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Used Car Price Negotiation

by Dennis James

You’ve decided to purchase a used vehicle and want to get the best deal possible. This is a goal that all car buyers have. Unfortunately, most buyers aren’t able to achieve the goal. That’s because they don’t know what strategies work when it comes to car price negotiation.

Let’s get something straight: car price negotiation does not have to be as painful and as tedious as some people would lead to believe. It also doesn’t have to be a big waste of time. The key to successful negotiation is knowing exactly what to do once you get into the dealership. You should not allow yourself to be swayed by the car salesman who is trying to sell the car at the dealership price. You should have a plan before ever walking in and you should be prepared to stick to the plan no matter what.

We will be going over several successful car price negotiation strategies. If you can master these techniques, you’ll have no problems getting a car at a price you want.

Technique #1: Know the Value of the Car

Car salesmen will often try to talk customers into buying a car for more than it is actually worth. This usually works because the customers haven’t taken the time to look up the car in question on something called Kelley Blue Book. The Blue Book tells the value of any particular model based on mileage and features. It’s an unbiased, free way of seeing exactly what a car is worth. It also allows you to “correct” the salesman if he or she is trying to sell you a car for more than what it is worth in KBB.

Technique #2: Ask Them If They Can Do Better

The car salesman states that he can give you the car for $8,000. This is more than you are willing to pay. A simple way to get him to lower the price is to ask “is that the best price you can give me? That really is more than I am willing to pay.” It seems like an obvious question, but it’s something people usually don’t think to ask and it can be quite effective.

Technique #3: Threaten

No, we don’t mean that you should threaten the salesman with violence. Instead, you should inform them that you’ve seen a similar vehicle at another dealership for x dollars less than the car at this dealership, and that if they aren’t willing to lower the price, you’ll take your business elsewhere. Since sales is such a competitive field, many salesmen will lower the price if they know it means a sure sale for them.

Technique #4: Meet in the Middle

Let’s say you’re negotiating over a $7,000 car. You want the car for $6,000. The salesman says he can’t sell it for that low. You now have two options: walk away or compromise. Tell him that you’re willing to split the difference and pay $6,500 for the car. In most cases, he’ll take the offer because he knows you won’t go higher and he won’t go lower.

Technique #5: Don’t Budge

Salesmen are trained to do one thing: to sell the product. They’ll do anything to sell the car, even if it means intimidating a customer. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by a pushy salesman. If he’s trying to persuade you to do something you don’t want to do, such as buy a car for more money than you’re willing to spend, tell him that you will not budge. If he keeps trying to get you to budge, just leave and take your business elsewhere.

Technique #6: Leave

If the salesman will absolutely not budge, thank them for their time and tell them you’re not willing to pay their price for the vehicle. Then get up and walk away. This creates a sense of urgency for the salesman. He’ll then usually get up right away and may block you from leaving. He’ll also try his hardest to cut a deal with you—perhaps at the price you desire.

Dennis runs Car Dealer Check which has independent Car Dealer Reviews written by the car dealerships customers and information on Car Dealer Scams.

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