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Negotiating Car Prices

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited April 2017 in Editorial
imageNegotiating Car Prices

Negotiating car prices at the dealership can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars, on your next new or used car. Here are some basic tips from Edmunds.com.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Very informative and enjoyable article..
  • For the Record, PROFESSIONAL Sales Consultants don't think of negotiating as a game. It is our livelihood and the chief means of support for our families. I take my deals very seriously and understand someone else's livelihood is at stake if they enter into a financial contract they are not able to uphold. Ethics are not absent in the field of sales. Please keep this in mind as you conduct business, that salesman and women are people too and can and do empathize with the consumers. Happy Shopping.
  • I spent about 20 minutes reading this and boy am I glad I did. I actually got a lot from it. Some of the points really made sense like eating before arriving at the dealership because I might be there for a while. I never would have thought of that so thank you. It seems like there's a lot of attention on whether or not Six Sigma training for car manufacturers is really necessary or not. i found another article on your site that mentioned this so I was able to get answers to two of my questions from your site. Thanks again for the great information.
  • I am only going to say this. What makes people think that they can go in and demand the invoice price? Look at it this way, if you are in business and sell anything. You have your normal bills, lights etc. Someone comes in and wants to buy things for the price that you paid for it and nothing else. More than likely these people don't take into account that the business owner also has to make a profit to pay the employees that he has, that have families too. Pay the lights to stay in business etc. Be real people, at the end of the day MSRP is a fair price for the vehicle. I can understand not wanting to pay for what’s over that on the "Bump Sticker" or the things that F&I tries to sell you, you can always say NO!

    I see people get on here and tell Sales people that "You picked this job, etc." Well Sales people are the life line of the economy, without them factory’s would close, and then where would you be?

    More times than not the customers make the experience 100 X worse than it has to be. They walk into a car dealership with a chip on their shoulder and automatically give the Sales person hell. Customers make things harder than they have to be, you will get a good deal if you ask for something that is not out the box. Just saying, slam me if you want but think about it.
  • bdechentbdechent Posts: 2
    The comment above me has a valid point. There is no other place where people shop and automatically walk in with a chip on their shoulder. I fully understand the nature of the job I have chosen, however if you have a bad experience at one dealership, there is no reason to take it out on another. People do not understand that the industry is NOT what it used to be. Car buyers recieve "Surveys" rating their experience at a dealership. With all the information thats out there (google reviews, yahoo reviews, Dealerrater.com) it is important for a dealership to maintain a positive reputation by providing a genuine "experience" rather than just getting a sale. Price is always important because we are all on a budget these days. But how do you want to be treated after a purchase? Do you want someone to follow up with you to make sure all is well with your car? Do you want someone who is concerned with how much you like the vehicle afterwards? Would you rather have a service advisor call and introduce himself/herself rather than walk in for service and not know anyone? Do you want someone to show you the ins, outs, features, and functions of your car? You bet you want all of the above. How would you feel if someone said; "Heres yours keys, theres your car, see you later!", after you just spent $18k-$50k with their business. Nowadays its about the "experience". You want someone who you know will treat your family, friends, co-workers with respect. In order to do that the business needs to stay open to employ and pay salespeople, service advisors, mechanics..etc. So lets say you pay $500 over invoice price..($6-$10 extra per mo)..Is is worth it knowing that the dealership you purchased from is going to ensure that they take care of you before, during, and long after the purchase? Try this, ask a sales person what the dealership will do for you AFTER you purchase a car. Also, if you walk into a dealership and act like a complete jerk, dont expect anyone to bend over backwards to try and earn your business. A dealership reserves the right to say "Good luck on your search. have a nice day!" Please dont think that we won't.
  • aad11aad11 Posts: 1
    Moemoe: what the heck is a bump sticker?

    As for "invoice" price, you know, I know, and the kid next door knows that this is *not* the net the dealer paid for the car. Where else is a buyer charged a "destination fee" or bull like "dealer prep" or "doc prep fee". I've had car salesmen lie to me about equipment, I've had one repeatedly hit on my wife. I've seen them consistently act like commission sharks -- a sales critter who isn't the first to swoop in on me will never in the future so much as give me the time of day.

    I don't much car about how the sales critter will treat me in the future because we won't have any contact. It's not like I'll even make the mistake of using dealer service depts ever again: shoddy work, inflated hourly rate, undue waiting, refusal to fix their work when it causes gas to spray over the engine. Padding bills with " diagnosis" after I tell them exactly what needs to be done.

    Customers understand that dealers need to make a living, but inflated MSRP tells us right off the bat that the dealer is trying to gouge. If you want our respect, lose the commission crap and treat us the way you would like to be treated. Don't blow cigar smoke in my face, don't give me histrionics when I want a certain color or decline %*!€^ leather seats or "paint sealant". David McDavid KMA.
  • keewipetekeewipete Auckland NZPosts: 1
    Buying anything major involves negotiation and anyone who disagrees is merely trying to excuse their inability to compromise. If a salesman rubs me up the wrong way I leave... bye bye business. It happened last week... I am in the market for a 911. The salesman didn't think I was a serious buyer... their mistake.
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381
    My experience with car sales people have been, well mother always said if you cant something nice, then say nothing.
  • I was at a car dealership yesterday with my wife. We were looking seriously at purchasing a new or almost new vehicle for our three university aged children to use. Now, I know a fair bit about cars. I am a 49 year old male that has been interested in cars since I was a child. I research the heck out of them. I know motors, options, what one car has that a comparable make might not. It's just my thing; kind of a hobby.

    So when I was comparing the tire size between two models (i.e: 225/60/17 vs 235/55/18) the sales lady says to my wife and I with a bit of a laugh, " yeah, I don't know anything about tires'. At that point I felt like I am done dealing with her. I actually pointed out the tire size on the side of the tire and explained it to her. What vehicle sales representative can stand there and tell a customer who is about the spend $25,000 on a car, that she doesn't know anything about tires. Is that not her job? Shouldn't she be spending every spare minute she has while not assisting a customer, to research and know everything about what she is selling? I'll go one step further... I feel that vehicle sales people should also be extremely well versed in what their competitor's vehicles have to offer. Its not like they don't have time or resources. It would only take a half an hour a day of downtime and a computer to upgrade their knowledge of what they are selling.

    And this isn't the first time I experienced this. Approximately 6 months ago, I was with a friend at a Mazda dealership while shopping for a mid size SUV for his wife. I asked the salesman, "what size engine is in the SUV?", which was a question I already knew the answer to. I guess I was testing him. His answer to me was "its a four cylinder". Ok, no kidding. So my next question to him is "ok, its a four cylinder, but what is the displacement?" At that point I offer him a few displacements, one of them being the correct answer. The salesman was now baffled, went to a room to get a key for the vehicle, came back and popped the hood and was searching frantically trying to figure out the answer to my question. Within 30 seconds, we had left the salesman and informed him exactly why we were leaving.

    Poor preparation is what I see most of the time when I am conversing with car sales people.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 124,199
    rosco804 said:

    I was at a car dealership yesterday with my wife. We were looking seriously at purchasing a new or almost new vehicle for our three university aged children to use. Now, I know a fair bit about cars. I am a 49 year old male that has been interested in cars since I was a child. I research the heck out of them. I know motors, options, what one car has that a comparable make might not. It's just my thing; kind of a hobby.

    So when I was comparing the tire size between two models (i.e: 225/60/17 vs 235/55/18) the sales lady says to my wife and I with a bit of a laugh, " yeah, I don't know anything about tires'. At that point I felt like I am done dealing with her. I actually pointed out the tire size on the side of the tire and explained it to her. What vehicle sales representative can stand there and tell a customer who is about the spend $25,000 on a car, that she doesn't know anything about tires. Is that not her job? Shouldn't she be spending every spare minute she has while not assisting a customer, to research and know everything about what she is selling? I'll go one step further... I feel that vehicle sales people should also be extremely well versed in what their competitor's vehicles have to offer. Its not like they don't have time or resources. It would only take a half an hour a day of downtime and a computer to upgrade their knowledge of what they are selling.

    And this isn't the first time I experienced this. Approximately 6 months ago, I was with a friend at a Mazda dealership while shopping for a mid size SUV for his wife. I asked the salesman, "what size engine is in the SUV?", which was a question I already knew the answer to. I guess I was testing him. His answer to me was "its a four cylinder". Ok, no kidding. So my next question to him is "ok, its a four cylinder, but what is the displacement?" At that point I offer him a few displacements, one of them being the correct answer. The salesman was now baffled, went to a room to get a key for the vehicle, came back and popped the hood and was searching frantically trying to figure out the answer to my question. Within 30 seconds, we had left the salesman and informed him exactly why we were leaving.

    Poor preparation is what I see most of the time when I am conversing with car sales people.

    Your expectations may be too high. Most salesman know enough about the product to sell the product to the customer; they aren't expected to be subject matter experts on all the technical specifications.

    Like you, I've been interested in cars since a young age. I'm long past the point where I expect a salesman at a dealership to be able to keep up with me in terms of what I know.

    If you keep walking out on dealers where the salesman can't answer your questions, I'm afraid you'll run out of dealers to visit in short order. :wink:

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    She's a salesperson, not a technician. So I'd tend to think her response was at least honest---better to say "I don't know" then try to BS your way out of it with bad information. I think a good salesperson should be able to professionally *demonstrate* a product but I don't think they have to know all the minutiae.
  • joe1987joe1987 Posts: 1
    Most Car dealerships want to move cars off their lots especially used cars that they are afraid that they will have a hard time getting rid of. Make an offer and then if they don't take it walk. Don't be afraid to walk. More then likely and this is the truth with my experience most car dealers will call you in 1 or 2 days wanting to make a deal on the car so if you really want the car negotiate the price and don't be afraid to walk and wait.
  • noisegnoiseg Naples, FLPosts: 1
    It is good to see the elements of negotiation laid out this way. I agree that nothing is gained by approaching the negotiating table with a "chip on your shoulder," but one has to be able to see through the "smoke screen" put up by a glib salesman, and still remain cordial and respectful.
  • Sheriff_JohnSheriff_John Sacramento, CAPosts: 1
    I have bought used cars for a long time and sometimes get a great buy and sometimes a bad buy. I have been fooled by private owners as well as dealers. Too trusting, I suppose. My last car was from a local used car dealer. I paid a fair price and didn't haggle.

    Well, the following was found after purchase. Tire monitors wrong year, central monitoring device broken, all four rims bent and had to be heated and rounded, windshield washer tank broken, transmission mount broken, all four tires ancient-but new, hood black in color came off another car, a red car, surprise-surprise. Last but not least, the wrong battery,,,

    Never-Ever buy a used car without having an independent inspection. All of the above repairs cost $4000.00. The car runs well and we are happy but a $16,000.00 purchase was really a $20,000.00 purchase. A 100 or 200 dollar inspection from a ruthless inspector would have been money well spent. Emotions enter into any car purchase and they can be expensive with used vehicles, see above. Don't buy a used car from anyone without an inspection. Good luck...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,279
    I sort of feel non-typical when it comes to car buying negotiations. We've been buying from the same dealer since 1979, and until this next purchase coming up, from the same salesman (he died shortly after our last purchase), so we've had a really good, long term relationship with the dealer. In general, if they see us show up on the lot, they know that it's time for our net purchase. Price and payments have always been important to us and they've always been aware of that and have worked with us on that. Never trying to push things on us. Weird, I know, but it has never felt like a "battle".

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,385
    edited March 7
    Things people say that suggest they will over pay for their vehicle:

    I'm a loyal customer
    I know the General Manager
    I know the owner
    I buy all of my cars from the same dealer
    I want to be fair to the sales person.
    I like to avoid conflict
    They told me that is non-negotiable
    I trust this dealer

    This is all I have for now, but there are plenty more. ;)

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

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  • 1claire1claire Santa ClaraPosts: 5
    This is informative to those people who are planning to get a car.
    A web designer at PetStreetMall, a place to find quality and affordable pet supplies.
  • CaptngeetchCaptngeetch NJPosts: 1
    Good info..But I would love to see something like this about negotiating a cash sale. I've been hunting a used 2015-18 Hemi Challenger for weeks..I message, email, text, call and get the same line everytime...I will have the sales manager get back to you with a price. And not a single one every gets back to me. I know they would rather finance..they make more that way, but i'm talking about cars that have been listed on the sites like cargurus, cars.com, carfax etc for months..would think they would like to move them. Compounding the issue is most that I have found with the trim package, options that I want are about an hour and half to two hour ride away. Im not wasting my time riding out there unless I know it's neogiatable in my ballpark range..they just don't answer that question...just promise to get back to me. We're not talking a couple grand here..we're talking $26-28k and the ones I have inquired about are in that range..pre tax/fees/title.
  • DaverceeDavercee Tampa, FloridaPosts: 102
    Now, that I would have to agree with.
  • PapatruckPapatruck North CarolinaPosts: 1
    There's a reason car salesmen have the reputation they do and it's confirmed by some of the comments from sales people framing the customer as the bad actor in these transactions or distracting from the real issues. This article doesn't say to come in with a chip on your shoulder or make outrageous demands. It just says know what you want to pay and stick to that.
  • Bacala69Bacala69 Posts: 1
    Hi Ronald, Armand here. I’m interested in buying a 2020 Tacoma Sport. Their Scheduled to arrive at the dealers the 1st or 2nd week of October. I am not looking forward in dealing with Salespeople. This will be a Cash Deal, I am not interested in their financing. l Added a bunch of Accessories and it came out to $58,500 Taxes in . What Would I expect to get off the Total ? Do you Provide a Negotiation service? Thanks in Advance ..
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