We found the TT we wanted at a Feb. show. We weren't really looking to buy but fell in love instantly. Had nothing to do with a salesman. We got a "show price" at the show before we left. Went home and did lots of research on the price and features and the company and then a few weeks later, went to the dealer and worked on the price some more including some options we wanted, then ordered it. I think we did well.
If you go to a dealer's lot, you run the risk of being collared and getting a high pressure sales pitch and ending up with something you may not like in the end. If you go to a show, they are so busy, they don't have the time to corner you and work you over. You can casually check out all the units without being bothered much.
We have one local dealer where the only way to get into their lot is to go past their salesroom counter. Then they "assign" a sales guy to you that tails you everywhere and tries to push you towards something you don't really want and that of course, costs more. No thanks. Some dealers will leave you alone though. Be wary of having a particular unit they have on their lot that they are trying to get rid of and you *think* they're giving you a deal.
If you go to an early spring show, all the new year models are on display. In around February, the dealers want to start moving the new year models because they've had inventory coming in over the winter months and your chances of getting a better price are higher, I think.
If you go to a dealer's lot in the fall (or this time of year), if it's on the lot, it's already last year's model and getting to be a year out of date before you even use it. If you were to sell it shortly afterwards or trade it in, you'll lose a year's valuation on it. Unless you know for certain it's a smokin' deal, be cautious. On the other hand, if it's a 2014 model you are interested in, now would be a good time to talk to a dealer because sales are pretty slow. A local dealer is having their first Black Friday sale in an attempt to drum up business.
Regardless, take your time, take notes and do the research. When you've short-listed a few, check the specific make & model on the internet for positive and negative comments and quality issues. Also check into the quality of the dealer before you buy. Some dealer warranty service can turn an otherwise great unit into a nightmare. (BTDT)
Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel
2014 KZ Spree 262RKS & Ford F250 supercab V10 4x4 LB