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Day 873: In The Market For A Vehicle

Therefore, I terrorize myself by reading stuff like this

Confessions Of A Car Salesman – Part 3: Meeting, Greeting and Dealing

… “When you negotiate, this sheet should be covered with numbers,” Michael said. “It should be like a battleground. And I don’t want to see the price dropping five hundred dollars at a pop. Come down slowly, slowly. Here I’ll show you how.”

The process begins by asking the customer how much they want for a monthly payment. Usually, they say, about $300. “Then, you just say, ‘$300… up to?’ And they’ll say, ‘Well, $350.’ Now they’ve just bumped themselves $50 a month. That’s huge.” You then fill in $350 under the monthly payment box.

and slowly go insane.

8 comments… add one
  • oyster January 17, 2008, 6:11 PM

    Yes, “Payment buyers” are cash cows.

    Never, ever ever negotiate monthly payments on a purchase. Negotiate purchase price, fees and financing rates.

    I can help you with vehicle purchases in Nola.

  • Blair Tyson January 17, 2008, 7:01 PM

    Don’t go car shopping alone. Take D. Never – ever – go up unless you are getting something extra.

  • Karen January 17, 2008, 11:51 PM

    Also, don’t let them hold you hostage.

    Usually they get you in the chair and when you are hungry and desperate they start flinging numbers at you.

  • mominem January 18, 2008, 9:00 AM

    You can get a lot of information on the Internet, Including quotes.

    I had a friend a few years ago who faxed bid sheets to dealers. It worked for her. OF course it only works for new cars.

    And you still need to go do test drives.

  • liprap January 18, 2008, 10:48 AM

    Dan bought our ’05 model Chevy off eBay shortly before we moved back down to NOLA. He got it from a dealership in Ft Worth who was looking to move some good vehicles off their lot. It was a good deal, too, but only in part because Dan was willing to fly into DFW, pick up the car and drive it to NOLA. He IS part car, anyhow, so that was no big whoop.

    Take Oyster up on his offer, Maitri. Don’t freak yourself out over this.

  • Adrastos January 18, 2008, 11:15 AM

    We had a decent experience at Lakeside Toyota. It was the least creepy car buying experience I’ve had. I didn’t even have to threaten to leave as I usually do.

    Oyster’s advice is excellent and should be followed.

  • Editor B January 18, 2008, 12:21 PM

    And that is why our last two cars have been Saturns. No negotiation. The price is the price.

  • celcus January 18, 2008, 12:59 PM

    I bought my last here: http://www.carsdirect.com

    They made $300 on the sale. The transaction was handled at a local dealership. The sales agent (there was no negotiation, and he got the credit for the sale) came right out and said there was no way he could sell a car for that little. Of course that was during the dot-com boom when making money was the last thing on most dot-com’s mind.

    If you can get the Consumer Reports report on the car you are looking at it will tell you the actual numbers the dealer pays. It’s best to negotiate up from that.

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