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.)
5. We Make Our Money Back
Ever wonder about those ads that promise a minimum $3,000 trade-in value for your clunker?
Those dealerships also pad the sales price to make up for the difference.
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.
8. Low Prices Usually Come with a Catch
We all get our cars from the same place at roughly the same price. So if one dealer is offering to sell it for $2,000 less, there’s probably a catch.
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.
11. We Can Spot a Profitable Sale
An older woman who walks in without an appointment, alone, is typically someone we can make a lot of money on.
She’s usually uncomfortable with the process and just wants to get it over with.
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.
14. I Don’t Always Have Unlimited Time for You
If you want to test drive a bunch of models or need a lot of information, don’t pull in on a weekend without an appointment. Come by on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
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.
17. Forget the Overall Cost of the Car
Let’s talk about what you want to pay each month.
Then I can build in profit generators such as extended warranties and credit insurance, and you won’t even notice.
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.
20. “Buyers are Liars”
You accuse us of being the biggest liars in the world, but come on!
You tell us you’re looking for a car for a friend, that you’ve got to run to get to daycare, that you’ve got perfect credit. Right.
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.
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