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How to Negotiate with Car Salesmen and Get the Best Deal

How to Negotiate with Car Salesmen and Get the Best Deal

    Like lawyers and dentists, few people actually enjoy having to deal with car salesmen.  They’re a necessary evil that often leave consumers with a bad taste in their mouths because of the tactics they employ to get people to purchase a new vehicle.  Coming out of the negotiations with a new car and a great deal on it can happen, if you go about things the right way.

    Secure Financing Ahead of Time

    When you’ve decided that it is time to buy new vehicle, instead of heading straight out to the dealership, visit your local credit union or bank and secure financing in advance.  Car dealers make a lot of their profit on financing deals, and you can save a lot of money by getting your auto loan through a reputable third-party ahead of time.  Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to head out to the dealership and take a look at the vehicles, although it is a good idea to do some research in advance and figure out which ones you might be interested in.

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    Go In Well-Rested

    You’ll want to make sure you’re well-rested on the day that you go to pick out your new car.  Don’t go when you’re rushed or overtired, or after a long day at work.  You need to be 100% there mentally if you want to come out of it with the best deal possible.

    Ask to See the Invoice

    Once you’ve found the car you’d like to purchase and the dealer takes you into his office or cubicle to begin the wheeling and dealing, ask to see the invoice.  This will tell you all kinds of information about the car, but most importantly, how much the dealership paid for it.  Keep that figure in mind as you negotiate what you’re willing to pay.  Sure, they’re going to make a profit, but knowing that number can help you lead negotiations in the direction of minimizing their profit and lowering your overall cost.

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    Just Say “NO”.

    The first thing that you need to know when it comes to negotiating the price of the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing is that “NO” is your best weapon.  Arm yourself and be prepared to use it, possibly even multiple times. Don’t let them strong-arm you or sweet talk you into something that you would not be comfortable with. Take a cue from my 18-month-old toddler and say it like you mean it (head shake optional).

    Let Them Come at You With an Offer

    The dealer will ask you some basic information about yourself, such as your name, address, and so on.  Answer honestly.  Most will start off the price negotiations by asking you how much you’d like to pay per month.  An appropriate answer to this question that will throw them off their game is “I’d like to pay zero.”  You might get a chuckle or a “wouldn’t we all” type comment before the salesman resumes his attempts to get you to provide him with a magic number that you’d be willing to pay them each month for the privledge of driving the vehicle of your choice.  They might ask you what you are paying now.  If your car is paid off, answer “Zero.”  If you are still making payments, give them an honest answer. Do not make the mistake of giving them a price you’d be willing to pay each month.

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    For your best chances at scoring a good deal, make them come at you with an offer.  No salesman would tell you that the amount per month you’re willing to pay is a lot higher than the deal that you could possible walk away with.  Car salesman get a minimal salary for hanging out at the dealership, but can make their riches in the commission they earn by selling cars. Their goal is to maximize their commission and the profit for the dealership. Your goal is to minimize their commission and the profit they make to get the best deal on your new vehicle. Get them to give you a number, and when they do, it’s time to begin negotiating.


      Bring an Extra Set of Keys

      If you will be trading in a vehicle to help offset the cost of the new one, don’t leave home without taking two sets of keys with you.  One tactic that dealers try to employ during the negotiations process is to look at your car and then kidnap your keys.  If you bring along second key they can’t hold you hostage.  Just make sure to give them the key that is a cheap copy, not one with a fancy key-fob or remote.  The idea is, if negotiations go sour and they try to hold you captive while hanging on to your keys, you can walk right out the door without having to worry about getting the key back.  They’re not expecting this, and will chase after you with promises of a better deal.

      Inform the Salesman That You Already Have Financing & Finalizing the Deal

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      Do not, I repeat, DO NOT inform the salesman in advance that you’ve already secured financing.  Keep this a closely guarded secret until the time is right.  If they know that you already have financing, it will change the way they deal with you.  The time to make the big reveal is once you’ve agreed on the final price of the vehicle.  Your credit union loan or other third-party auto financing will likely have better rates and terms than what the dealer is offering. At this point, pull out your calculator and utilize your financing details to figure out how much you’ll be paying in the end.  More than likely, it will be less than what you would have paid had you used dealer financing.

      Conclusion

      Follow this advice and I guarantee that you’ll walk out of the dealership with not only a new car, but also the satisfaction of knowing that you got the best deal you could have gotten. It feels a lot better than getting screwed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

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      Published on October 8, 2018

      13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

      13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

      Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

      Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

      So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

      1. Choose a major category each month to attack

      As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

      Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

      By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

      2. Only make major purchases in the morning

      If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

      Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

      Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

      3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

      Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

      The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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      Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

      4. Read one-star reviews for products

      Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

      By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

      Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

      5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

      If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

      The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

      Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

      This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

      6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

      One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

      While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

      The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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      7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

      Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

      That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

      That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

      8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

      Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

      If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

      Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

      Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

      This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

      9. Budget using cash and envelopes

      As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

      Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

      This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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      The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

      10. Join a like-minded group

      Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

      You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

      Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

      No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

      For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

      This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

      11. Reward Yourself

      When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

      Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

      With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

      But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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      Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

      12. Take the Buddhist approach

      You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

      Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

      Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

      The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

      13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

      If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

      It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

      Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

      Conclusion

      Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

      However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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