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I went to place an order for a 2009 A5, and I was asked to put down a $1K NON-REFUNDABLE deposit!

I was told that the car I wanted to order would be hard to sell in the 3-5 months that they expected delivery. I think it's BS. Do they expect the market to significantly drop off? What do you think??? I think they may know something we don't! (btw -- perfect credit + high income, etc... so no issue with financials...)

This was the order I wanted to place:
Black
Manual
Premium
B&O
Cinnamon Brown Leather

I'm worried about a recall, price reduction, or some other insider information that they obviously wouldn't share. Am I thinking about this too much?
 

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I don't think there would be a problem selling that car, in fact, it may be one of the easiest color/option combos to sell... now, lets say your ordered Sprint Blue on Magma Red, then I could see them making your deposit non-refundable. I say try another dealer.
 

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I agree with Jimmyz--if the dealer would have trouble selling that car they should get out of the Audi dealership. Definately go to another dealer. Non-refundable is a joke. I also assume it's a one way deal--if they cannot deliver on time can you walk away with your deposit?
 

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I've ordered a lot of cars over the years, and my understanding has always been that deposits are fully refundable unless you're ordering something bizarre.

That said, after my recent order had been placed the dealer called back and wanted me to sign a "deposit nonrefundable" notice, which was contingent on the car being delivered by a certain date, which they conveniently left blank. I tossed it in the trash. I think some dealers may be worried that as cars become more available later this year (which they will), some buyers may bolt to better deals if they aren't locked in.

My impression is that most state attorneys general consider automobile deposits refundable. If you sign a form stating otherwise, you are giving up a right you would otherwise have, which seems unwise.
 

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Why should it be refundable ? The deposit is to give the dealer some assurance you intend to take delivery of the car. If you don't take it they get to pay for it and it becomes their stock, now imagine if they had several cancellations, it could put a dealer out of business. Why would they ask for a deposit otherwise ???
 

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Why should it be refundable ? The deposit is to give the dealer some assurance you intend to take delivery of the car. If you don't take it they get to pay for it and it becomes their stock, now imagine if they had several cancellations, it could put a dealer out of business. Why would they ask for a deposit otherwise ???
Makes sense to me.
 

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Why should it be refundable ? The deposit is to give the dealer some assurance you intend to take delivery of the car. If you don't take it they get to pay for it and it becomes their stock, now imagine if they had several cancellations, it could put a dealer out of business. Why would they ask for a deposit otherwise ???
Yea, quite right. It's normal practice in the UK.

When you think about the number of orders Audi dealers take in, just imagine if a good few of them "changed their mind". Most other industries work in the same way, why should the motor industry be different?

if a customer ordered a product from yourselves, and then they changed their mind, wouldn't you be pissed off?

The other problem is that people spec the cars as they like them, therefore, that cancelled order is unlikely to sell due to exactly that - people can get a car to their own spec at the same price... so why bother? The dealer then has to reduce the price of that cancelled order.
 

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Capitalism has taught me that if you can find a product at a cheaper price, why not buy it? If a cust has found another A5/S5 at a lower price, why shouldn't he be able to cancel the current order and go to another dealership?

If anything, the dealer should either negotiate with current cust to get them to stay or lose the sale, simple as that. It works in all the other industry, why should the auto dealership be any different?
 

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Why should it be refundable ? The deposit is to give the dealer some assurance you intend to take delivery of the car. If you don't take it they get to pay for it and it becomes their stock, now imagine if they had several cancellations, it could put a dealer out of business. Why would they ask for a deposit otherwise ???
In California at least, it is illegal to have a non-refundable deposit. The purpose of the deposit is so that you won't go ordering 5 cars at 5 different dealerships. Unless you have a bizarre order, as stated previously, there's no reason that the dealer won't make equal or greater money whether you buy it or not, especially on a hot car like the A5/S5.

I've tried to get discounts on cancelled orders that arrive at my dealership -- not happening. They don't seem to be hurting that bad to have it in stock for a few extra weeks while it attracts walk-ins by having a high-end car in the showroom.

-Ray
 

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In the uk any deposit paid by a customer can be non refundable, as long has it has been paid as a deposit and not a part payment. At least your being told from the start its non refundable. Why is this bothering you if you intend to buy the car? It also stops people ordering cars then trying to get discount or cancelling the order. As for a price reduction, im sure that if there was one before you took delivery of the car it would be passed on??? Even though it is a non refundable deposit, my dealer would give a refund as long as the car hadnt been built, or in the build process.
 

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At the end of the day arnt you forming a contract at the time of order, if your not happy with the deal you struck, or the price, you wouldnt place the order anyway , well i know i wouldnt. Just my opinion :)

Capitalism has taught me that if you can find a product at a cheaper price, why not buy it? If a cust has found another A5/S5 at a lower price, why shouldn't he be able to cancel the current order and go to another dealership?

If anything, the dealer should either negotiate with current cust to get them to stay or lose the sale, simple as that. It works in all the other industry, why should the auto dealership be any different?
 

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I don't know if it could really be considered a contract since most of us were not even given pricing at the time of order.

-Ray
 

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My deposit is "non refundable" UNTIL the car is sold by the dealer. I still placed the deposit because I doubt there would be trouble selling the car if I end up canceling the order. So if I cancel the order I won't get my money back until the dealer sells the car... which I highly doubt would be a problem for them, especially with the color and options I chose.
 

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Just today I saw reason to cancel my order (there is a white S5 for sale at Commonwealth Audi in Santa Ana that I am interested in) -- but even though it is perfectly legal to back out of my A5 at this point, I've already built up a relationship with my dealer over the past several months and would feel better if they could do a dealer trade to get the car over to Penske. I tried, but the guy at Commonwealth wasn't interested because there was no equivalent car for Penske to trade with.

-Ray
 

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Capitalism has taught me that if you can find a product at a cheaper price, why not buy it? If a cust has found another A5/S5 at a lower price, why shouldn't he be able to cancel the current order and go to another dealership?

If anything, the dealer should either negotiate with current cust to get them to stay or lose the sale, simple as that. It works in all the other industry, why should the auto dealership be any different?
Well, it is called a contract, isn't it? You sign a contract when you order a car. The dealer will have to honor their part, you honor your part of the deal. Contracts are as much a part of capitalism as anything.

Apparently Europe and U.S. differ in the way deposits are handled. Where I live, the deposit is refunded only if the dealer can not deliver (or some other consumer protection clause kicks in like serious illness). If you go AWOL on the purchase, the dealer gets the deposit that helps them unload the car you specced and ordered at a reduced price.

That said, a deposit is not always required for ordering a car, I have personally never paid one but I would understand if they asked for it for some exotic customer ordered combination that might be a hard sell.

As for the person asking, I believe he is in the U.S., so this was only some global perspective on the issue - it doesn't really help him with his question.
 

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I don't know if it could really be considered a contract since most of us were not even given pricing at the time of order.

-Ray
Fair point.
 

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In California at least, it is illegal to have a non-refundable deposit. The purpose of the deposit is so that you won't go ordering 5 cars at 5 different dealerships. Unless you have a bizarre order, as stated previously, there's no reason that the dealer won't make equal or greater money whether you buy it or not, especially on a hot car like the A5/S5.
But why would it stop you from ordering 5 cars from 5 dealerships, paying refundable deposits on all of them, and then eventually buying just the one that gets here faster or the cheapest? And refunds from everyone else. Sure, the amount of money tied in might be an issue for some, but certainly on a hard to get car like A5/S5 (used to be anyway) someone might do it... In fact, reading forums I see a some U.S. buyers actually did it. Anyway, that is the reason why non-refundable deposits would be useful for the dealer, as a means to better enforce a contract to buy. (Having said that, the situation in the U.S. is also somewhat different in that it seems far more random which dealers actually get cars than it does where I live, and no pricing known beforehand, so ordering an A5/S5 wasn't as tight a contract on either side of the deal. I have never had to order a car without knowing the price or the dealers ability to actually get one.)

I guess the fact that U.S. cars are sold using a simplified options list and the culture of buying cars off the lot helps and thus makes this less an issue. In Europe a lot of cars are ordered from the factory (much more so than in U.S. I'm told), so a cancelled car already sitting at the dealer - especially one with exotic options that people might not normally order from the factory (the options lists are very long here) - will be harder to sell because a lot of buyers either want to spec their car themselves (the ones ordering a lot of options) or want a cheaper basic model off the lot (and won't want to pay for options they weren't going to buy in the first place).
 

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Out of curiosity, what dealership did you go to in NJ? I'm looking to buy an A5 also and just wondering which dealership to maybe avoid if it is in fact non-refundable.

All valid points made in this thread though, I just prefer it refundable if some dealerships offer it :)
 
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