Many customers shop for used vehicles because they generally have a lower price tag. A smart shopper will not only research the best vehicles on the market, but also learn tactics for working with dealers to get the best bang for their buck. You don’t have to be a type-A personality to argue your way toward a better deal. Follow some of these advised guidelines to confidently negotiate with any seller on the market.
First, use your instinctual judgment when buying a car from anyone. If you have mixed feelings about a seller, chances are they may not be forthcoming with valuable information about the used cars in their lot. In some cases, they may be flat-out dishonest. It should not be your job to catch the seller in a lie or scam. You simply want a reliable vehicle and they want to sell you one. A bad attitude or an evasive response to your questions could be instantly strong indicators that your dealer may not be the best match for you.
When the time comes to discuss the payment, remember that the sticker price isn’t set in stone. A good buyer will ask to lower the price and a good seller should be willing to budge. Your research of the market value regarding the make, model, and year of the vehicle in question will give you a good jumping off point when you begin negotiations. Always offer to pay an amount that is lower than the sticker price, but somewhere in the ballpark of the market value. Ask yourself ahead of time how high you are willing to pay over the market price. The seller will inevitably counter your offer with a higher amount, but it’s important to know how high is too high for you. Knowing your limits gives you a sense of security and power in your stance on the price tag.
When negotiating with the dealer for used cars in their lot, always be prepared to walk out. Using the walk-out tactic will indicate to the seller that they need your money more than you need their business, which will invariably prompt them to agree to your lower asking price. If a dealer thinks you’ll take your business elsewhere, they will be less rigid on the price because essentially they would prefer a lower payment than no payment at all. Keep in mind, this does not mean that you should walk out as soon as a counter offer is presented, but enter negotiations with the confidence that you could snag a better deal if you wanted to.
Lastly, patience is a major virtue when shopping for used cars in your area. Negotiation practices will not simply take a few minutes of your time. Paperwork, history reports, background checks, and even back-and-forth price suggestions could take up to an hour or more! This exercise can leave you exhausted and frustrated, but it’s important to always remind yourself to remain calm and collected during the process.
A period of negotiating could mean the difference of paying thousands of dollars less than the original price. Take your time, relax, and always be prepared to walk away and then return in a better headspace than before.