The community-based site makes avoiding markups a bit easier.
The COVID-19 pandemic and now Russia's invasion of Ukraine are two infuriating ingredients to the dish that is the supply chain crisis. Efforts are being made to alleviate the situation in the USA with companies such as General Motors and Tesla, among others, creating a more close-knit ecosystem for smoother operations that require less transportation.
Unfortunately, until these expansive plans pan out, consumers in the new vehicle market are being subjected to drastic markups at the hands of ruthless dealerships that are taking advantage of the low inventory levels of in-demand products. Manufacturers including Ford and Chevrolet are taking steps to ensure that their customers don't get short-changed but it appears that some dealers aren't backing down in their attempt to maximize their profits.
A website by the name of markups.org has been created in an attempt to make navigating the ocean of untrustworthy dealers a bit easier. The much-needed service is a simple database that is compiled thanks to submissions made by private consumers who have come across unfavorable listings. It can also be used to find dealerships that adhere to the manufacturer's recommended retail price.
The runners of the site explain that the project was launched in the middle of last year with a Google docs file to track the prices of Toyota 4Runners and Tundras. The Ford Raptor and Ram TRX and HD models were then added before the project snowballed and evolved into the comprehensive database that it is now.
Thanks to the collection of submissions, we can see that some dealerships really aren't shy about increasing the prices of special cars. One example is a 2022 Audi RS6 Avant that has been given a shameless $75,000 "market adjustment", pushing its price up to $213,050 with the $1,295 vehicle protection package.
The Lexus IS 500 has also been an unfortunate victim of markups with one business in Florida adding $40,210 to the base price. One particular example of a Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD has also been given a similar raise with a $40,000 markup, together with $6,783 worth of options, via an Oakland-based dealer. According to a quote from the dealership sourced by Carscoops, this was described to be a typo and resolved after the photo was taken, but there is no way to confirm this as the car is no longer on its floor.
Dealer markups are sure to continue for the foreseeable future, but at least sites like these can help you protect yourself from paying unreasonable prices.