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Car buying guide

140,467 new-car shoppers have used our game-changing,
3-step competitive bidding process to get the lowest price
possible, without walking into a single car store to haggle!

How To Shop For a New Car The Only Smart Way
And Get The Best Price In The Market Every Time

  • With our empowering guide to buying or leasing a new car, you'll be in total control, conducting the process from your home or office among several dealers that you choose. We teach you exactly what to say and do, and when to do it. And unlike every other new-car info site, we'll be here to answer your questions by phone every step of the way. (e.g., If you're leasing, we'll go through the best-offer numbers with you before you sign the papers.)

    You Need The Whole Truth About The New-Car Business,
    And This Is The Only Website Where You'll Find It.

  • No dealer wants you to understand this fact: Every new car is a commodity, the same vehicle with the same price structure at every dealership. In "the art of the deal," the winner is always the one with the leverage. There's ZERO LEVERAGE in walking into a car store and haggling. You're playing an away game, and no one there is rooting for you. That dealer's competitor isn't the other brands, it's the other dealers who sell his brand. And the winning leverage comes from having several of them compete for your business.

  • A customer paid $1,090 below invoice for a new Honda CR-V. The eight other bids were $900 below, $510 below, $410 below, $180 below, and $300 over invoice, $460 over, $530 over and $930 over - a $2,020 spread from low to high! The winning Sales Manager said, "This is the only smart way to buy a car. But if everyone did it this way, we'd be out of business." (And that store may have been the next month's high bidder, depending on how it was doing then vs. its target.)

  • Why aren't those auto-info "old-boy clubs" (Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, TrueCar,, Consumer Reports, etc.) telling you this? Because they get $300 to $500 when you buy a car from dealers in their "networks" - money which comes from your pocket. They're in business to help dealers sell cars profitably, not to help you get the lowest price. If they told you the truth, they'd be out of business tomorrow. (Our customers almost always beat their prices, frequently by a lot. That's why over half of our orders come from previous customers and their referrals.)

    No Auto-Info Site Can Serve Two Masters.
    He Serves Just One: You, The New-Car Buyer.
    James Bragg photo

  • Founder James Bragg, a Yale and Harvard Business School graduate, is a career-long change agent who has always challenged "conventional wisdom." With 20+ years and over 65,000 hours focused solely on this subject, he's the country's most knowledgeable new-car buyers' consumer advocate. And unlike every "old-boy club" source of new-car info and advice (including Consumer Reports), he's never taken a dime from dealers or automakers. As a result, he's become the sole source of the long-hidden truth about the dealer invoice price, dealer cash incentives and the only smart way to buy a new car in today's market.

    His Discovery That The Invoice Price Has Nothing To Do With
    Any Dealer Cost Shocked Consumer Reports Into Killing Its
    "New Car Price Service," a major cash cow Since 1983!

  • In November, 2012 he proved to that organization and four other auto-info biggies that "the dealer invoice price" has had no relationship to any vehicle's cost since 1994, invalidating the core assumption behind their "target price" advice. The effectiveness of that ancient, invoice-based negotiating approach is dead as a doornail.

  • Embarrassed by its two-decade failure to recognize that obvious fact, Consumer Reports dumped its legendary New Car Price Service - the one they claimed would tell you "the dealer's true cost," which hasn't been true for 20+ years. Can there be any stronger evidence that the way to get the best price has changed forever?

    Check Out His 15 Eye-Opening "Truth Pieces" About
    Buying a New Car On Clark Howard's Website

  • Rock-solid acknowledgment of his expertise: He's a regular contributor to the website of America's best-known and most respected consumer advocate, whose weekday radio broadcasts are carried on over 200 stations. Why was he invited to do that? Because he's the only one telling you the truth.

  • To see all the articles he's contributed to Clark's site, including It's Time To Jettison The Conventional Wisdom About How To Buy A New Car, The Eye-Opening Truth About The Dealer Invoice Price, How We Abandoned Our Inborn Common Sense About New-Car Pricing, and How New-Car Dealers Make The Big Bucks, click here, put your curser on "Connect," click on "Meet The Team" and scroll down to the 9th photo.

  • Still skeptical? Google DEALER INVOICE PRICES and see whose expose' on Clark's website is in the #1 position, after the paid ads and ahead of over 100 other sites. Google values the truth and rates sites by the value of their content, even if it debunks the info on every other site.


  • "The multi-year sales boom cycle is dead and buried. New car sales were essentially flat in 2016. The pent-up demand from the recession has been satisfied, and the industry will register only tiny sales gains, if any, for the next few years. That makes the market extremely competitive, with automakers spending more on incentives to "move the metal".

  • "Industry sales were DOWN 4.7% in April and DOWN 2.4% in the first four months, each of which posted negative numbers vs. year-ago. These high-profile brands had significant 4-month slippage: Chrysler: (-27.1%).Toyota:(-3.6%). Ford:(-5.6%). Hyundai:(-4.4%). Jeep:(-12.6%). Acura:(-15.1%). Lexus:(-15.3%). Volvo: (-8.6%). That's a sure harbinger of the rest of the year. And it puts you smack dab in the driver's seat.

  • "If you plan to get a new car this month, NOW is the time to place an order.

  • "Why am I the only one telling you these key facts? Because (a) my competitors aren't curious enough to dig them out and/or (b) if they revealed them, they'd jeopardize their entire revenue stream, which comes from dealers and automakers, not you.

  • "For years I've been on a mission to unearth and expose the long-hidden truth that the industry doesn't want you to know - a fact that demolishes all the "conventional wisdom" about how to buy a car on every other website. (Will you visit me when I have to join the witness protection program?)"


    How To Order The Package, And When And How You'll Get It

  • To place an order on our secure, encrypted order form, click on the "Ordering" link in the upper left column. If you'd prefer to place a phone order, or if you have questions that aren't answered on our web site, you may call our order desk at 1-562-433-8489 between 9:15AM and 4:00PM Pacific time, Monday through Friday. To see the vehicles for which we have pricing info, click on the "Auto Pricing" link in that column.

  • Normal Delivery Timing: 99% of our customers request email delivery. We send orders on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Orders received between 3PM Pacific time Friday and 3PM Monday will be sent on Monday. Those received between 3PM Monday and 3PM Wednesday will be sent on Wednesday. And those received between 3PM Wednesday and 3PM Friday will be sent on Friday.

  • We'll be here to answer your questions (562-433-8489) weekdays between 9:15 AM and 4:00 PM Pacific time.

    The Dealer Invoice Price Has Become a Bloated Imposter That Has Had
    Nothing To Do With Any New Car's Real Cost For Over Twenty Years! And
    The Industry Moves It Further From Any Cost Year-After-Year-After-Year.

  • As noted above, Bragg proved it to senior execs of Consumer Reports, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and TrueCar in a 11/27/12 USA TODAY Automotive Roundtable discussion of "whether online car shopping and information services are believable and are relevant in today's market." The centerpiece of that meeting was the "bombshell" exhibit that shocked them. To see it, Click here.

  • You could have heard a pin drop. Incredibly, no one was aware of a game-changing fact that had been in front of their noses for 17 years! It's their worst nightmare because it exposes their "pay what others paid" as terrible advice.

  • At one point in that meeting Bragg asked the Consumer Reports person, "Who's been running your New Car Price Service for the past 20 years, Rip Van Winkle?" He was not amused.

  • To read the full USA TODAY "Don't Trust That Invoice Price" write-up on that meeting (in which Bragg was dubbed a "peppery contrarian"), click here.

  • To illustrate how ridiculous pricing data is today, check out the laughable differences between the base invoice and retail/sticker prices on the most expensive versions of these 2017 models:
    2017 Ford Focus: invoice 22,514, retail 23,575 - a 4.5% gross profit.
    2017 Honda HRV: invoice 25,406, retail 26,140 - a 2.8% gross profit.
    2017 GMC Acadia AWD: invoice 44,574, retail 46,920 - a 5.0% gross profit.
    2017 Hyundai Elantra: invoice 21,311, retail 22,350 - a 4.6% gross profit.
    2017 BMW 3-Series Sedan: invoice 46,905, retail 49,900 - a 6.0% gross profit.
    2017 Jeep Cherokee: invoice 36,564, retail 37,695 - a 3.0% gross profit.
    2017 Lexus ES Sedan: invoice 36,438, retail 38,900 - a 6.3% gross profit.

    This shocker illustrates just how incredibly gullible the auto industry thinks we are:
    2017 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid Minivan: invoice 44,895, retail 44,995!

  • And that's if you pay the full sticker price! Who does that? The guy who thinks Taco Bell is a Mexican phone company.

  • Add the fact that every dealership has an overhead expense of 12% to 15% of its revenue, and you'd have to be brain dead to believe the invoice price is any new car's real cost.

  • Yet all the info and advice on those auto websites is based on our swallowing - hook, line and sinker - the preposterous notion that for decades, automakers have been telling everyone what their dealers pay for their cars. If that were true, dealers would go ballistic. But they don't, and they never did, even before the Internet arrived.

    "I never did give anybody hell.

    I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."

    - Harry Truman

  • The inside story of the discovery of that game-changing fact is told in our book, "Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag: How The Auto Industry 'Redesigned' The Dealer invoice Price When The Internet Arrived," available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon. To read the back cover copy, Preface, Table of Contents and the first four chapters, click here. If you'd like a author-signed copy ($14.95 including postage), you can add that to your order for the Fighting Chance information package.

    Here's Bragg's Take On Those Consumer Auto Pricing Sites

  • Those sites are: (a) pitching the range of what other clueless shoppers have paid as the "holy grail" of transaction prices, (b) using rebates (which everyone gets) and a comparison of their prices to the full sticker price (which almost no one pays) to inflate their claims of "savings" from using their services, and (c) sending you on a 'milk run' to a small number of dealers in their "networks," who relish the thought of selling you a car at those prices and reward those "conduit sites" handsomely with the advertising and/or "finder's fee" dollars that come out of your pocket.

  • Question: When you're thinking about getting a new car, are you sitting there saying, "Gee, I hope I get a price that's close to what everyone else is paying?"


    "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it.
    Ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

    - Winston Churchill

    This Transaction Report Is An Eye-Opener.

  • "Using your method, I got a great deal on a Kia Optima EX with Premium and Technology packages. The total invoice price (including the regional advertising fee) was $28,521. My price was $27,535, $986 below the invoice. And that was BEFORE subtracting Kia's $2,000 rebate!."

  • "I checked, and their best estimated price was $27,521, which at first seemed impressive. But when I read further, I learned that their price INCLUDED that $2,000 rebate! MY PRICE BEAT THEIRS BY $1,986! So in reality TrueCar is worthless to anyone who wants the best price."
    B.C., Wade, NC. (Here's a cornucopia of great testimonials).


    These Are The Facts About How Most Dealer Incentive Programs Work Today.
    It's 2017, not 1994, and that world isn't flat anymore, it's round.

  • 90% of the bucks spent on "dealer cash" are in multi-month programs based on total sales targets, NOT sales of specific vehicles. The rewards can be six-and seven-figure bonuses. Some are "stair-step" promotions, in which per-vehicle bonuses increase as dealers reach higher volume thresholds. And no one can tell you any dealership's target or performance level, or when these programs start and end.

  • So reaching month-end goals along the way is crucially important. There's a lot of seasonality in the business, and dealers can't go into the last month 15% behind where they should have been based on that seasonal pattern. That keeps steady sales pressure on, month after month. Dealers trailing their monthly targets near month-end will sell for much less, and that's likely to be different dealers each month.

    What Can Fighting Chance Do For You That All The Others Can't?

  • 1. You'll have in us the only independent, unbiased source of truthful information and powerful negotiating advice on the Internet.

  • 2. In the package's "centerpiece," How The Phone+Email Attack Can Get You The Best Deal, Saving You Time, Money and Aggravation, you'll learn exactly what to do and say each step of the way as you conduct a competitive bidding process from your home or office. Ideally, you'll enlist 9 or 10 dealers that you choose to make price proposals, and you'll go with the winner. We also tell you the best day of the month to start the process.

  • It's not unusual to have a $1,000 to $2,000+ difference between the high and low bidders on even a mid-priced vehicle. And this month's high bidder may be next month's low bidder, depending on where a dealership stands vs. its hidden targets. (Check our long list of testimonials here. Note there how far off the mark those auto info websites "target prices" can be!) This is why it's nuts to aim for any "target price." That puts a floor under your price, when some dealer might sell for less, maybe a lot less.

  • 3. YOU'LL HAVE US AS YOUR COACHES as you go through the process. Got a question? Call us. Want to run the numbers before you sign a lease? Call us. There's no such thing as a "silly question" here. We've been at this for over 20 years, and much of our knowledge has come from our customers' feedback.

  • 4. You'll receive our signature "Big Picture" analysis of how the brand(s) and the specific vehicle(s) you're interested in have been doing in the market. Are sales up or down so far this year? Does the average dealer sell 2 per month or 22? This piece also reveals the current "holdback" information for brands that use it (several don't).

  • 5. You will, of course, get the complete current sticker/MSRP and dealer invoice pricing data for the vehicle(s) you're considering, covering all trim levels and equipment packages. Here's a current list of model pricing available.

  • Our unique $39.95 package includes all the information you need to negotiate the best price on for any one vehicle. Additional vehicles are $15 each. You may place an order here on a secure, encrypted order form at any time.

    You'll Also Get All These Other Insightful Car Buying Facts And Tips:

  • "Can You Get The Vehicle Configuration You Want?"

  • "How We abandoned Our Inborn Common Sense About New-Car Pricing."

  • "Things To Consider About Placing a Factory Order."

  • "Have You Chosen A Crashworthy Vehicle?"

  • "Thoughts On Buying A Demo or Last Year's Leftover Model."

  • "How The Industry Has Turned The Invoice Price Into A Bloated Imposter
    By Continually Raising It By More Than The MSRP For Over Two Decades"

  • "Dealing With A Trade-In." (If you tell us you have one.)

  • "How To Avoid The Big Leasing Rip-Off." (If you tell us you're leasing or undecided.)

  • "Here's The Information We Need To Analyze Your 'Best-Offer' Lease Numbers With You." (If you tell us you're leasing or undecided.)

  • "What I've Learned About 'Below-The-Line' Dealer Cash Programs, Facts No One Else Is Telling You."

  • "Today Incentives Often Differ From Market To Market. Here's How To Check The Offers Where You Are."

  • "The Crucial Financial Importance Of A Dealership's Customer Satisfaction Rating."

  • "The Myth Of Vehicle-Specific Dealer Cash Incentives."

  • "Should You Buy An Extended Warranty?"

    Check Out The Quality Of These Two Pieces Under "Smart (Free)
    Advice For New-Car Shoppers" In The Upper Left Column Of This Page

  • "Learn How To Get The Beat Pricing When Leasing A New Car," the clearest explanation you'll find of what leasing's all about.

  • "Test Driving 101 - How To Test Drive Without Buying," telling you how to handle that important process without getting into a price negotiation.

    Special Message To Previous Customers

  • The Fighting Chance package is always changing to reflect new knowledge and the best ways to deal with the changing realities in the retail car business. Sometimes the changes are dramatic. For example, the method for getting competitive bids differs substantially from the arms-length "fax attack" process we recommended just a few years ago. At other times the changes are small, but represent worthwhile improvements. The suggested wording in the note you'll send dealers is fine-tuned often. The package you'd receive today will typically include several insightful changes compared to the one you ordered years ago.

  • ____________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of This Unique Package?

    $39.95 (Includes all the information you need for any one vehicle.)

    Additional vehicles: $15.00 each. (More than half of our customers add one or more additional vehicles as "fall-back" alternatives. This could become a small, but wise $15.00 decision if you find it difficult to deal on your first choice.)

    Considering the substantial cost of the new vehicle you're about to buy or lease, isn't this a relatively small price to pay for the comprehensive Fighting Chance information package?

    Important Note: This is a service for NEW VEHICLES ONLY. We have no information on used vehicles. Also, we have NO CANADIAN PRICING DATA.

    Copyright © 2017 Fighting Chance

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