New Car Markup Tracker Crowdsources Huge List of Foodie Dealers Nationwide

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Dealer profit margins have become a lightning rod for controversy this year, as some automakers play tag with dealers looking for a cash grab. Some locations don’t slow down to do everything they can while they get the chance, and the prices are high for popular, hard-to-obtain vehicles. As you can imagine, this led to frustration across the board, and the founders of a new site called Markups.com harnessed this collective energy to crowdsource and track prices at dealerships across the country.

Markups.org Vice President Tiffany Soucie-Howren is also an advocate for privacy and consumer rights. the site is currently a combination of submissions imported from the original Google Docs tracker the founder created last year, public forums courtesy of the owners, and new submissions posted by users directly to the new site. Soucie-Howren said research and development, datasets and planning date back to the middle of last year.

“We aim to provide transparency to consumers and manufacturers by bringing shady dealers to light,” Soucie-Howren said. The reader.

In February, Ford CEO Jim Farley warned he knew which dealers were engaging in “unreasonable” pricing strategies, adding he would crack down accordingly. In the meantime, prices ricochet enormously. A reader, David Z, told me via email that he was quoted $30,000 over MSRP on a full-size Bronco at a local dealership in Louisiana.

“I called several Ford dealerships in Texas, Louisiana and Colorado to purchase a Bronco,” he said. “Every dealer that had a Bronco for sale said ‘NO’ when I asked if I could buy at MSRP. I found prices ranged from $18,000 to $30,000 off MSRP.

Several Toyota owners sent me messages like this after my story was posted on the 4Runner markup forum:

“I live in central California and have called every dealership in California to get a 4Runner,” he said. “There are only about five Toyota dealerships in California that don’t price gouge or add any markup to any of their vehicles.”

“Dealers profiting in these difficult times are also wrong. It should be illegal!” He continued. “How is it different when, at the start of COVID, it was illegal for stores to raise prices for Clorox toilet paper and bleach? The same should apply to all dealerships. “

While there’s no doubt that markups do happen in some cases, it’s not a stretch to imagine that someone who has a problem with a dealership might smear them by reporting bogus markups. Soucie-Howren said he established a protocol to follow; they will spend time researching the source and finding the poster to ask if the data is accurate and then compare it to the published data.

“We see the possibility of abuse here, so we plan to incorporate verification steps and reporting systems that will limit abuse,” she said. “For example, maybe a competing dealer is posting a bunch of fake markup submissions for a neighboring dealer. participatory data, coupled with the ability to limit abuse like Yelp or Google reviews.”

This is a reported issue for some time. Remember when the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was launched? If Markups.org is able to stay alive and avoid litigation from angry dealers, it will remain a valuable resource for buyers looking for a car at the list price. Meanwhile, they rate which sites charge the most and brand-loyal shoppers say they won’t forget.

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