Current Auto Pricing
Ordering the Package
Market Summary
Bragg's Banter
Customer Testimonials
Our Book
The Name Game
Auto PricingOrderingMarket SummaryWhy Choose Us?TestimonialsThe BookPlay the Name Game
Negotiating the price
is a cat-and-mouse game.

With this package,
you can be the cat.

The Fighting Chance

Information Package

Fighting Chance is a unique information service for people who are shopping for new cars and trucks and looking for the best deal available in these tough economic times. Our car buying guide and auto buying package has been featured in articles in Forbes, Business Week, Smart Money, Woman's Day, Bottom Line Personal, Road & Track, Money, Good Housekeeping, USA Today and Reader's Digest.
Fighting Chance was founded in 1993 by James Bragg, author of The Car Buyer's and Leaser's Negotiating Bible, published by Random House. Observing the changing retail automotive marketplace, he concluded that the traditional sources of information (Consumer Reports Auto Pricing Service, USAA, AAA, Edmund's, Kelley Blue Book, etc.) were not providing consumers with a complete enough package of relevant information to enable them to negotiate from a position of strength.

The Fighting Chance Information Package
Contains These Five Key Elements:
The first element is the complete current pricing data for the vehicles you're considering, showing both the suggested retail "sticker" price and the dealer invoice price for each vehicle, in every trim level (including equipment packages and accessories). With information this complete, you can compare the relative values of different trim levels. (Note: You must order vehicles just as they are listed in the "Auto Pricing" section, which shows the pricing data available by model. For example, for some passenger cars, you must choose "sedan" or "coupe" or "wagon" or "convertible." Likewise, for some vehicles, you must choose "2-wheel drive" or "4-wheel drive." And for some pickup trucks you must choose "Regular Cab" or "Extended Cab" or "Crew Cab." The pricing data will be complete for the models included within each choice that you make.
To see a sample vehicle pricing file in pdf format, click here.
The second element is the latest biweekly issue of CarDeals, a 4 to 6-page report covering all the current national incentive programs in the marketplace that it's possible to learn of - both consumer rebate offers and the details of any traditional, but rare, vehicle-specific dealer cash incentives. (Understand, however, that today most of the dollars spent on dealer cash programs are not connected to the sale of a specific vehicle. Instead, these "below-the-radar" programs are geared to specific overall sales objectives established on a dealer-by-dealer basis. If dealers reach their overall sales targets, they can earn substantial bonuses.)

CarDeals is the most comprehensive incentive listing available. It regularly shows two to three times as many offers as Automotive News, the industry's weekly trade paper. Individual issues of CarDeals sell for $7.00 each, but your copy will be included as part of the Fighting Chance package.>
To see a sample CarDeals incentive report in pdf format, click here.
The third element is the unique Fighting Chance "Big Picture" analysis of how the manufacturers and the specific models you're interested in have been doing in the marketplace.

To negotiate from a position of real strength, you need to know a lot more than just the dealer invoice price. You need the answers to these questions:

  • Are sales up or down for the make and model you want? Does the average dealer sell a lot of them or just a few? Are inventories high or low? (The domestic makes report inventories by model, but many imports don't.)

  • What are knowledgable Fighting Chance customers actually paying for the vehicle, in relation to the invoice price?

    The Fighting Chance package gives you this information in James Bragg's model-by-model "Big Picture" summaries. These analyses, typically two to eight pages long for each make, are updated every few months. They enable you to gauge the relative sales and inventory strength of the cars or trucks on your shopping list and determine which are more likely to be flexible on price.

  • These summaries also include the specifics on factory "holdback," the secret profit that dealers don't want you to know about. Holdback is hidden additional profit built into the invoice price of over 9 of 10 vehicles sold. The dealer gets it back after he sells the vehicle, typically quarterly. (For example, Ford's holdback is 3% of the full sticker price/MSRP, excluding the Destination charge. So if you're interested in a Ford Explorer with a MSRP of $30,000, your dealer already has about $900 of hidden profit.) Dealers typically won't share their holdback with you, but reminding them that you know about it in the negotiation process helps keep them in their cage when they try to plead poverty.

    Holdback percentages differ from one automaker to another. (Some have no holdback.) The Fighting Chance package provides the latest holdback information available on the nameplate(s) you're considering.

  • For most popular vehicles, these summaries also include the actual transaction prices (in relation to the dealer invoice price) reported by Fighting Chance customers across the country. Knowing what other knowledgeable shoppers have paid gives you a target range for your own price negotiation and strengthens your confidence in your ability to negotiate effectively.

  • As a bonus, our Big Picture summaries for each make also include that make's initial quality and longer-term reliability ratings from J. D. Power's annual national surveys.
  • To see a sample "Big Picture" analysis in pdf format, click here.
    The fourth element is a unique package of several insightful articles by James Bragg that will help you use all this information most effectively.

    We're the only ones in the category providing insight, not just data. In that spirit, we're continually adding new insights, many of them based on the actual car-shopping experiences reported by our customers. The Fighting Chance package contains the following articles, written specifically to help customers use the information most profitably.
  • The Truth About Dealer Cash Incentives:Facts No One Else Is Telling You (a "must-read").
  • How The 'Fax/Email Attack' Can Get You The Best Deal, Saving Money, Time and Aggravation, including sample fax/email messages for buying and for leasing. You donít just get information from us; you also get a plan for using it. Today you can do all your negotiating by fax or email for virtually all vehicles. As we noted above, only a fool would actually walk into a car store to negotiate the price of a new vehicle. You are shopping for a commodity, and you will always get the best price not by making an offer, but by making several dealers bid competitively for your business. We explain clearly how to do it, when to do it, and how to finalize the deal with the winning dealer to avoid unpleasant surprises when you sign the final papers. This is "the centerpiece" of our package. Customers tell us that this piece alone is worth more than the price of the package because it teaches how to buy or lease a new vehicle the smart way for the rest of their lives.
  • How To Avoid The Big Leasing A New Car? Here's Everything you Need To Know (which, among other things, shows you exactly how to do the 5th grade leasing arithmetic to arrive at the right monthly payment). This two-pager beats any article you've ever seen for demystifying the leasing process. It's the leaser's Declaration of Independence. And it invites you to call our customer service line to go over the lease numbers with us before you sign the document.

  • The CarDeals Incentive Report: What To Expect And What Not To Expect. Which companies tend to use which kinds of incentives. Vehicles which don't need them. And how there may be heavy incentive money at work, even when a manufacturer offers no customer rebates or factory-to-dealer cash.

  • Traditional Vehicle-Specific Factory-To-Dealer Cash: Who Should Get That Money?Only a small handful of automakers still use this type of dealer incentive regularly, but here's the rationale for why all of it should go to you.

  • What They Don't Want You To Know About Product Quality (based on several years of nameplate-by-nameplate rankings in the J. D. Power & Associates Dependability Study and Initial Quality Study).

  • Can You Get The Vehicle Configuration That You Want? Automakers publish pricing data implying that you can configure yours any way you wish ó with all the features you want and none you don't want. For most vehicles, that's not true.

  • Should You Buy Last Year's Leftover Model? This used to be a great way to save a couple of thousand bucks. That's not necessarily true today.

  • Should You Buy A Dealer "Demo"? At What Price? This is a gray area, with no established guidelines. We give you a logical approach to answering these questions.

  • Smart Ways To Buy An Extended Warranty. There is a lot of bad advice floating around on this subject. If you plan to keep a car beyond the initial "bumper-to-bumper" warranty period, extended warranties can make a lot of sense. The key is not to overpay for them.

  • Have You Chosen A Crashworthy Vehicle? Most people don't give much consideration to the safety differences between similar vehicles. This piece focuses on the issue and shows you where to check out crash test results.

  • Will Your Vehicle's Value Drop Like A Rock? The biggest cost asociated with driving a car isn't gas or repairs or insurance, it's depreciation. Some vehicles hold their value much better than others in the same price/size segment. Sometimes the more expensive car to buy is the less expensive car to own. This article provides helpful perspective on this subject.

  • Dealing With A Trade-In How to determine a realistic trade-in price (a number that's not in any little book - blue, black or otherwise). The four options you have for disposing with your current vehicle.

  • No Other Information Service Provides These Kinds Of Insights.
    Perhaps most important, the fifth element is something you won't find anywhere else: someone to talk to as you go through the purchase process.

  • Got a question on the information we send you or any aspect of the purchase process? Call our customer service number and talk directly to James Bragg or his 5-year assistant (Greg Santucci) for answers.

  • Negotiating a lease? Call our customer service number and we'll check residual values in the current edition of the Automotive Lease Guide, to ensure that no one is trying to charge you for more depreciation than the experts predict. We'll even take out the calculator and go through the lease calculations with you, just to be sure everything looks OK before you sign anything.

  • Postponed your purchase for any reason and wondering if pricing for that model year or incentives have changed since you received our information package? Call our customer service number and we'll update you on the vehicles you're considering.

    We provide this service for customers only, 9AM to 4PM Pacific time. Sorry, but we just aren't staffed to do this via e-mail. We've found the only efficient way to communicate with customers is by phone. Invariably, one question leads to another, and there's a lot more counsel we can pass along in the flow of conversation, compared to an e-mail message.

    We will always have a more complete information package. But we also plan to keep the scale of this business small enough so that our customers can talk to us if they wish. That separates us from the other information services, which typically offer computer-generated data and no one to talk to who can do more than walk and chew gum.

    We don't want to be the biggest. Our goal is simply to be the best. With 35,000 people a day buying a new vehicle in this country, we believe there is room to build a significant small business by word-of-mouth alone among a small-but-growing group of satisfied customers. So far, it's working. We've had over 90,000 customers, over half of the business now comes from repeat customers and their referrals, and the fan mail is terrific. (For samples, read on and click on the "Testimonials" button in the navigation bar on the upper left side of this page).

  • Fighting Chance is the killer information package.
    But don't take our word for it.
  • The San Jose Mercury-News rated the major new-vehicle pricing services and gave Fighting Chance its only 4-star rating. (Consumer Reports received just two stars.)

    Even more important, what do Fighting Chance customers say? To find out, check some of our recent fan mail.

    What Does All This Cost?

    Package price: $39.95 for the first vehicle,
    $15.00 for each additional vehicle.

    Click the "Order Now" link in the navigation menu for the Fighting Chance information package and/or the book on a secure, encrypted order form.

  • Back to Fighting Chance Home

    Copyright © 2015 Fighting Chance

    Home | The Package | Auto Pricing | Market Summary | Bragg's Banter | Testimonials | The Book
    Play the Name Game | About Us

    Buying New Car | Car Buying Online | New Car Invoice Price | Car Buying Guide | New Car Price | New Car Quote | Dealer Invoice | New Car Purchase | Buy New Car | Auto Buying | Buying Car | Car Pricing | New Car Price Quote | Car Buying Service | Best Time to Buy a New Car | New Car Buying Tip