Car shopping for ChristmasBy Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Everybody loves deals. A free gift for a product bought. Free tickets with a subscription. Discounted group buys.
The rampant and extensive popping up of deal sites has created a consumer that not only wants a discount but a free gift as well. I know because I am one of them. I have a subscription to all deal sites, and once in a while if I find a real good deal, I buy. Trips, restaurants, cotton candy machines, even exercise membership that I don’t really get to use; some of them are good, others are just a plain waste of time.
Some deals are too good to be true, especially trips that make you suspect of some catch, like rinky dinky hotels, seats in the cargo hold of the plane, or a slice of bread and a cup of three-in-one coffee for breakfast.
So how do you spot a good deal? It starts with checking the usual selling price of the item you’re buying. Some unscrupulous merchants jack up their selling price before declaring the big discount sale, which effectively does not give you a bargain.
It’s best to check the fine print too. For trips, bookings may have the limitations on dates or requirements that make it close to impossible to buy a ticket.
See past deals. Are the business partners reputable or run-of-the-mill? This is important especially for those derma and body services that can leave you scarred for life.
To my fellow chic drivers, if you are thinking of buying a car as gift this Christmas season, here’s a compilation of the deals offered by car manufacturers. This is of course on retail prices, so if you can haggle with your dealer, the better.
Volvo offers a gift with a purchase this December. You can choose from flat screens, Macbook Air, Galaxy Note, fuel cards worth P30,000, P50,000 SSI GCs, a cash discount, Canon 60D DSLR and many more. They also offer low downpayment (20 percent) and almost 60 months zero interest on some models.
If I were to buy a Volvo, I’d take the P50,000 discount because more or less that is the threshold budget they have per customer, or the SSI gift certificates, or the Macbook Air which retails about P48,000. Promo ends Dec. 31, 2012.
If you buy an Adventure and an L300, you can score a 24-inch Toshiba LCD TV; if you fancy the Montero Sport GT-V or Fuzion, you can claim a Toshiba Notebook. Mitsubishi is also raffling a Pajero for December purchases. They have gone the SM way with a buy-now-pay-later scheme for some units on 36- to 60-month terms. They also have an offer of P45,000 savings for the L200 pickups or a Carryboy canopy if you plan to gift one to a budding entrepreneur. Offers end Dec. 31, 2012.
The Blue Oval brand is having a sale on Fiesta, Escape and Everest models. Giving as high as P100,000 cash savings on an Everest (downpayment is P108,000) or an all-in low downpayment of P78,000 on the Escape (or P80,000 cash savings). “The offers for the yearend sale are our best promo prices ever,” says Patty Dimaano of Ford. All three models come with an all-in package that includes a three-year LTO registration, comprehensive insurance and chattel mortgage. Some dealerships offer more value in terms of warranty and premium items, so it’s best to ask around first or haggle with your suki dealer. Promo ends Dec. 31, 2012.
Buying a brand-new unit of X1, 1 Series and 3 Series this Christmas will automatically get you a 10-percent discount on suggested retail price. Another option is to avail of their shuttle program. These cars are not exactly pre-owned, having been used to shuttle dignitaries during events. The shuttle program is available on the 5 and 7 Series as well as the X3 and X5. Pricing varies depending on the mileage of the unit. The offer is good until Dec. 31, 2012.
Toyota offers promos for the Innova and Altis. They basically give you three options: an all-in downpayment, 24 months at zero interest (50 percent downpayment required), or a cash discount. The cash discount for the Innova is P35,000. Some Altis models are sold at a P40,000 discount. If you decide you want to do a low 10-percent downpayment, you get a three-year LTO registration, no chattel/mortgage fee, and one-year free insurance. Ask about the Toyota loyalty program for additional savings.
So fellow chic drivers, please remember that when cutting a deal, if you don’t really need what you’re buying, no matter how big the discount, it’s still a useless buy. There really are a lot of advantageous ways to stretch your buying power such as zero-interest deals and free rebates, but if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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