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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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      Last Updated on June 26, 2020

      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

      “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

      If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

      You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

      Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

      As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

      And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

      But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

      • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
        • food
        • rent/mortgage
        • cell phone
        • insurance
        • socializing/entertainment
        • transportation
        • hygiene products
        • household bills
      • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
        • travel
        • clothing
        • medication (*depends)
        • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
        • gifts

      Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

      Save Money on Food

      1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

      Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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      Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

      2. Buy the store-brand version

      Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

      3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

      Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

      4. Have group dinners

      If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

      Save Money in Transport

      5. Get a bicycle

      Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

      6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

      Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

      7. Find the cheapest gas

      Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

      Save Money in General Shopping

      8. Shop online

      Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

      9. Sell your old stuff

      Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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      Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

      10. Bulk buying stores

      For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

      Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

      11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

      You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

      12. Generic brand medication

      More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

      13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

      It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

      Cut Down on Household Expenses

      14. Printing

      Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

      e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

      Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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      15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

      A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

      16. Shop around for insurance

      Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

      Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

      17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

      If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

      18. Don’t get a TV

      Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

      19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

      My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

      Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

      20. Have house parties

      Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

      For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

      21. Open festivals, meetups and events

      It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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      22. Volunteer

      If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

      23. Housesit

      There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

      Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

      24. DIY beauty

      French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

      25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

      If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

      Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

      Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

      • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
      • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
      • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
      • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
      • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
      • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
      • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

      Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

      What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

      Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

      More Tips for Personal Finance Management

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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