Buying cars

A few years ago I checked out from the library one of the Motley Fool's (http://www.fool.com) books. I think it was The Motley Fool You Have More Than You Think : The Foolish Guide To Personal Finance. I first heard about The Motley Fool back in probably 1998 or 99. At that time, they seemed very much about helping consumers make smart personal finance choices. Now the big thing they seem to do is sell stock newsletters. This is kinda funny because if memory serves that's one of the things that they say never to do in the book I read. They still have what I think is a lot of good info, but it seems like they want to make a fair chunk of change as well. Anyway, one of the ideas that I like the best in the book was a technique they put forward for buying a new car. It turns out, they have the basic process on their site now too. It's pretty long and starts here. They talk a lot about research and prep which makes sense but the thing that was completely new to me is what they get to on step 12. Basically, instead of going into a dealership, you send faxes to a bunch of dealerships asking them to provide a bid for the car you want and provide them with a fax number to reply to. (I think this comes from the book which was done in 2001 or so. E-mail is probably just fine these days, but I'd use a throw away address.) I love this idea. I don't plan on buying a new car any time soon, but if you do, it's worth going over the process the Fool's outline to see if you want to give it a shot. My guess is that it would work like a charm. Not to mention the basic benefit of having to deal way less with the full court press sales pitch. Probably goes without saying that you will still need to be on your toes for all the other little fees and financing things they will try to get you on.