• Jan 28, 2011
2012 Fiat 500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Haggling, ugh. Generally speaking (and with a few notable exceptions) it's one of those unavoidable aspects of buying a new car from a dealership. If you're good and you're willing to shop around by pitting dealer against dealer, you may end up scoring something of a bargain. Thing is, if you're not such a good haggler, you're seemingly just as likely to pay more from a stealership than the next guy, which hardly seems fair.

According to Fiat's brand spankin' new United States arm, the younger car-buying generation isn't particularly keen on the notion of haggling for a better price. As such, the company has directed its dealerships to adopt a no-haggle pricing policy, starting with the new-for-the-U.S. Fiat 500. "The pricing is the pricing," said Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in North America to Bloomberg, much as it was with the now defunct Saturn brand. We think it's a lovely idea and hope it sticks.



Photos copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Bloomberg]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 69 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Have you guys heard of carmax??? The nations largest used car retailer?
      They have the same pricing structure, on the window is what you pay, and they have been in business for years now, and are very profitable. So in theory and practice it does work.Lets just hope these little gems dont take the SMARTCAR route, and bomb after the first year of being in the market......
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yea, and whenever I look at used cars, I see the carmax prices and think to myself "man, that's way too much money for that car."
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course, you could always go through zag.com like I did and buy at a reasonable no-haggle price at pretty much any dealership. I bought a brand new Ford Fusion Hybrid and got it for more than $2000 below invoice between my zag.com discount and incentives. I didn't have to wait my time haggling like I was purchasing a Turkish rug or something in an old movie.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I understand why Chrysler is doing this. The Fiat 500 is bound to be marked up by dealers during it's first year. However, beyond that, these "no haggle" policies never work since they often screw the customer worse than the dealer ever could. Usually what happens is that the fixed price is a fair bit higher than some of the bigger dealers would have let the car out the door for. So you end up paying MORE.

      Besides, I never understood this primal fear people have of haggling. Look, once you know the car's dealer price just sit down with the salesman and say "This is how much you paid, this how much I'm paying." THE END. Jeez, are people so afraid of human contact that they've lost all ability to bargain?
        • 3 Years Ago
        exactly, and if its an acceptable deal to BOTH parties, with negligible backwards and forwards then bingo, game over....now lets talk about that repo on your credit....lol
      • 3 Years Ago
      EXACTLY, and truth be told I would lay money on addendums when the car is first released. I can guarantee the markup in the 500 will be trivial to begin with ( ala Ford Fiesta ) so the dealers will have to maximize their profitability through markups or add ons.....
      • 3 Years Ago
      The reason why the younger generation doesn't care about haggling over price is because as a whole the younger generation doesn't know crap about cars. There was an article I read somewhere about how teenagers now days care less and less about getting their drivers licenses and are more obsessed with their cell phones and social networking. What the hell? It's not like there's even that much to haggling. You just look up the prices of the options you'd want by, oh, playing around with the configurator on different manufacturers' websites. Then you look up that car on Edmunds or something and see what rebates and incentives are out there, and note what the invoice price is. With even that little bit of information, at least you'll know if you're being taken for a ride by the salesperson or not.

      In regards to the Fiat 500 though, I may as well forget about being able to haggle. From what I've read, there will only be one dealership in Michigan, in the Detroit area. What possible incentive would they have to deal with me when they're the only game in town? I might like the 500, but I'm not about to drive out of state or whatever just to save a few hundred bucks. Same goes for the Smart ForTwo, now that I think about it. There's only one dealership in Michigan. Also, for the longest time there was only one MINI dealership, but now there's finally a second one. They're still both stuck up about haggling though.

      This "no haggling" philosophy will only work for as long as your products are hot. After the first year, when showroom traffic begins to wane, I bet they'll revisit the decision about having a firm price.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "This "no haggling" philosophy will only work for as long as your products are hot. After the first year, when showroom traffic begins to wane, I bet they'll revisit the decision about having a firm price."

        Or they could reduce the no-haggle price each year as demand wanes. Nothing about "no-haggle pricing" prevents Fiat from saying that the 2013 Cinquecento will be $500 cheaper than the 2012 Cinquecento. If that's what it takes to keep the cars moving off of salesfloors, they'll do it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Actually No haggle does work really well. Example a Chevrolet dealer where I live a one price dealership, this is how they price 2 to 4 % below invoice (which means they are giving some of the holdback also) that's before any factory incentives.

        Heck, I work at a negotiating dealership and the people who feel they negotiatied a good deal only likes to feel that they won. Yet if they actally put even 5 mintues of research they could go to a one price dealership and they over 90% of the time beat our deals!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I liked Saturn's no-haggle pricing; I just didn't want a Saturn. I like Scion's no-haggle pricing; I just didn't want a Scion. It'd be great if more companies did the same.

      Listen, people, the average transactional price with "no-haggle" pricing is going to be the same as the average transactional price with haggle-pricing. It's just that in one, they artificially inflate the sticker price and then let people's individual transactional price fall in a bell curve based on their haggling ability. For an average-ability haggler (not particularly good, not particularly bad), no-haggle pricing is no more expensive than haggle pricing. It's just cheaper and quicker.

      There's a reason that no-haggle pricing exists for everything besides cars and real estate (at least in first-world stores, if not third-world open-air markets). It's pleasant, quick, and fair.
        • 3 Years Ago
        so having profit in an item is artifcial inflation????? so, when it comes to vehicle dealers arent allowed to make ANYTHING?.....hmm, shouldnt that apply to any consumer item, no one should be allowed to make anything, everything should be sold at direct cost...THAT would be amazing for a business with overheads like health insurance, property costs wages etc etc ...would also be fantastic for unemployment, i dont think it would be good for any business's to be expected to operate with no profits....fact is, vehicu;lar sales are one of the only "negotiable " transactions around. So, fixed pricing is apparently fair, but having a Manufacturers Suggested Reatail Price is not.....maybe dealers should change the word Suggested to Expected...does that make it better. There is ZERO difference between a No Haggle Sticker price and paying MSRP, the only grey area is sopmeone has put the bulliton out "We are NOT discounting....
        • 3 Years Ago
        as previously mentioned EVERY manufacturer has a no haggle deal...just pay sticker. The ONLY reson people haggle is because they know they can....how would everyone feel if ALL manufacturers all joined hands and said...ok, thats it, we are all MSRP no haggle?......there would be absolute mayhem and public upheaval...not to mention Govt intervention regarding the ominous words of "price fixing"......
        • 3 Years Ago
        Miltov.....I can GUARANTEE 99% of the people here would be surprized at the Markup between dealer cost and MSRP.....if you loaned someone say 50,000 for a period of 5 years personally, what would you feel was a good return on that outlay.....? just curious, because on a 53000 vehicle i am looking at its less than $4300. Thats less than 10%, most of the buying public has an incredibly inflated opinion of dealers profit margins...thus the angst....
        • 3 Years Ago
        and I can also guarantee that was only due either to Dealer cash or rebates of some kind, usually a sign of a vehicle moving slowly, over supply or lack of demand...( wish i could send you a PM to explain the basis of my argument, you would be surprized ).....
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't want to pay the average transaction cost I want to pay less than that.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I've bought four new cars in my life. Two I got at about 5% under MSRP (Civic Si, Element), one I got for 10% under MSRP (Legacy), one I got for 15% under MSRP (Tacoma). The 10% mark-up was a rhetorical device, it wasn't meant to be the exact median value used by the industry, but for the record, it's not entirely unrealistic.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "so having profit in an item is artifcial inflation?????"

        I never said that a no-haggle price should be at the dealer's cost. Nor is a negotiated price at the dealer's cost. Both have some profit margin for the dealership...just not the HUGE profit margin of a haggle-brand car selling at msrp. If dealers ACTUALLY routinely sold cars at a loss to them, as theatrical salesmen routinely suggest as they haggle, the businesses wouldn't survive five years.

        In my previous example of a good that either sells at $100 no-haggle pricing or $110 haggle pricing with an average discount of about $10, I'm *not* suggesting that the cost to the retailer is $100. It'd be in the $90s. Both stores have sticker prices above the retail cost; it's just that the haggle store artificially inflates the sticker price ABOVE where their desired profit margin would place the price, just so that they can negotiate down and still be at the desired profit margin. That's what I mean by "artificially inflating the sticker price."
      • 3 Years Ago
      dont know what happened there but that was for Nardvark....
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's the difference between this and the 1st few years of Mini pricing - you just paid sticker. As soon as supply exceeds demand it's back to lets make a deal.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Jeff, is it the world renouned Fiat 500 you are talking about? Is it the 500 that won "car of the year" in Europe that you refer? Is it the much improved North American version built by Chrysler to world class standards that you reference? Is it the 500 that is taking the market by storm and has been praised in every circle upon launch?
      Jeff, you poor misinformed soul, drive one first.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Paying the list price of the car is fine with me, but I refuse to pay the cost of delivery. Also free snow tires on steel rims are always welcome.
        • 3 Years Ago
        exactly how is that different than asking for a discount...last I checked . destination and delivery is a cost incurred on every car and thus forwarded to the consumer...but hey, refuse to pay taxes as well...see how that gos....
      • 3 Years Ago
      Scion has been around since 2004. Transactions are easy and pleasant.
      They have a smaller markup than Toyota branded cars and also sell for less. The markups are fixed, but they are relatively small.
      It really is a win-win because the price is reasonably fair for both sides and it's a pleasant transaction which is really more important.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Um, yeah. Translated, that means, "You are paying the sticker price and no less because this will be a hot item." MINI does the same thing - at least in this neck of the woods.
        • 3 Years Ago
        BMW MINI used to do that around here (Northern California). But this has not been the case for 2-3 years now.
    • Load More Comments