We’ve already done a lot on dealer markups this year, but the thing is they just keep coming. This markup at Downtown Toyota of Oakland, in California, has made its rounds online over the weekend via Reddit and sent our way via reader tip. The dealer, like many others, has one RAV4 Prime in its inventory, but unlike other dealers (so far) is asking nearly $97,000 for it. You read that right. Just under $100,000.
If you take a look at the window sticker, you’ll see an MSRP of $49,659. With a price that close to $50,000, it’s pretty loaded.
But why the extra $40,000 markup? Does someone owe the mob money? Is someone trying to get ahead on their student loan payments? Something must be up because the dealer is asking a fight-inducing price of $96,442. What?! How? Let’s look at the breakdown of this lunacy.
Starting with the MSRP of $49,659, which is good with plenty of options. But then you get to those “optional” extras no one wanted or asked for—but the dealer insists you need. Ceramic coating for $2,495? Ok. Bullshit-ass Lojack for $1,795? Check. Invisa Shield scratch protection? Not for the $1,395 they’re asking.
There’s one option I couldn’t quite make out because of the glare in the picture, but they’re asking $599 for it. The last on the list for a cool $499 are nitrous-filled tires, which we know are pointless. But if it’s optional, why include it in the markup? Why not ask the customer if they want these things?
Really, the most egregious of all is the markup itself. The dealer is tacking on a $40,000 to this RAV4 Prime. You can get an Avalon Hybrid XSE for that price. Or hell even a RAV4 Hybrid. So why so much? I called the dealer to ask if that was indeed the price they were asking. I had trouble trying not to laugh as the sales guy stumbled around actually telling me what the price was.
You know, it’s just one of, uh. You know I don’t know the price, but uh, its just one of those things where you...you have to come in and sit down and talk over if you’re ready to make a deal.
Essentially, he was trying his best to avoid telling me they want Lexus money for a RAV4. If I were a real customer and he told me that price, he’d lose a sale. But of course by telling me to come in, the possibility of a sale isn’t lost. But of course, I didn’t need to explain that to those of you who can read between the lines.
While out shopping with my cousin for a RAV4 Hybrid a few months back, we checked out the Prime. I was told by multiple dealerships that it was one of the fastest-selling models. If they weren’t arriving at the dealer pre-sold, they were being sold within a day or two of arriving at the dealership. While finding $50,000+ RAV4 Primes is the norm now, especially with markups, finding one that’s closing in on $100,000 isn’t.
Like I always say when these wild markups come about, just keep waiting out the market. Trust me, I know it’s tempting to get a deal on something you’ve been wanting. But don’t enable greed. There are a lot of new models on their way. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing something regretful like paying nearly $43,000 for a Hyundai Veloster N from my local Hyundai dealership.