Heads up, car shoppers! Smart shoppers are no longer paying the full sticker price on their shiny, new luxury cars. Great news if you're in the market for a new ride - luxury car prices are more flexible than ever!
A mere decade ago, scoring a great deal on a luxury vehicle was rare. One could watch television or scan the classifieds section of the local newspaper to find special offers, like employee pricing, on cars that have been sitting on the lot for a while, but luxury vehicles were rarely included.
Fast-forward to the present, though, and advertising has changed - drastically. The advertising pros call this “The Digital Transformation.” Car manufacturers, including those who manufacture luxury cars, are dedicating nearly all their advertising budget to web-based advertising. But how does that help you - the buyer?
Access to Information
Knowledge is power. Thanks to the evolution of affordable laptops, tablets, and smartphones, staying connected is easy, and a virtually limitless pool of information is just a few clicks (or taps) away. Spend some time researching vehicles before you start shopping. Make a list of the top contenders, and jot down the MSRPs. Then, seek out reviews and real prices. If there’s a make that you’re particularly interested in, there’s a good chance someone’s set up a message board dedicated to it. Sign up and start a thread where you encourage people to share what they actually paid for their cars. Armed with your newfound knowledge of MSRPs and others’ experiences, head to your nearest dealership and get down to business.
Have you ever done a quick Google search for something, and then scrolled through your social media feed to see tons of ads for similar products? Ever bought a toaster online, and then had your newsfeed flooded with ads for toasters? That’s targeted advertising. The whole thing is sort of technical, but put simply, your web browser stores small bits of information called cookies, and advertisers can use this to show you ads for things they think you’ll be interested in. If you’re researching luxury cars online, there’s a good chance you’ll see targeted ads for other luxury cars, which can help you negotiate a better price on the car you want.
Negotiating on-the-spot when you’re at the car dealership is tough. It’s easy to get carried away. Most luxury car dealerships have a monitored email address where you can communicate with someone at the dealership before you go in. Send them your preferred build or choose a car that’s listed on their website as in stock, and ask for a better price. If there are other dealerships who sell the same type of car nearby, like in the next state, reach out to them, too. You can likely shave a few hundred (or thousand) dollars off the price at your nearest dealership if you can show them that you can get a better deal elsewhere.
You're a Talking (or Typing) Advertisement
People rarely share their experiences on social media or review sites, but you can count on someone who’s had a really good or really bad experience to share all the details. In the age of influencers and infinite reach, businesses are feeling more pressure than ever to make customers happy. Happy customers become free advertising, and unhappy customers become major hurdles that require (often costly and inconvenient) damage control.
So If You Think You Can’t Afford a Luxury Car…
Think again! With a bit of preparation and patience, you can drive away in a purchased or leased luxury care for much less than you thought. If you want to land a really great deal, wait for the year-end model clearout, where dealerships are hoping to offload last year’s inventory to make room for new vehicles. But don’t wait too long! Someone else is probably eyeing that stunning luxury car you’ve had your eye on.