23 Things Your Car Dealer Won’t Tell You
Find out how to get the best value out of your next auto purchase by side-stepping these common car dealer practices.
1. That Car We Advertised at the Unbelievable Price?
It’s a stripped-down model with a manual transmission, no air-conditioning, and bad windows.
But we got you in, didn’t we?
2. The Best Time to Buy?
At the end of the month. It’s also best to negotiate the trade-in separately. Negotiate up from the invoice price (what we paid for the car, easy to find on the Web), not down from the sticker price.
3. Everybody Believes Their Trade-in is Worth More
You’ve got bald tires, chicken bones under the seats, and dust blowing from the vents, but you’re going to tell me your car is in “excellent” condition?
Now who’s the pushy salesperson?
4. Where We Negotiate Makes a Difference
Once I’m sitting behind the desk, you’ll feel like I’m in control and may be willing to pay a little more. (We learn this during training.)
6. Give Me a Break!
Every spring we have guys who show up and say they’re interested in one of our trucks and want to give it a spin.
They think we don’t see the mulch on the floor when they bring it back.
7. Notice How Often we Go Back and Forth to our Manager?
The loud music, the gongs, and the blaring flat-screen TVs? All are distractions designed to help you lose track of what we’re doing with the deal.
9. Go In Armed and Educated
Study the pricing of the car you like and have your financing lined up.
If you walk in with nothing, you’re not a customer, you’re a victim.
10. Here’s a Favourite Trick
Once you give us the keys to appraise your trade-in, you won’t get them back until you’re ready to leave and you ask for them. While I’m getting them for you, another salesman will try to close a deal.
12. Attractive People Sell More Cars
I’ve seen some incredible deals go down because the only thing the customer was paying attention to was the salesman paying attention to her.
13. A Friend Won’t Give You the Upper Hand
When you bring in your friend or your father to negotiate for you, we call him “the quarterback.”
Just know that he’s often as clueless about the process as you are.
15. You’re Not the Only One Who’s Annoyed
Despite the stories you’ve heard about sleazy car dealers, plenty of us are honest folks frustrated by the guys who give the rest of us a bad name.
16. We’re Not Done – We’re Just Getting Started
Once you’ve agreed on a price, we get going. Worn out and ready to go home, you sign document after document. Then you wake up the next day, look down, and you signed a contract that had a $1,995 extended warranty that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
And you’re stuck.
18. I’m Never in That Much of a Hurry
Think you’ll get a good deal by coming in at closing time when I’m anxious to get home?
19. Get It on Paper
I’ll promise you just about anything to get you to sign on the dotted line.
But if I don’t put it in writing, I may not remember the next day.
21. No, That’s Not Going to Happen
Don’t expect retail for your trade-in and wholesale for our car.
We have to recondition your trade, advertise it, warranty it and pay interest on the amount we have in the car, then sell it for less than we want after it sits on the lot for months.
23. Shop Around
Sure, I’d be happy to tint your windows, apply rustproofing, or paint a pinstripe on your truck.
But I’ll probably charge you two or three times the cost of doing it elsewhere.
Looking for a new ride? Check out the new Reader’s Digest Build & Save Auto Program to see the latest incentives and exclusive discount opportunities on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to shop over 30 brands!