by Ron Daly
[This post originally ran on the CU Soapbox]
Did you hear the news that January new car sales are up 15%. And I’m happy to report that my family is one of the contributors to the rise in car sales. Yes, after two years of paying off debt and my wife driving a 2003 lease turn-in with over 100K miles, we decided the time was right to get her a new ride.
She researched models, read reviews, created our “price range” and even bravely test drove five cars without the intent of buying any of them. Her secret, telling the car salesmen that she still needed to test drive other models before deciding on the one she wanted. It only became a small white lie when she was down to the last one.
After the research, she found the exact car with all the options she wanted at a local dealer online. We went to the dealer and, after the sticker shock wore off, took the car for a spin. Now for the fun part… we made an offer on the car. As we patiently sat there playing the haggling game for about and hour and half over price and trade-in, we both decided we should just walk away and left without her dream car.
Now, we are not ones to give up easily. We called the sales guy the next day and restated our offer which was politely rejected. Being credit union folks, we decided we’d take another approach and see if our Northwest FCU car locator service could find us a similar car or get the exact car that we test drove that weekend.
Get this – by noon the CU Manager had secured the exact car she was looking for, for $3,000 less than what we had offered the dealer on Saturday and Sunday. As for the trade-in, the dealer wanted to give $6,300, CarMax offered $7,000 and the CU Car Wholesaler that came on site at NWFCU wrote us a check on the spot for $7,500. (CU savings $3,500 so far). The car was then delivered to the credit union where a salesman picked up the loan check from NWFCU and gave my wife a tour of her new dream car in the CU parking lot. This entire process was FANTASTIC!
So my questions – 1) why would anyone go to a car dealer anymore and 2) if you offer this type of service, how well do you promote it? 3) Or get members to spread the word?
Car dealers scare me and frankly, the only person I like to argue with is my wife. As Northwest FCU members we were saved money on the purchase and trade-in, got a great rate on the loan and had a hassle free experience. We are thrilled and telling everyone we know about the great service our credit union provided. Spread the word… we love our credit union!