Buying: Making the Offer
by Kevin Schappell
Before you make an offer you need to find a dealer with the car you want. You have three options in doing this.
- Drive around all day and night searching for a dealer who has the car you want.
- Spend countless hours online finding local dealers who have websites. And THEN spend more time digging through their websites to find your new car.
- Fill out a request form online and have a dealer contact you if he or she has the car you are looking for. This option alone can save you hours of your valuable time.
So you know what you want, you know what it costs, and you where to find it, so how do you go about getting it? First and foremost is getting into a negotiating frame of mind. Always remember you can walk out at anytime and leave your offer on the table. Dealers want you to buy right then and there. They play on your impulses and try to rush you into a deal. Don't play their game, it's not the end of the world if you don't buy right then and there.
Before leaving the house: When you go to the dealer have all your research documents with you incase you have to review anything. It's always nice to have supporting information when you are trying to get the lowest price.
While at the dealer: Be calm and pleasant, treat the salesperson with respect. He is a working stiff just like you. You will get nowhere being arrogant because you know the true invoice pricing or other details about the dealers pricing.
Making the offer: Explain to the salesman that you have researched the dealer's invoice price and any incentives they get from selling the car and you have calculated the price you are willing to pay. How much over invoice should you offer? 4% - 6% has been a good number. I would offer 4% over invoice if you trust the dealerships service department and plan on getting your car serviced there. Why offer them less if you like their service? Well they will end up making more money on your in the end by servicing your car. Make sure you mention this to the salesman, it's a good bargaining chip.
What next? Wait......... if they do not take the deal, politely leave your name and phone number and go home. Better yet go to another dealer and see if they are willing to take your offer. Remember you can always go back and they can always call you when they realize you will not be buying on impulse and really mean business. You have spent hours researching, why throw that away buy getting nervous and signing a deal you do not feel is fair.
Kevin maintains http://www.autoeducation.com where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about automobiles.
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