How To Negotiate Buying A Used Car
Considering the stupendous depreciation new cars suffer over a very small period, you’ve decided that a new one just isn’t worth it, so the hunt is on for a used one. Used cars are usually cheaper and just about as good as new ones (even better in some cases), think about it, spend $10.000 on a Prius when, you can get an older but A LOT better model of BMW or Audi which would the Prius into pancake in a collision. The only downside to getting a used car is dealing with those annoying salesman so that you can get out of the dealership without being sucked dry. Here are some ways to prepare yourself for the big negotiation.
First of all be prepared. Search for the car you want before going. Look up every pertinent data you can find about it, how old you’d want it to be, what’s the price, performance reviews and other important factors. Shop around, and specifically look for pricing differences between the closest dealer and one located farther. It might be worth the 4 hours drive if you can drop $2000 from the price. Also look for manufacturing errors or recalls and of course, what are the most common of problems shown on forums regarding the car you’ve picked.
Next step is confidence. You’ve probably heard about car salesmen. They are experienced judges of character so if you’re unsure of what you’re doing, they will smell that uncertainty and use it against you. When you walk in a dealership, walk strong and firm. Show them that you know exactly what you’re talking about and don’t let absolutely anything they say. And of course carry a trick up your sleeve.
The trick is to never let the dealer know how much money you’re willing to spend. You see the car price advertised by them, you’ve done your homework on the car and you know the real market value. Therefore if you got $30.000 tell them that there’s no way you’re going over $22.000. You definitely know that you’re going to cross over $22.000 and guess what, they know as well. Therefore they will always “forget” to mention things like financing, warranties, monthly fees and other charges.
If the salesman starts doing monkey business, telling you that there is no way he can lower the price under a certain value, than you can use your ultimate weapon: the “walk out”. No salesman will remain still while you attempt to walk away, leaving him with a lost sale. This is the salesman law, that no potential customer is to walk out without buying. Therefore if you’re standing firm with your fixed price, he will have no other option than to lower the price till you’re satisfied.
Like I said earlier, never ever tell them how much money you can spend because every salesman believes that he will get more than you’ve settled for because of the “hidden” fees which usually the customer doesn’t find out unless he reads carefully the whole contract. You will be tempted to ask as many questions as possible to cover all the possible fees, so their job is to keep you from asking “unpleasant” questions until you sign. Yet if you tell them that you plan to pay for the complete package with that amount, this will shut them down completely since you’ve closed the loop they were bargaining for.
And finally your most secret of tricks, a preliminary inspection. If you have a trusted mechanic which you can take with you to the dealership, the salesman is done for.
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