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Success Story: Misti Hardy

Written by Zach Shefska

Zach Shefska is Chief Executive Officer of Your Auto Advocate. Zach co-founded Your Auto Advocate in 2019 after convincing his then retired father (sorry, dad) to join him in an attempt to make the car buying process more confidence-inspiring and consumer friendly.

February 18, 2021

We love to hear success stories from our members! Recently, we got an email from a subscriber who leveraged the Your Auto Advocate platform to expertly navigate the car buying process to secure a fair price to expertly navigate the sales process and secure a fair price for their brand-new 2021 Mustang GT.

We’re going to take you through Misti’s sales experience and examine the ways that she managed to deal with what seems like an unpleasant dealership.

We’re happy to share the buying experience of Misti Hardy with you today.

Background: Researching While Waiting

Misti visited the dealership in early November with a printout of the exact car that she wanted. She was in and out within 45 minutes, since the dealership had to order the car. She wanted a 2021 Mustang Convertible GT Premium with other specific features.

While she was waiting for the vehicle to arrive, Misti dove into our YouTube channel and learned everything she could about negotiating with car dealerships. During this time, there were several emails and calls with the dealership to check on the status of the car.

In January, she received a call from the dealership that her new Mustang had been delivered. It was time to enact everything that she had learned from Your Auto Advocate.

At the Dealership: A Sale Not Quite Complete

During the test drive, it was clear that the salesperson thought that the sale was in the bag. Misti had other plans.

Once they were inside, Misti told the salesperson about her pre-approved loan offers and asked if the dealership could beat them. At the same time, she asked about any incentives.

The salesperson went to the sales manager to retrieve the information that she asked for. Upon their return, the salesperson said that they could offer a loan and started talking about the monthly payments, which is a common closing tactic. Misti saw this coming and brought up incentives again. The salesperson said that there weren’t any available.

Misti pushed back on the price that she was being offered, which was strictly based on the MSRP. She told us, “I then went on to remind him that I had plenty of time to do research and said, ‘I know that included in the MSRP, there is a floor plan fee and a holdback that goes to the dealer.’ I then pointed out that when we ordered our car, I came to the dealership knowing exactly what I wanted and even had it printed up, which made his job even easier.”

Being a savvy shopper, Misti asked to see the vehicle invoice (an invoice sent by the manufacturer to the dealership). The salesperson acted as if he had no idea what she was talking about. Then, the salesperson said that there was no way the sales manager would let Misti see the invoice.

At this point, she had enough. She said she didn’t feel like she was getting a fair deal, and she would come back next month, when there might be more incentives to give her a fair price. This was a great strategy. After all, you should never make a purchase if you don’t feel you’re getting treated fairly!

Once she threatened to leave, the “nice guy” act disappeared and the salesperson said, “What is it going to take to make this happen today?” Misti said she just wanted a fair deal. She pointed out that when she initially ordered the car, she came in with a printout of the exact car she wanted and all they had to do was order it.

The salesperson responded by offering a price that was $500 over invoice. Misti replied that this sounded fair, as long as she could see the invoice to verify. After talking to the sales manager, the salesperson came back with the invoice and an offer. They ended up giving her a 3.29% discount off of the MSRP, which was a savings of $1,907. It’s great to see someone negotiate their way into some serious savings!

The F&I Office: A Terrible Experience

Now that the sales price was agreed upon, it was time for the final step:  Heading to the F&I office. Immediately, Misti could tell that the person she was dealing with might have been having a bad day. He was rude throughout the negotiation.

Misti had already secured a quote for a vehicle service contract from Your Auto Advocate and she used it to negotiate with the F&I manager. The manager said that since she had ordered her car, she could get a special discount on an extended warranty. Misti replied that she had a quote for a warranty that was $800 less than what the dealership was offering. “It’s from Ford,” was all the F&I manager had to say about the warranty that was offered by the dealership.

The F&I manager was clearly trying to get out of there because he didn’t offer any other kind of warranty or extended protection. In fact, Misti and her husband had to press him to add GAP insurance coverage.

Throughout the negotiations, the manager also made mildly demeaning comments about Misti’s name and other insults that came together to make the whole process a bad experience. However, once Misti was out of the office, the thrill of driving home in her new car overcame the unpleasant experience.

A Deal Well Negotiated

Misti showed up prepared with a vehicle service contract quote from us in hand. With another manager, she might have gone with the dealership warranty, but she was able to definitely save money on her purchase through us. She knew that she could refuse the dealership’s offer and still be covered through another company’s warranty.

On top of that, Misti really took advantage of things she learned from Your Auto Advocate. She didn’t fall for the monthly payment closing strategy and kept pushing back until she received a fair price for her vehicle. We’re glad that Misti was able to enact the things that we teach on our YouTube channel and secure a great deal on her vehicle!

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