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Old 02-11-2014, 02:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2014
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"Document fee" when buying from a dealer.

I have a real problem with this. When talking over a new purchase, I asked for the total out the door price. I should note that I didn't haggle on the price, just accepted the discount the dealer quoted me. So she starts pointing out the "extra" charges, $400 for the plate, 15 for the title, of course the sales tax, then the dreaded "document fee" of $400. I told her I don't pay document fees. Then she got me real mad. She said "well the document fee comes from the state, we don't have control over that..."

Red lights flashing "LIER! LIER!" (OK only I was the only one that saw the lights)

" NO, you mean the State allows you to charge a $400 document fee. It dosen't REQUIRE you charge it."

"well there is a lot of paperwork to do, and that person has to be paid"

"So that person gets paid $400 an hour?"

"Of course not"

So that person takes 4 days of work on just this one rv to get it done?

"Well theres more paperwork then you realize"

" So why isn't there a 'Sales person fee? You do a lot of work to make a sale. and a porter's fee, because the guy that drives my RV around front has to be paid?"

"Well thats part of our service."

" So the documents are optional, you sell a lot of RVs without doing the documents, right?"

"Well we have to charge for that"


15 min later all the paperwork was typed up and she and the manager brought it over to me.

I looked at the papers, and said, " there is still a 'Document fee' on here"

Manager, "well the state makes us charge that..."

"well I don't have to pay it!" I made a show of ripping the check in half and walked out. I should mention that I have a hearing loss, so I couldn't hear then calling to me as I left.

Since then I have had 3 calls, one form the sales person, one from the credit manager, and one from the owner.

I told each the same thing, I don't pay "document fees", Doing the paperwork is part of the cost of doing business. I have bought a lot of cars, trucks and motorcycles in the last 20 plus years and I have never paid a "document fee"

The owner asked, "well what do you want me to do with the motor home"

I wanted to give him the obvious answer, but instead said "find someone dumb enough to pay you document fees and sell it to them. If one tenth of one percent of the sale price of this RV is enough for you to loose a sale, more power to you.

I did not buy the RV even after the owner offered to knock $500 off the price.

Dad would have been proud of me!


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Old 02-11-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
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Hope that you don't have to rent a car! You think fees for your RV purchase is bad.

Dan (RVM67), Yvonne & 2 nutty mutts
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:21 PM   #3
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Good for you. Document, prep, and similar fees are just ways to add on after the deal is done. I also clarify up front what is and is not included in the price negotiation, before the negotiation... Anything that gets added on after the negotiation they have one chance to quickly remove it.
Vince and Susan
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:23 PM   #4
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Document Fee = Pure Profit
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Document fees are a sneaky, dishonest way to pad the profit. Having said that, it's what I write the check for that counts. If they want to sell me the vehicle for $10 and call the rest a document fee, what do I care. I will only negotiate on out the door price, all fees and tax included. If I like that price I buy, if not, sayonara. Once that out the door price is agreed to, not one extra penny or the deal is off.
Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:37 PM   #6
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The out the door price is kind of self explanatory isn't it. Did you get the RV undercoated?
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:39 PM   #7
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I know that I'm not the only one to do the same when it comes to add-on charges.
However, I always stress to the salesman that the negotiated 'closed deal' price is just that......a final price to close the deal. If they can't comprehend that point then I go elsewhere. I have bought two boats this way and you'd be surprised just how fast a salesman can learn that concept.
Tearing up a check, after it is written, can also drive your point home.........as I would also tell the sales manager, "You must need this vehicle more than I do......".
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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Good for you. More people need to do exactly what you did!
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:56 PM   #9
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pure profit taking, nothing else. Most of us have probably titled, and registered our own vehicles bought from a private seller. How involved was it??
For me it is sign the title, go to the county clerks office, register it, and pay the tax, and license fee. 30 minutes later I am done, and 15 minutes was spent waiting my turn.
I just negotiate "out the door" pricing, and let them figure it up any way they want, I just want to know the total cost.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:02 PM   #10
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I agree. Out the door means out the door. When I bought my 03 last January I stressed cash out the door and not a penny more. It took them awhile to figure out I was serious and when they asked if I had the cash on me I said, "YES." Deal done.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:11 PM   #11
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This is why I research the value of my target RV, make an all-inclusive out-the-door offer, and stick to it. Dealers hate it. But it works.
Dave and Nola, RVM1
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:43 PM   #12
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The name of the game is to knock down the price then make up for it by adding on any fee they can think up.

OH, and the dealer does not need to get the plates or process the title either, You can do that at DMV at least in most states.

Many businesses are now pulling that stuff.. And losing business as a result.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:01 PM   #13
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Good going....I myself only deal in a out the door price too. Some are now and have been adding a "advertising fee" $250...
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:07 PM   #14
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Yep, the only thing that matters is the bottom right-hand corner, and that's the number I deal with.


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