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When negotiating should you negotiate the selling price or the "out the door" price?

surferdudehbsurferdudehb Member Posts: 42
edited March 2016 in Toyota
Is it better to negotiate the selling or out the price for a used car at a dealership?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I would sticking to selling price, because if you start negotiating the OTD price back and forth, you're really just negotiating the selling price anyway, but obscuring the amount. You can't negotiate the tax and registration---but you can negotiate the doc fee, to a point, after the selling price is agreed to.

    So selling price, yeah, a bit more flexible IMO.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I tend toward out the door when shopping new cars, but your question is about used ones, and dealers haven't started junking them up with paint or fabric protection packages, nitrogen and the like (let's hope they don't start). And doc fees seem to be less common when you buy used (used car sales are more profitable than new car sales, so maybe that's part of it).

    So yeah, at some point you should ask about any fees besides the taxes so there won't be any last minute "gotchas", but focus on the selling price.
  • surferdudehbsurferdudehb Member Posts: 42
    ok thx guys :)
  • saratogastevesaratogasteve San Jose, CaMember Posts: 184
    Out the door is the way to go. You'd be surprised how much more than just tax and license a dealer can add on the the selling "price" of a car. Doc fees can vary widely and then I've heard of adverstising fees, was delivery included? How about that rebate or incentive from the manufacturer. You want it broken down with the sale price of the car in writing along with the the OTD price which should include everything. Even then you will have to sit through another round of selling when the finance person tries desperately to sell you extended warranties, maintenance contracts, seat fabric insurance, gap insurance - just emphatically say NO to all that junk is my rule. They will use fear based selling to warn you how expensive some fixes can be.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Can't disagree @saratogasteve but can't say I've seen any rebates or incentives from manufacturers for selling used cars, as the OP asked. Maybe on CPOs?

    I have heard of some used car dealers trying to tack on "destination" fees.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think OTD price as well. With selling price negotiations, the dealer can obfuscate the deal with all kinds of add-ons, just wearing you down and getting you anxious to be done with all this negotiating point-by-point.

    Of course, to negotiate OTD, you have to do some homework beforehand.
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