How to Haggle: Secrets from a Used Car Salesman

Used Car Salesman Secrets

You don’t have to be a hard line bargainer to get a good deal on your used car purchase. These simple tips will make sure that you get a great deal. Since the vast majority of people aren’t comfortable arguing over the price of their vehicle, used car salesmen take advantage of this fact to get you to pay more than you should. However, you don’t have to be a hard line bargainer in order to get a good deal on your used car purchase. With a few simple tips and a calm approach, you can make sure that you get a great deal and come away happy with your purchase.

Secrets from a Used Car Salesman on Getting the Best Deal

The First Price is Never the Best Price

This one is pretty much common sense, but an honest used car salesman will tell you that they always have negotiating room down from the first price they offer you. Think about it from their perspective – the goal is to sell cars. If they start at the lowest possible price and you want to negotiate, they will not have any room and will risk you walking away to another dealership. By starting high, they can haggle back and forth to land on a number that you accept and that they still make a good commission on.

They Feed on Urgency

Another trick of a used car salesman is to get an idea of your situation and try to take advantage of your eagerness to buy. If they can tell that you are determined to buy a car that very day, you will never get the best price they can offer. Knowing you are motivated to buy, the salesman won’t readily give away extra commission just to be nice. Always make it clear that you may or may not buy that day, and see what that salesman is willing to do in order to get you to close the deal.

Always Wiggle Room with Used Cars

Most used cars came to the lot on a trade-in, and therefore the dealership has very little cash invested into the vehicle. Knowing this, don’t be afraid to ask for a great deal on a used car. Unlike a new car, where there is an actual invoice expense for the dealer to pay, the used car is much more ambiguous. If you are a repeat customer, or will be buying another car in the near future, use that leverage to try and get a much lower price. Remember, there are countless used car lots, and you can always go to another one if you aren’t happy with the deal you are being offered.
Used car salesman aren’t always as slimy as their reputation would lead you to believe. Many of them are honest salesmen just trying to earn a living. By being friendly and working with them, you might be surprised at what they will offer you with very little bargaining taking place. Make sure to stick with your budget, and you will walk away with a deal on a used car you can be proud of.

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George Foster June 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

Ways Car Dealerships Take Advantage of You:
1. Vehicle price is always thousands too high. Have price in mind they cannot match and ask for their best deal in the first 10 minutes — or you could spend 6 hours at the dealership. I got a dealership to drop $3,500 on a 2011 Hyundai just by showing them a competitor’s ad. They called to confirm and made a quick counter offer as I was leaving the shop because they were stalling. It took me from $18,500 to $14,999. Nice birthday present for my wife and enough money to take her dinner too.
If you ask for a supposed low price based on their inflated sticker price, you may wind up with that number. So ask for a number they cannot give you, then negotiate to meet close to your number. And remember, ask them to pay for tax, title, license or to give you new Michelin tires at no cost. Belief me, they will be asking you in a few minutes to pay a higher interest rate or take even less for your trade-in. Ask first and keep them on the defensive.
2. Your trade-in is worthless to them — until they sell it. They will not offer you half of what your used trade-in is worth. Research, check Blue Book before you approach this subject. And don’t even imply you have a trade-in until you have gotten a bottom-line, firm offer in writing on the actual car you want. They can always change their offer if it’s not in writing.
3. Know your credit score and what interest rate you qualify for. It’s recommended to get financing at your local bank, credit union. It the dealership beats their best offer, take it. If not, tell them you will pay cash or have financing settled. They will hate that.
4. Dealerships routinely charge for little stuff that you would automatically say NO to if you knew. Like washing the car’s exterior and cleaning the interior for $100 while you do paperwork. The extended warranties are also a waste of time and your money.
5. Always check the ads/internet for a comparable model at a better price. Bring the ads with you and tell them to honor it, or you are heading down the street to do business. Polite, but very firm.
6. If you dress casual and plain, chances are the heavy-handed closers will overlook you for a pretty girl or a rich-looking guy on the lot. You may get lucky and find an honest salesman who actually wants you to get a good car at a decent price.
7. If you go into the financing office, they are in control. Either you take charge or they will find a way to squeeze money out of every pore in your body. No extended warranties, no extras, no customization.
8. After you have hit the salesperson with enough NOs, his manager gets involved automatically. Be polite, but save your right to leave the dealership and do business elsewhere for him. If he sees you hemming and hawing, he’ll work that weakness to his advantage.
9. Bottom Line: Research before you approach a car dealership. Use reputable dealers. Be firm. Forget about being fair to them. Get the bottom-line price in writing (email is not as good). Act on a good deal. Pay cash if you can. And be off the lot in 2 hours or less with your new auto.


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