How to Outsmart the Car Salesman and Save
If you’ve ever been in a car dealership more than a couple of times, then you probably know that car salespersons can be somewhat pushy. At times, they can be downright aggressive. It’s easy to understand, considering that much of their salary relies on closing deals, and fast. That said, you may also be familiar with crafty salespeople who will constantly try to take the most money out of your wallet.
If you want to outsmart the salesman and leave the dealership saving instead of spending more, it pays to know the different tactics they use to markup the prices. Here are common tricks that car salespersons employ to compel you to part ways with your money.
## 1. Bait-and-switch
It’s a classic tactic, but it still works. They way bait-and-switch operates is the salesman entices you with a cheaper car and then sells you another vehicle. They bait you with great deals and ads that get you into the store, but tell you that the ‘great deal’ was already sold, and proceed to sell you another car. Of course, it’s going to be more expensive than the first one.
You can overcome this trickery by calling the dealership to confirm that the vehicle is in stock, and inform them that you plan to visit and see the car for yourself.
## 2. They try to sell you add-ons that you don’t really need
You’ve decided to buy the car, now it’s time to discuss the paperwork. When a salesperson discusses the sales requirements with you, they may start bringing add-ons to the conversation, such as extended warranties and additional protection that you probably don’t need. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying for a lot of things that ultimately do you no good.
To protect yourself from this pitfall, ask the salesperson about what exactly the additional items cover and then evaluate them if you truly need them. This comes easier if you’re a previous car owner, as you’ll have a good idea of what you really need and what you don’t. If you’re a first time car buyer, ask yourself if you truly need the additional coverage. Most of the time, you’ll discover that you don’t really need the extra protection.
## 3. The salesperson says that they’re already losing money on the deal as it is
This is the salesperson appealing to your sympathy and discouraging you from negotiating the price any further. What you have to keep in mind is that the dealership is always looking to profit, and they won’t go into a deal without ensuring that they make money out of it. As such, it’s practically impossible that the salesperson will pitch a losing offer. If they say that they’re losing money on the deal they’re offering you, tell them, so are you.
## 4. They bloat the car’s interest rate
When you choose to finance your vehicle in-house, dealers can make a lot of money by raising the car’s interest rate, and oftentimes, consumers are utterly unaware of just how large the interest rate actually is.
Although many dealers will offer competitive rates, they will also typically start with higher rates to ensure a bit of profit. You may soon discover that dealership rates are much higher than what the banks offer. The best way to protect yourself is to talk to your bank directly about the interest rates that you would qualify for. This will equip you with the information you need to negotiate with dealerships.
## 5. The salesperson raises the price or tacks on hidden fees as the deal is about to close
As the deal is about to close, you may start feeling good about yourself. The salesman could use the natural high that you’re feeling to your disadvantage and add a last-minute price increase or previously undisclosed fees, along with a good excuse for them. Whether you’re excited to drive your car home or exhausted from the negotiations, don’t give in. Emphasize that you’ve already settled on the price and be willing to walk out the door if they insist.
As with any purchase that involves a lot of money, you should never rush into purchasing a car. Maintain a degree of calm and practice patience on any decision that involves you coughing up more cash. With preparation, discernment, and some luck, you can get your money’s worth.