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What would you offer

(My apologies to the repair and maintenane board for accidentally posting this question on their board)

Considering buying an SUV - there’s a NEW 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid sitting on the dealer’s lot. It’s listed for about $31,000. KBB lists it for about $30,000. We realize there are dealer costs blah blah blah but why would we want to pay that much when for the same amount or not much more we could get a 2009 or 2010? We’re considering making an offer…where would you start?

I would START at $22,000 and see what happens…Remember, they haven’t sold a car since 8pm last Monday…

I find it hard to believe that a hybrid, of all things, has sat unsold for 2~3 years. It’s most likely a demo car that they can sell new since it’s never been titled.
Find out how many miles are actually on it, then go from there. Don’t let them BS you about it being a hybrid and can’t sell for less than sticker. With the C4C program, this vehicle should have been snapped up rather quickly.

Remember, they haven’t sold a car since 8pm last Monday

IF they kept going until the end. Many quit doing it when the government wouldn’t pay for what they’ve done already. I talked with the salesman at a Mazda dealership today, he said they sold something like 30~50 cars under the C4C, but only got paid for 5, they ended their program the thursday before the program was to end nationally.

How many miles are on it? If it has never been titled, it will come with a full new car warranty, but higher mileage will man a shorter warranty. If it has more than 500 miles, I’d be suspicious that it was more than a customer demonstrator.

The Mariner Hybrid sells for about $25,000 used. You’ll never get it for less than that. Is it 2WD or AWD, and what options are on it?

According to the salesman, the vehicle was ordered as part of a fleet - but then the person ordering the vehicles didn’t want them all when they arrived. So, they were stuck with a couple of vehicles and this '08 Mariner was one of them. Again, according to the salesman, who, by the way did not give us the actual mileage, said, at most, that the mileage was the distance from Seattle to Portland. That still doesn’t explain why it is sitting on their lot at this late date…it’s a 4WD, pretty basic.

Thanks for your replies.

What happened to all the old comments regarding this post? I’d really rather not retype my recent comments, so here’s the condensed version.

The salesman can say anything he wants. If you believe a word of it you’re crazy.

You know NOTHING about why this '08 Mariner is still sitting on the lot. Let me suggest there’s a reason, and it’s not a good one.

You shouldn’t “make an offer.” If you do you’re playing their game. Decide what you’re willing to pay for this vehicle and tell them. Simple as that. “Here’s my number, take it or leave it.” If you budge, even one cent, you’re lost, and you will pay too much. As a former car salesperson I can already tell you’re going to pay too much unless you change you’re approach.

They won’t accept $15,000, or some similarly ridiculous number, but they will accept a reasonable figure, if they know you’re serious.

But I don’t think you’re serious.

A salesman gave you crap information, and now you’re repeating it to us as if it’s the truth. You have NO IDEA where this vehicle came from or what its history is. If you keep this up they’ll rob you blind.

The salesperson didn’t even offer to verify the mileage (which you accepted), and you didn’t tell him you wanted a test drive. If you wanted a test drive, why didn’t you ask for one?

Maybe you didn’t want a test drive. In which case you’re not serious about buying, and if you’re not serious about buying you shouldn’t waste the salesperson’s time.

So, WHY is this two year old hybrid still on the lot when hybrid sales hit the roof during the last two years?

That’s the first thing you need to learn.

Don’t do anything else until you answer that question for yourself. If you ask the salesperson it doesn’t count.

Then we need to know why this particular vehicle, with all of its unknowns, is so attractive to you?

Very thorough and well stated comments. Hopefully they’ll motivate the OP to do some of the necessary homework.

Thank you both for replying. I have no idea how they got this vehicle…I repeated the story because we were amused by it - we had the feeling he was making it up as he went along. The last new car I bought was a '92 Honda Accord (which I got for an excellent price!) which we’re still driving so if we’re a little slow in getting this right, it’s because we’re navigating a new/different world. So we appreciate your helping us to learn!!!

Negotiating with car dealers is difficult and usually not much fun. Their sales people are trained to manipulate you, but if you’re prepared you can prevail.

Be skeptical of everything and remember; anything not in writing is worthless.

Did you test drive the Mariner? Take a look at the odometer and get the mileage yourself. If it’s more than 400 miles, then Ford won’t take it back. My guess is that they got it from a dealer that went out of business, and got it for less than invoice. A used 2008 with the usual options sells for $29,000 on the dealer’s lot. A new 2009 sells for $33,700. $31,000 is a very good price for a new truck if the hybrid premium package is included. Otherwise, take $3000 off.

As soon as you take delivery it is a used 2008 vehicle with low miles. Make an offer based on the used car price for a low mileage 2008 because that is what you are buying. I’d offer $21K for it. If the dealer dosen’t like that they can counter.

If they insist on selling a 2008 for at a new car price, then get a 2010.

What is the status of the warranty? The tires are 2 years old, the hoses and belts are 2 years old, the battery, coolant, oil, brake fluid, all 2 years old. They can’t hold to a new car price. Are they going to replace all these items with “new” for you?

$21,000 is guaranteed to stop the conversation. A used 2008 Mariner Hybrid AWD sells for almost $30,000 o a dealer’s lot. Why would they go any lower than that?

I remember reading a short article in either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics back about 1951 or 1952 about a person who found a left over body and frame at the factory for a 1941 Dodge. He managed to round up all the rest of the required parts (I’m certain that the 6 cylinder engine and transmission were probably the same as used in the current models) and built himself a “new” 1941 Dodge and presumably saved money over purchasing a new vehicle. On the other hand, he had a ten year old Dodge when he was through. It would probably sell for aobut the same price as any 1941 Dodge would sell for in 1951.

The 1941 Dodge obviously looked a lot different than the 1951 Dodge, while the 2008 Mariner probably looks about the same as a 2010, but it is still a 2008 Mariner and is worth whatever a 2008 Mariner is worth–not what a 2010 Mariner is worth.

I wouldn’t want a “new” 1941 Dodge nor would I want a “new” 2008 Mariner. On the other hand, if someone would build me a 1963 Studebaker Avanti out of NOS parts I might consider buying it.