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Discussion Starter #1
This question is for all those at the front of the line, who received calls from dealers and "ordered" cars.

Does this mean that you actually:

- agreed upon the final price of the car, including actual sale price (MSRP or otherwise), all your factory option fees, destination charges, and any other dealer-profit-making fees...

- increased your deposit...

- and signed a contract locking in the total price?

Or did you simply tell your salesman what color and options you wanted without signing any paperwork and/or putting down a second deposit?

I'm currently reading a book on negotiating new car purchases, and it doesn't broach the specific situation of putting down deposits for highly coveted cars and waiting on lengthy lists.

My hope is that when I place my "order," I'll be able to sign a contract locking in total fees. The last thing I want to do upon "ordering" is increase my deposit, wait a few months for the car, and then be hit with a bunch of chicanery during the close. The book says one of the salesman's greatest profit-making tools is getting the buyer emtionally attached to the car, and then introducing costs at the 11th hour. Also, it is my understanding from another thread that once cars are "on order" with contractual paperwork, the dealer cannot increase his profit with chicanery.

Thoughts? Who in #1-10 spots has signed paperwork?
 

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My 'order' was nothing more than talking to the salesman on the phone and telling him what configuration I'd like. No paperwork, no extra money, nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
excesss said:
If you picked the color you could forfeit your deposit if you do not purchase.
Uh, I'm 99 percent sure that is incorrect. I believe the law states that only after having entered a contractual agreement to buy the car (an actual order, in other words -- one detailing color, options, and the specific price of the car), can the dealer keep your deposit money if you do not purchase.

In fact, based on all the threads I've read on this board, I can't recount a single would-be buyer saying he or she signed any type of paperwork. Of course, I could be wrong... I just don't remember any single person, including those who say they've "ordered," recounting any stories about walking into the dealership, and entering some type of mutually binding contract.

I know I haven't done so: The only signature that I have on any of my paperwork is the signature of a salesman acknowleding receipt of a refundable deposit. He could call me to tomorrow and ask for my color and options, but until he asks me to sign some paperwork, I don't believe we have an actual order.

And that's why I started this thread: We know the salesman are definitely collecting data on what types of cars they should be collecting for their first-in-line customers. That's exciting! And it's admirable that they're honoring lists. I just don't know if we should be calling these orders yet. I'm confused, and I would like some clarity (just to reduce my curiosity... It's not like I'm even close to getting "the call"!!!).

I also vaguely remember someone posting a message a while back saying words to the effect of, "Dealers are collecting color and option information, but haven't yet sent any orders to Lotus." I just did a search to try and locate that message, but couldn't come up with anything. Anyhow, it may explain why no one (apparently) has yet to sign any paperwork.

For what it's worth, my salesman told me last year that when it comes time to order, I will be asked to pony up another $2,000, choose my color and options, and enter an agreement that will make my total deposit non-refundable. Now THAT sounds like an order.
 

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Can't speak for the other dealers, but I DO know for a fact that Lotus of Atlanta has formally ordered the first batch.

I don't particularly feel I need a signed contract aside from the original sales contract which stated my place in line, MSRP guarantee signed by the owner of LOA. I guess it depends how much you trust/have confidence in your dealership in some respects.

Chris
 

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I already have my "order" from last year, if you mean the contract of sale. My official "order" was for color and options which were not available when I signed the contract. It all sounds fine to me.
 

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JonM3Coupe said:
I can't recount a single would-be buyer saying he or she signed any type of paperwork.

I signed. Twice. Once 2 years ago, w/$1000
deposit, to buy @ MSRP. Then again,about
a month ago, w/$2000 more, for Saffron/Touring.
At Fox Valley in Chicago (via fax). #7 on their list.

dan w
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info, Dan W... You have proved me wrong, and I'm sure others will join this thread to share reports of signed contracts as well.

For those who do have signed contracts, if you don't feel it's a violation of your privacy, it might be helpful for the rest of us if you disclosed the costs innumerated on your contracts:
- agreed on price of car
- price of options
- freight/delivery/destination charges
- Misc charges. This includes special dealer warranty charges, prep charges, advertising charges, VIN etching charges, ADP (additional dealer profit charges), DVP (dealer vacation fund charges), and so on. All these charges are mostly bogus, but if they're low enough, hell, I will probably pay them just to get the Elise!

Not all dealerships are run by total sharks (and I actually think my salesman is pretty straight-forward). And I *do* support capitalism. But the MSRP should have plenty of dealer profit already built-in, and because dealers don't pay "floor-plan" interest on ordered cars, they're already improving their bottom-line by not suffering any out-of-pocket expenses of their own.
 

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If he placed an official order and choose color and options you will be obligated or forfeit your deposit once the contract has been drawn up. I do agree with you if he has not signed anything then you could request your deposit at anytime for refund.
 

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danwasdahl said:
JonM3Coupe said:
I can't recount a single would-be buyer saying he or she signed any type of paperwork.

I signed. Twice. Once 2 years ago, w/$1000
deposit, to buy @ MSRP. Then again,about
a month ago, w/$2000 more, for Saffron/Touring.
At Fox Valley in Chicago (via fax). #7 on their list.

dan w
I can confirm the same. #3 at FVMC.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
JBurer said:
Just throwing this one out there -
Does 1k sound like an excessive destination charge?
Maybe a tad; I would expect $700-800.
 

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My understanding of "ordering" is when you tell your salesperson what color and options you want and he either writes it down or enters it into the computer system. Ordering usually takes place when Lotus say, "we're taking order from 1 to 10 on the waiting list."

In contrast, placing a deposit is not really ordering. You're just holding your place in line.


As for whether you can get your full or partial deposit back after:

a) you've placed your order, or
b) after the factory has confirmed your order,
c) or after your car has been built,

is something you should take up with your sales person. I think it MAY vary between dealership. It may be based on a prior understanding between the dealership and customer. I think it's one of those gray zones. :)
 

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Criswell faxed me the order form. I checked which options I wanted (none - base model), and choose my color (Chrome Orange). The form indicated MSRP, and the charge for each option, and the factory destination charge. I signed the bottom and faxed it back to them. They called me the next day to verify that I wanted a base model with Chrome Orange paint - done deal... No increase on my original deposit.

It is a binding contract.

I imagine that I can add dealer installed options when it arrives (although I'd rather just buy them and install them my self).

Tim Mullen
 

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Speaking of having placed your order, does anyone know if the first batch of "ordered" cars have started production yet? Sure would be great if we could get some news from Lotus and dream about our cars being assembled.
 
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