Home » This Handy Website Can Help You Avoid Dealer Markups

This Handy Website Can Help You Avoid Dealer Markups

Markupscom
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Dealer markups are a blight that most American car buyers have little control over. In fact, data suggests that some dealers have grown so drunk with the power over markups that they’ve significantly contributed to inflation in the United States. Don’t fall over in your chair, but markups appear to damage brand loyalty too.

Buying a car is hard enough between finding the right one and finding the cash to pay for it with interest and insurance rates rising all over the place without the added salt in the wound of a big markup. As the pricing bubble appears to be popping, there’s one website that can help buyers avoid dealers who still stubbornly price their cars far above MSRP.

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That phrase is important too, because here in the States, the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price is just that, a suggestion, and nothing more. Of course, for the average everyday consumer who doesn’t spend their free time perusing automotive news sites, the difference between MSRP and what they see at a dealer might be a big surprise. Hell, it’s a surprise to many enthusiasts when we see cars marked up by tens of thousands of dollars.

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Source: Markups.org

That’s where the site Markups.org comes into play. For decades, dealers have sought to keep wild, price-gouging markups out of the public eye. They’ve resorted to all sorts of tactics including only revealing a price once a buyer has shown very serious interest. They’ve added junk fees in hopes that buyers simply accept their fate and sign on the dotted line.

This website puts those markups and fees on blast for the whole world to see. Anyone can post to the website and can include details and photos of the car, dealer, and experience in question. Some of the recorded markups are downright wild.

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A dealership in California openly posted about its black Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with a $294,575 price tag. Another put a $100,000 markup on a Cadillac Escalade V and one GMC dealer asked $339,999 for a Hummer EV. While some of those are older examples, they bear out the benefit of a site like this.

Markups.org
Source: Markups.org

One user tagged a Porsche 911 Dakar as priced at $419,900 on January 21st, 2024. That’s a whopping $164,615 over the already pricey $255,285 MSRP. In other words, it’s worth 1,936 World War II Jeeps so long as you’re like David and can get them for $85 each. Speaking of actually affordable cars, the site is good for those too.

The Toyota GR86 Trueno is the ultimate everyday sports car to many but one dealer in California says that it generously won’t “go over 10k markup.” A Jeep Dealer in Hawaii openly advertised that it’s selling a Wrangler with a $995 Protection package and a $5,995 “Market Value” adjustment.

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Source: Markups.org

Those willing to search a little no longer have to guess what they’ll get when they get to the dealer. To make this whole deal sweeter, some users post when a dealer prices a car at or even below MSRP. Simply knowing about a markup isn’t the only weapon buyers have though.

KBB recently highlighted several ways that buyers can avoid markups including by contacting a number of dealerships, being prepared to compromise on features to get the car at MSRP, and also simply being willing to wait for the right price.

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It also predicted what it expects buyers to deal with during 2024 saying in part:

“If you’re shopping for an electric car, you’ll likely find a great deal with plenty of incentives, including potential instant government rebates on some vehicles that meet defined criteria. But you could be out of luck if you’re searching for a Toyota, Honda, Lexus, or Kia. Last year, Honda and Kia buyers paid between 6% and 8% over sticker price at the end of the year, while Buick sold 2% or more below MSRP. Fast-forward a year, and incentives averaged $2,700 on new cars.”

It’s also worth noting that like any site, Markups.org isn’t perfect. Being crowdsourced, many listings have little more than a personal accounting of a price without any evidence to back up said price. In some cases, those personal anecdotal accounts are surmised based on other estimates from third-party sites.

Keep in mind those grains of salt while using a tool like Markups.org. They’re far better to deal with than the ones you might feel if you get burned with a huge unexpected markup on a car that the manufacturer says should be much cheaper.

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Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
13 days ago

I really don’t get it. It is simple enough. We all just don’t buy cars with dealer markups. Then it’s over. Done.

Number One Dad
Number One Dad
13 days ago

Sometimes it’s hard, but my “I’m never buying a new car again” rule always seems like a good idea at times like this

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
13 days ago

Um, why would the battery need protection package (New 2023 Corvette Z06 w/ Battery Protection Package)? I had to look it up, and it was just a fancy battery tender/maintainer from CTEK for recharging the dead battery after a long hiatus.

Anyway, in Germany, the direct sales by the manufacturers are allowed: whatever the sales centres have the word, Niederlassung, in it and the name of the city, that’s the direct sales by the manufacturers. Mercedes-Benz Niederlassung München is one example.

The dealer mark-up (Händleraufschlag) is allowed by the private sales centres, but they are strictly monitored by Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) as to prevent the price gorging or widespread marking up.

If the private seller wants to sell his 2002 Volkswagen Golf GTi for €50,000 on strength that it was once owned by a famous celebrity singer, he can do that.

V10omous
V10omous
12 days ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

Since much of the country will be storing their Z06 over winter, a battery tender makes sense.

It is pretty funny that the option the dealer chose to highlight on a car they have marked up by ~$150,000 is a $100 battery maintainer though.

Space
Space
14 days ago

Where is the Rivers introduction article we so desperately need? How many vehicles do you have and what is broken on them?

George CoStanza
George CoStanza
12 days ago
Reply to  Space

Perhaps it’s a nom de plume for a BMW owner, who wishes to remain anonymous. The name “Rivers” subtly hints at the various but consistent oil leaks.

Framed
Framed
14 days ago

From an economics standpoint, the price transparency provided by markups.org is a good thing, but so is the ability by dealers to adjust prices up and down from MSRP to best balance supply and demand. An attitude that “dealers are greedy for asking over MSRP” must accompany the viewpoint that “buyers are greedy for offering under MSRP.” MSRP isn’t a magical number, it’s just the manufacturer’s guess at the price the market will bear.

The Dude
The Dude
14 days ago

Ah, so this is the “value” that dealers are talking about when they lobby pay our politicians to make direct to consumer sales illegal.

How long until they manage to get websites like this shut down, like the skiplagging websites?

Last edited 14 days ago by The Dude
VanGuy
VanGuy
12 days ago
Reply to  The Dude

I haven’t flown in over a decade, but skiplagging sites are getting shut down?
I always thought that sounded like such a cool idea.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
14 days ago

MSRP for a Civic Type R is $45K. A search for Honda dealers in California show the top 10 markups as being $30K – $22K, all CTR’s. So glad I used a broker, they showed me the mulroney sticker for similar car to the one I ordered. It had $7K in dealer installed options/accessories and a market adjustment. No thank you.

Last edited 14 days ago by MAX FRESH OFF
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
14 days ago

If ever there was a reason to open the floodgates to tariff free US spec Chinese made cars this is it, at least until supply exceeds demand.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
14 days ago

Of course, the other solution would be to make such markups flat out illegal as is the case in many other countries.

Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
14 days ago

I think they should really do that!

Number One Dad
Number One Dad
13 days ago

Are you suggesting that they try selling a product for a posted price, and then you come in and pay the advertised price? It’s an interesting idea, but there just isn’t any evidence from any other industries that such an economic model would work.

George CoStanza
George CoStanza
12 days ago
Reply to  Number One Dad

What is this witchcraft you speak of?

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