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Of course, much of that impression is based on... the one or two people one meets at each place. The person I worked with at Joel Confer is named Devlon and he might be the best salesperson I have ever met anywhere. I think he's like head of sales or something. Anyway if he's the one who shows you around you will be happy whether you end up buying a car from him or not.
I may have come at a good time or something but this place is all about service and making you happy with your purchase and experience. They were super professional and treated me like a king. No waiting, no pressure, they always knew the answer to every question I could have. Because I wasn't looking for a new car and in fact I was looking for as cheap a minivan as I could get (those things are expensive!) a lot of dealerships made me feel a little bad. I guess they were trying to upsell me or something. Not so here. When he found out I had kids and was having problems getting down there, he drove the car I was interested in to my house. Yes, you read that right. I was able to check it out in my own driveway and he took all the time I wanted to show me the ins and outs. He had the detailed carfax report on it and on some other cars I had been interested in with him and went through all the details with us. He was nice to my wife. It was just a good experience overall.
When it came down to negotiating a price he was super nice about it...all business. Didn't try to make me feel bad about my lowball offer or anything. I hate it when negotiating a price becomes a battle of wills where both people come out feeling bad about it...that actually happened at a different place in town. Anyway, I was feeling very poor and he worked the price down very significantly for me. A couple of times. Based on their asking price I thought I wasn't going to end up with the car I did even after all the negotiations but he eventually came back with a price that's very good compared to blue book. It wasn't the kind of price I would have gotten if I were his brother or something, but it was a good price. So I took it. And I've been happy I did ever since.
Buying the car at this place was painless. He had it waiting out front. I signed a few papers, they gave me my new registration, and I was good to go. But wait, there were a bunch of features he might not have showed me how to use (how to install carseats, etc). This is all after the sale, mind you. Since it was getting late he suggested I come back in a few days at my convenience and he would show me some other features of the car. Super interested in us having a good experience.
The Toyota dealership overall is kind of upscale feeling (all dealerships try to cultivate that feeling, but this one a little more so). Large, brightly lit, etc. It feels like they have higher-end, more expensive cars. If I had the money I'd buy new cars there and have them do all my service as well.
For reference, a couple of other places in town of note:
* The Mazda place. This was my other favorite place in town. They were super nice and helpful without being pushy. Seemed to have access to a lot of cars and were happy to bring cars from out of town. Reasonable prices.
* The Honda Place. These guys had a very nice place, like the Toyota place. What they didn't do was make me feel like I was rich enough to be there. They acted like they never get cars as cheap and crappy as I was looking for so I should look to spend thousands and thousands more. Kind of made me feel like I was out of place. They weren't very busy but somehow they didn't have the time for me. If you have a lot of money and are going for a new car, this might be a good option. Overall I wasn't that happy after visiting there.
* Sutliff Buick. This place was pretty friendly and had a car I was interested in. I didn't feel like they had the kind of competence as the Toyota place, though. They didn't know what was in their inventory at first, then they didn't know much about the car. They had a nice place for my kids to play in, though. Prices seemed pretty reasonable. I found a car I kind of liked and actually started negotiating for it. Let's just say I didn't like the negotiations.
* The stuff down on West College and Whitehall. They all seem to be owned by the same company so in used cars they are all the same--you can buy the same car from any building you want. They didn't have much I was interested in and their prices seemed very high for the cars they had. Nice people, but in my experience there are better places to shop. Show more