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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 September 2, 2020

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

      In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

      4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

      Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

      2. Keep Goals Realistic

      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

      3. Account for Inflation

      Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

      Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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      4. Short Term Vs Long Term

      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

      By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

      How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

      • Ensuring healthy savings
      • Making smart investments

      You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

      Ensuring Healthy Savings

      Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

      1. Track Expenses

      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

      Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

      If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

      2. Pay Yourself First

      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

      The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

      Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

      Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

      Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

      4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

      Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

      • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
      • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
      • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

      The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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      5. Talk About It

      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

      Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

      6. Maintain a Journal

      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

      If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

      Making Smart Investments

      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

      1. Consult a Financial Advisor

      Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

      2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

      Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

      As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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      3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

      Einstein once remarked about compounding:

      “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

      Use compound interest when setting financial goals

        Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

        Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

        4. Measure, Measure, Measure

        All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

        If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

        Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

        The Bottom Line

        Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

        and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

        More Tips on Financial Goals

        Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

        Reference

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