Buying a new or used car from a dealership usually involves some negotiation with a salesman, a situation in which a shrewd buyer can potentially save thousands. Naturally, salesmen will have industry experience and specialist training, equipping them with the various techniques required to maximise profit from every sale they make. However, by being aware of what separates a skilful sales pitch from a genuinely good deal, buyers can be sure of driving away in reasonably priced car.
1. Prepare to Haggle
Possibly the most important skill to master is haggling, although this type of high speed negotiation does not come naturally to many people. Often, our traditional British reserve means most of us find it an uncomfortable experience. Nevertheless, remember that the salesman will be expecting customers to look for a lower price, just as he is aiming to get a higher one.
2. Don’t be Sucked in by Sales Patter
Although he may be jovial and accommodating, don’t be fooled into thinking the salesman is your friend. No one likes to argue with a friend and you’ll give him an advantage. Ultimately he’s there to sell at the highest price possible, not to give you a great deal.
3. Keep Calm
Get the upper hand by keeping your nerve; allow long silences to throw doubt on your enthusiasm, point out any less desirable aspects and be hesitant. Even bring up the idea of a less keen partner, whose consent you’ll have to obtain before making any deal. If all else fails and you are not offered a fair price on the car, walk away from the sale.
4. Do Your Homework
Before even setting foot in the forecourt it is vital to establish what you want, what the market price is and how much you are willing to pay. Make a low but realistic first offer, then allow yourself to be drawn up to what you consider a reasonable price. You can also take a printout of car prices from an internet source with you for a comparison. Although the salesman is likely to dismiss the relevance of any independent pricing structures, it is at least a bargaining tool. You can ask him to match the price and if not, how close he is willing to go.
5. Beware of Special Offers
Salesmen often offer freebies to entice buyers, but be wary of these. Don’t accept the first offer just because it has been dressed up with some extras. Always aim for better, just as you would compare different car insurance policies to get the best deal.
At a time when many businesses are struggling to keep afloat, it’s worth remembering that buyers are in a privileged position. Companies have monthly sales targets to meet and the employees bonuses are likely to be affected by these, therefore each sale counts. Financing a new car is a significant undertaking for most consumers, so keep a fair but firm attitude. If you are not offered a good enough deal, simply take your money elsewhere.