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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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      Julie McCormick

      Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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      Published on January 17, 2020

      How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

      How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

      Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

      If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

      My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

      So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

      Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

      1. Meal Plan

      You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

      If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

      Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

      Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

      2. Cook in Bulk

      Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

      Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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      That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

      3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

      The science behind this is 2-fold.

      Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

      Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

      4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

      I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

      Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

      Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

      What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

      5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

      We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

      We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

      Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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      Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

      6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

      Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

      Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

      7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

      I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

      Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

      The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

      While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

      8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

      The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

      Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

      If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

      9. Try Acai Bowls

      Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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      You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

      Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

      10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

      Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

      Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

      11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

      A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

      I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

      12. Buy Cheap Online

      Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

      Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

      13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

      One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

      Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

      1. Strawberries
      2. Spinach
      3. Kale
      4. Nectarines
      5. Apples
      6. Grapes
      7. Peaches
      8. Cherries
      9. Pears
      10. Tomatoes
      11. Celery
      12. Potatoes

      14. Pay Attention to Storage

      Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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      Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

      15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

      Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

      Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

      16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

      I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

      Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

      17. Use Budget App

      There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

      My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

      18. Use What you Have

      Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

      19. Enjoy the Process!

      Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

      Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

      Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

      Reference

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