Here at Driven Auto Sales, we know the best way to grow our business is by treating shoppers with respect and honesty – but not all dealerships feel the same way. For instance, we’ve noticed that a growing number of shady outfits are trying to trick customers into overpaying by adding fake charges to Dealer Addendum Stickers.
Some dealers use the Addendum Stickers to hide outrageous charges for added equipment and extra fees for routine or even non-existent services. Typical examples include charging customers hundreds of dollars for pin- striping that only costs the dealers $10 - $15 or adding “market adjustments” that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars on especially hot cars.
These adjustments are pure profit for dealerships, based only on a vehicle’s popularity. A quick trip around the Internet shows past dealer markups that almost double the price of the Ford Maverick and add six- figure increases on the new HUMMER EV and certain Porsches.
Dealers may also list extended warranties and service programs that aren’t really part of the vehicle’s price at all and should only be added with a customer’s explicit approval. And because these folks design their Dealer Addendum Stickers to look like real Monroney Stickers, customers can be fooled into thinking those charges and fees are somehow unavoidable.
However, you can rest assured that you won’t find fake Dealer Addendum Stickers when you shop at Driven Auto Sales. We’re an award-winning, family-owned business that’s also a Carfax Advantage Dealership. After spending years earning the trust and respect of local shoppers, turning many into long-term customers — we’re not about to put that at risk for our short-term gain.
There’s actually no law that limits how much dealerships can charge for vehicles, equipment, services, warranties, and the like. Remember, the MSRP of a new car is only its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.
Now, it’s certainly true that you can try to negotiate the prices shown on a Dealer Addendum Sticker in the same way shoppers negotiate on the vehicle’s MSRP. But one of the key reasons that dealers manipulate Addendum Stickers in the first place is to raise the starting point for negotiations. That way, customers can still end up paying more than they should after the negotiating process is over.
So carefully analyze the Dealer Addendum Sticker – and compare it to the vehicle you’re looking at – as part of your due diligence when shopping. You need to both ensure any dealer add-ons have really been added on and to check for those unnecessary fees and inflated charges.
For some shoppers, finding any unexplainable discrepancy will be the end of the story, and they’ll move on to a dealership that does business with honesty. Others may still want to give their negotiating skills an exercise. But in either case, knowing the truth about Dealer Addendum Stickers can have a major impact on your shopping experience.
Dealer Addendum Stickers are designed to provide shoppers with information about any extra parts or services that a vehicle receives after it leaves the factory. As a result, they can offer some very useful information for shoppers under the right conditions: Say that a dealer receives a brand- new SUV and then – before putting the vehicle up for sale – decides to install an off-road suspension to make it even more appealing to customers. In that case, the SUV’s official window sticker, known as the Monroney sticker, is only going to list the equipment that the vehicle left the factory with. So the dealer will use an Addendum Sticker to let shoppers know about the upgrades.