Because negotiating is a key part of the car buying process, shoppers have always seen car salesmen as adversaries. But, times have changed. Easy access to information on the Internet has made the process far more transparent. Today’s shoppers can now deal more openly and honestly with car salesmen than ever before. But to do so, they must be prepared for anything that might arise. With that in mind, here a few simple tips for negotiating with a used car dealer.
Know Your Numbers
There was a time, not so long ago, when shoppers were essentially flying blind. When it came time to haggle over price, they had no idea how much they should offer for a particular vehicle. As such, salesmen were often able to take control of the discussion and get the price they wanted. Once again, things have changed. With few simple online searches, you should be able to find the average sale price for almost any pre-owned vehicle. While it is true that the average seller probably won’t accept your first offer, getting in the proverbial ballpark should make negotiations easier and more productive. As amazing as it may sound, some shoppers neglect this all-important first step. Do not let this happen to you. Make sure you know exactly how much the used car dealer expects to get for the vehicle you are interested in.
Time Your Visit
If you want to gain the upper hand in negotiations before you say a word, simply stop at the dealership at the end of the month. Because sellers are often desperate to meet sales goals to qualify for monthly bonuses, shopping in the last few days of any month can save you some coin. You might even get them to throw in a few upgrades for free! All you have to do is play it cool and stick to your budget. As long as you quote a reasonable price, there’s a far better chance you’ll get what you ask for when bonuses are on the line.
Even if you follow the first two tips, there is a chance that negotiations could last a lot longer than you expected. There are many plausible explanations for this. Perhaps the salesman is worried about what his boss might say if he gives you the deal of a lifetime. There’s also a chance that he is simply trying to wait you out. He’s probably pretty good at reading people through their facial expressions, body language, and nervous ticks. Remaining calm, cool, and collected is your best play when negotiations stall. In time, the salesman will most likely come to the conclusion that you mean business. When this happens, you stand an excellent chance of getting the price you want.
As simple as they may seem, these time-tested tips will help you immensely in your negotiations with any used car dealer.