Welcome aboard! When I go vehicle shopping I let them think i'm just looking and not really interested in buying. When they gave me the first price, I said thanks and started to get up to leave. Second price was way better. That's when I started dealing.
As far as basic interior, electric windows/locks, keyless entry, cruise, etc are standard on a Rubicon. I would have bought a basic interior, but .....
Getting my Jeep was my first experience buying a car. I did a ton of research and used information from this forum. I emailed the dealerships, I did not visit them and told them what I was looking for. Ordering the Jeep was the best route for me. I got everything I wanted and nothing I didn't.
In fact, I didn't even do a test drive. My first test drive was in the Jeep I ordered when I went to pick it up.
Please do read the 1st post in the waiting room it has good information.
Research is great.
Know exactly what you want.
Call dealers and tell them what you want
Tell them you are willing to sign papers that same day for the right price. Have a LOW price in mind. The dealer shouldn't be able to meet the price you are willing to buy it for. Ask him how close he can come to your price.
Call another dealer, same process. Ask that dealer if he can beat the your previous amount.
Keep doing this and you will know what the best price is. Or at least what they are going for in your area.
This has worked for me 6 times.
Show us pics soon.
I used USAA car buying service which is the same as consumer reports car buying service. No haggle and was referred to Autonation. Only haggle was on the trade. I got my 2014 Rubicon X for below FMV from Edmunds. All paperwork done online and was in and out of the dealer with new jeep within an hour.
I should also add, that while the initial email to dealers was painless, trying to get them to respond in a timely fashion was not. Ultimately, of those dealerships I contacted via email, only a few responded in a timely fashion. There was one dealership that contacted two months later.
I also secured my own financing and for a first time buyer, let me assure you that was a "fun" process. Once my financing was secured I started contacting dealerships. They will ALL want you to come onto the lot so they can potentially sell you a car off their lot. Which is fine, that's how they make their bucks, but I knew what I wanted would not be on anyone's lot.
Whatever you decide, go in armed with information, secure your own financing and know if you want to order your Jeep or take one off the lot. A lot of times doing an order runs you a cheaper Jeep because it only has the options you want. But if what you want are options that the dealers have in stock, see what kinda of deal you can make.
As someone else posted, always be prepared to walk away from any deal. I was preared to walk away from the Jeep I had ordered because there was one asterisk of a financing middleman who tried bs-ing me about my financing. When they know you'll walk away, everyone gets their mind right and stops the salesman tango.
I also started out by emailing about 20 or so dealerships in the Gulf Coast region. I got automated replies from most of them, actual personal replies from about 3/4 of them, and in the end an actual serious offer from about 6 or 7. Of course they all want you to come in and talk to them in person, but I explained very clearly in my email that I had already test driven a jeep so there was no need for that, and that I had searched dealer inventories extensively and did not find the exact options that I wanted so I fully expected this to be a custom order because they would not have what I wanted on their lot. So again, no reason for me to come in person.
I also attached to the email a copy of my build summary from Jeep.com, so there would be no misunderstanding about exactly the vehicle I wanted. Some of the dealers still didn't get it right because they'd quote me a jeep that was "close" to what I wanted that they had in stock.
So in the end, I had around 6 or 7 dealers who priced out the exact vehicle I wanted and made a serious offer. I had also informed them that I would be utilizing the Chrysler Affiliates program through my employer, so they don't haggle much...they give you the bottom line price based on that and also knowing that I was seeking quotes from numerous other dealers.
Ultimately, I chose the third best bid. The lowest bid was ridiculously lower than the others but insisted on adding "Auto Guard" for almost $500 more. I asked what "Auto Guard" was and he told me that they etch the VIN into all the windows as a theft deterrent. I told him that I would not pay for that, especially since I was ordering a soft top vehicle, with half doors, and therefore there would be only ONE glass window on the vehicle, and I'd be damned if I was going to pay $500 for them to etch one VIN on one window. He said it was required and wouldn't budge (which was obviously why he was able to quote such a low selling price). So I thanked him for his time and told him to get back in touch if he changed his mind. I can't believe they were willing to lose a sale over something so stupid but it was the principle at that point.
Second lowest quote was only $200 less than #3, but he was all the way in Houston (5 hours away) and I couldn't see going all that way to save $200. Hell, I'd burn that much gas going to pick it up.
So I ended up buying from one of the closest dealers who still underbid the rest of the pack, some by a pretty significant margin. I feel like I got a decent deal and at least the dealership is pretty close if I need service.
I also had already secured my own financing through my credit union. That process was a breeze. I walked in one day just to casually inquire about the loan application process, and walked out 15 minutes later with approval for up to $35,000 at 3.1%.
Once I ordered the jeep I figured the hard part was over, but as Tom Petty once observed, the waiting is the hardest part
I just bought my 2015 Unlimited Sahara. I went to the dealership just expecting to test drive. Got his best price then said ok, I'll think about it and went to leave. He made another offer, and I said gee, that's a good price, and said I am not buying today. I made it to the door and he dropped another thousand. Sticker price was $37K and I got it for $33K. I think I did pretty good.
Hope that give you an idea of how low they can go. Like someone said, don't be afraid to walk away. If you leave, there is a good chance you will take their lowest offer somewhere else, and someone else will beat it.
Good Luck with the purchase!
Dealer add-ons are another thing to be aware of when you're purchasing a new vehicle. I also received a similar 'auto guard' type speech when I went to pick up my Jeep. My dealership called it the 'CA protection package' which was VIN etching and plastic strips on the door edges for protection. It was just a dealer's package and they did not try to do a hard sale. But I stated very clearly, that I would not be getting any of their packages. Again being armed with information is the key.
I tried getting what I wanted through the Costco program. That was worthless because the participating dealers didn't bother to contact me. They must sell too many wranglers. I got mine on eBay from Steve White Motors in NC. Got what I wanted at a good price and they are fantastic to work with. They jumped through hoops to get it delivered almost immediately.
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