Jul 29 2011

Taking the Plunge! A local Purchase it is!

Tag: Consumers, Toyota / LexusRobert Lamb @ 1:16 pm

 Yesterday I finally took the plunge and decided to buy my new Lexus RX 350 from my local dealer. 

The following bullets explain my rational:

  • As a Canadian citizen, I was being refused my right to purchase a  new Lexus in the U.S., (I wonder what the Americans would do if the reverse was true! )
  • In the case of a Canadian broker; a couple were able to find the car I wanted, but with brokerage and transportation fees the savings deteriorated quite significantly.  They both admitted to me that because the dealer knew the car was going to go to Canada, he was not willing to offer any further discounts.   (Remember as well that there appears to be a shortage of these cars right now) .  One Canadian broker told me he could obtain a  discount from his U.S. partner,, but them went about calling me a liar for telling the public that I had negotiated over a $5,000.00 discount from the Canadian dealer.  He indicated that this is not possible and I should be “ashamed of myself for lying to the public”   People like this we really want to stay away from!
  • I contacted an American broker through the help of some of my friends out West, this deal was a bit more attractive but again the savings were not significant enough for me exercise this option.  
  • Remember, I wanted a new car, not used.
  • My local dealer found the car I wanted and was prepared to trade with another dealer in Quebec.  The car would be ready for me on Monday!
  • Another major factor was the re-sale value.  Most Brokers and dealers tell me that when selling a U.S. used car in Canada, I should expect a lower price!
  • Finally, I asked the dealer to install a hitch.  It advertised on the Canadian site for $855 plus tax and on the U.S. site for  $650 plus tax.  He offered $700 plus Tax and I took the offer.

So in summary the difference , by my calculations and estimations was $3,500 and not enough to justify a buy in the U.S. decision.   But if you are hunting for a new or used car you need to do your due diligence, and feel comfortable with the decision.  You might come to a different conclusion. 2011-07-29price-comparison-rx350.jpg

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Jul 27 2011

My Dilemma! U.S. or Canada where do I buy my next car?

Tag: ConsumersRobert Lamb @ 12:38 pm

 I am attempting to purchase a new car, and quite frankly the entire experience is leaving me with a very uncomfortable feeling. 

Should I buy in the U.S. or should I buy in Canada?  This would be a no-brainer if we were to just go over the financials.  With our dollar at close to 1.06 U.S. today the stats below do not lie.

Lexus RX 350

As you can see, buying in Canada is 10.0% more expensive and will cost me approximately $5,600.00 more.   So what is the problem? 


For a novice car buyer out to purchase their first vehicle this seems like an easy answer. But just let me go over a bit of the background on my buying adventure and review some of the show stoppers and roadblocks that have been set up by the Car Companies to encourage hard working Canadians to pay more than their American cousins.


Over six months ago I decided to buy a new car.  My current car, a Dodge Caravan 2002 was still in relatively good working order. I had just recently purchased new tires and wheels in the U.S. at a 50% savings over the Canadian price.  I knew though that the next repair would most likely be a major one.  It was time.


At first I ventured to a few local car dealers looking at several different models and was told quite abruptly many times that I would be lucky to get more that $1000 as a trade in, despite the blue book value being over $2200.   So I decided to sell the car myself on “LesPac”.


Two weeks ago the car was sold for $3250! 


Walking home from the License bureau after selling my van,  I ventured into a Lexus/Toyota dealership.  Obtaining a salesman’s attention was aggravating; it was almost like they were doing me a favor by being there.   Once I was finally granted the audience of a smooth talking salesperson we got down to the nitty-gritty and I was quickly discouraged from buying a new vehicle.  The price seemed beyond what I wanted to pay, and when I mentioned that the car was several thousand dollars cheaper in the U.S., I was told but it is not the same car, and to “be careful because you will have problems”.  The salesman then presented me with a “pre-programmed” presentation highlighting all the reasons why I should not buy in the U.S. Finally he told me that I will never find a dealer willing to sell me a new car.  I was told “They will be punished by head office if they sell to Canadians”. 


Of course the presentation was a lot of false / stretched statements.  Some were outright lies.


That evening and the next day I called several dealerships in the U.S. wanting to purchase a new car.  Each was ready to sell until my famous line came out: “so you are willing to sell to a Canadian, I will be there tomorrow with the cash!”.  More often than not I was told they will not sell a new car to me , but I was encouraged to look at their stock of used 2010s with anywhere from 25 to 30k miles.  Some salespersons suggested that I have an American relative buy the car! 


Finally I called several Canadian car brokers, they all gave me the same message:  the car companies forbid American dealers from selling new cars to Canadians!  Each broker suggested that I buy a used car.  One broker indicated that he might be able to find me one, but insisted that it was going to be real tough.  He indicated that he was getting at least 4 requests a day, and that my best alternative was to buy a new Cadillac or Ford.  He could save me thousands on those, but Lexus, Acura, Toyota and Honda were out of the question and were very tough to find.


I decided to try the local Lexus dealership again.  This time I was introduced to a very sharp salesperson.  He gave me the keys to a demo and insisted I take a test drive.  Then he listened carefully to my needs and was extremely accommodating.  I mentioned the difference in the price in Canada and the U.S. and negotiated a further $2000 dollar discount off of the initial price that he quoted.  Once done, I was then told that the car I wanted was not in stock and that he would try a find one for me in the next couple of days, failing that we would go to the plant and have one for the second or third week of August.


My local salesperson called me yesterday, he found the car I was looking for in Quebec. It seems someone cancelled their order.  I asked him to put a hold on it for me, and that I will call him tomorrow.  


Shorly thereafter I received a call from my broker friend, he  has located 2 cars of the type I wanted, but the American dealer is scared to sell it to him for fear of reprisals by head office.  I told him to sweeten the pot and try again and hopefully get back to me today.


Decision time!  Not sure what to do, but it looks like if I want a new car that I will be forced to buy it in Canada and pay $5,000.00 more.  


Buying a car these days is like going to the dentist!  But at least I was able to negotiate a further $2000.00 off the Canadian price.  Of course if I buy the Car in Canada I was told the dealership  will give me a dozen golf balls and a golf hat!


So in summary here are a couple of hints to follow when purchasing a  car. 


- make sure you check the prices in the U.S. for both new or used. Use the CarsWithoutBorders comparison format to understand what you are up against. (always make sure the car is on the acceptable RIV list)

- make sure you understand all the features and differences of the model of car you want.  This can take a hour or so of your time but it is worth it. You will be able to readily debate the Canadian sales presentation on why it is better, but more expensive to buy in Canada. 

- use your knowledge to negotiate a better discount or maybe obtain more features.

- consider the use of Canadian broker.

- if purchasing a used car in either Canada or the U.S., review the Carfax and consider purchasing an on site inspection.



Good luck! 






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Jun 07 2011

Car Buyers Beware! Are You getting Hosed?

Tag: Consumers, Nissan / InfinitiRobert Lamb @ 10:00 am

The other day I took some time to browse through the nice glossy Nissan Infiniti advertising insert that was included with my weekend newspaper.  It looked very expensive to produce and it highlighted eight 2011 car models.  Some of the pricing next to each model interested me, but before jumping up and running down to my local dealer I thought I would just try and read the very small print associated with all the asterisks. 


With the help of my new reading glasses, a magnifying glass, a very well lit room, and paper and pen. I struggled for some time to understand the vendor’s offerings. The model shown had no relationship to the price that was printed just beside it!  What I discovered raised the hair on my neck.  Continue reading “Car Buyers Beware! Are You getting Hosed?”

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Apr 21 2011

Election Blues!

Tag: ConsumersRobert Lamb @ 2:50 pm

So are you really fed up listening to a bunch of grown ups making all sorts of promises so that they can represent you in the House of Commons.   Once there,  we suspect and know that many of these promises will be forgotten. 

How many of our members and supporters have talked to their local candidates?  Do their candidates really understand what needs to be changed in order for Canadian consumers to obtain fair prices.    Most feedback we have received indicates that most of the candidates don’t understand the issues. 

Our dollar is at around $1.05 U.S…. do you know how much you are getting hosed?  Are you aware that Transport Canada is really holding back on changes that would level the playing field?   

I suspect most of you are worried about getting by from one pay to the next.  But it is important to understand who is really hosing you!  Get involved. Start with making an informed decision on your choice for May 2nd.

So as a reflection of our thinking these days we thought we would bring back a small recording Serge and I performed back in November 2007. 

This outlines the frustration of a hard working Canadian calling Transport Canada and the RIV looking for guidance to purchase an automobile in the U.S. in order so save thousands of dollars.     Enjoy!   Make sure you vote!


icon for podpress  Bob and Serge Comedy 2007-11-25: Play Now | Downloads 141

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Apr 03 2011

Election! So where does your Candidate sit?

Tag: ConsumersRobert Lamb @ 4:59 pm

all51.jpgSo a Federal election approaches, and how many of us know where each Party, and  their local candidate sits on the key issues related to fair automobile pricing for hard working Canadians! 

Last time around I wrote emails to all the leaders of each political party and each candidate in my riding.  I described the issues and asked where they stood and what would they do for the Members and supporters of CWB.    The leaders did not reply!

Only my local Liberal candidate Scarpaleggia understood the issue, but indicated that Dion and their car critic in Manitoba did not want to get involved. 

This time around I decided to phone Larry Smith and try to  understand his position on our issues of Fair Pricing.  Larry didn’t say much. He was still having trouble picking up on Bill C-501!   So he needs to be educated on the issue, and I did not have the time.  I am told most conservative candidates are not allowed to think for themselves anyways!

So what do you folks think?  We would like to know if you are questioning your candidates?  If so what kind of response are you getting. 

Check out the entry we posted on October 8th, 2008.  http://www.carswithoutborders.com/2008/10/01/dear-cwb-member-supporter-do-you-have-30-minutes/

We will also set up a topic on the forum.

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Mar 03 2011

Who can you trust?

Tag: Comment of the day, Consumerssergelbergeron @ 10:43 am

the-us-mint-doesnt-even-trust-in-god-anymore.jpgToday with the internet you have thousands of sites recommending that you do this or  do that. Put your money here.  Take care of your heart and lungs here.  Lose weight and keep it off here.  Raise your children this way and spend your freedom 55 right here.  

I am asking who you can trust? 

Continue reading “Who can you trust?”

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Mar 01 2011

Price Gouging Mercedes pays Governments to keep quiet!

Tag: ConsumersRobert Lamb @ 8:55 am

mercedes-benz1.JPG In a move to settle a tax dispute with the Federal, Ontario and Alberta Governments, Daimler has agreed to pay out $1.5 Billion to end the tax fight over transfer pricing. 

 As pointed out in CarsWithoutborders back in 2007 and 2008, the “Price Gouging tactics” of  Daimler-Chrysler and all the other car companies created a “transfer pricing” issue that while “screwing”  hard working Canadians on price, also provided them with a loop-hole to avoid paying taxes. 

 Our Governments slow to jump on this have finally settled with a $1.5 B dollar win!  We at CarsWithoutborders wonder what they have negotiated?  Will the Governments continue to let them “hose” hard working Canadians.  Why do we continue to pay 20 to 25% more than our U.S. cousins for Mercedes-Benz models? 

 Will our Governments go after the other companies as well? BMW?  Stay tuned! 

 Shop wisely!

see the article by Greg Keenan 2011-03-01globeandmail.pdf

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