Last time we bought a car (2002?), we actually purchased something from Consumer Reports which gave you "behind the sticker price" info and suggested target prices. I think the info cost $30 and this was a big improvement over previous modes of negotiation.
Now, there is a lot more transparency and everything is pretty much free on the internet. In fact, Mr FS emailed a bunch of dealers with info about what we wanted and waited for offers to come in. Eventually, he got the price we wanted at the local dealer; the salesperson was a friend of a friend, so all was good.
When we got to the dealership to pay up, our guy David was "busy" so we had a substitute for the preliminary paperwork. He brought a contract for signature and Mr FS noticed that, while the price was the one we had negotiated, there was also a $695 "Accessory Charge." He pointed out to substitute sales guy that David had waived that fee. "Oh, so sorry. I'll fix it."
Question: Was the substitute salesman a ruse whereby such a "mistake" would we made and--perhaps--not noticed by the tired customer? Would David himself have "forgotten" that he had waived the fee and included it on the contract?
Thank heavens Mr FS kept his wits about him and was paying attention.
Interestingly, we got a 2014 Honda Accord for $1000 over the cost of our beloved 1998 Camry. Pretty amazing.