C8 dealer markups stink, but you’d hate the alternative more

Let’s start with some housekeeping: I’ve been at Hagerty almost a year now. Things are going pretty well; there are a lot more of you readers than there were in 2018, and we have some big news coming up for April that will get even more people involved. Here’s a hint: A few of our most loyal readers are going to find themselves driving some Instagram-worthy cars in 2020.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2020/01/14/c8-dealer-markups-stink-but-hate-alternative-more

As someone who broke his own rule and traded up to an early first year, GM product to boot, amen to a little patience. Probably could’ve avoided a maintenance appointment, two recalls, and gotten employee pricing too. Alas, the need to make a change was greater than my constitution. No regrets. Interested to see how quickly these things go from hen’s teeth to belly buttons, what with The Strike and all. Congratulations on the first year Jack, and everyone at Hagerty. In my opinion you’ve got the finest automotive journalism and content on the web or in print here, and long live Avoidable Contact.

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My only recent memory of a manufacturer trying to control ADM was with the Challenger Demon where allocation was prioritized to MSRP or less deals. Of course paperwork is easy to fudge and most were “sold” or re-sold with hefty markups, but that goodwill from the manufacturer went a long way with buyers.

The way I look at it is: if you’re willing to pay 10 or 20 grand over MRSP to be first on your block to own one then it’s your own fault. Ultimately we, the consumers, decide what to pay. If you pay over you set a precedent to everyone behind you. Don’t buy until the prices come back to reality and you win.
Look at C7’s right now. Fantastic cars sitting on lots for 10-20 grand less than a couple months ago.
If I was in the market, I’d buy one of these beauties at below MRSP and enjoy it for a few years until C8’s pricing become stable (and perhaps a newer faster model).
But because people need to be the first with the newest and greatest, this will never happen unfortunately…


I have to agree with Jack that it’s best to wait on a c8 purchase. The c7 was just an evolution of the c6 and it had issues in the early years that were corrected on later year models. Off the top of my head I can think of several changes that were made, some of them pretty major as far as reliability goes.

  1. Shortly after cars began shipping they added a 500 mile oil change on dry sump cars. What if you got one of the first, before that was a requirement?

  2. z51 models received additional cooling in later model years

  3. z06 models had significant cooling issues early on, and received revisions in later model years

The c8 represents a revolutionary change for the Corvette. It’s almost guaranteed that Chevrolet is going to have more issues early on that will need to be addressed with revisions to later models.

I could really see the resale value of the early cars being negatively impacted if there are significant changes made just a year or two later.

I wouldn’t buy one of the first fpc z06s for the same reason.

My question would be why don’t carmakers skip the dealer network altogether and just sell directly through the Internet like online air travel tickets sales sent travel agencies to the ditch…

Oh wait, they are forced by law in most states. You can always count on a government screw-up for any injustice…

Also, whenever and wherever Demand is bigger than Supply, there ALWAYS will be either surge pricing, waiting lists or arbitrary rationing. That’s it, those are the ONLY three options the Law of supply and demand allows. Economics triumphs again.


What does it mean that C8s are starting to show up on cars.com? Are they not really available for the prices listed? I was only looking because part of me wants one of the last 335 new manual transmission Corvettes currently in dealer inventories.

Some years ago, I was shopping for a truck for my employer and visited a Ford dealer. They had six Boss 302s on display, with 40% markups explaining why they were on hand many months after leaving production. It was enough to knock the F250 off our shopping list.

In 1984 when the Dodge Caravan elicited the same dealer frenzy my wife and I decided we had to have one. We went to the dealer where we were greeted by a guy whose nickname was Captain Zoom (you can’t make this up) because he zoomed in on new customers.

We went over the numbers until we saw $2,000 - LOA. My wife asked what that meant. Capt. Zoom said with a face as straight as Abe Lincoln, “Lack Of Availability”. My wife replied, “Well, we’re not paying that!” Somewhat sheepishly Capt. Zoom removed the item.

And yes, I’m still married to this same wonderful woman.


“and the 205-horsepower Cease-Fire Anniversary Editions.”

You wound me Baruth.


This breaks my heart. To think kids cant buy their toys because demand outweighs supply. I guess anybody who follows the laws of economics is greedy, unless of course its you doing the selling.

remember when dealers were screaming from the rooftops that Tesla was evil fro trying to get rid of the Dealership model? This is just one of the many reasons dealerships want to keep their iron fist grip on the market, they know that grip is the only way they can get away with things like this.

Do you REALLY need to be the first on the block ? Wait a year and get it at normal MSRP or less when the “fever” has abated.

Just saw the new C8s yesterday and the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions yesterday. Love the new bright colors and had a demo of the top folding back on the C8 Convertible. Since I know the demand will be high for all of the C8s regardless of model; I will likely wait until next year to place an order for a C8 Convertible with the colors and options I want.

I remember getting quoted $4k over sticker for a Miata when they first came out. The Acura NSX also was reportedly getting marked up $30 k when introduced

There are some very good discussions on the Hagarty site lately, and this is one of them.
Some of us have spent our entire lives in the automotive world (I can see you raising your hands) and some (all) members are some level of car lovers.

This is a business and production issue and is not tied directly to making cars or trucks. I remember some of the “oh my God” things we have seen on new models. Does anyone remember when their was a large premium on Honda Accords back in the day? I remember dealers were getting something like $1000.00 over retail? Seems like that was early or mid-1980’s? No worries…they subsequently have all rusted off of their subframes.

I enjoy hearing the more specific “mark-up” abuses from the members. At least we can probably agree that the C8 is a bonafide technical marvel regardless of the ultimate sale price.

The dealership experience is why I started buying German cars after a lifetime of nothing but American and mostly GM. As much as I like the new Corvette, I’m not going back.

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As a former dealer, I have to say I get amused by the fact that M.S.R.P. is sacrosanct on hot cars, while it isn’t even a pricing guide on not so hot cars. Even when we had hot vehicles, I never added BS ADM’s to the numbers because I knew they would not be hot forever, and the best time to sell is now.

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At 22 years old in 1968 I had to have a new 68 Vette 427. Luckily my brother was a dealer and negotiated for me and we got a listed price of $7200 down to $5850. still have the BOS. Fast forward to 1990 with the new ZR1 and yup ‘gotta have it’. Unfortunately dealers in Toronto went berserk with over the top pricing and no negotiations - read ‘no deal’.
Stories abounded that new owners were selling their ordered ZR1 on the dealer property to someone that just had to have it.
Happy motoring everyone

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I purchased my '04 GTO new in the fall of 2004. I compared and drove the Chrysler 300C and Mustang GT. Performance was a factor but so was the bottom dollar, price. The 300 had little if any haggling from sticker price. The Mustang dealers was asking thousands above sticker. The GTO was offered to me 5k less than sticker. Yes the style was less than perfect but nothing a aftermarket hood with functional Ram Air could not handle and improve.

It has always been stated “don’t buy a new car the first year of production”. This still holds true I don’t need to be the first one on my block to own one. Next years will be a better car anyway.

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