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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in Los Angeles and there are a dozen+ dealers relatively near me. I have no idea which one is the best, but I fear that whomever I deal with won't like me much, as I won't be taking anything off their lot - I will be ordering the options I need/want to be delivered.

Has anyone else ordered their PM from a dealer and have advice about the process? Got a favorite dealer I should check out?

TIA!
 

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If you are a Costco member, I would start by using the Costco Auto Buying Program. You can build your vehicle online with the options you want. You will get a report showing the MSRP and Invoice price of the base vehicle and each option. After you submit it, you will be contacted by the closest dealer fleet and/or internet sales department that handles Costco Sales. The Costco buying experience is supposed to be a no hassle pre-arranged price. The Costco price may or may not be the best you will find but will probably be close. I would then also send emails to all the local dealers and any others with a list of your desired vehicle and options and ask for their best price. You can use the Costco offer as a starting point to compare with others. You want to work with the fleet/internet sales department and that is probably who will respond to your emails. Since there are several dealers in the LA area you should have several to choose from. I went to the one in downtown LA on Figueroa but ultimately bought one off the lot in Seattle. Others have mentioned that the market is hot right now so prices may be higher than when I looked, but the best offer I got for ordering new was about $1,000 below invoice before any incentives.
 

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Have you considered looking into how the new 2020s they have in stock are configured? If there's one that's pretty close to what you want (need vs. want), you could get a pretty good deal on it. Then you could use the money saved to install those other options. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've emailed a few local dealers, none of whom wanted to order me anything, but wanted me to take something off their lots. I can make do with just about anything, but I REALY need the 220 alternator. None have them.

I am a Costco memebr. I never considered them before. Great advice! Thank you.
 

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The following is based on the "Fighting Chance" method... (you can pay money to get their full info pack; I felt like it was well worth it, but I don't want to come across as shilling for them). Essentially, you contact a fleet/internet sales person at all 12 local truck dealers. Email them exactly what you want and ask for their best, no-negotiation price. Make it clear that you are serious, planning to buy in X timeframe and that you are sending exactly the same request to a number of other dealers. Be clear that everyone is quoting on the same trim level. Follow up by phone to put a voice to your request. Some of them will act all offended and brush you off. Others won't be particularly motivated to sell, so will throw out any old number. Hopefully, you find the one or two that are close to their quota numbers that are highly motivated.

This isn't the way I got my PM (someone nearby had a year-old new one tucked away in the corner of their lot that they'd forgotten about), but I used this method to get a good price on a Toyota Tacoma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DewaltDisney - I did a similar hunger games with my Toyota Prius V purchase a few years ago. I actually wound up using a car broker and LOVED the ease of that experience. I contacted her and she has since gotten out of the business and moved to Italy. I'd be happy with a hidden 2019 sporting a 220 alternator. Doesn't have to be a 2020, just new.

Getting the Costco quute, as suggested by tgBlacke seems like a great starting point. And Little Mother, if there was any 2019/2020 on a lot nearby with a 220 alternator, no matter the other options, I'd buy it in a second.
 

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I ordered my PM. One thing to note is that the dealers know very little about the options. Its upto you to research the options (what's available, what they include, etc). Here's how I did it:
-figure out what you want (base van, options, etc) with help of internet and RAM brochure (much of this info is only in a print brochure).
-EMAIL multiple dealers your van and options and get their price just as @DewaltDisney says, make sure you put in writing what van/options you want a price for.
-choose best price dealer even if its not in your area although I think out of state creates complications. you dont have to get the vehicle serviced at the dealer you buy it from.
-prepare to wait forever and realize the dealer wont accurate information on the status of your vehicle order/build/delivery. You;ll have better luck calling a RAM 1800 number then calling your dealer.

So, bottom line, the dealer adds almost no value to the purchasing process. It would be much better if you could order the van directly from RAM. I did look into costco pricing but it was not competitive for me.
 

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Also, have you asked around on here about the options you want, to get feedback from people who have them,so you know what they entail and if they are indeed something you want/need and then you can decide if they are in fact deal breakers?
Example: you may want the RV prep package. But after finding out what it is, you may be able to eliminate it as a "must have". Which will open up your options for vans on the lot.
Same with the alternator. Not one person here, has it and says they wouldn't have been fine with the 180.
 

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. I can make do with just about anything, but I REALY need the 220 alternator. None have them.
You can buy a new OEM 220 amp alternator for $150 on Ebay (And probably get close to that the 180 ones if you sold it). As far as I know it's an easy swap so that's an option if you find a deal with a 180 amp one.
 

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You sound convinced of the need for a 220 amp alternator and I can't think of a case where it would be an absolute necessity. I would love to hear the reason it is essential. Just wondering because it is not all that common from what I have seen. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I need it to help with the solar I'm adding - I'm adding as much as physically possible to support 12v AC and refrigerator and my computer set-up. It'll do double duty for charging engine battery and house battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can buy a new OEM 220 amp alternator for $150 on Ebay (And probably get close to that the 180 ones if you sold it). As far as I know it's an easy swap so that's an option if you find a deal with a 180 amp one.
I was not aware of that. I just asked the gentleman doing my solar install what configuration was best for him and his work and he said "definitely get the 2020 alternator." This forum is GOLD. Thank you for the info!
 

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I'm in the middle of the ordering process myself. I've called 8 dealers. I like making the initial contact by phone so I can ask questions and get a dialogue going. Sometimes you get little tidbits of information while talking. One dealer told me that contrary to popular opinion, car dealerships aren't hurting. They're quite busy (at least in Northern California).

I agree with @afox, the dealers seem fairly ignorant about options. I've done lots of research, so I don't need them for that. I always start by telling them exactly what I'm looking for and which options are must-have. A couple people were willing to check their networks to see if there was a match for a dealer trade. In the end, I decided to order because I need the factory installed swivel seats, and I've had very little luck finding that option in existing inventory.

Not all dealers are allowed to order a Promaster. There's only one in my area who can place an order. So far I have 2 written price quotes. I plan to answer back with my own offer. I just need to figure out what that is!
 

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I used CarGurus.com to find the PM with the 220 amp. Had to drive a few hundred miles but ultimately, the RV package had all the upgrades I wanted, so I searched for vans with that package. You get the 220amp alternator, OEM swivel seats - includes seatbelt on the seat, and rear AC/heat prep package.
 

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Bought ours new from Hennessy in Georgia 159
Was 2018 destined for professional conversion
Msrp with many options was 44K
Got for 30K cash
Might be helpful for those buying to hear some price quotes
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not all dealers are allowed to order a Promaster.
The dealer I spoke with this morning, who didn't have a 118WB, was willing to order it for me, but this late in the model cycle, the van I'd get would be a 2021 and 3 months out. I don't want to wait that long. And there is a $1500k incentive at all RAM dealers now to buy before Aug 31. I'd like to take advantage of that.
 
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