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      07-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #23
02rsxpilot
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Went to three dealers before buying my 135i.

Steven's Creek - felt like an Apple store customer. Lots of people, tons of cars. Salesman even bragged about their dealership outselling two of the others nearby combined. I got handed off to multiple different sales people despite having arranged to see the car ahead of time. No one offered water or coffee. Car was in poor exterior shape (they planned to get it all fixed) but no one mentioned any of that in the ad, emails, or pictures. Test drive was short and fixed, despite car already having 33,500 miles (really, I can't drive it more than 1 mile up the freeway and back?). Overall would not visit again.

BMW SF - Much more attention to the customer here. Was offered water or coffee or espresso. Car was as advertised. Sales process was agonizing though. They used every standard trick, including leaving my dad and I in an office for over 20 minutes while they supposedly went to talk to the sales manager about price. Finally took the sales manager to come in himself to give me the deal I wanted. Two hours later, we settled on a price that was a whopping $600 different than what I offered in the very beginning. Only other complaint was the car has an adaptive headlight warning showing, car had been at the dealer for two months. How do you not have that fixed before someone buys it? Overall I'd visit again but would prefer to buy elsewhere.

Niello BMW in Sacramento - This is my hometown dealer. I have spent time at the Niello Acura, Mini, and Porsche dealers and experience is mostly top notch. They offer you water or coffee, are happy to show you the cars, salesman are always nice. Custom ordered a Mini next door and it was very easy, no pressure, much better than my experience at BMW SF. Only complaint was sometimes I feel like I know the car better than the salesman (was once told only the 135is had the DCT transmission...). In the future, I will probably try harder to work with my local Niello guys to find my car than to drive a couple hours away and deal with anyone else.
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      07-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #24
nato-main-man-5am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02rsxpilot View Post
Went to three dealers before buying my 135i.

Steven's Creek - felt like an Apple store customer. Lots of people, tons of cars. Salesman even bragged about their dealership outselling two of the others nearby combined. I got handed off to multiple different sales people despite having arranged to see the car ahead of time. No one offered water or coffee. Car was in poor exterior shape (they planned to get it all fixed) but no one mentioned any of that in the ad, emails, or pictures. Test drive was short and fixed, despite car already having 33,500 miles (really, I can't drive it more than 1 mile up the freeway and back?). Overall would not visit again.

BMW SF - Much more attention to the customer here. Was offered water or coffee or espresso. Car was as advertised. Sales process was agonizing though. They used every standard trick, including leaving my dad and I in an office for over 20 minutes while they supposedly went to talk to the sales manager about price. Finally took the sales manager to come in himself to give me the deal I wanted. Two hours later, we settled on a price that was a whopping $600 different than what I offered in the very beginning. Only other complaint was the car has an adaptive headlight warning showing, car had been at the dealer for two months. How do you not have that fixed before someone buys it? Overall I'd visit again but would prefer to buy elsewhere.

Niello BMW in Sacramento - This is my hometown dealer. I have spent time at the Niello Acura, Mini, and Porsche dealers and experience is mostly top notch. They offer you water or coffee, are happy to show you the cars, salesman are always nice. Custom ordered a Mini next door and it was very easy, no pressure, much better than my experience at BMW SF. Only complaint was sometimes I feel like I know the car better than the salesman (was once told only the 135is had the DCT transmission...). In the future, I will probably try harder to work with my local Niello guys to find my car than to drive a couple hours away and deal with anyone else.
I shopped around a few dealers when in the market, too, and actually went with Stevens Creek. At the time, I worked within a "lunch break driving distance" so it was easy to stop in a couple times on a weekday afternoon -- and basically get to try whatever I wanted. Admittedly, they did shuffle me off to a junior sales guy -- but that turned out okay because instead of trying to sell me, he was just along for the ride of test drives, answering questions etc.

I still think the best place for a test drive in the Bay Area is Freemont -- with lots of relatively empty roads in the dealership area, especially on the weekends, you can concentrate on the car and not worry about traffic.

One trick I learned is that any dealer can get stock from any other dealer, so you don't need to compromise and go to a dealer you don't like.
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