What Not To Say At A Car Dealership

Prospective car buyers want to get the best deal possible, while car dealers are looking to maximize their profit margin in any way they can. Customers who appear too eager may be more likely to pay extra than customers who seem disinterested.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you might get the best deal for your new ride by knowing what not to say at a car dealership.

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Four Things Not To Say When You’re Buying A Car

Car salespeople are trained to start the pricing high and only come down when the customer has some leverage. The customer who tells them up front how much they have in hand and what they can afford for a monthly payment is immediately giving up that leverage.

Here are four things you should never say during the early stages of price negotiations when buying a car:

1. “I Need A Monthly Payment Under $300”

This might seem like a solid opening statement, but it’s not. Never put a ceiling (or a floor) on what your monthly payment should be before you negotiate the final price for the vehicle.

The payment amount can be reduced or increased by the amount of your down payment, the term of the loan, or by haggling over the sticker price. Setting a monthly payment limit before negotiating begins could be costly.

2. “How Much Is My Trade-In Worth?”

Like the monthly payment amount, the value of your trade-in is a point of discussion after you’ve agreed on the price you’re willing to pay for the car.

It might be best not to mention the trade-in at all because the car salesperson could use that to confuse you about the car’s actual price. Waiting to offer the trade-in favors the buyer. Save it for when it will work to your advantage.

3. “I’ve Already Secured Financing”

Car salespeople usually assume you’ll be using their in-house financing, something they may be incentivized to sell to you. Saying you’ll pay cash or that you already took out a personal loan to buy a car could lead them to not budge on the sale price.

Wait until they’ve already come down on the price, then make a cash offer to lower it further.

4. “This Is Exactly What I Want”

Practice the art of sounding and looking dissatisfied, no matter how happy you are with your vehicle selection. Telling the car salesperson you “love this car” opens the door for them to charge you more for it. Acting like it’s not quite right may result in lowering the price to get you to buy it, or they may try adding some extras like a warranty or vehicle options.

The Bottom Line

Negotiating with a car salesperson is a game of leverage. The buyer has most of that leverage when they walk into the dealership, but many give it up too soon. Don’t mention a target monthly payment amount or availability of a trade-in before agreeing on a selling price.

You also don’t want to tell them you have your own financing or that you love the car. Save those comments for when you’re ready to close the deal.

Disclaimer: The above references an opinion of the author and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. Invest responsibly and never invest more than you can afford to lose.

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