7. Give yourself time and be ready to walk away
Dealers nearly always try to find ways to not honor those e-mailed price quotes you’ve received. Of course, they never say, “Sorry, we lied just to get you here!” But they don’t have to. They will say there’s a delivery charge because the color you want isn’t on the lot after all, or they’ll find a new excise tax to charge, or they’ll say you can’t get that car without $300 mud-flaps. That’s OK. It’s your cue to get up and leave. Exercise your right as a consumer to not tolerate this kind of misbehavior, knowing that four or five other dealers are ready to give you roughly the same deal. Even if you head to a dealer where the email price is slightly higher, you will pay less in the end by not dealing with a seller who is baiting-and-switching you this early on.
Note: You can’t take this walk-away step if you don’t have time, that’s why it’s important to avoid buying a car under duress. Don’t buy it the weekend before you are moving to a new home. Don’t buy it when your old clunker runs into a big repair bill. Don’t plan on getting home for an afternoon football game. Always believe that tomorrow is just as good a day to buy the car as today, and don’t believe when the seller claims, “this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
On a related note, don’t car shop on an empty stomach! Eat a big meal, and know a dealer’s strategy can involve wearing you down so you fall for one of their traps along the way.
Remember: It’s OK to feel like a jerk. When you leave a dealership for bait-and-switching you, they will scream and/or cry as you walk out the door. They’ll tell you no one has ever accused them of cheating. That’s fine. In fact, it’s downright delightful. Many folks will say you haven’t really tried to buy a car until you’ve stormed out of a dealership for misleading you.
8. Bring a calculator, a spreadsheet or a friend
Speaking of misleading — I’ve purchased five new cars in my lifetime. During four of them, dealers made a massive mathematical error in their favor. This is not an accident. As good with numbers as I think I am, I didn’t catch most of these mistakes in my head. I caught them after I calculated the figures myself with an electronic aid. You should always do the same, or at least bring a dispassionate third party (like a friend) who can do it for you.
9. It’s not over till it’s over
Many, many good deals go bad in the back room. That’s when the finance manager will try to convince you to take dealer financing rather than your own, or to buy an extended warranty, or undercoating, or some kind of anti-theft device. All of these things will be overpriced, and all of them can be purchased later. Remember rule #1 — isolate the transaction. Put another way: in a presentation on the car buying process that has a cult following, video game developer Rob Gruhl makes this point — “You wouldn’t stock up on candy at a movie theater.” Say, “No, no, no,” and hand over that check with only the out the door price on it.
10. Regret laws, sometimes
If you find you’ve been tricked into purchasing an extended warranty, many states have “regret laws” that give consumers five or 10 days to back out of that part of the deal, no questions asked. In Washington, for example, buyers need only drop off a letter at the dealer to get a refund for the warranty portion of the deal. (Also called “remorse laws” that entitle consumers to a cooling off period and a right of rescission, some states extend those rights to other contracts, such as health club agreements. They are aimed at industries that have a bad reputation for high-pressure sales.)
There is no such thing as a regret law for the actual car purchase, however.
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You won't get twice as much.
As a General Manager at a large dealer group in the northeast, I feel compelled to add a few comments. First off, the general public would be SHOCKED if they ever saw the average dealer's month-end financial statement. Dealers' average profit per car has remained rather steady for the last 15 years. our EXPENSES are through the roof and continue to climb. The average dealer, at the end of the month, is lucky if his New Car Department makes a profit at all. Ask your local jeweler or furniture store owner how much he makes on that diamond ring or new couch he sells you.
If you as an investor, made an investment of $30,000, how much profit or "return on investment" would you expext to make ? All of you not in the car business, would be blown away but what we REALLY make on a vehicle sale, especially a new car.
Next time your motor blows, transmission locks up, air conditioner quits and you're faced with that $2-3000 bill - let me know what your thoughts are on extended warranties.
Our profession is like any other - just like there are good doctors and quacks, good teachers and jerks, wonderful plumbers and guys that couldn't unclog a toilet - lumping us all together is simply not a fair thing to do.
Due diligence is a good thing in ANY major purchase, but making the ignorant statment that ALL car dealers/salespeople are scumbags is simply untrue.
KUDUS to all of you in the business that try and do it the "right way" - does it cost you a sale now and then ? Sure it does, but we can look ourselves in the mirror at the end of the day.
Most off if not all of this is pretty misleading. Want to know the best way to get the best deal on a car. Be far, and upfront with your expectations. Believe it or not, these guys work more hours in a week, then a lot of people do in two weeks. If you have a figure in mind that you need to be at, most of the time car dealers can work with you. Are you going to service the car there? Are you you returning there with questions about how the car works?
Here are the facts. The best way to the best deal
1) Know what you are looking for and do not try and hide things of lie. We have heard and seen it all. All of it. You could not imagine the stories or lies or situations that happen at a dealership from customers on a daily basis. If that number, payment, car, whatever is doable, most dealerships will do it. We want your business, and value you as a customer.
2) Cheaper does not mean better. Every thing this article points to is that the cheapest price, misleading your dealer, saying no no no is always the best. Its not. When the warranty ends on your car - yes the warranty end- on your car- the thing you abuse the most, the thing with the most moving parts of any object you will ever own, the thing that you value your life with and your kids at 80 mph- it will break... is the person that wrote this article going to pay for the repair. Most customers like a fixed payment. Which is secured when you have a warranty. No waranty? What is your payment then? It could be anything! Pot hole, shopping cart...ect.. Things happen, its a car...
Be far with your dealer, and you will be extened the world. Trust me
3) Auto financing for dealers will ALWAYS be better at the dealerhsip. ALWAYS. We are the banks best friends, we do more loans with them in one day then they do at the bank in a month. They have to extend better rates to us then the comsumer. If your score is not 820 and over you DO NOT QUALIFY for best terms. But, since we have such a great relationship with bankis, we may be able to beg and plead to get you the A+ rate even though you can't pay your cable bill on time. This is all part of being fair with the dealer.. Remember cheaper does not mean better.
4) Kelly Blue Book has never writted a check for a car. Never.
Spending 30 secs online looking your car does not make someone a professional at what the market on a trade is, the same way me spending 2 mins watching a video on youtube does not make me a master chef, even though I wish it did. KBB is a business just like everything else and is fueled by advertising.
You do no want your 1996 honda with 180,000 miles on it, what do you expect us to do with it.
5) This is the most important piece of information I can give anyone buying a car. WE ARE HUMAN- WE HAVE FAMILES- LIVES- MORTGAGES- Just like you. TREAT US HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED. My cell phone has rings with calls, texts, emails 24 hours a day.. even xmas. I choose to do this, and I make a great living at it, and I am very successful (honestly I make more then most of the people buying these 70k-100K cars). But I am also human. My best customers have become friends, they can call on me for anything. If their sister is in town and is thinking of buying something next year.. sure ill help you. Your moms car broke down and she does not even remotely drive the cars I sell. I will helop you, heres a car to drive... Treat me the way you would like to be treated... you will love the experience. Most of the time we are missing our daughters soccer game, our sons play, our wives birthday.. to come in on our day off to make sure your car is ready for your trip tomorrow.
my favorite scam is what a local Honda dealer puts at the end of the invoice on all of the new cars on their lot: item: ADP. cost: $2,000.00
In case you're wondering, ADP stands for "Additional Dealer Profit"
It would be quite easy, in my opinion, to tell jokers like these to f*ck off
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