Most people get impressed by riding on four wheels but hate the whole exercise of car shopping. I am included here. I hate negotiating for big purchases like cars. I hate that nagging feeling during car negotiations or other properties that I’m in a game I can’t win!
Most of us don’t exercise negotiation skills regularly, and certainly not with car salesmen, who really know their job. Owing to this lack of experience, folks only possess the slightest idea of how to go about getting the best deal of a used car. Well, this doesn’t mean the deck is firmly stacked against you. If you got the need for a car, head on to a dealer and award yourself with an automobile. Only get to know how the deal works and don’t end up with a lemon like most people do.
You don’t have to know how to haggle like an Arabian bazaar merchant, but the following steps will help you sidestep potential difficulties, command better treatment and get a fair price.
Carry out research on what you want to drive and how much they sell it for in your area. By researching the specific vehicles that have the features you are interested in, you are introducing competitiveness in the buying process. Although a seller may not match the lowest price you found, you will have a genuine idea on how much the vehicle in question should cost.
There are good resources for auto shoppers such as Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and National Automotive Dealers Association. These will help you to track new and used car purchases which provides you with granular pricing information. “We collect tens of thousands of transactions per week from wholesale auctions, dealers both large and small, vehicle registration data, listing data and other sources,” said Alec Gutierrez, a senior analyst, Kelley Blue Book. “This data is then cleansed, normalized and run through a statistical modeling process.”
Also, make use of the automotive magazines such as the popular Car and Driver, which come in handy due to their past reviews which help those who want to drive get the best car deals.
2. Remember It Is a Business Transaction
It is possible to be so attached emotionally to your dream car until you forget that buying it is a business process. The less the emotion you attach to the transaction, the better. So remain polite, cooperative and firm when dealing with the seller.
Your focus should be to make the best deal possible, while the focus of the dealers or private seller is to get the highest possible price from you. While both goals are perfectly OK, parties should each guard their moves and act in an ethical business manner.
You will realize that salespeople, car dealers of even some private car sellers are skilled negotiators that can get you to pay for the car they want you to buy. That’s why you should be so fixed on what you want, with a firm budget to stick to. Let confidence advocate for yourself and information back up the price that you want to get.
Lastly, remember to approach your car seller not like you are bullying them to get a good deal. No, that’s strategy won’t work for you. Car sellers understand that car buying is not like buying electronics from a store, so they would want to work with someone professional than who is just being rough.
3. Don’t Focus on payment, but Price
For a good deal, be sure to talk about the price last. Your seller, however, may want to lure you to think about the price in terms of monthly payments, to make the deal seem more affordable to you.
When the seller makes you focus on the payment, then he/she is likely to play around with the rest of the numbers. They will make you think that a prolonged payment is more affordable, which is not the case. When you extend the payment period, you’ll eventually pay higher because there’s inherently more risk in extending the financing.
4. Be ready to walk out
Never ever show your car seller that you are too much in love with the car you intend to buy. This will make them over quote the price to take advantage of the attachment to the car. You are free to leave!
While you may leave sometimes due to bad treatment on your face-to-face conversations, other departures can be employed strategically to get the dealer/seller relent. Be careful not to do it the wrong way, lest you burn bridges.
Say something like “Well, I thank you for willingness to sell to me, but I can see we’re still pretty far apart with the price of the car. Please call me if you can find a way to get it lower.” Then leave them with your contact information. This might tempt them to call back shortly. If they don’t, you will have a way to get back to them—(why not and you didn’t walk out in a huff, cursing along the way).
Always keep your cool in your walking, it makes you look like a disciplined shopper that’s just out for the best car deal.