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OT: Need advice for haggling w/car dealers...


L-1329

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It's been a long time since I bought a car, but it's finally time to retire the fleet and get a new rig pig. For those of you in the know, is there much benefit in trading in two cars to purchase another at a dealership? One of my cars is worth almost nothing, probably $500 -$800 tops, the other should retail around $7000 to $10000 tops. Does the dealer come out ahead with two, even though one is a beater?

 

Secondly, any advice on price negotiating is appreciated. I have no problem finding a fair value for the new vehicle, but dealing to get the best trade-in value is something I could use some insight on. Thanks!:cool:

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Don't be afraid to low-ball 'em with your offer. My car was tagged at like $19,000 -- as soon as he gave me their "best price of $18,000", I stood up and started to walk out, said "Have a nice day", and before I could take two steps they asked what my best offer would be. I told them $15,000, and they said "sold".

 

Of course, know what the car is worth before you just randomly shoot out numbers. I had eBay Motors pulled up on my phone, so I could check "real" prices of everything immediately when he wasn't paying attention.

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Cars is a HUGE racket. My brother recently spent two weeks 'learning' the trade only to quit because of ethics conflicts between what THEY wanted him to do and his own belief in right vs. wrong.

 

Just approach the whole subject this way:

 

THEY NEED TO SELL YOU A CAR MORE THAN YOU NEED TO BUY IT FROM THEM.

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One more thing:

 

Don't be afraid to ask for extras...

 

$20,000 for the car? If they call your bluff at $15,000, go up a bit, but get extras. I'm not talking an air freshener either. We left for dinner last time, and came back right at closing (end of the month). I walked away with a $1200 soft top and free scheduled maintenance for a year. Also, When the numbers for the purchase are settled, go for more on your trade. There is always more room there, and (at least here) taxes are on the difference, not the total price of the car, so you win double.

 

To summarize: Know what you want, and what it's really worth. They paid less. Granted, they must make something on it. Negotiate the trade as well. Ask for more. If they won't give it to you, I bet their competitor next door will. It's a cutthroat business, and you will be the next victim if you don't play along.

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Depending on what you're looking for, there may be some vehicle specific forums that you can use. We bought a Ridgeline last year and www.ridgelineownersclub.com was invaluable. Also, I discovered the almighty email quote. Check out sites like Cars.com and you'll be able to get quotes from pretty much any dealer you want. I did this using two different email addresses (I wanted two quotes from each dealer. Most of them were the same but some differed a bit) to all of the dealers within about 50 miles and was amazed with how many different quotes that received -- some of them were for MSRP and some were well under invoice. I wound up buying from a dealer about 30 miles away and bought for around $1,600 under invoice.

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It's been a long time since I bought a car, but it's finally time to retire the fleet and get a new rig pig. For those of you in the know, is there much benefit in trading in two cars to purchase another at a dealership? One of my cars is worth almost nothing, probably $500 -$800 tops, the other should retail around $7000 to $10000 tops. Does the dealer come out ahead with two, even though one is a beater?


Secondly, any advice on price negotiating is appreciated. I have no problem finding a fair value for the new vehicle, but dealing to get the best trade-in value is something I could use some insight on. Thanks!
:cool:

 

You will get next to nothing on trade ins, and if that doesn't happen to be the case, you will pay out the ass for the car you're buying. The dealer almost always comes out ahead with a trade in, one way or another. If you are really lucky, you might get 2/3 what you could sell the car for to a private party. But that would surprise me.

 

I used to work at a very honest used car dealership. But this was still the case there. Why? Because they have to stay in business. You'd be surprised how much work they do to every car that is on their lot. Any trade in they don't want to sell goes to auction where it is bought by someone else with a dealer's license for wholesale price.

 

Also, if memory serves me correctly, used car dealers tend to shoot for about $1500 profit on every vehicle they sell. I can't remember if that is gross or net though, so don't quote me on that.

 

One more thing: steer away from ANY place whose tag line revolves around financing. Those are the no class places that will try to screw you IMO.

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Test drive the car, then go home. Don't even talk pricing that day.

Do a BUNCH of research on all the aspects of the pricing of the car you want and your trade, and work up an itemized offer sheet detailing exactly what you're going to pay for the car with the features you want, including taxes, and how much you want for your trade, ending up with a final number for which you'll pay them in certified funds. Hand it to the salesman and say "here's my offer, take it or leave it." Make sure your phone number is on it, because they always say no. Tell them to call you when they are ready to sell you a car, and hit the door.

Work out the financing with your bank or credit union before you ever walk onto the lot, so you can cut them a check and never deal with their finance guy. That's the one that really rapes you. If they agree to a price, don't let them add anything on, tell them "whatever additional charges you have, you'll have to work them into that price, that's the total I'm willing to pay you."

Have offer sheets ready for all the cars you like, even if you don't intend to buy them, and make sure the salesman sees that you have them in your briefcase.

Do not let the sales staff have control over ANY part of the process, under ANY circumstance. Treat it like a cash deal since you've already established your financing, and the can't rip you off on the interest rate. The entire sales discussion should be "I'll give you this amount and this trade, you give me this car with these features." Anything further than that and they are going to try to add on to the price.

C7

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Cars is a HUGE racket. My brother recently spent two weeks 'learning' the trade only to quit because of ethics conflicts between what THEY wanted him to do and his own belief in right vs. wrong.


Just approach the whole subject this way:


THEY
NEED TO SELL
YOU
A CAR MORE THAN
YOU
NEED TO BUY IT FROM
THEM
.

 

 

that was my experience exactly.

 

I learned that (in no order)

A. trade ins are advantageous to you, not the dealer - to them its a service they provide. there's no "good deal" that comes out of a 2 transaction deal.

B. Accessories are marked up 500-2000% (no typo). Negotiate EVERYTHING - you can buy an extn warranty for just drivetrain and AC for ~$3-400.

C. The sales guy has no bearing on trade in value. when he walks around the car doing the "silent walkaround" thats there purely to put you in a defensive position to negotiate. discuss trade AFTER the financial deal is worked.

D. know the invoice price. then figure the holdback at between 2-7%, average 4%. negotiate UP from invoice less holdback not Down. using real numbers gives an advantage

E. Financing at the dealer may get you a better rate, but may add 1-3% to the back end - especially if the {censored} you for a few extra points in APR.

F. know their existing inventory, and the inventory of their competitor(s) - if there's a high concentration of a model/trim level, then likely they'll want it gone and have additional back end incentives to move the unit (or they got a killer buy from the disty) their websites tell you this.

G. End of month/end of day will yield the best results.

H. NEVER negotiate payments. Always negotiate the whole deal, with the best case scenario the car sale solo only.

 

All that said, the clean deal with a blank bank check and no trade at the end of the day at the end of the month will get you the best deal.

 

Wanna know how I roll? this requires inside knowledge.

first, I shoot for the vehicle that we want. compare it to inventory and go for the most overstocked.

 

the first thing when entering the lot was to commit to the sales guiy that you are buyign in the next hour if the numbers can jive so he doesnt need to "sell us", just answer questions and have fun with a customer not wastin his time (their mood and tone will change immensely).

 

Now the game is on....I then shook the sales guy in the test drive asking loaded questions pertinent to the vehicle to get him on his hind legs.

 

WHen he went for the silent walk around, I stopped him in mid stroll and asked him to have his appraiser get the car from the lot so we could talk (again, reversing his psychology). when we sat down, I pulled out my calculator, set my alarm on the cellphone for 1 hour and told him "get your Sales Manager and your F&I guy [finance and insurance] so we can do this deal inside of an hour. Oh, and leave me your 4-square."

 

I filled out his 4-square (the sales qualification form/commitment that sets the preliminary deal for negotiating) in fromnt of all 3 of them. I filled it out with the buy price being invoice less 4%, the trade at NADA trade in, the financing at 2.9 (based on the then market at 6%) and put my payments at a round dollar amount that works arithmatically.

 

I explaind during the process that the car was at invoice, let them have any holdback outside of the 4% (because they were obviously overstocked and so were the compitition), offered my trade in agains what Carmax would give and stillallowing them 35% markup on the used lot and then had said that the financing is based on my Credit Union rate (utter BS). I then signed the bottom stating that "if all terms are agreeable, I will buy today" to show my commitment to closign the sale.

 

they were impressed and were pretty close to a deal when the alarm went off on the cellphone. I grabbed the kids, shook hands and told the salesguy that he had my number. my end is satisfied, once yours is to the deal on paper, tell me when to come for my car.

 

the deal came in $25/mo under my agressive dollar goal (which was already way too low), was at 3.9% (against best deals at that time of 6%) and the rest was as perscribed - it took 'em 3 days of "still workin, we'll let you know", but in the end, we got a screaming deal on our CRV and it only took 1 hour on the front side, 1.5 on the back to get the make-ready together, sign the papers and to have the "new car launch".

 

Essentially, I had a 1 year old used CRV that was my benchmark that I was attempting to match in the deal on a new car - Like I said, I was $1500 below that.

 

that's the way I do it,m but I am a professional salesperson/negotiator so I expect not everyone has the moxie I do. That's why I do what I do as well as I do.

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Test drive the car, then go home. Don't even talk pricing that day.

...

Do not let the sales staff have control over ANY part of the process, under ANY circumstance.

C7

 

 

Don't fall for that bull{censored} that they need to make a copy of your driver's license before you can take a test drive.

 

They are just trying to hold you hostage.

It will be a very long time before you see that license again.

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And to repeat the other good advice...

 

Keep the deal clean.

 

If you trade, you are leaving money on the table.

 

Get your own money unless the manufacturer has a deal that the banks cannot beat.

 

Do the deal on the last day of the month, one hour before closing time.

If the weather is bad, this is even better for you.

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so we can do this deal inside of an hour. Oh, and leave me your 4-square."


I filled out his 4-square (the sales qualification form/commitment that sets the preliminary deal for negotiating) in fromnt of all 3 of them. I filled it out with the buy price being invoice less 4%, the trade at NADA trade in, the financing at 2.9 (based on the then market at 6%) and put my payments at a round dollar amount that works arithmatically.


I explaind during the process that the car was at invoice, let them have any holdback outside of the 4% (because they were obviously overstocked and so were the compitition), offered my trade in agains what Carmax would give and stillallowing them 35% markup on the used lot and then had said that the financing is based on my Credit Union rate (utter BS). I then signed the bottom stating that "if all terms are agreeable, I will buy today" to show my commitment to closign the sale.


they were impressed and were pretty close to a deal when the alarm went off on the cellphone. I grabbed the kids, shook hands and told the salesguy that he had my number. my end is satisfied, once yours is to the deal on paper, tell me when to come for my car.


the deal came in $25/mo under my agressive dollar goal (which was already way too low), was at 3.9% (against best deals at that time of 6%) and the rest was as perscribed - it took 'em 3 days of "still workin, we'll let you know", but in the end, we got a screaming deal on our CRV and it only took 1 hour on the front side, 1.5 on the back to get the make-ready together, sign the papers and to have the "new car launch".


Essentially, I had a 1 year old used CRV that was my benchmark that I was attempting to match in the deal on a new car - Like I said, I was $1500 below that.


that's the way I do it,m but I am a professional salesperson/negotiator so I expect not everyone has the moxie I do. That's why I do what I do as well as I do.

 

 

 

If you bought a car they took good profit. You always get screwed on a trade in ,, dealer financing is a rip as well. Never shop in terms of payments... its a total rookie way of buying a car and a sure way to pay too much. Always go in knowing what the cost on the car is... you can get books that tell you that. You will never get into their dealer hold back or their advertising fee. If you have a relative thats a GM employee ,, have them get you the EMP1 discount... sell your car outright. rat

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Don't fall for that bull{censored} that they need to make a copy of your driver's license before you can take a test drive.


They are just trying to hold you hostage.

It will be a very long time before you see that license again.

 

 

I don't know that I'd say that - often times its for the safety of the staff. Granted it is for their info gathering, but its a good practice in this day and age of ID theft to require that it stays in sight until its returned. that cuts the funny business.

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I don't know that I'd say that - often times its for the safety of the staff. Granted it is for their info gathering, but its a good practice in this day and age of ID theft to require that it stays in sight until its returned. that cuts the funny business.

 

 

Nah, you can't buy a car with just a stolen license.

You need to fill out a credit app and that takes serious knowledge of the victim.

 

It's all about them trying to establish control over whether you can just walk out the door before the manager gets a shot at you.

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Don't fall for that bull{censored} that they need to make a copy of your driver's license before you can take a test drive.


They are just trying to hold you hostage.

It will be a very long time before you see that license again.

 

I've never had that happen, but I have sat at a table for 15 minutes waiting for the sales guy to "find his manager". He didn't find his manager until I was already in my car on the way out of the lot.:D

They love to keep you waiting, to tire you out. Always make it known how you're dying to go across the street and drive that other brand, and you have to do it before X time. Make those puppies RUN.:D

C7

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I've never had that happen, but I have sat at a table for 15 minutes waiting for the sales guy to "find his manager". He didn't find his manager until I was already in my car on the way out of the lot.
:D
They love to keep you waiting, to tire you out. Always make it known how you're dying to go across the street and drive that other brand, and you have to do it before X time. Make those puppies RUN.
:D
C7

 

Dead on. Walk around the dealership 2 minutes after the Salesman goes looking for his manager. Chances are the two of them are having a smoke out back.

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Nah, you can't buy a car with just a stolen license.

You need to fill out a credit app and that takes serious knowledge of the victim.


It's all about them trying to establish control over whether you can just walk out the door before the manager gets a shot at you.

 

 

 

no. I think you misunderstood me.

what I am saying is that you tell the sales guy that you arent comfortable giving it out. if he persists due to a policy (which can be the case), dictate that your license isnt to leave your sight so you must follow it - and to really throw them - ask for a letter of disclosure and privacy prior. he prolly has no clue where one would be.

 

but it is correct that you never want to give any posture advantage to them - they're all master manipulators.

 

all of these attributes of the car sales system are all the reason that I only lasted 2 weeks in the tar-pits and went back to legitimate business.

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I've never had that happen, but I have sat at a table for 15 minutes waiting for the sales guy to "find his manager". He didn't find his manager until I was already in my car on the way out of the lot.

They love to keep you waiting, to tire you out. Always make it known how you're dying to go across the street and drive that other brand, and you have to do it before X time. Make those puppies RUN.

 

 

This why I dictate the amount of time THEY have to make it happen. remain in complete control at all times.

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Good stuff, thanks.

 

Here's what I do have. I am looking at a new vehicle so it's easy to find the invoice/msrp numbers. The only thing is that this particular color/trim level is not sitting on every lot, but they can be found. I have financing already lined up, so all I'm going to do is trade in the two old cars and pay the rest in cash. I wasn't sure that the sales tax was on the difference, but thanks for clarifying that. I guess I'm at the point that I have to decide exactly what these two cars are worth, and what a reasonable trade in amount would be. Then as soon as these guys find the right new car it's time to make them an offer. I'm looking at a Nissan Xterra SE, and it helps that there is only one open option not included in the SE trim. I negotiated a real good deal on my Sebring 6 years ago, but didn't have to do a trade in so this is a new aspect. Well, since I've been known to tell my boss where to go when needed, I guess I should have no problem dealing with a dealership.:cool:

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Good stuff, thanks.


Here's what I do have. I am looking at a new vehicle so it's easy to find the invoice/msrp numbers. The only thing is that this particular color/trim level is not sitting on every lot, but they can be found. I have financing already lined up, so all I'm going to do is trade in the two old cars and pay the rest in cash. I wasn't sure that the sales tax was on the difference, but thanks for clarifying that. I guess I'm at the point that I have to decide exactly what these two cars are worth, and what a reasonable trade in amount would be. Then as soon as these guys find the right new car it's time to make them an offer. I'm looking at a Nissan Xterra SE, and it helps that there is only one open option not included in the SE trim. I negotiated a real good deal on my Sebring 6 years ago, but didn't have to do a trade in so this is a new aspect. Well, since I've been known to tell my boss where to go when needed, I guess I should have no problem dealing with a dealership.
:cool:

 

 

Dont trade in two cars .... get some body shop guy or little dealer to dump them though the junker lane at the auction for you .. offer to drive for him that day. You are far better off doing a straight up deal on a new car. The dealer is just going to run your two trade ins though the junker lane at the auction .... you can get that done yourself. You will just end up giving them your cars for free... I am pretty sure you can prolly buy the new car for the same price with or without the trade ins. Dont tell them you have financing ,, till you have the deal cut ,, then pull the finanacing out from under them.... make them talk in terms of final price and itemize everything ,, beware of extra tack on profit taking like undercoating which is a bad thing to do to new cars and extended warrenties and paint glazes and all the rest of the crap dealers try to shove off on you..... rat

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You probably already know this but I'll say it anyway: you can totally negotiate trade in amounts. The last two cars that I've bought I've doubled their initial offer. And ya, I probably could have gotten more had I sold them myself but I saved myself the hassle of selling them myself.

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Dont trade in two cars .... get some body shop guy or little dealer to dump them though the junker lane at the auction for you .. offer to drive for him that day. You are far better off doing a straight up deal on a new car. The dealer is just going to run your two trade ins though the junker lane at the auction .... you can get that done yourself. rat

 

 

I know, but in all honesty, I just really don't have any extra time. With my schedule, it's worth taking less for the convienience of doing this all in one day. I won't give them away, but I need them gone without spending any extra time in the process. Believe me, time is the most precious thing in the world to me lately, and it's worth something!

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Cars is a HUGE racket. My brother recently spent two weeks 'learning' the trade only to quit because of ethics conflicts between what THEY wanted him to do and his own belief in right vs. wrong.


Just approach the whole subject this way:


THEY
NEED TO SELL
YOU
A CAR MORE THAN
YOU
NEED TO BUY IT FROM
THEM
.

 

 

 

PLUS 100!!

 

I did car sales for 6 months and would never do it again. If you're ethical, you probably won't do too well selling cars.

 

 

Anything you trade in obviously goes against the taxes paid on the new car. I would trade in both cars on the new one if you don't have time yourself to sell them.

 

Be well aware of what your cars are worth in the Black book, and be honest with yourself. So many people think their cars are worth more than they really are.

 

The Nissan has a decent profit margin in it I'm sure. Do your homework on both your used vehicles and the one you want. Never accept what they say is the best they can do - at least not on your first visit.

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