When I was Internet Manager for a major car dealer, I compiled a list of the most common mistakes my customers made when buying new and pre-owned vehicles. These mistakes cost consumers a lot of money: hundreds, even thousands of dollars more than necessary. Today we’re looking at why it’s important to stay vigilant through the entire car buying process.
May consumers work very hard at getting the best selling price possible, and then they relax. That’s a big mistake. The selling price is just one area where car dealers make a profit. Yesterday we saw how much money you can lose if you don’t negotiate the interest rate on your car loan. Paying an extra two points on a $15,000 car loan can cost an extra $840 over 60 months. Isn’t that money that’s better kept in your pocket rather than the dealer’s bank account?
What about the trade-in value? I was amazed at how many of my customers spent hours getting the best possible selling price on the new car they wanted to buy. Then, they simply accepted the first offer the dealer made on their trade. Going to sleep on your trade value can cost you a ton of money. Tomorrow I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to get the most value from your trade-in.
Maybe you’ll want an extended warranty on your new or pre-owned car, truck, or SUV. Or a better security/alarm system. Why not pre-negotiate these items before you walk into the dealership? Once you’ve shopped around for the lowest selling price, contact the same dealerships and ask what they’ll sell these extra items for. Then do what you did with the selling price: work one dealer against the other until you get the best deal possible.
Resistance is futile
Pre-negotiating items other than the selling price isn’t always easy. Dealers tend to resist doing this. However, you have a huge negotiating advantage that you need to keep in mind when shopping for the best prices. Your biggest advantage is the fact that you are NOT at the dealership. Do not give up this advantage easily!
Expect your salesperson to ignore your requests for information and pricing and keep asking you to come into the dealership so they can provide the information there. However, if you do that you’ll lose your advantage and the dealer wins. The best advice I can give you is to keep communicating that you are not going in to the dealership until you get the information and pricing you need. And if this dealer won’t provide it, you’ll buy from another dealer who will.
Be firm. Stay in control, and stay away from the dealership until you are ready.
Tomorrow, Mistake #5 – Not Working as Hard on the Trade Value as the Selling Price.