Originally Posted by Monaco
Just found the exact car I've been haggling over on autotrader. It's listed on there for $1,000 under invoice, or $1,800 less than the dealer said was his best price. If they are willing to advertise it at 1k under, I'm going to try for 3k under and maybe settle around 2
Give it your best shot; maybe they are extra motivated and you'll get a reasonable deal. Your instinct is right on, however in my experience dealers weren't willing to be reasonable on 2012 models.
When I was first looking for cars, I did the math on what my car would be worth for the range of years that I suspect I will keep the car. I ended up calculating that I would have to get a 2012 for at LEAST $3k less then an equivalent 2013 (and ideally at least $4k less) for it to be worth it to purchase the 2012.
As I had found several dealers willing to offer $1k over invoice (or less), in order for a 2012 to be worthwhile I would have had to get it for $2k-$3k under invoice. I found several 2012s that met my needs and made below-invoice offers. Not one dealer even bothered to make me a counteroffer.
I think what it comes down is that there are tons of suckers out there, and although that 2012 has now depreciated 15% below a 2013, there are plenty of folks who would be willing to take the 2012 for $500 to $1k less than a $2013 without any thought to the long-term value of his car. The dealers would simply rather wait for an uneducated buyer who is willing to buy the previous year's model for more than it is worth.