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How To Negotiate With A Used Car Salesman

No matter what negotiation would you undergo, who are you negotiation with, or what are you negotiating for, knowledge is power. The problem is that when you negotiate with a salesman for a used car, he has just about all the information. I mean think about it. The moment you walk in the dealership, you automatically tell the salesman which car you want, the amount of money you can afford to pay each month, and (if the case) which care you are bringing as a trade in. In the meantime, the dealer will offer information about the car’s value, and the real value for your trade in car. So ask yourself, who is the one benefiting from this trade more? The dealer naturally. He is the one holding all the information.

If you want to successfully negotiate with a dealer, you must do a couple of things. First: hold your aces close; don’t tell the dealer exactly what kind of car you are looking for, and especially, how much you plan on paying for it. And second: do your homework well. Research the car from top to bottom. Check previous vehicle histories, read some customer reviews and so on. Do all this BEFORE going to the dealership. This way you will have something to counter the dealer’s offer.

If you want to properly negotiate with a used car salesman, than you need to understand how they actually make money. There are three parameters: they can make a certain amount of money by selling the car with a higher sale price than the one they bought it. Or they can make a lot of money by offering services such as financing, various dealer deals such as rust-proofing and some extended warranties. And the third, they can get nice winnings from selling the car you’ve offered as a trade-in.

They majority of buyers focus only on the first aspect. But if you would take a closer look, you’d be amazed by the amount of money you can actually acquire from the second and third ways. Therefore, never let them underrate your trade in car, because two days later they will sell it $1000 more expensive.

If you’re looking for a car, than you’d better find one that is at least two years old. You may ask why two years old? First of all, they’re still new and look really good, and it’s most likely they don’t have many problems. And the most important thing is that, during the first two years, a new car suffers dramatic depreciation. The price could drop by almost 55%. This is one great bargain.

If you’ve got a good idea about what kind of cars you could do with, than check the market and find out how much they “go by”. You can use various online car price guides such as KBB or Edmunds. These are great because they offer accurate retail values for used cars. But remember, those values are just, that: VALUES. You don’t have to take those guides too literally because every situation is different and every negotiation could fluctuate one way or another. The advantage is that you can use these values as leverage during the negotiation.

Be sure that a dealer offers all kinds of add-ons such as detailing or rust-proofing. Don’t accept any of it. If you feel, you’re in need of such add-ons; you can find it cheaper somewhere else.
And finally, don’t forget to walk away. This is your most dangerous weapon. Remember that there are tons of cars out there. Don’t pay extra just because you like one.


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