $24,875 from Wonderies Toyota. It turns out that there's a mandatory $995 "PURSUIT" alarm that is not found on the window sticker. It cannot be removed. It was not said over the phone. Just the usual just come in. So we went in and the total OTD price was $22,500.55. I did not buy because I felt their “PURSUIT” mandatory alarm was non-negotiable and the fact that they did not mention this $1,000 alarm made them look deceitful.
Learn from my mistake. I feel really bad I had to put my wife through this. Listen to your wife, because she is 99.999% right. I probably got her black listed too. Get OTD prices from dealers. Test drive the car. Do not let them run your credit. Discuss OTD price, then do credit check with financing. After they ran our credit they probably put me in the “can very afford it” range of 22k+.
I believe some people will get good deals at Longo. Longo and I just didn’t work out.
I don’t know why I’m tearing up writing this. I’m glad Longo didn’t take my $22,500 offer and I’m blown away by Claremont’s easy out the door $22,500.55 deal that includes a stupid 1k alarm.
The bad guys that I am calling out:
Guy in the 'deal or no deal' room. He looked like Jeffrey Yip and I think the guy that read my part 1 yelp review.
Longo guest relations rep, what do you have to say?
I posted a similar review on yelp as well.
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Jeffrey Yip in the 'deal or no deal' room