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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone explain to me the difference between going into the dealer and sitting down with a salesperson vs. dealing with a Fleet/Internet Salesperson? I've read alot of posts how dealing with the Fleet/Internet team can get you the best prices out there. My question is that when you deal with internet sales is it exactly that. You don't go into the dealership and sit face to face with a salesperson. Everything is done over the internet and bypasses the sales guys. I've been doing my homework and will definetly be purchasing an 07' Tundra in the upcoming months. I just wanted to understand how the whole fleet/Internet sales thing works.

I was in a dealership a few weeks ago and talked with a salesperson and then recently I was contacted my the dealerships Fleet/Internet guy wanting to know if he could help me in any way. Thanks for the help.
 

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I imagine it works something like this. Traditional dealership functions have significant overhead costs such as rent, inventory, commissioned sales people, etc. However, if other dealerships in the state or region use internet channels to sell vehicles just based on price, then they can always undercut traditional dealerships because an internet sale can be accomplished so much more cheaply.

So every dealership opens up an internet channel to protect their sales. However, they don't want to mix the two channels up (or customers) because they make less margin on internet sales. They accept less profit on internet sales because it is an arena of price-sensitive buyers who will go to whatever dealer offers them the best deal.

Ultimately, it's a difficult thing for a retailer to have two prices - one for internet sales and one for traditional retail sales. The internet sales channel is something they can't ignore, however, the traditional auto sales function is something they can't turn their back on. On one hand, you see people on this forum expecting test drives, multiple visits, and knowlegeable sales people on hand. Others tell you to contact the internet sales department for the best price.
 

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Wrong. Sorry, but that's all wrong. First of all, there is no such thing as fleet sales. Some dealers may call it fleet sales, but its a misnomer. True fleet sales are arranged through the manufacturer and is done on a bulk order basis. If your company wants to buy 30 trucks, contact the regional people and place your order. They will be delivered to a dealership who will do a "courtesy delivery."

What happens in dealerships is better called "fleetail". Different dealerships handle it differently, but in general, its still a retail vehilce sale. The advantage is not that you get a better deal. You may or may not. The advantage is that you deal with a salesman who is usually empowered to make decisions and has guidelines that allow him to give you a good price right away without the typical back and forth with management. Make no mistake though... he's still a salesman and usually a commissioned one.

Buying through "fleet" or Internet departments is usually a lot easier and less stressful. Its not cheaper for the dealership. Its not even easier. In fact, it can be more time intensive, although that time is spread out over many contacts rather than a single 3 hour grind session.

I like Internet departments. Find one that will answer a direct question. Even if you have to pay an extra couple of hundred dollars, its worth it to get the straight story from the dealer. Do as much by e-mail and phone as possible and get your answers ahead of time. You're still going to spend some time in the store, but it will be a lot easier.

The other advantage to the Internet department is the type of person you will be dealing with. Usually, that job in the dealership is a real prize and its given to people who communicate well and have some experience. You're less likely to deal with an idiot by going through the Internet department.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That all makes sense. I think I'll still go the old fashioned way when I'm ready to make the purchase. I like sitting down and looking someone right in the eyes. I'll wait until all the buzz dies down a bit and they're getting ready to release the 08's and then I'll go in and wheel and deal. Thanks.

I imagine it works something like this. Traditional dealership functions have significant overhead costs such as rent, inventory, commissioned sales people, etc. However, if other dealerships in the state or region use internet channels to sell vehicles just based on price, then they can always undercut traditional dealerships because an internet sale can be accomplished so much more cheaply.

So every dealership opens up an internet channel to protect their sales. However, they don't want to mix the two channels up (or customers) because they make less margin on internet sales. They accept less profit on internet sales because it is an arena of price-sensitive buyers who will go to whatever dealer offers them the best deal.

Ultimately, it's a difficult thing for a retailer to have two prices - one for internet sales and one for traditional retail sales. The internet sales channel is something they can't ignore, however, the traditional auto sales function is something they can't turn their back on. On one hand, you see people on this forum expecting test drives, multiple visits, and knowlegeable sales people on hand. Others tell you to contact the internet sales department for the best price.
 

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Mod formerly known as tpgn00
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You may want to contact Dianne from Carson toyota. She is the best to work with.
 

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That all makes sense. I think I'll still go the old fashioned way when I'm ready to make the purchase. I like sitting down and looking someone right in the eyes. I'll wait until all the buzz dies down a bit and they're getting ready to release the 08's and then I'll go in and wheel and deal. Thanks.
My wife and I purchased her 4runner at Toyota of Roswell (GA) through their internet guy. I forget his name, but it was a great experience. My brother saw the truck (he knew how long I had been looking for one) and called me. I called this sales guy after my brother got his card. My wife and I went to the dealer that night and decided to buy it after very little negotiation. We picked it up the next day. He shot me a good price right off the bat, and having done my research ahead of time, I knew it was a good price. He even beat our credit union's financing by about .25%. It was the best new-car buying experience I have ever had, and I plan to try to do the same thing the next time!!:tu: Internet guys and gals can be a great way to go, and it can still be done in person for that look-you-in-the-eyes deal. Hope this helps.:)
 
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