CPO prices can vary a lot depending on dealer, that specific vehicle, and market, so you are basically going to be comparing prices with other CPO vehicles. I think you were considering a Mercedes CPO (right?), so here are a couple things that come to mind based on my observations which are probably more applicable to luxury brands:
- Vehicle source. If the dealer got the vehicle as a trade-in, there can be less room to negotiate because the cost is higher. Vehicles purchased from auction are often cheaper. Check the Carfax to see. However, lease returns are usually sent to auction for a reason, like cosmetic condition is not that great (ie. needs multiple PDR for dents on the exterior or leather repair for interior) or if significant cost is needed before it can be sold (ie. new set of tires), which leads me to my next point…
- CPO cost. If the dealer had to replace tires or repair wheels, this can be a significant cost that is already factored into the price. For example, you cannot directly compare the price with another CPO that has tires with just enough tread left to meet CPO requirements. You can ask the dealer for CPO paperwork that will often show all of the things that they did.
- Dealer. Those that are farther away from Microsoft are usually more willing to negotiate. Check if they are owned by a dealer chain, as AutoNation and Sonic dealers offer “no-haggle” prices and will keep trying to push that. Generally these prices are decent, but not great. You might be able to knock off a couple hundred dollars.
- Vehicles that are more common, and those that have been on the lot for some time, can be negotiated more easily. But, if the dealer recently reduced the price, you may have more difficulty negotiating more. Check the Carfax to see how long it has been offered for sale.
If you can find a similar vehicle locally, that’s usually the strongest negotiation tactic and you need to walk off the lot if they do not budge. Be prepared to actually buy the other vehicle if they do not call you back. You can also try to negotiate using out-of-state vehicle prices plus shipping, however some local dealers may completely ignore this tactic. Look at prices in CA and factor in about $1,200 for enclosed shipping. You may want to seriously consider buying from out-of-state though, as CA vehicles are often 10-20% cheaper, especially in the San Jose or Los Angeles areas as there is a lot of inventory and competition.