Car Buying Secrets: 9.5 Tips Nobody Else Will Tell You

By: J.d. Rucker

If you’re reading this article, you are savvy enough to look for information before you undergo the root-canal procedure known as car buying.? If you are the type of person who can keep an open mind and maintain focus on the details, you should be able to use this information to quell any potential pains in the process.

?????? (1) Eat Before You Go

The last thing you want to hear when in the heat of an important negotiation is your stomach.? It has been scientifically proven that hunger can cloud our judgment and negatively affect our state of mind.

Eat.? A car deal can take a long time to complete.? Even those who pride themselves on being able to get in and out of a dealership can often run into the unforeseeable roadblock of waiting to get into finance to finalize the deal.? A pleasant meal before embarking can eliminate a potentially unpleasant factor in the process.

?????? (2) Ask the Receptionist

Most receptionists at car dealerships know more about salespeople, their styles, and their pitfalls than anyone.? They are the least biased employees because their pay is rarely affected whether you buy a car or not.

Call ahead and ask point blank, “I really want an honest, pleasant salesperson to work with me.? If you were buying a car, who would you want to buy it from?"

Some will answer.? Some will need prodding.? If you can get a response, it will most likely be a useful one.

?????? (3) Bring Donuts

First impressions are important whenever you meet someone new, especially those who can help you.? Salespeople are primarily out to help themselves (as most people are), but that indirectly means they want to help you to help them make money.? If you don’t buy, they made nothing.

Bringing donuts sets the tone.? You will be instantly liked, not only by your salesperson, but everyone who indulges in your treats.? It sounds insane, but when it comes down to those final negotiating dollars and cents, a considerate customer will receive more consideration from the dealership.

If they like you and want you to be their customer, there is a decent chance they will step out a little further to earn your business.? If it saves you $50, $100, or $500, why wouldn’t you want to spend $10 on a couple of boxes of donuts?

?????? (4) Prepare to Make a Day of It

It’s possible to buy a car in an hour or less.? It’s also possible to win the lottery.? I would wager that the latter happens more often than the prior.

If you set aside a full day and start early, there won’t be any time constraints that can ruin a car deal.? If you are able to wrap it up in 3 hours, that’s more time for the mall, golfing, or showing your new ride to friends and family.? If it turns into an 8-hour day, at least you were prepared for it.

It happens every day.? Someone goes to a dealership, finds a car, starts to negotiate, but has to leave for one reason or another.? The next day, the car is gone.? They can get mad, but the reality is that people regularly promise to come back the next day and never show.? Unless they put a deposit down, most vehicles cannot be held.

?????? (5) No Distractions

Dealerships are rarely good places to bring kids.? Buying a car can be long, tedious, and overall unpleasant.? Don’t make it worse by bringing your (or someone else’s) children if at all possible.

Set your phone to silent.? If you can’t, make sure the office and everyone else knows to only call for emergencies.? Treat buying a car as if it is something important.? That shouldn’t be hard – it IS important.

?????? (6) Take a Long Test Drive

When you narrow it down to a vehicle that truly piques your interest, ask to take an extended test drive without a salesperson.? With most state laws regarding insurance, your full coverage should cover it.? Any dealership who won’t allow it is one that doesn’t like losing control of a customer, and thus probably isn’t the right place to do business.

Drive it on the highway.? Find an empty parking lot if possible and test the feel of the brakes (without putting yourself in danger).? Spend some time with your favorite station/cd/mp3 playing.

?Spend some time with the stereo off.

Take it home or to a parking lot where you can get out, look it over thoroughly, and decide if you can picture yourself in it.

Take it to a friend or family member to get their opinion.

Whatever you do, don’t make a large purchase like buying a vehicle without an extended test drive first.

?????? (7) Use a Lifeline

Phone a Friend.? On Who Wants to be a Millionaire, it’s the most important lifeline.? On Who Wants a Good Deal on a Car, it is possibly more important.

Have someone available by a computer to look up anything you need to know.? If you’ve found a used vehicle you like, have someone look it up with a large search radius on or

There may be one with similar equipment and miles out there for thousands cheaper.? It could help with negotiations.? They may be tons out there that are more expensive, reaffirming that you’re getting a great deal.

For new cars, you should know all of the information before going to the dealership because you…

?????? (8) Work the Internet First

Especially for new cars, it is important to get a quote online from the internet departments of good dealerships.? Checking with Kelley Blue Bookfor new car values, then cross referencing your results with actual dealer inventories can give you the information you need to make a decision.

In some dealerships, the internet department is made up of salespeople.? In others, like Harrisburg Pennsylvania Ford Dealers, the departments have Customer Resource Specialists, Business Development Operators, or one of a plethora of colorfully-titled, non-commissioned representatives to do research and get you the best prices.

The first thing you should ask when starting a dialogue with an internet department is whether or not they will be the salesperson assisting you.? If not, you are probably dealing with a salaried employee who makes a bonus if you buy but who doesn’t make a percentage of the gross profit.

In other words, they get paid if you buy regardless of the profit, and thus will work harder to lower the price for you.

You have an opportunity to cut through much of the red tape and get straight to the price with a true internet coordinator.? If they are commissioned salespeople, then you might as well refer back to “Ask the Receptionist" before deciding to work with them or not.

?????? (9) Trust Your Gut

The human instinct is normally very trustworthy.? If you feel that you have found a good car at a good price, you probably have.? If you aren’t sure, keep working.

If you have a strong negative feeling about the car deal, chances are you haven’t found the right vehicle, haven’t gotten the best deal, or didn’t bring enough donuts.

?????? (9.5) Enjoy the Experience

In The Princess Bride, Billy Crystal’s character says, “Have fun storming the castle!"

The line is nearly as ridiculous as someone saying, “Have fun buying a car!"? Still, I will say it with feeling.

It doesn’t have to be bad.? The dark ages of car buying (1978-1997) are all but gone, thanks tremendously to the internet.? Many of the sleazy salesmen of yore have withered to selling furniture, vacuum cleaners, or real estate.? Those who are left have been reprimanded often enough by an informed public and therefore have reluctantly adapted.

There are still bad ones out there, but not nearly in the bulk that existed before.? An old line salespeople used to use when getting caught asking for full sticker on a vehicle went like this:

“I didn’t think you were a fool, but if you were, I didn’t want to miss you!"

Thanks to the internet, many dealers start off discounting a car before the customer asks for it.? The old line has been replaced by one that is more relevant in today’s competitive car market:

“You may not have checked it out online, but if you didPsychology Articles, I didn’t want to insult you."

Special thanks goes to Al Gore?for inventing the internet.

I hope it helps.

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