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      04-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
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Recent Experience at Steve Thomas BMW

Hello All,

Despite the fact that I am obsessed with performing my due diligence with respect to new purchases, including my vehicles, I am not an active member of any of the various online automotive forums, as is evident by my non-existent post count.

Nevertheless, I was so thrilled with my recent experience with David Aviles at Steve Thomas BMW that I thought I had to share my encounter with others in an effort to pay it forward to those in the market for a vehicle (and David, who impressed the crap out of me and my girlfriend).

By way of background, I would describe myself as a "serial car leaser". As I mentioned to David, we lease a handful of BMWs every three years. Further, while I have worked with a number of dealerships in Southern California, including Beverly Hills BMW, Rusnak, Encinitas BMW, BMW of San Diego and Santa Monica BMW, to name only a few, I was never satisfied enough with the level of service and requisite haggling to the point where these other dealerships were able to consistently recapture my repeat business.

My recent experience in ordering and leasing a 2014 435i was memorable in that the negotiating process was transparent and did not entail any haggling whatsoever. Additionally, the signing of the necessary paperwork took minutes. Finally, and most importantly, the deal itself was impeccable.

I encourage you to at least give David a call or shoot him an e-mail (which is how I communicated with him) prior to leasing/purchasing a BMW at any other dealership. My understanding is that he can get you a vehicle irrespective of your geographic location.

Having that said, I ordered a 2014 435i M-Sport in Mineral Grey Metallic, with Coral Red Dakota Leather, Aluminum Hexagon Trim, Driver Assistance Package and Driver Assistance Plus, Premium Package, Technology Package, M Sport Brakes, Heated Front Seats and the Power and Performance Package.

Although I am still breaking in the vehicle, it has been a blast thus far. I am especially excited about the PPK. I understand this is a controversial addition amongst the enthusiast community.

Hopefully my brief review will encourage those of you who wouldn’t have otherwise contacted David to reach out to him prior to finalizing a deal with anyone else. I will certainly give him my business in the future and I hope that I receive the same level of service I received this past weekend.

B
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      04-28-2014, 09:33 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting your experience. I will absolutely be placing my order through David.
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      04-28-2014, 09:35 PM   #3
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Congrats on the car.

Curious, how did you find this particular forum? Did David point you this way? Kind of curious since this is the one he's active on.
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      04-29-2014, 07:40 AM   #4
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I dealt with David at the beginning of my leasing process back in Feb. He was the most straightforward and honest salesperson I spoke to and he gave me a fair number right off the bat, around invoice. No games, no deception. Being on the East coast , I chickened out because I wasn't going to be able to pick up the car at the Performance center in South Carolina, nor at the dealership he has a delivery agreement with in Maryland. If you are flexible with your pickup locations, or are close to him in Ca, it's a no brainer. He can do everything over the phone and by email.

Performance Delivery sounds like a cool option, free hotel stay and meals, and get to drive some cars around the track. You would normally have to pay for this.
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      04-29-2014, 07:57 AM   #5
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Interesting this thread was tagged with variations of "2014 435i price".
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      04-29-2014, 09:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff080 View Post
Thanks for posting your experience. I will absolutely be placing my order through David.
Absolutely. I thought my experience was noteworthy. Best of luck.
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      04-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Congrats on the car.

Curious, how did you find this particular forum? Did David point you this way? Kind of curious since this is the one he's active on.
Thanks. I am enjoying it so far.

I was initially interested in an M3/M4 and performed a google search regarding the vehicles' availability. I kept searching and happened upon this forum, and the 435i peeked my interest.

I reached out to David after repeatedly seeing his name and dealership plastered throughout the forum.
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      04-29-2014, 09:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by alienranch View Post
Interesting this thread was tagged with variations of "2014 435i price".
Absolutely. I think the two tags are relevant and intuitive.
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      04-29-2014, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
I dealt with David at the beginning of my leasing process back in Feb. He was the most straightforward and honest salesperson I spoke to and he gave me a fair number right off the bat, around invoice. No games, no deception. Being on the East coast , I chickened out because I wasn't going to be able to pick up the car at the Performance center in South Carolina, nor at the dealership he has a delivery agreement with in Maryland. If you are flexible with your pickup locations, or are close to him in Ca, it's a no brainer. He can do everything over the phone and by email.

Performance Delivery sounds like a cool option, free hotel stay and meals, and get to drive some cars around the track. You would normally have to pay for this.
The performance delivery is definitely appealing. We simply drove to Camirillo to pick up the vehicle. It's less than 100 miles away from where I live, so it wasn't too bad.
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      04-29-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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I too am dealing with David at the present moment. I just placed my order with him yesterday. I got an great price (dealers here in Miami couldn't come close) and this was by far, the easiest car buying transaction I have done. Highly recommended!!! Now I have the painful task of waiting for delivery.
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      04-29-2014, 11:32 AM   #11
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He's good at advertising on the forums, but to be quite honest his price was not competitive. It MAY have been, before all dealer fees are added back, but his bottom line was not competitive with my local dealership. Also because I purchased local, there is no question when taking the car to service as to the level of assistance I'll be getting at my local dealership.

This thread was made to be indexed by Google, as evidenced by the keywords that were added by the OP and which are not relevant to the OPs message. Quite simply this is a disguised ad. OP please don't even try and fool me.

To anyone, just do your due diligence and make sure to include dealer fees in your bottom line comparisons between internet deals and local deals.
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      04-29-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ft1330 View Post
He's good at advertising on the forums, but to be quite honest his price was not competitive. It MAY have been, before all dealer fees are added back, but his bottom line was not competitive with my local dealership. Also because I purchased local, there is no question when taking the car to service as to the level of assistance I'll be getting at my local dealership.

This thread was made to be indexed by Google, as evidenced by the keywords that were added by the OP and which are not relevant to the OPs message. Quite simply this is a disguised ad. OP please don't even try and fool me.

To anyone, just do your due diligence and make sure to include dealer fees in your bottom line comparisons between internet deals and local deals.
I agree that everyone should do their due diligence before buying/leasing a car. With respect to the tags, I understand why you might think that this is a disguised advertisement. For what it's worth, my initial post was meant as an unsolicited review of the service I received. I am not affiliated with David or any dealership, for that matter. As such, I'll keep any additional comments regarding this topic to myself.
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      04-29-2014, 12:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
Being on the East coast , I chickened out because I wasn't going to be able to pick up the car at the Performance center in South Carolina, nor at the dealership he has a delivery agreement with in Maryland.
Which Maryland dealer does he have a delivery agreement with?
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      04-29-2014, 02:02 PM   #14
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I didn't get the dealership name, never got to that point. Email him to find out

But I will say that before David's quote, the local dealerships were $80/mth higher. It was only after I brought his numbers to them , that they "worked" with me in the price. They finally matched his numbers. It's all a game.

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Which Maryland dealer does he have a delivery agreement with?
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      04-29-2014, 02:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
I didn't get the dealership name, never got to that point. Email him to find out

But I will say that before David's quote, the local dealerships were $80/mth higher. It was only after I brought his numbers to them , that they "worked" with me in the price. They finally matched his numbers. It's all a game.
Not much of a game. I say if you get good service from the SA, don't be a mooch and pay a little profit. FYI, if they have anything less than $1000 over invoice, they usually make $200.
So you could spend weeks with them and finally order a $100,000 M5. 100 email threads back and forth, the car comes and he spends over 3 hours with you that day doing paperwork and go over the car, and he gets, you guessed it, $200.
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      04-29-2014, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ft1330 View Post
He's good at advertising on the forums, but to be quite honest his price was not competitive. It MAY have been, before all dealer fees are added back, but his bottom line was not competitive with my local dealership. Also because I purchased local, there is no question when taking the car to service as to the level of assistance I'll be getting at my local dealership.

This thread was made to be indexed by Google, as evidenced by the keywords that were added by the OP and which are not relevant to the OPs message. Quite simply this is a disguised ad. OP please don't even try and fool me.

To anyone, just do your due diligence and make sure to include dealer fees in your bottom line comparisons between internet deals and local deals.
I guess we know who really posted this.
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      04-29-2014, 02:39 PM   #17
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Don't be a mooch? Car salesmen have been getting over on buyers for years before the internet allowed for comparison shopping and transparency. A dealership can sell below invoice and still make money. It's about long term success and moving cars, not trying to squeeze unsuspecting customers.

A couple of local dealerships used deception to try to scare me away from doing deals out of state. Said there was no way the numbers were going to be possible in the end, and no local service departments will want to service my car once they found out I did deals elsewhere. That's an outright lie and I reported him to BMW of North America(prob won't do a damn thing, but at least I felt better)

Now that the info is out there and people can smart shop they should not try to "mooch" (your words) and get the lowest price possible? The fact that the dealership dropped $80/mth at the drop of a hat once they saw I had better deals, tells me that they try to highball innocent buyers.

Anyway, most deals today are pretty easy for the salesman. I walked in with a printout of my build, knowing exactly what I wanted because of research on these forums and other resources. He had to do no work other than coming down to the price I was willing to pay. I knew more about the car and options than he did, and a few questions and issues I did have were not answered, nor resolved. I would say he helped only to be the person to give me the papers to sign. That took 10 minutes. I was then handed over to the financial guy who tried to guilt and scare me into protection packages which I declined. That guy's friendly demeanor quickly turned sour and the room turned dark once he realized he wasn't going to make extra profit.

These days the buyer is empowered and BMWs sell themselves. David at Steve Thomas realizes this and uses the internet to reach more people and thus moves more product for his dealership, which allows him to do deals close to invoice because it doesn't use up any extra resources.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mloyalty View Post
Not much of a game. I say if you get good service from the SA, don't be a mooch and pay a little profit. FYI, if they have anything less than $1000 over invoice, they usually make $200.
So you could spend weeks with them and finally order a $100,000 M5. 100 email threads back and forth, the car comes and he spends over 3 hours with you that day doing paperwork and go over the car, and he gets, you guessed it, $200.
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      04-29-2014, 04:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
Don't be a mooch? Car salesmen have been getting over on buyers for years before the internet allowed for comparison shopping and transparency. A dealership can sell below invoice and still make money. It's about long term success and moving cars, not trying to squeeze unsuspecting customers.

A couple of local dealerships used deception to try to scare me away from doing deals out of state. Said there was no way the numbers were going to be possible in the end, and no local service departments will want to service my car once they found out I did deals elsewhere. That's an outright lie and I reported him to BMW of North America(prob won't do a damn thing, but at least I felt better)

Now that the info is out there and people can smart shop they should not try to "mooch" (your words) and get the lowest price possible? The fact that the dealership dropped $80/mth at the drop of a hat once they saw I had better deals, tells me that they try to highball innocent buyers.

Anyway, most deals today are pretty easy for the salesman. I walked in with a printout of my build, knowing exactly what I wanted because of research on these forums and other resources. He had to do no work other than coming down to the price I was willing to pay. I knew more about the car and options than he did, and a few questions and issues I did have were not answered, nor resolved. I would say he helped only to be the person to give me the papers to sign. That took 10 minutes. I was then handed over to the financial guy who tried to guilt and scare me into protection packages which I declined. That guy's friendly demeanor quickly turned sour and the room turned dark once he realized he wasn't going to make extra profit.

These days the buyer is empowered and BMWs sell themselves. David at Steve Thomas realizes this and uses the internet to reach more people and thus moves more product for his dealership, which allows him to do deals close to invoice because it doesn't use up any extra resources.
I assure you, these days the sales person is the one being lied to not the customer. TRUST ME. And I'm talking about the sales person who spent weeks with you selling you a $100,000 product and making $200
I don't care about the dealership. Think about it.

My sales person tells me how someone comes in 5 times and drives 6 different cars only to go buy somewhere else cause they gave him $100 off.
some people are just discusting.

People also tell him "oh, the other dealership gave me a better price" Ok, so why didn't you buy it?
Anyways, tables have turned.. There are plenty of honest and reliable sales people out there.
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Last edited by MDIVISION; 04-29-2014 at 04:18 PM..
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      04-29-2014, 04:28 PM   #19
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I dont feel bad for the salesperson, that's their job.

For every 6 test drive pain in the butt customer, is the customer like me who comes in fully informed and ready to deal, only wanting their best number. Easy work. And it's not just the commission in each car that makes their salary. I'm sure their are incentives for them as well, including how many cars they sell a month, etc.

If they are honest and give me good numbers, I will deal with them. And if they are honest but just can't give me the deal I want in a particular car, I will deal somewhere else, BUT refer them customers. I'm not going to just donate money to them bc I failed to be a smart shopper.

Try being a salesperson in a crappy car brand dealership, trying to convince people their product is worth buying. That's tougher.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mloyalty View Post
I assure you, these days the sales person is the one being lied to not the customer. TRUST ME. And I'm talking about the sales person who spent weeks with you selling you a $100,000 product and making $200
I don't care about the dealership. Think about it.

My sales person tells me how someone comes in 5 times and drives 6 different cars only to go buy somewhere else cause they gave him $100 off.
some people are just discusting.

People also tell him "oh, the other dealership gave me a better price" Ok, so why didn't you buy it?
Anyways, tables have turned.. There are plenty of honest and reliable sales people out there.
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      04-29-2014, 04:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
I dont feel bad for the salesperson, that's their job.

For every 6 test drive pain in the butt customer, is the customer like me who comes in fully informed and ready to deal, only wanting their best number. Easy work. And it's not just the commission in each car that makes their salary. I'm sure their are incentives for them as well, including how many cars they sell a month, etc.

If they are honest and give me good numbers, I will deal with them. And if they are honest but just can't give me the deal I want in a particular car, I will deal somewhere else, BUT refer them customers. I'm not going to just donate money to them bc I failed to be a smart shopper.

Try being a salesperson in a crappy car brand dealership, trying to convince people their product is worth buying. That's tougher.
And don't forget about the suckers who walk in and pay MSRP without asking and then also allow themselves to get screwed on both a trade in and the financing.
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      04-29-2014, 04:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
Don't be a mooch? Car salesmen have been getting over on buyers for years before the internet allowed for comparison shopping and transparency. A dealership can sell below invoice and still make money. It's about long term success and moving cars, not trying to squeeze unsuspecting customers.

A couple of local dealerships used deception to try to scare me away from doing deals out of state. Said there was no way the numbers were going to be possible in the end, and no local service departments will want to service my car once they found out I did deals elsewhere. That's an outright lie and I reported him to BMW of North America(prob won't do a damn thing, but at least I felt better)
That is a pretty stupid lie.

BMW AG foots the bill on all warranty work so any service department would be stupid to turn down guaranteed money.

One of my employees is a sort of friend, acquaintance really with the owner of my local BMW dealership. When I got my 335i through an out of town dealership because I got 4k more car for 100/mo less I knew for a fact he wasn't happy that an existing customer (we got my wife's X3 there) went out of town to get a car. That's what he gets for not playing ball though but hey, he is used to being the only game in town.

However, I took my car in to the service department almost right away (strange white flakes coming from the AC) and they treated me great even though they knew from the license plate frame that my shiny new BMW did not come from their lot. Strangely, the SA knew before going behind my car and seeing the frame though. He looked at my car kind of funny before saying he really liked how it looked and then his next question was "where did you get this?" so maybe they never stock or order anything with M-Performance accessories.
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      04-29-2014, 05:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkarn View Post
I dont feel bad for the salesperson, that's their job.

For every 6 test drive pain in the butt customer, is the customer like me who comes in fully informed and ready to deal, only wanting their best number. Easy work. And it's not just the commission in each car that makes their salary. I'm sure their are incentives for them as well, including how many cars they sell a month, etc.

If they are honest and give me good numbers, I will deal with them. And if they are honest but just can't give me the deal I want in a particular car, I will deal somewhere else, BUT refer them customers. I'm not going to just donate money to them bc I failed to be a smart shopper.

Try being a salesperson in a crappy car brand dealership, trying to convince people their product is worth buying. That's tougher.
Your perception that most customers these days are like you and other forum participants is very, very far from reality. Even today 99 out of 100 customers know almost nothing before they set foot in the dealership.

Mloyalty's view is much closer to the reality of the business.

btw, invoice prices have been available to the public for 40+ years for those who cared enough to look. I've been using Edmunds since I was 15, back when it was a quarterly paperback. When I bought my first new car in 1982 I got it for invoice plus $300. I handed my salesman a typed order sheet that I modeled on the format of a window sticker with every option listed including both MSRP and invoice prices.
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