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New/Used Car Guide

881 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Wierz1995
Negotiate a car effectively
(Don't settle for a price that may not be fair)

The first rule is, don’t fall in love with a car. Cars are commodities, not people. The used-car market is huge, and in every category, there is more than one brand to choose from, and more than one model that should fit your needs. Even if you have your heart set on one specific model, be assured that it’s not the only one for sale.

In general, negotiating the price of a used car is less harrowing than when buying a new car. There are fewer opportunities for dealers to add on extra-cost items and other charges. And a private seller is unlikely to have the experience and resources to play hardball negotiation games.

Still, never negotiate under pressure. Salespeople may assure you they won’t pressure you but then do it in a subtle way. A common sales tactic is to claim someone else is interested in the same car. Even if it’s true, don’t feel you have to make a deal immediately; there are always other cars out there.

If you’re buying at a dealership, negotiate one thing at a time. First settle on the price for the vehicle you’re buying, then discuss your trade-in or financing terms separately. Salespeople often try to get you to focus on your monthly payment. Using it as the focus, the salesperson will lump the whole process together, which gives him or her too much leeway to give you a "good deal" in one area while making up for it in another. This is the first step down a slippery slope of being manipulated with numbers and overpaying for your vehicle.

Based on your pricing homework, you should have a good idea of how much you’re willing to pay. Begin by making an offer that is realistic but 15 to 25 percent lower than this figure. Name your offer and wait until the person you’re negotiating with responds. Be courteous, but hold to your original figure after receiving any counteroffer.

If you must move your offer up, do it in small increments. If the gap between the two sides is, say, $1,000 or less, move your bid $100 at a time. State clearly when you have reached your last offer, and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to say your offer is fair, final, and good for 24 hours only. If the seller won’t budge, be prepared to walk away rather than pay more than you know is a fair price.

Haggling Strategy

So what’s the most successful haggling strategy? Turns out it’s the straightforward approach—simply asking for a better price. It worked for 68 percent of successful negotiators. Other tactics included sharing with the seller the value of similar cars researched online or threatening to walk away, which worked for 48 percent and 28 percent of successful hagglers, respectively.

10 Used & New Car Guide TIPS

1. Know the value of the vehicle: Know the true value of your candidate car, regardless of what the seller is asking. Condition, mileage, age, equipment levels, and the region all affect vehicle value. Different pricing guide services can list widely varying "book" values. Avoid the high-ball/low-ball game by asking the dealer to use one guide to determine the value of the vehicle for sale and the value of any trade-in you may have.

2. Write down your questions: Come in with a prepared list of questions about the vehicle and check them off when they are answered to your satisfaction. Make sure all your questions are answered.

3. Don't flash your cash:The dealership doesn't need to know anything about your finances during the negotiating process. Do not tell them how much car you can afford, or they'll try to take every penny of it.

4. Stay on the subject: Never allow a salesperson to change the direction of the conversation to matters other than car buying. Salespeople often gloss over important questions, such as vehicle history and price, by changing the subject.

5. Don`t be rushed: Salespeople's favorite customers are those who seem to be in a hurry, since they tend to be the ones who do not inspect the car thoroughly or don't negotiate the price. Never go to a dealership acting rushed, even if you need a car immediately--they'll take advantage of it. Many salespeople say they won't pressure or rush you into buying, but they usually do it anyway. If you feel the sales process is moving too fast, tell the salesperson that you'll come back at another time. If the car you're interested in is gone, remember that there are many other cars out there.

6. Be prepared to walk away: Once you've come up with a price you feel is fair, state your offer clearly, and say nothing more. If the seller won't budge, walk away. You shouldn't pay more than what your homework has told you is the worth of the vehicle. If you head for the door, you'll often have a deal you can live with before you reach it.

7. Be wary of costly add-ons: Service contracts, glass etching, undercoating, and paint sealants are all unnecessary add-ons to help the dealership maximize its profits. Don't buy them.

8. Check the vehicle's history: Instead of taking the salesperson's word about the history and condition of the vehicle, get a vehicle-history report from CarFax or Experian Automotive. They can alert you to possible odometer fraud; reveal past flood, fire, and accident damage; or tell you if a rebuilt or salvage title was ever issued for the vehicle. But a clean report is no guarantee that a vehicle doesn't have hidden problems. You can also get a free VIN check from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

9. Visit a mechanic: After you make an offer, but before you sign a contract of sale, take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic that routinely does automotive diagnostic work. Don't let the dealer tell you they've inspected the car for you. Deduct any needed repairs that the mechanic finds from your offer.

10.Come with your financing secured: Go to a bank or credit union and be approved for a loan before you go to the dealership. The dealer may even try to beat their rate, which works to your advantage. Almost half of all American adults currently drive a car they bought used. And one-third of all used-car buyers considered getting a new car but ended up with a used one.

Evaluate the dealership

How you’re treated during your first visit to a dealership may tell you a lot about any future relationship, so make sure you’re comfortable with the atmosphere and test-drive experience.

Your test drives give you a good chance to evaluate a variety of dealerships. Even the lowest possible price usually won’t compensate for a bad experience with a particular dealership. Salespeople should treat you with respect and honesty. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, so here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding where to buy your next vehicle:

1. Was the salesperson responsive to questions?
2. Was I treated with respect?
3. Did I get all of the information I needed?
4. Did I get honest answers?
5. Was it easy to arrange a test drive?
6. Were any high-pressure tactics used during my first encounter?
7. Was I invited back for additional test drives?

If you answered “yes:)” to more than a few of these questions about a dealership, there’s a good chance you might want to do business there. If you answered “no” often, you should think about going elsewhere to buy your car.

Test Driving Your Vehicle

This is your chance to see how the vehicle performs and whether you can detect any problems with its drivetrain, steering,suspension, brakes, or other important system.

You should drive all the vehicles you’re considering on the same day so you can compare them more easily. Drive them as long as possible—at least 30 minutes—and over different types of road surfaces and in various driving conditions. Plan your own driving route in advance. A salesperson or private seller may suggest routes that hide or minimize problems.

Try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Many dealerships may insist on sending someone along with you, and a private seller will certainly want to be present. Because the last thing you need is someone jabbering in your ear while you’re trying to concentrate, have a friend or relative engage in conversation with the salesperson or seller.

Following are some of the major things you should concentrate on during your test drive. All cars have different personalities, and it’s important to find one that matches yours. Things that might seem insignificant now, such as the shape of the seats, could become major irritants later.

Ride comfort: Is the ride soft, harsh, or somewhere in between? Does the suspension isolate you from the road, or do you feel every bump and ripple? Some suspensions feel comfortable over bumps but tend to be floaty, wallowing up and down a bit after a large bump. Look for a vehicle that feels tight and controlled over bumps, but not harsh.

Acceleration: Make sure that the engine provides adequate acceleration when starting from a stop and that you can merge safely into highway traffic.

Braking: Do the brakes feel responsive without being too jerky? Braking is hard to evaluate thoroughly without professional help, but you can do a basic assessment. Feel how the vehicle responds when you depress the brake pedal, both softly and with more force. It should be nice and smooth, and it should be easy to get just the amount of stopping power you need without the car stopping too quickly or not quickly enough.

Steering and handling: Does the car respond well to quick steering maneuvers? Does it track well (stay on course) when driving straight ahead on the highway, or does it need small, continual corrections? Does the car feel relaxed or too darty to be comfortable? And does it stay relatively composed on rough roads?

After the test drive
(This is the best time to collect your thoughts)

As soon as you return to the dealership from your test drive, a salesperson will almost certainly try to hustle you into an office to start the buying process. He or she is counting on your enthusiasm after driving a new car to seal the deal. But this really is not a good time to start the negotiating process, especially if you have planned to test drive vehicles from other manufacturers. This is actually the best time to collect your thoughts.

(Information was provided by ConsumerReports)
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Buying a new car or used car can be very stressful. Even as a new car salesman I still get frustrated buying my own vehicles(Big shout out to Clayton as Ramsey Subaru to make it easy). This a a great write up Wierz1995. But there are a few things I am going to mention.

1. Don't go into the dealership aggressive or frustrated. This will ruin your experience. And your deal.

2. Don't think every one is against you, Believe it or not there is one person in there that will do anything they can to make you happy(for the potential repeat and referral business) and also for your benefit. THE SALESMAN. Their job is to find the right car, and find a way to make it affordable. They don't make the numbers, we are just the middlemen. ----Numero Uno, Biggest tip ever, MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE SALESMAN.---- He is the person going to fight FOR you, yes he wants to make more money by selling it higher, but we have minimum commissions so we will do everything we can to make it go down the road. I'm much more likely to fight for my customer to get a deal if they are friendly and respectable. People who have come into my dealership to pick a fight we give NO wiggle room in and could care less if we sold them the vehicle.

3. Not everything is a ploy or plot. When a salesperson says some one is looking at it tomorrow, Don't feel pressured to make a decision right then and there, BUT if that is the car you want don't be pi$$ed when it isn't there tomorrow.

4. They don't have to make a deal with you and if your offer is too unreasonable managers will feel like it is a lost cause and not try to make a deal.

5. Know your product. Know what you are buying. And know what you are willing to pay/Not pay.

6. A payment slightly higher than you want in a car you want is much easier to pay each month than a payment that works better for your budget but doesn't feel justifiable. Love the car.

7. Ask for a carfax everytime, we HAVE to tell you if it is a salvage/rebuilt. We don't have to tell you it was in a accident.

8. Extended warranties are not the devil. But quite the opposite. Negotiate on them, but think clearly about it. If you can't afford to pay a extra $15 a month for it, You can't afford to fix it if something goes wrong. And it doesn't matter is the motor blows the day after you get it, if an agreement isn't in writing it didn't happen. So don't expect something to be covered if you declined a warranty.

9. Be reasonable, It's your money you worked hard for. Don't waste it, don't be pushed to buy something that you don't want, and more importantly; don't not buy something because some one else has something to say about it. No one else is making the payment for you. The more you talk to family/friends/know-it-all's about the deal you are getting or negotiating the more you will be turned against it. The only opinion that matters is your own.

10. Stay calm cool and collected, write notes. Ask every question you can no matter how small or stupid it may seem. There is no going back.

11. NADA/KBB/other sources like that are a great estimator to what something is worth or valued. But know this one thing. NONE of those companies have ever bought or sold a car. Sometimes they are wrong. Don't miss out on a deal because of one of those sites. Look for "live market reports".

Happy buying, selling, and trading. Don't get in over your head.

Ps. Find a salesman you feel is honest and helpful. And stick with them, they will work harder than ever for you. Young people are great to deal with, they are hungry in the business and haven't been tainted by the system yet. Just because some one doesn't know it all doesn't mean they are a bad salesman. They aren't a encyclopedia so don't expect them to be. They will try the hardest to earn your trust, build their customer base, and make you happy.
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Buying a new car or used car can be very stressful. Even as a new car salesman I still get frustrated buying my own vehicles(Big shout out to Clayton as Ramsey Subaru to make it easy). This a a great write up Wierz1995. But there are a few things I am going to mention.
I appreciate your feedback and hope this can benefit anyone who is looking into purchasing (Hopefully & specifically a Subaru WRX/STI) but the guidelines I followed here were what helped me find my used Subaru Impreza WRX 2011 (Hatch) at a great value! The way the guide is presented is for those who really do not understand a lot and I do not want everyone to think that the "Salesman" is out to get them. It is basically stating that not all places are honest and should just have that precaution when buying a used/new vehicle.

I also recommend for people to look through (Click Here --->) TrueCar (<--- Click Here) for buying their vehicles.
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