Completing the Purchase
While buying the Fusion, we didn't tell the salespeople that we worked for Edmunds.com, so we could test the marketplace in an unbiased way. We called them back and asked them to e-mail us the window sticker. When you make this request, they usually oblige, and in other cases they actually volunteer to send you the invoice. The invoice is the key to getting a good deal because it shows what the dealer paid for the vehicle and gives a better reference point than the MSRP. Within minutes, we received an e-mail with the invoice, from which we verified the options and the color.
We obtained our financing ahead of time so we could negotiate as a cash customer. Buyers are sometimes asked to fill out a credit application as a screening process, to see if they can afford the car. If you plan on financing, don't fill out the credit application until you've agreed on a price and are ready to purchase the vehicle.
A day later, the Internet manager delivered our new Ford Fusion Hybrid to us at our office. Since he brought the contracts with him we avoided the ordeal of going through the F&I room. Not only that, but he demonstrated every bell, whistle and widget on the car in a clear and professional manner.
From the time we began looking for the car to the time we were behind the wheel was only about three days. We got exactly the car we wanted at a good price. The process was smooth from beginning to end. While the Internet can't take credit for the hard work and professionalism of our salesperson, it did help us find the dealership and sped up communication greatly.