Dealer markups have become an electric rod for controversy this year, as some automakers are playing sesame with dealerships to grab money. Some locations are not slowing down to do their best while there are opportunities and prices have risen for popular and available hard vehicles. As you can imagine, this has led to frustration across the board, and the founders of a new site called Markups.org have used that combined power to track crowdsource and price at dealerships across the country.
Markups.org’s vice president, Tiffany Sosi-Hauren, is also a consumer privacy and rights advocate who said the site was “carrying a lot of feathers.” So much so, apparently, that the founder is currently anonymous. The site’s data points are now a combination of submissions imported from the original Google Docs tracker created by the founder last year, public forums with owners’ permission, and new user-posted deposits directly to the new site. It took about two months to build the software itself, with two to three more months to develop the features. Soucie-Howren said research and development, datasets and planning go back to the middle of last year.
“Our goal is to provide consumers and manufacturers with transparency by shedding light on shady dealers,” said Soucie-Howren. Drive.
In February, Ford CEO Jim Farley warned that if he knew which dealerships were involved in “unreasonable” pricing strategies, he would crack down accordingly. In the meantime, prices have been rising. One reader, David Z, told me via email that he was quoted MS 30,000 on MSRP in a full-size Bronco at a local dealership in Louisiana.
“I’ve called multiple Ford dealers in Texas, Louisiana and Colorado to buy a Bronco,” he said. “Every single dealer who had Bronco for sale said ‘no’ when I asked if I could buy at MSRP. I found prices ranging from $ 18,000 to $ 30,000 compared to MSRP. “
After running my story about the 4Runner markup forum, several Toyota owners sent me the following message:
“I live in Central California and call every single dealership in CA to get 4 runners,” he said. “There are only five Toyota dealerships in California that do not add price or markup to any of their vehicles.”
“Even dealerships that take advantage of these challenging times are wrong. It should be illegal! ” He continued. “How is it different in the early days of Kavid when toilet paper and chlorox bleach were illegal for high-end stores? The same should apply to all dealerships. ”
While there is no doubt that markups are happening in some cases, it is not uncommon to imagine that someone with a bone to pick with the dealership could report false markups and stain them. Soucie-Howren says they have established a protocol to follow; They will spend time looking for sources and posters to ask if their data is accurate, then compare it with published data.
“We see the potential for abuse here so we plan to create verification measures and reporting systems that will prevent abuse,” he said. “For example, a competing dealership may post a bunch of false markup submissions for neighboring dealerships. We may be able to control them in an appropriate manner.
This is a problem that has been reported for quite some time. Remember when the Dodge Challenger SRT daemon was launched? If Markups.org survives and is able to avoid lawsuits from angry dealerships, it will be a valuable resource for buyers looking for a car with a sticker price. In the meantime, they’re taking note of which sites are charging more, and brand-loyal shoppers are saying they won’t forget.
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