I don't work for T+C BMW but I'll try to be helpful. First, since you're trading in a car, research the wholesale...not retail value. No, autotrader is not a good place to get your figure from. It's full of dealers asking for too much or just scammers posting as private sellers. The best is look at Canadian Black Book for your value and minus 100 for every dent/scratch from the average trade in price. Realistically, that's what they will offer you.
For example, I went to a B dealership last week I brought my summer car, 08 TL S, clean carproof, navi + cam as a potential trade in. Knowing CBB value for my car was 17-20k I was expecting 18,500. Had that dealer look at my car, drive it around, he then took 15mins running around and came back and offered me 18k because my tires were worn and I had 2 dents on driver side door. So if you use CBB, you're likely very close to actual. The only other things that may affect value are the amount of cars available, ie. how many speed3's out there, colour of your car (some colours are much more appealing and in demand ie. Kinetic Blue Pearl sells for more than Alabaster Silver Metallic when it comes to TL S). And if you've modded your car in any way, be prepared to lose a good chunk of that money, dealers don't like dealing with modded cars because it shrinks the size of the potential buyers to people like you. They would much rather take in a stock car.
2nd thing is that while there are high mark ups and low ones, price difference is really dependant on what they have in the car. For example, a lease return from BMW financial. As we all know, residual values are high on a BMW due to the fact that in an attempt to sell new vehicles sometimes they jack the residual higher to lower the monthly payment. Before I bought my TL, I had looked into leasing a new 2012 S4 from Audi Mississauga. The residual value quoted for a 4 year 80000km lease was $26,857. Here's the thing, a 4-5 year old S4 retails just a couple thousand over and sometimes retails for less. So...if the dealer bought it back from lease, he's at least stuck at the residual + lot pack + safety + etest + CPO ( if its done) + he has make some money as no one works for peanuts. So his cost on that nice lease return is already a couple thousand higher than the residual value. In the case of the S4, he would be in around 30,000 for cost, if the CPO and safety were done properly. So if you see a BMW that is different by 14k there is some really wrong. I've dealt with North York Chrysler and they are flat out crooks. I had asked about a 2008 335xi with navi a year ago, they tell me it's Ontario car, no accidents. I asked for the carproof and it shows Quebec car, which is a red flag because Quebec has different reporting laws for accidents and sometimes you don't have to report at all. Other thing was when I went to deal on that car they tell me there's no room. They have a lot more in it, priced right and the price is as advertised. So knowing what I know, I left because anyone who tells you that is bs'ing you. After almost a year now, you can actually still find the exact same car as mentioned on their lot still, priced 2k less. So how come there wasn't any room to move earlier?
3rd thing, yes you do have a value in mind and a budget to shop for but please understand the proper values for the car you're looking at and make sure you can afford the entire cost of ownership, not just the monthly payments. You have to look at your budget and ask yourself whether its realistic with the type of car you're buying. If its not, you need to find a different car. Also, you may think you're being realistic but if your offer is anything more than 1-2k below asking, it likely won't be good.
But some things you can ask for: Free accessories (deflectors, 3M tape), a reduction in admin/registration fees (if applicable) remember all pricing you see should just be + tax according to OMVIC rules. Free maintenance (oil changes/rotations), swag...works all the time as long as you ask. These are all things you can ask for on top of a discount.
I hope this helps...this is from my personal dealings and what I've seen and heard from industry people.
Last edited by Bimmeup; 12-23-2012 at 08:25 AM.
Reason: Fixed various typos and grammar. It's hard to type that much from a phone!