Car Buying Tip of the Day

I learned something very valuable when "dickering" around with the salespeople when buying my car. While we all know salespeople prey on customer's inherent "niceness," there are ways to combat this without having to be mean. I call it "being direct," something I'm getting a bit better at.

What slimy salespeople will try to do is squeeze the absolute most out of you, hiding numbers in your trade-in value, etc. They'll say things like, "OK, the manager said you're gonna have to work with me. Can't we do another $200?" In your head you're thinking, "Sure I could do $200, but I don't want to, nor do I feel like I should pay that much for the car, and sure it's only a 'little more money,' but you already talked me into 'a little more money'." But, I've learned, you don't give them anything to go with. When they say, "Can't you do just $200 more?," just look at them, dead in the eye, and say, "No." Say NOTHING else. That simply "NO" will get you anywhere you want to go. If they respond with another question, say "No." If you say, "well, it's out of my price range," you'll get "well, what IS your price range?" and you'll be dickering all day. Just say no.


Amanda said…
This works in other bargaining markets as well. You act semi-interested in something, then ask how much it is. If it's not a price you like, just be quiet or start walking away. I've had merchants calling out lower prices as I've walked away.
Pete said…
…like at Walmart
Jay said…
That would be a funk prank: go to Walmart, and go up to the register with a cart full o' goodies, and say, "I'll give you 2 bucks for this toaster" and see what they say.
CGrim said…
Yahoo Finance has some good car haggling tips here.

Basically, be as non-committal as possible until the very end, and you have settled on a nice low price.

Then, when the price is settled, bust out all your tricks:
"Oh, by the way, I have a trade-in, and I'm paying in cold hard cash."

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