7 Ways to Outsmart a Car Salesman


Car dealers rarely have the customer’s best interests in mind. They focus on making a sale, knowing the finance company will bear the burden of repossessing the car if the buyer doesn’t make the payments as agreed. They will already have their cash in hand.

For this reason, car buyers need to be careful when shopping for a new vehicle. Car salesmen have many tactics they use to close a sale. When a customer knows these tactics, they are less likely to fall for them.

Trading in a Car

Car dealers know exactly how much a used vehicle is worth, and it is usually less than what the owner imagines. However, this doesn’t mean the owner has to accept the lowest price the dealer offers. There is room for negotiation.

If the car is in high demand, the owner may let the dealer know they have someone who can buy my car at a higher price. If the dealer has one or more customers in mind who would pay top dollar for the vehicle, they may be willing to increase the trade-in offer.

Reach Out to the Dealership Before Visiting

Contact the dealership through email, and ask what the best ‘drive away’ price is for a new car. This will be found in a ‘buyer’s purchase order’. If buying used, the same information can be found in the ‘bookout sheet’.

Once they provide this quote, have them put it in writing. If they refuse to provide the quote, let them know the car won’t be purchased through them. Repeat the process with several dealerships to find the right car at a great price.

Salesmen Know Car Buyers

A salesman knows which techniques to use to get a person interested in buying a car. For example, a single older woman is likely to make a purchase because she needs a car and doesn’t want to spend much time at the dealership.

A married couple, in contrast, is a harder sell. The salesman has to convince two people they can’t live without a new car, and they must agree on which one to buy.

Buy Late in the Year

The end of summer is a good time to get a good deal on a new car. New models will be coming in, and they need space on the lot. In addition, manufacturers frequently offer competitive financing during this period. Dealers will continue offering great deals through December, with December actually being the best month to buy.

Wait Until the End of the Month

Dealers have monthly sales quotas. If they are short of this quota and the end of the month is approaching, they may offer a buyer a better deal. It never hurts to try.

Price Vs. Payments

When a person goes to buy a new car, they know how much they want to spend. The salesperson will then try to talk them into a car that is more than they wanted to spend by focusing on the monthly payments rather than the price tag. Stick with the vehicle price to ensure the right car is selected for the budget.

What’s the Catch?

When a salesman offers a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Dealers pay basically the same price for new cars. If one dealer is selling the same vehicle for much lower than competitors, they will probably increase the fees and other charges that come when buying a new car. Be wary of any price that seems too low.

Buying a new car doesn’t need to be a hassle. Informed customers find they can purchase a vehicle they love at a price they can afford when they know which tactics to look out for. Learn more today about these techniques and how to combat them to have a successful sale for all parties involved.


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