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Used Car Negotiations - Online


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I know there have been similar threads in the past, but I have a specific question.

Has anyone on here negotiated for a used car ONLY online? I am looking for a used car, in the $10,000 range. Most dealerships ask that you email them for their "internet price."

A couple of the dealerships that have cars I am interested in are are 2-3 hours away and 11k, 12k, 13k. I would rather not go out there unless I know I can take down the price to below 10k.

For those that have done this -

Should I just email with a low ball offer for the car and see what they say?

Should I email them just saying I am interested and see if they give another below sticker price?

Of course, after working out a price I would drive the 200 miles to test drive/check it out in person.

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A buddy of mine and I negotiated his 350Z last year online. We emailed a bunch of dealerships with some absurdly low offers. Most would come back with "price is firm". There were some that would say "come in and we can work something out". None would give us a quote via email lower than the list price this is due to the fact that if they do you now have a written offer and if you email back an acceptance, they are legally bound to sell you the car at that price and cannot sell it before you come in.

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