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Jimm44

Finding a Competent Dealer

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I am back to buying a 2019 Edge Titanium. Here is my dilemma.......my wife and I are getting older and we would like to keep the servicing dealer as close as possible. We have 2 Ford dealers within 7 miles and another within 12. What I am going to say does not apply just to Ford but rather to the whole auto store industry. All of the above dealers have “help wanted” signs on their websites which does not instill confidence. Then when I read the “Yelp”, “Google” or other reviews the results are scary, very scary. I do understand that most of the time only unsatisfied customers write reviews but then how come all of these 3 dealers have so many glowing reports with honey just oozing out of them?  As an addict of the web I read stories about auto techs taking shortcuts due to time restraints, etc, etc, etc

So here’s my question, how can a prospective buyer of a $40,000 vehicle pick a dealership that is honorable, trustworthy and knowledgeable?

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Whenever possible, I look for the 'mom and pop' Ford dealers The ones which are low volume and you are more than a number to them.  

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Smaller isn't necessarily going to get you the best deals but they usually provide better service than the giant dealers, at least in my experience. It's really a matter of what you prefer. Nothing says if you purchase a car at one dealer you have to service it at that one either. If the dealer across town gives you a killer deal but their service department is a dumpster fire you can go elsewhere, or if your bold enough to do it before the warranty expires you can do it yourself. 

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5 hours ago, flashfearless said:

Whenever possible, I look for the 'mom and pop' Ford dealers The ones which are low volume and you are more than a number to them.  

Agreed - I drive to a dealer about 30 minutes away because they are great for both sales and service - I lucked into them as they had the exact Flex I wanted in stock a decade ago.  The mega-low-mart Ford store that is 5 minutes from my house is awful. 

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Best to get some word of mouth opinions from friends and family if possible.   There is no way to tell if they'll be good or bad.

My previous dealer (6 vehicles) was a mom and pop operation owned by one family.   I had a good salesman but I was using X plan so never had to negotiate on price, but they always lowballed my trade-in.   Had two bad service experiences - one where I had to contact the owner.   Now he made sure it got fixed correctly but I should not have had to contact him in the first place over a simple repair.

Bought the MKX from another dealership - corporate owned but not a big chain.   No problems.   Fair price on the trade-in (2012 Focus) and excellent service.

Bought my F150 from a different smaller mom and pop Ford only place about 30 minutes away because they had the truck I wanted in stock.  They gave me what I asked on my trade-in and the price of the truck was the same as all the other dealers.   In and out including 2 test drives in 2 hours.   Could not have been a better experience.   Did not use their service department.

Since we moved I haven't needed service but I'll give the local Ford dealer a chance.  They have a good reputation.

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You mentioned an Edge Titanium for around $40,000. One possible approach, though this would require putting a few thousand more cash into the deal, is to go with the Edge's corporate cousin: a similarly-equipped Nautilus Select (or if you were going to add a bunch of options to the Edge Titanium, even a no-options Nautilus Reserve trim). The Select would put you into the mid-40s (depending on options) and the base Reserve hits $48k. One thing you would get out of that, however, is Lincoln's relatively new (I think since '16) policy of no-charge vehicle pick-up and drop off for maintenance and repair up to a 30 mile distance. That might give you more options on dealer choice. Just a thought.

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2 hours ago, akirby said:

but they always lowballed my trade-in.

My dealer every now and then has a trade in deal where they give you $2500 for your trade in regardless of its condition. If I change my mind again and get a Ranger (assuming I can afford it soon) I'll wait for one of those since my Focus is dead. 

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1 minute ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

My dealer every now and then has a trade in deal where they give you $2500 for your trade in regardless of its condition. If I change my mind again and get a Ranger (assuming I can afford it soon) I'll wait for one of those since my Focus is dead. 

That just means they don't give you as big of a discount on the price.  If they're only getting $300 then they're making up the other $2200 somewhere.

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Just now, akirby said:

That just means they don't give you as big of a discount on the price.  If they're only getting $300 then they're making up the other $2200 somewhere.

Doesn't make a difference in my case since I'm A-plan 

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If they give you $2500 credit for a $300 car on an A plan sale they're idiots.

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22 minutes ago, akirby said:

If they give you $2500 credit for a $300 car on an A plan sale they're idiots.

Push, pull, drag it in and they mean it 🤷🏼‍♂️

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33 minutes ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

Push, pull, drag it in and they mean it 🤷🏼‍♂️

Hi fuzzy.  If you read the fine print on those types of offers (obviously don't have it in front of me to read), you will see they are limited to retail, MSRP or other similarly worded pricing. And even if it is not in the fine print, they will simply not make a sale. They will not give you $2,500 on a junker if you purchase a vehicle on A-Plan.

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41 minutes ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

Push, pull, drag it in and they mean it 🤷🏼‍♂️

Only if you’re paying full retail.

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7 minutes ago, bbf2530 said:

Hi fuzzy.  If you read the fine print on those types of offers (obviously don't have it in front of me to read), you will see they are limited to retail, MSRP or other similarly worded pricing. And even if it is not in the fine print, they will simply not make a sale. They will not give you $2,500 on a junker if you purchase a vehicle on A-Plan.

I've done it before.....

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3 minutes ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

I've done it before.....

Hi fuzzy.  Just curious, what is the name of the Dealership?  Hell, I'll use them in the future then.

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7 minutes ago, bbf2530 said:

Hi fuzzy.  Just curious, what is the name of the Dealership?  Hell, I'll use them in the future then.

 

They're probably out of business by now....

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13 minutes ago, akirby said:

 

They're probably out of business by now....

Not true, they’re one of the bigger dealers around here, they’re just a little bit of a drive for most of Metro Detroit so they’re more willing to deal than most. They had a "BOGO" F-150 deal around Halloween last year. 

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12 minutes ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

Not true, they’re one of the bigger dealers around here, they’re just a little bit of a drive for most of Metro Detroit so they’re more willing to deal than most. They had a "BOGO" F-150 deal around Halloween last year. 

Hi fuzzy.  Still wondering which Dealer it is so I may use it the future.

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Szott Ford in Holly. Talk to Tom Mazawey, he's a good dude. 

Edited by fuzzymoomoo

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

 

They're probably out of business by now....

 

56 minutes ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

Not true, they’re one of the bigger dealers around here, they’re just a little bit of a drive for most of Metro Detroit so they’re more willing to deal than most. They had a "BOGO" F-150 deal around Halloween last year. 

 

I was being facetious.

Kinda.

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Back on topic.. you can't and won't find good reviews on Yelp or Google or anywhere online that aren't paid reviews or friends/family. Doesn't matter the manufacturer or dealer. Those things are just places for people with an axe to grind. Even the very best dealers will be hung out to dry on them. 

Like was mentioned, talk to those you know in the area. Go to the dealership and just walk through and see for yourself how it is. Make an appointment for service with your current car and see how that service goes. 

As far as beating a dead horse, "Help wanted" signs are because the industry has put technician pay and overall respect on the back burner. Couple that with the overall attitude in this country that the only success is a college degree, and the HUGE upfront buy in for tools and training, and you don't have enough bodies. 

Edited by YT90SC

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14 minutes ago, akirby said:

 

 

I was being facetious.

Kinda.

That family owns a few different dealers in the area, not just the ford one. They have a Toyota and FCA store too, all 3 of which do big volume, or at least as big of a volume as Toyota will do in the back yard of the Big 3....

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