Car salespeople have a reputation for trying to squeeze every cent from their customers, and they’re often very good at their jobs. They are experienced negotiators and you need to know how to find leverage to make a deal in your favor.
I was a dealership salesperson and manager for over nine years; here are a few tips and tactics I learned along the way that car salespeople might not want you to know.
Don’t negotiate. Tell the salesperson and sales manager that you’ll sign the paperwork the minute they hit your target figure. Politely decline any counter-offers, give them your phone number, and leave. If the price you’ve proposed is within the realm of possibility, they’ll call you at some point.
Know what a car is worth. If you’re buying a new car, Edmunds.com and TrueCar.com provide “true market” estimates that are reasonably accurate. If you’re buying a used car, KBB.com is a great resource, as it will tell you both the retail value and wholesale (aka trade-in) value.
Follow up on Saturday or Sunday nights an hour before closing time. Call and ask to speak with the salesperson or manager you’ve spoken to before. Remind them you’ll be a buyer when they meet your figure, but that they shouldn’t waste your time if they won’t or can’t.
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