Post of the Day
March 27, 1998

From our AOL
Buying a Car Board


I took the advice of The Motley Fool when purchasing my 98 4runner limited. I followed most all of the instructions provided on your page How to Buy a Car.

  • 1) I stayed out of the dealerships (except to test drive the vehicles).
  • 2) I faxed requests for bid, to the leasing managers (by name) of 16 respective Toyota dealerships. (I faxed the local dealer who provided the test drive his solicitation 2 days early).
  • 3) With the request for bid, I sent a 4runner limited specification sheet and a blank federal leasing disclosure form (downloadable off of the internet) to each bidder.
  • 4) I simultaneously went out to bidders in a 350 mile radius. no prob. I'm in sales & I travel.
  • 5) I asked all of the bidders to fax these back to me with their bid. I asked the bidders to respond within 3 days. (however; this time period is too long. I received all of my responses back within 6 hours) !

Of those 16 requests sent out, I received 7 responses. I did not reveal the amount of any dealer's bid to any other dealer (and I stated that I would not, in my cover letter).

Most of the respondents took little, if any, exception to the equipment list I asked for. most all of them bid the identical car.

The very first bid I received back was the most professional, and also was the lowest priced. He had the car & the price and was only 1 1/2 hours away. He even included a copy of his invoice (unsolicited). I waited 'till the end of the bidding period, and gave the dealer a call. We were in and out of the dealer with exactly what I wanted, and with keys in hand in an hour !

Here is the way the the 7 bids for a 3 yr/15000 mile closed end lease came in:

100% (the low bid)
108 %

This was a the most fun I ever had buying a car. Let me qualify this; uhhhh......I've only had one other pleasant experiece buying a car, besides this one. All the others were like you said (a time warped "Let's Make a Deal"). The only tears my wife cried this time were tears of joy. The dealer was super, so everything went smooth as silk.! Coincidently the dealer (Jim Barkley in Asheville, NC) is a "no dicker sticker" type dealer. We would not have gotten together, had it not been for your advice and dealer locater service on The Motley Fool page.

Thanks for the advice !

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