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Here is an email I got from a dealer in a PA and my response which follows.

Thank you for your interest in Saturn. We recently received information from AutoTrader.com that you may be interested in purchasing a 2007 Saturn Sky. At the present time we are accepting orders for the new Sky. Our previous sold orders are starting to arrive, so you will start to see some on the road. Unfortunately, stock #1595 that you saw on AutoTrader.com was a sold order. We will be happy to assist you with placing an order. At the present time, we are expecting our ordered vehicles to arrive in about 3-5 months.

We currently have one Sky available for sale. It is our stock #1096 Silver Nickel with Black Leather interior. It is equipped with automatic transmission, Limited Slip, Allow wheels, MP3 player and some accessories. This is a "retired" demonstrator, and has about 4100 miles and several accessories.

We also have another Sky that is available for test driving only. It will be
traveling to each of our 5 locations. Would you like to be contacted when
the Sky returns to our State College location? During your visit you may test
drive the Sky, and meet with a sales consultant to discuss the ordering process.

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time

************************************

What a farse! So what you are advertising on Autotrader.com is not true? You are listing TWO NEW vehicles as being for sale and available.

2007 New
Color - Silver Graphite
VIN 1G8MB35B07Y104842
Body Style: Convertible
Engine: 4 Cylinder Gasoline
Doors: Two Door
$28,149

2007 New
Color - Red
VIN 1G8MB35B67Y103856
Body Style: Convertible
Engine: 4 Cylinder Gasoline
Doors: Two Door
$24,635

My favorite line is, "Unfortunately, stock #1595 that you saw on AutoTrader.com was a sold order." So you are advertising vehicles that are already sold but in reality are not available? I also enjoy the way you are advertising as for sale and "NEW" what you are now describing as a "retired" demonstrator which is, in fact, a used car. But you will be willing to take my order.

Ah, no thanks. I asked for you to contact me, "If this vehicle is honestly available." Honestly it is not.
 

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Yes, they have been trying the bait and switch for a long time. Dealers on Autotrader will list dealerships with cars "in stock" when in reality they are just listing an offer to place an order a car like the one listed.

Back when the car first came out there was dozens listed on Autotrader and forum members got excited that they could be picked up that day only to discover the cars didn't exist. Clever, but old dirty trick to get their foot in the door.

To make matters worse, often times the MSRP price listed isn't even the price quoted to buyers or there are required add-ons for those who decide they still want to order.
 

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1994SC2 said:
Yes, they have been trying the bait and switch for a long time. Dealers on Autotrader will list dealerships with cars "in stock" when in reality they are just listing an offer to place an order a car like the one listed.

Back when the car first came out there was dozens listed on Autotrader and forum members got excited that they could be picked up that day only to discover the cars didn't exist. Clever, but old dirty trick to get their foot in the door.

To make matters worse, often times the MSRP price listed isn't even the price quoted to buyers or there are required add-ons for those who decide they still want to order.
This particular retail group, from what I know in my dealings with them, is actually a good one... they put on an annual car show in the Spring, charge MSRP and are true to the Saturn ways.

Some retailers put every car ordered for their location on there. One might want to call it bait and switch, but with new cars I wouldn't call it that. I would call it getting their name out there.

Used cars online, could be more like bait & switch since there are physical attributes and mechanical things specific to the one listed. New cars, with the exception of the VIN number and speedometer are not any different.

To me, bait & switch has to involve a car you have seen and driven physically to test drive with the impression that, that was the one you were going to get... and then they say, well no I am sorry, that one is not for sale, but do we have this cream puff for you!!! :D :jester: :thumbs:
 

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todaresqSL2 said:
This particular retail group, from what I know in my dealings with them, is actually a good one... they put on an annual car show in the Spring, charge MSRP and are true to the Saturn ways.

Some retailers put every car ordered for their location on there. One might want to call it bait and switch, but with new cars I wouldn't call it that. I would call it getting their name out there.

Used cars online, could be more like bait & switch since there are physical attributes and mechanical things specific to the one listed. New cars, with the exception of the VIN number and speedometer are not any different.

To me, bait & switch has to involve a car you have seen and driven physically to test drive with the impression that, that was the one you were going to get... and then they say, well no I am sorry, that one is not for sale, but do we have this cream puff for you!!! :D :jester: :thumbs:
Yeah I guess I wasn't very discriptive in my post...

What I was more referring to is the dealers that list a set of Skys and may even list a VIN or simply claim "3 in Stock" yet upon calling the dealer they say "Oh no, we have no Skys -- the wait list is four months long" meaning they really have no car remaining with that VIN or "3 in Stock" at all. Maybe bait and switch is the wrong term but I'd still call it consumer misconception.

The scenario above may not apply to the dealerships you are referring to, but we have seen in the past the tactic I just described.
 

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Am I missing something? Of the two cars listed, neither is #1596. Did you just get a form letter?
 

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I've been told that all vehicles that are invoiced to the dealers are automatically listed on Autotrader. I seen tons of them on there in early March and made calls and thats what several dealers said. Someone in the internet sales dept. takes all the invoices and adds them to autotrader, not realizing most of them are preorders and already sold.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's the response I got from the dealer. To me a car with 4K miles is used especially if it was the test drive car evry driver played with. It's like buying the used rental car. Everyone will not baby it. Being fairly new to the forum I didn't realize the situation with Autotrader.com. I still think their consideration of what is new is a big loophole. If the best way to obtain a Sky is to place an order, don't advertise what is not available. And as far as "getting your name out there", I now have a negative impression of this dealer. Whereas the dealer I have my deposit with, when asked about other dealers who get cars with unwanted extra and charging the buyer, their response was, "It's not worth the negative publicity for so few cars a year."

*************************

We understand your frustration. It is very difficult to find a Sky at this time. We have several customers that placed their order for their Sky over a year ago and are still waiting for their vehicle to arrive.

Unfortunately, both of the vehicles on AutoTrader.com are sold. 7Y104842 - our stock #1644 is a sold order that is still on the way to us. 7Y103856 - our stock #1595 is being delivered, I believe in the next day or two. The demonstrator, stock #1096 is still considered a new vehicle to the department of transportation in Pennsylvania, due to the fact that is has not been titled or registered.

AutoTrader pulls information from our computer system and includes all inventory (both sold and unsold vehicles). You should see both of the above mentioned Sky's disappear from the website in few days, once they are delivered to their anxious owners.

The best way to obtain a Sky at this time is to place an order. That way you are guaranteed to get the exact vehicle you desire. If you are interested in placing an order, please let us know. Or, you may want to contact your local Saturn retailer to see if they are able to assist you.
 

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lol!!! why take out your petty frustrations against the internet guy? Its not his fault. :banghead:

ok, so, I handle all internet inquiries at my retailer, and let me tell you, people can say some nasty stuff when they email. but I'd just love to see them come down in person and say it. thats a different kind of person i guess.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

do you REALLY think the internet guy is in any position to handle your complaints? I mean HONESTLY? its like yelling at the waiter because you think the menu is too expensive. at least take your frustrations to the right people.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is a great point. I totally agree with you. Everything I said on the forum I sent to Emily. In her response she claimed, "Unfortunately, both of the vehicles on AutoTrader.com are sold." My feeling was that this is deceptive advertising. One was already gone. No chance there even before it was listed on Autotrader. And the other, in my opinion was used.
 

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Seems Autotrader is accepting ads that they know the dealers are using as bait.:nono: The dealers that use this tactic are only interested in making money (as anyone in business does) however, these dealers are the typical car sales people that give the rest of the industry a bad name and we should not buy from them:nonod:
 

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That is really too bad. I never really thought about the AutoTrader ads being false until I saw one on there that said they had 6 Skys in stock, then I realized I'd actually spoke to that dealer earlier in the day (the day I was going to place my order) and they said there was a 12-24 month wait for the car. I somehow doubted they had magically recieved 6 extra Skys when they had advertised a 2 year wait about 45 minutes earlier. It really is a cheap advertising trick, though -- and I don't think it is really positive publicity, if people call or e-mail and find out that the car isn't available, most people are going to be pretty upset and not want to order, at least not from that particular dealer.
 

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richm said:
This was in AutoTrader's site agreement:

"When you offer a vehicle for sale through AutoTrader.com, you must be prepared to sell that vehicle at the price at which, and the terms on which, you've listed it. You must have possession of the actual vehicle listed and the ability to transfer title."

You can complain here: http://www.autotrader.com/help/email.jsp?contact_email=atc_info
Call or write the 1-800 rat fink number..... lawyer up,,, sue their butts!
 
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