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      03-21-2007, 09:14 PM   #1
NickG
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Question OT: Experience with Car Brokers?

Just curious if anyone here has had some experience with car brokers (companies that "shop" your car purchase requirements among various dealers and purport to save you $$ in the process)?

I'm considering using one to replace my wife's car with, probably, a Subaru GT Spec B or 3.0R spec B manual wagon.

Seems to me if you know exactly what spec you want and are a cash buyer with no trade in to worry about, they can probably take some of the hassle out of screwing the best deal from retailers all over the City. Any downside?
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      03-21-2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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give it a go and report back sir!

nar sorry can't help u as i've never tried but i've been told abt these services by friends and have always wondered if they work....
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      03-22-2007, 12:05 AM   #3
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i am abviously the odd one out here, cos i enjoy shopping for a new car
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      03-22-2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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The only experience I have had is as a seller. I sold an Audi TT to a guy who had a broker searching around for it. The guy basically did all the work for his customer and then handed over to the customer to come and look once he had asked me all the basic questions.

I think he got commission for it - not sure how much but I have a 1-2K figure in my mind for some reason. Generally speaking, if I buy a new car I go and speak to our finance controller as he can get cars through the "chosen" dealers that we use for novated leasing. They then give us the (usually large) fleet discount based on that, even for a private sale - it can be as much as 4 or 5K for some more common models. I'm sure this would include Subaru (I think our preferred dealer is in West Ryde) but unfortunately he only really does it for employees as a favour :-(
 
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      03-22-2007, 12:31 AM   #5
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In 2004 i obtained my wifes car via a broker,cash deal. I advised type colour and extras within the week he came back with a good price on the same car but without the colour i wanted and i advised i wanted the requested colour or no deal.
One day later he had located a dealer willing to accept the price and has the right colour. Perfect; except!
Picked the car up and i was following my wife home in my car and i noticed the rubber bump moulding was not straight. I went away for a week and gave the car on my return a real close look and noticed the drivers door not closing properly and what looked like a respray on the door.
Spoke with broker, he didn't want to know about it and referred me to the dealer.
It turned out the car was damaged at sea in transit,and a rough repair was carried out. They agreed to respray the whole side of car and replace at least one door and i accepted that. However, the attitude was because i stipulated the colour and got a discount price; what do you expect.
I have learn't my lesson, carefully look at the car before driving away and don't use brokers.
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      03-22-2007, 12:55 AM   #6
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In 2004 i obtained my wifes car via a broker,cash deal. I advised type colour and extras within the week he came back with a good price on the same car but without the colour i wanted and i advised i wanted the requested colour or no deal.
One day later he had located a dealer willing to accept the price and has the right colour. Perfect; except!
Picked the car up and i was following my wife home in my car and i noticed the rubber bump moulding was not straight. I went away for a week and gave the car on my return a real close look and noticed the drivers door not closing properly and what looked like a respray on the door.
Spoke with broker, he didn't want to know about it and referred me to the dealer.
It turned out the car was damaged at sea in transit,and a rough repair was carried out. They agreed to respray the whole side of car and replace at least one door and i accepted that. However, the attitude was because i stipulated the colour and got a discount price; what do you expect.
I have learn't my lesson, carefully look at the car before driving away and don't use brokers.
Thanks - that's exactly the kind of stuff hard to foresee stuff I was worrying about! If the dealer relationship is in somehow compromised because you've used a broker, you're on thin ice I guess.
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      03-22-2007, 01:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by astra View Post
i am obviously the odd one out here, cos i enjoy shopping for a new car
Me too, I just dislike the inevitable haggle! And having spent the best part of 6 months in and out of dealers assessing every alternative vehicle that might suit our needs from E91 to Alfa 159,Passat A3/A4, Volvo, Merc C Class and Saab wagons - and even the new Commodore , I'm already kind of "over it".
E91 wagon came closest BTW, but much smaller boot, lack of power (it's only available as 323i), and cost weigh heavily against it vs the $15k cheaper Suby's. Loved the look of the 159 too, but surprisingly the engines were a major disappointment, unless you go for the absurdly overpriced AWD V6....Poor old Alfa - they come so close but never seem to get it quite right!
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      03-22-2007, 01:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JameB View Post
The only experience I have had is as a seller. I sold an Audi TT to a guy who had a broker searching around for it. The guy basically did all the work for his customer and then handed over to the customer to come and look once he had asked me all the basic questions.

I think he got commission for it - not sure how much but I have a 1-2K figure in my mind for some reason. Generally speaking, if I buy a new car I go and speak to our finance controller as he can get cars through the "chosen" dealers that we use for novated leasing. They then give us the (usually large) fleet discount based on that, even for a private sale - it can be as much as 4 or 5K for some more common models. I'm sure this would include Subaru (I think our preferred dealer is in West Ryde) but unfortunately he only really does it for employees as a favour :-(

Ah yes.. wonderful fleet discounts! They sure do vary from brand to brand though. Bet you'd struggle to get more than about $2k off a Bimmer. And Subaru are reportedly pretty stingey too.
They say one of the reasons the new Commodore is doing so badly is because GM changed their policy and refused to offfer anything like the traditional discounts to major fleet buyers like the car rental companies, who apparently get their Toyota's and Mitsubishis etc at up to 30% off list!
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      03-22-2007, 01:35 AM   #9
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Interestingly enough, I bought my 335i Sedan through a broker (arrives second week of April) and I can say a few things about the experience. First of all, I hate going around different dealers and trying to find the best price. I'm a pretty striaght forward guy and I like to go in and ask "What is the best price I can get for this car" and I expect to get a truthful honest answer, but that never happens at a dealer...they always give you a high price and you slowly work down from there...etc...and I hate going through that process because its time consuming, an energy waster, and at times annoying.

That said, I have a friend who is a broker and I asked him to do everything for me....I gave him the specs...everything I wanted and he shopped around. The great thing about brokers is that if you find a good honest broker they will find you the car (if it exists) and they will get you a great price. Now I know that I could probably buy the same car for slightly cheaper if I shoopped around...but I'm talking about maybe $500 to $1000 at the most. Granted, the price of the car also varies depending on the demand for the specific model....and like any business the broker needs to make a profit somewhere in the equation so I have no problem paying them some money if they can find me the car I want for a great price (For example, my dad just purchased a toyota Avalon XLS fully loaded and my broker friend found the one he wanted for about 4000k under sticker price, which he said was about 500 dollars over invoice)

Personally I would rather pay 500 dollars over the cheapest price possible form a dealer and not have to worry about shopping around. And I did this all over the phone without having to step out of my home. The great thing is that...the broker put the 1000 dollar deposit that is required to order the 335i and they take care of all the financing...etc. I also have the option to refuse the car once it comes in if I am not satisfied or if I change my mind and no longer want to purchase.

I highly recommend using a broker, but make sure it is a reputable one, or perhaps someone that a family member has used...or a close friend, just to make sure the experience is as smooth as possible. If you'd like I can give you the name and number of my broker friend who I went through...he is located in Riverside (I live out in the Inland Empire) and I am sure he will take real good care of you. All you have to do is drop my name when you talk to him. If you are interested PM me and I will give you the info. I say give it a try...ask what they can do for you...and go from there.
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      03-22-2007, 01:54 AM   #10
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I've never used on personally. But talking to one of my GF's family friends who is pretty much a baller with lots of cars told me he uses a broker and it is the best way to go.
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      03-22-2007, 02:29 AM   #11
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"Loved the look of the 159 too, but surprisingly the engines were a major disappointment, unless you go for the absurdly overpriced AWD V6....Poor old Alfa - they come so close but never seem to get it quite right!"


You buy the Alfa from the heart and not the head. The 159 is a great car only let down by -:
1. it's importer - Ateco as they don't have the best of reputation for honoring warrenty.
2. General perception by stupid wholesalers who don't want to know about them. This in turn effects depreciation.

My E90 is my 5th BMW to date and while I've loved them all, only the Alfa 156 has the closest spot to my heart. The engines are "sweet as", rev wildly to the redline with a sound track only an Italian car maker can give.

There are 3 things you buy in Red -:
Roses for the wife
Lingerie for the mistress
Italian cars for yourself

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      03-22-2007, 02:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by vgr02 View Post
"Loved the look of the 159 too, but surprisingly the engines were a major disappointment, unless you go for the absurdly overpriced AWD V6....Poor old Alfa - they come so close but never seem to get it quite right!"


You buy the Alfa from the heart and not the head. The 159 is a great car only let down by -:
1. it's importer - Ateco as they don't have the best of reputation for honoring warrenty.
2. General perception by stupid wholesalers who don't want to know about them. This in turn effects depreciation.

My E90 is my 5th BMW to date and while I've loved them all, only the Alfa 156 has the closest spot to my heart. The engines are "sweet as", rev wildly to the redline with a sound track only an Italian car maker can give.

There are 3 things you buy in Red -:
Roses for the wife
Lingerie for the mistress
Italian cars for yourself

Cio
Agreed - except for the engines. The 159 is I think around 150kg heavier than 156, which really blunts the performance. It's 4 cyl petrol is - I think I am correct in saying - not the same unit as the 156. It's a modified twin balancer shaft GM ( Saab?) thing thrown together while Alfa was engaged to GM ( as is the v6 - a destroked Holden with Alfa heads!). Regardless, the petrol 4 in the 159 sounds nothing like an Alfa engine should, and sadly is pathetically gutless, which might be forgivable except that it is also astonishingly unresponsive.
The other engine I sampled was the JTD, which sounded even worse, had truly massive turbo lag below 2000rpm ( and it's a diesel for heaven's sake!!), and a rev limit of about 4500. Certainly the narrowest power band of any modern car I have ever driven....

Other than that, it's a lovely car!
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      03-22-2007, 06:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraposo View Post
I highly recommend using a broker, but make sure it is a reputable one, or perhaps someone that a family member has used...or a close friend, just to make sure the experience is as smooth as possible. If you'd like I can give you the name and number of my broker friend who I went through...he is located in Riverside (I live out in the Inland Empire) and I am sure he will take real good care of you. All you have to do is drop my name when you talk to him. If you are interested PM me and I will give you the info. I say give it a try...ask what they can do for you...and go from there.

Thanks Fraposo and I guess you've hit the nail on the head - find a good broker and they can be a great asset. Maybe I'm missing something here though. You seem to be in the USA and I'm in Newport Beach, a suburb of Sydney Australia. Your buddy may be the best broker in Riverside but that's about 10,000 miles away, and the "Inland Empire" sounds like a yet to be released Star Wars movie to me!
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      03-22-2007, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickG View Post
Just curious if anyone here has had some experience with car brokers (companies that "shop" your car purchase requirements among various dealers and purport to save you $$ in the process)?

I'm considering using one to replace my wife's car with, probably, a Subaru GT Spec B or 3.0R spec B manual wagon.

Seems to me if you know exactly what spec you want and are a cash buyer with no trade in to worry about, they can probably take some of the hassle out of screwing the best deal from retailers all over the City. Any downside?
I used them got what I feel was a great price. I paid $900 over invoice 328xi coupe. B Sapphire, sport with tire upgrade, 6fl, CA, heated seats. Also floor mats and chrome pipes tossed in. Car is built and OC says it is at port.

The cost is $190 flat fee. This is a non-profit org and it took about 9 days to get the quotes. easy easy easy would do again.

Sorry I see you are in Australia this info won't help you. Sorry
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      03-22-2007, 06:20 PM   #15
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I too looked at the Alfa 159 V6 and thought about it. However, at that time they were trying to push the car but trades were in my opinion dishonest and i walked away. I sold my car privately after one web advert; with two buyers wanting the car and i received $22000 more than the Alfa Dealer offer
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      03-22-2007, 06:28 PM   #16
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My bad experience detailed earlier was on a Mazda 6 but before i decided to call the friend refered broker i shopped around and nearly went ahead with a deal from a Melbourne Dealer who was willing to ship the car to me.
The broker deal was about the same as my chasing around. However, i can understand some people may wish to use that option; but its not for me.
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      03-22-2007, 08:02 PM   #17
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I too looked at the Alfa 159 V6 and thought about it. However, at that time they were trying to push the car but trades were in my opinion dishonest and i walked away. I sold my car privately after one web advert; with two buyers wanting the car and i received $22000 more than the Alfa Dealer offer
I really, really wanted to like the 159. Thought it looked incredible outside and in, and they've finally got finish quality to a level where it can compete with at least VW, if not BMW. Would even have been prepared to put up with the usual reliability and service issues. But both those 4 cyl and diesel engines just KILLED it for me. I don't think I've ever been as disappointed in a new car I've driven. "Cuore Sportivo", my a$$!

$22k out on a trade in? They must be joking....
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      03-22-2007, 09:32 PM   #18
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I really, really wanted to like the 159. Thought it looked incredible outside and in, and they've finally got finish quality to a level where it can compete with at least VW, if not BMW. Would even have been prepared to put up with the usual reliability and service issues. But both those 4 cyl and diesel engines just KILLED it for me. I don't think I've ever been as disappointed in a new car I've driven. "Cuore Sportivo", my a$$!

$22k out on a trade in? They must be joking....
I don't claim to know much about the current range from Alfa but I will say the diesels are rated as one of the best in Europe but I'm a long way off from wanting to even go down the diesel road.

As an ex 156 twin spark owner, I can honestly tell you that "Curore Sportivo" does exist in Alfa Romeo's. You need to own one and live with it to understand. My first 2 weeks of Alfa ownership had me working out how long before I could get out of it but then we bonded and the "Cuore Sportivo" came out. All I'm saying is an Alfa is not for everyone and I respect everyone has different takes on issues but everyone I know who has owed one has never complained for it lacking a "sporting heart". As I said before, dealer issues would have to be their weak point. Reliability is on par with other marques. Every maker can put out a dud product from time to time. I have an E39 530I as well and I can tell you that car spent more time in BMW workshops in it's first 2 years than it did on the road. BMW were good enought to extend the warrenty for another year without me asking - just shows how bad it was. Since then , all has been good. My Alfa only had one issue which was rectified within 2 hours. As I said, everyone has good and bad stories so car ownership can deffinitly be a subjective issue.
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      03-22-2007, 09:33 PM   #19
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Ringing around and doing the run around is probably a major pain in the arse. But you must have a fair good idea of what your prepared to or should pay for a car with the colours and specs you want right?

If your paying cash, just negotiate the best deal possible and watch their faces when you tell them you won't be bothering with the finance as you'll be paying cash, it's priceless.

Sure you may get it a little bit cheaper if you shop around or have a broker find you one. Although that above story just put me off them, but remember time equals money. You can always get more money, but you can't get the time back with running around to save a few dollars. I think most Subaru places would be prepared to deal. Or simply get a firm firgure from one while your there and step outside and call another and see if they'll beat the price.
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      03-27-2007, 12:40 PM   #20
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BMW North America currently has an initiative to single out dealers who are selling to brokers........ESPECIALLY in Florida -

Almost without exception, one will pay MORE for their BMW through a broker than direct from the dealer......

Why would you not want to buy from a BMW Salesman ? a BMW CA will be there for you when you need him - and you WILL need him eventually.....

Brokers bail on you when you drive off - NO, NADA < Nothing in the way of customer support for your Bimmer.....
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      03-28-2007, 08:22 AM   #21
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marketman,
That is not always correct. I notice you are in Melbourne, Florida.
In Australia we have a Broker company called http://www.betterdeal.com.au that deals in "Reverse bidding" with BMW dealerships. They do not buy the car from dealers. You pay $150. All they do is negotiate on your behalf and because they have greater buying power at fleet, not showroom floor prices, they are able to better negotiate a better deal for you. Once a starting price is established, BMW dealers then counter bid against each other over an 8 hour period but instead of the price increasing it gradually decreases. You can even view or have your email show ongoing live proceedings of the auction as they occur. Once bidding has ended it is up to you if you want to proceed - no pressure but you will lose your $150 if a sale does not eventuate. Your details kept pivate till now, are then given to the winning dealer and you will then establish contact with the BMW dealer to fill out all the relevant purchase paperwork. Betterdeal is just a vehicle to to introduce you to the winning dealer at a better price than you could ever negotiate on your own. The rest is then up to you !
For anyone interested, do a search in this OZ Forum as I believe moose81 has used Betterdeal with great success here. Saved close to $6000 from retail I believe.
Ahh Here it is : http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ght=Betterdeal

Oh and if anyone is thinking, the answer is no, I'm not an affiliate or in any way associated with Betterdeal.

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      03-28-2007, 05:07 PM   #22
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I tried www.betterdeal.com.au in November last year but they told me that the Qld Dealers were not able to participate in betterdeal (at least on a 335) so I should consider involving NSW dealers. Only got 1-2 bids and they had only bettered the starting price by about $200. After the auction betterdeal said there were dealers prepared to offer me a bit more discount but they didn't want to participate in the betterdeal auction because "BMW were not discounting 335i" Anyway ended up negotiating with a Qld dealer myself.
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