It is still a weekend, so if you are bored enough by now, you can read my own experience of buying a car yesterday.
I swear, I would not believe anybody writing this stuff as facts... but I had a wildest experience yesterday.
We wanted to buy a luxury car. Weeks earlier, we tried Mercedes, Volvo, and BMW. All nice SUVs but there was no feeling of 'this is the car I will buy'.
Yesterday we tried Audi. Sales rep let us drive two different models, and we loved both but... by the time we returned from our second trip he said that the first one was already sold. It was a slightly cheaper model, although a Q5. Then he brought to us the 'numbers'.
I pointed at the handwritten line 'Market adjustment $4,999', like WTF is that? He said it is an additional markup based on the market demand. People buy it, so why not?
A sales manager showed up and brought to me a similar list from another Audi dealer in Virginia - it had the same line but instead of $5K markup it had $8K.
People buy it. There is actually a near fight situation for the existing inventory, even for the cars priced around $60K. Nobody knows when the next shipment comes, and which models will be available. Everything is on order but almost nothing is coming, and you may wait for several months.
One more thing - most of the cars from the existing inventory had small discounts of various types - because some specific chips are not available, so some functionality listed is not there, but customers are snapping the cars even without those nice things.
We asked about trade in, and were immediately offered a price higher than a Blue Book value for a small SUV 7-years old with more than 120,000 miles. But we needed a title, so we drove home. While looking for a title, we got a call from dealer that if we still want a car we should hurry up, as there are many other customers looking at it and ready to buy.
When we returned to buy, they just looked at our trade in and offered even a slightly higher price (honestly, it was in excellent condition driving-wise but had few dings and scratches).
We got a tiniest discount possible. Everything went through fine, as we paid cash. They said a lot of people do it this way, and it looks like everybody is staffed with cash, and everybody is trying to buy an absolutely best car with absolutely all features loaded.
One thing that surprised us was no free maintenance that used to be offered for the first 2 years. They used to have it for 1 year but... no more. They no longer need a freebie to lure customers. Yes, they offered various 'protection' plans that looked like triple overpriced. Looked like an oil change for $350.
So what it looked like that money is not worth much these days, but everybody is trying to buy a real stuff.
While we were waiting, there was a couple that drove a nice Mercedes SUV, and they wanted to trade for a higher grade of Audi model. Sales rep said they only have one used SUV of the desired model.