Mitsubishi Eclipse 3G Club banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First, a little background for those that don't know. I have been in the car business for just over 14 years. I have been a salesman, finance manager (the guy that makes you sign the paperwork), sales manager, lease manager, used car sales manager, etc. Basically, the only thing I haven't done in a dealership is change oil. So, and I am not patting myself on the back, I know everything there is to know about how a dealership functions from getting the vehicles from the manufacturer to your doorstep and everything in between.

I figured since there has been some talk as of late on how to, and how not to, purchase a car from a dealership, I would start a post to help dispell some bad information out there and give a place for anyone to ask questions.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO DO A CARFAX IN THIS THREAD I will simply ignore you. Feel free to PM. I will get to it eventually.

Here is how the whole process works.

How we get our cars:
Dealerships get a "preference" or "allocation". In simple terms, this is the total number of new cars they will receive in a given period. Some companies are every week, some once a month. The number of cars you get is based on prior sales. If a dealership is selling only 5 trucks but selling a 55 coupes, guess what vehicles will be on the allocation? Correct, alot more coupes than trucks. This way the manufacturer can get the product to the customers more efficiently. How the dealership pays for these cars is with a "floor plan". A floor plan is simply a line of credit with the company to purchase. Not all dealers have one. If they do, you can negotiate a little harder because they are paying interest for every day it sits on the lot. However, just about every company gets a grace period of 60 days before the interest gets tacked on. Hence the reason why a dealer will try and push out an older car versus a newer car. **Make sure that after you test drive a car, you note the stock number. It is very common for a dealer to have you drive one car, but sell you a different one with the same options due to age of inventory** If a dealer has 6 white cobalts with the exact same equipment, he may have you drive in the newest one, but sell you the oldest one. Now you can also see the reason why it is important to take a car out of stock rather than locate one at a different dealer. I want to lower my interest payment to the company, not help another dealer. This is another area where you can get a better deal. Always try to take one out of stock. I have seen customers get free options (maybe an upgraded radio) because it was on the ground and in stock.

How to conduct yourself at the dealership:
DO NOT walk in and say, "Who here wants to sell me a car?" Any decent salesperson will walk away from you. Simply tell the salesperson that you are interested in Model X and any equipment you may want on it. Take a test drive. But don't waste 3 hours on a drive. Sales people hate that.. especially if they have no idea yet whether you will be buying a car or not. An angry salesperson is a hard headed salesperson. If a customer comes at me with hatred in their eyes, how likely do you think it will be that I really do help them out? VERY rarely. Just be courteous. If the salesman is an ass, leave. There are always other dealerships to visit. If you generally just don't like the salesperson, leave. Remember, there is absolutely nothing keeping you in that particular store. Most people feel pressured to purchase something right then and there. That is because the salesman has control of you. That is what we train our guys to do. If a customer is in control, he has all the power.

Lets pretend everything is fine. They have a car in stock, in your color and options. You want to buy it right now. The salesman will ask you if you have a trade in. Some people still think that they should say NO and spring it on the salesperson later. That is Myth #1. Just tell him you have a trade and a payoff if you do. It just makes everything go smoother. Here is how 2 different scenarios play out:

Scenario #1: You tell the salesperson that you like the car and you have a trade. He gets it appraised, and a payoff if necessary, and you get some figures to start within 20 minutes.

Scenario #2: You hide the fact that you like the car and that you have a trade. The salesmen spends 30 minutes trying to figure out if you actually want to buy the car and gets a price from the managers. You go back and forth and finally agree on a price. Thats 45 minutes. Now you mention the trade (that the salesperson know about all along). Another 20 minutes to get it appraised. And you start haggling over figures again.

Here is the kicker... both scenarios result in the same profit. No way, you say? I hate to say it, but a car is worth what a car is worth. Just because you mentioned it early in the conversation does not dictate its value to the dealer. Let's use some numbers.. 27,000 msrp. 2000 discount. 10000 trade in value. Scenario one: you get a price of 26,000 and a trade in of 11,000-- your price is 15,000. Scenario two: You get a price of 25,000 but only 10,000 for your trade-- your price is 15,000. The reason this happens is because most customer are sentimentally attached to their vehicles. They will pay more attention to the price of their trade than the price of the new car. So it stands to reason that a dealership will use some of the profit to "show" you a higher trade in value. Either way, the dealership will make a certain amount of money. Get over it. It is a business and needs profit to run. Last time I checked, nobody here has called DNL motorsports and asked to see what the cost of an item is and negotiate from there. But people are terrified of paying to much at a dealership. I can totally understand that. You just want a fair deal. If you are the type that wants the dealership to make no money at all, stop reading this. You are an idiot to ever think someone will sell you something at a loss.

How to negotiate:
Simple... go to 3 dealers. Get the best price from all three. If one guy is 3,000 less than everyone else, he lied to you. Yes, carsalesmen lie. He is trying to get you to go back to that store and give him a second shot after you have gotten numbers from other stores.
OK, now you have 3 numbers from 3 different stores. They are probably within 1,000 of each other if you have a trade. If no trade, they are probably closer to 300 apart. Which dealership did you like the best? Which one is most convenient for service work? Which one offers better services like loaners, shuttle service, hours, etc? Which salesperson did you like the best? Hopefully, you like one the best out of the three. Take your number and walk in. Hand it to your salesperson and say, "Beat this and you have a deal RIGHT NOW". That is how easy this is. He can either beat it, match it, or he says no way.
A) He matches the deal and you have a new car.
B) He beats the deal and you have a new car.
C) If he says no way, he will try to explain why he can't. You can politely listen, but remind him that someone can. If he still says no, leave. He will either chase you down in the parking lot or call you the next day. If neither happens, go to your next favorite store. If he is VERY close, within 200 bucks, just buy the car. What is the difference over 4 years of ownership. Skip starbucks once a month and you have the money back.

Here are some things to never say to a salesman:

1) What is my payment? Well, not before negotiating on a price. If you try and negotiate a price, you will lose this battle. There are too many factors involved in a payment.. interest rate, term, cash price, price, payoff, "wiggle" room, etc. By wiggle room I mean most dealers pack the payment by 20 dollars and you never realize it. If your real payment would be 300 month for 60 months, they will tell you 320 and let you talk them down to 300 giving you the impression that you are getting money off. Hence why I say never talk about payment ahead of time.

2) My credit sucks.. can you get me approved? This is pretty self explanatory. A dealer will crush you if you say this.

3) This is the exact car I am looking for! At least never say this before you negotiate. Even if it is, tell them you would like a (insert color they don't have) instead, but might settle for the color they have (the one you really do like).

Some things to do before going into a dealership:

1) Arrange financing before hand. If you have good credit, ask your bank what their rate is or visit capitalone.com. If your credit is marginal, go to roadloans.com or capitalone.com and try to get pre-approved before hand. Tell the salesman that you already have financing arranged. They will never let interest rate stand between them and a deal. Most of the time, they can beat the rate you have. If not, no harm, no foul, you already have your money anyway.

2) Figure out your budget. I have seen countless times a customer come in and want a vehicle that winds up being way out of their price range when it comes to payment. A general rule of thumb is $20 for every $1,000 you are going to finance on a 60 month loan. A $15,000 car including taxes and money down is about $300 a month with good credit.

3) Get your down payment together. If you can only put $500 down, don't figure on future income.. "Well, next weeks paycheck will be another $500..." You either have the money or you don't.


Here are some myths:

1) There are 2 invoices. No, there is only one invoice on the car. There are two different prices on it though. The "invoice" that everyone talks about includes "Holdback" and "Advertising Fees". Holdback is a dollar amount that the manufacturer pays to the dealer quarterly as a bonus. On some cars, it is negotiable. Since you already have 3 quotes, it doesn't matter.

2) Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book (KBB), (Insert other internet site here), have the REAL invoice No, they don't. They are usually off by 2-3%.

3) KBB says my car is worth $XXX. No, it isn't. KBB is a guide only. If KBB is so sure your car is worth what they say, have them buy it. Oh wait, they don't buy cars. Your car is worth what the dealer is willing to pay for it. Some dealers will pay more because they need it more than another store. If Eclipses are hot sellers and a dealer has none of them, he will give you more than a dealer that has 15 of them. Make sense?

Well, I think that is a ton of info for now. I'll do a write up on how to buy a used car sometime soon. The floor is open for questions....
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Some things I forget to mention after re-reading the above post..

Ways to get a better deal.

1) As I mentioned, take a vehicle out of stock. I already mentioned about floor plan and interest that the dealer is saving by you taking one right now. There are a few other reasons. If you want one that the dealer does not have, he will take a deposit and get one for you within a few days. Dealers do not like this. I have taken deposits and had a customer go to the next dealer and buy one there. I have had customers come from another store and have a deposit down there already. Basically, deposits mean crap in this business. They are fully refundable by law. The only sure fire way to solidify a deal RIGHT NOW (the magic words to a dealer) is to have you take one off the lot. I would be more than happy as a manager to give a customer another $100-300 off the best price just to have him take a car right now.

2) When you are walking around the lot, take notice of the dealers stock numbers. If the car you want has a stock number of #7429 and you see the same car with #6875, guess which one is older? Drive the older one. There is absolutely no difference between the two vehicles as far as warranty goes. Have the salesperson work on the car that is older. Again, it goes back to interest being paid by the dealer to have the car on the lot.

3) Sometimes there is an odd ball car. An option that not alot of people want. Somebody screwed up and didn't order an option that everybody wants. If the option doesn't mean anything to you personally, look at that one. If it has an extra option that you don't necessarily want, go ahead and look at that one also. Maybe you get a signifigant discount on that particular car because of it. A customer that will take an oddball car will get a better deal than someone who wants the same thing everybody else is getting.

That is just a couple of other things to keep in mind. It really is no different than any other business. Since we are talking about a multi-million dollar inventory, it has to turn fast. Turning fast product means more profit. If you help the dealer by buying an older car or something that is not commonly purchased, you WILL get a better deal... as long as it is in stock and ready to go RIGHT NOW.
 

·
Damn I look good
Joined
·
941 Posts
Well I've been looking for a new car for a while now and the dealerships seem to be charging way more than what the site for the car says I should be paying. For example, on Dodge's site the Charger I priced came to 30,840 but when I go to the dealership and found one exactly like it they want 35,000 for it. Plus, I see cars on the lot being sold as new that are 1-2 years old. Why wont they give me a good deal on those? I mean I know you said that they pay interest on them and are probably trying to still make the same profit on it, but wouldnt by then they would want to just get rid of it since apparntly no one wants it and it just going to continue to sit there and take up space and resources?
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Quite frankly, they are idiots. Anyone that has a year old car on their lot and refuses to sell it isn't worht being a manager. Give me some more specifics (model, equipment, etc) and I can try and tell you how to get them to go lower.

If they have a car on their lot that is 2 years old, they should have said "to hell with profit, get rid of this thing" a LONG time ago.
 

·
Damn I look good
Joined
·
941 Posts
It was just a Charger R/T with the standard options plus a sunroof. I was actually interested in that car and thought If I could get them to 26 or 27k for the model from last year then I would be ok. In the paper there was a article on the SRT8 and they stated that the model they used for there test was 35k but this place is selling base RTs for that.
 

·
More guns than sense
Joined
·
38,301 Posts
Quite frankly, they are idiots. Anyone that has a year old car on their lot and refuses to sell it isn't worht being a manager. Give me some more specifics (model, equipment, etc) and I can try and tell you how to get them to go lower.

If they have a car on their lot that is 2 years old, they should have said "to hell with profit, get rid of this thing" a LONG time ago.
That's for sure. I got my Miata for just a hair below invoice 'cause it'd been sitting on the lot for 12 months at the time of purchase. When I bought my IS300, I got $500 off their asking price (which was already well below KBB, NADA and Edmunds) 'cause it was going on 60 days on the lot.

In both cases, when I went into negotiations, I didn't negotiate the price of the car. I negotiated the price out the door. That way, even if the dealership does toss in hidden fees or whatnot, it's never over what I expected to pay in the first place. It also makes it super easy to calculate payments whether preapproved for financing or not.
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
That's for sure. I got my Miata for just a hair below invoice 'cause it'd been sitting on the lot for 12 months at the time of purchase. When I bought my IS300, I got $500 off their asking price (which was already well below KBB, NADA and Edmunds) 'cause it was going on 60 days on the lot.

In both cases, when I went into negotiations, I didn't negotiate the price of the car. I negotiated the price out the door. That way, even if the dealership does toss in hidden fees or whatnot, it's never over what I expected to pay in the first place. It also makes it super easy to calculate payments whether preapproved for financing or not.
Good point Kabob. Whenever possible, deal with an out the door price. Many places have "freighted" people when them come back in to get the price. Freighting is when you "try" to add the destination cost to the price after all negotiations have taken place. Other examples of this are things like floor mats, pinstriping, door edge guards, etc. Small items that get added on aftermarket. Also, check with your local laws about "documentation fees". Technically, they are just straight profit for the dealership. However, no place will let you negotiate them out. The local laws will tell you the amount they are able to charge. In Illinois, the highest they can be is $57.
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It was just a Charger R/T with the standard options plus a sunroof. I was actually interested in that car and thought If I could get them to 26 or 27k for the model from last year then I would be ok. In the paper there was a article on the SRT8 and they stated that the model they used for there test was 35k but this place is selling base RTs for that.
From what I understand, the SRT8 is a hot model right now. It doesn't surprise me in the least that you couldn't get 30% off list for it. Most vehicles are marked up 7-11% from invoice. A 35K car will have 3500 mark up. You wanted 10k off. You are probably able to get it for 4000-4500 off MAXIMUM if it was an 06 when the 07's hit the ground. If it was an 05, the dealer gets paid a flat amount at the end of the year to cover any future incentives to sell it. Dodge may have paid them 1,000 per charger on the ground and will never put another rebate on them. Kind of like a buyout of all old chargers. Those they should be able to sell relatively cheap, but still nowhere near the 10k off you wanted unless Dodge paid them 5k per charger (I seriously doubt they did)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
I wondered about your thoughts on two things. First off...

How to negotiate:
Simple... go to 3 dealers. Get the best price from all three. If one guy is 3,000 less than everyone else, he lied to you. Yes, carsalesmen lie. He is trying to get you to go back to that store and give him a second shot after you have gotten numbers from other stores.
From what my dad has said at least, I find this very hard to believe. He lives 15 miles from Toledo, Ohio, a city of well over 300,000, and also 15 miles from Fremont, Ohio, a city of barely 15,000. Guess where the cars are always cheaper? In Fremont, and not just by a couple hundred, generally by more than 2-3K. He has sat down to talk a deal with salesmen in Toledo and basically been told "The price on the car is our best price," when he can go to Fremont and get the same exact car for much much less. He's also bought cars in a couple other towns smaller than Fremont even and always does better there than in Toledo. Any particular reason why the big city dealer prices would be so much higher?

Also (and this doesn't apply to me personally but I'm curious), if a woman who knew exactly what she wanted, how much she could afford, how much her trade in was worth, etc. - in general an educated buyer - came in, would they be able to get as good of a deal as a man who was an equally well educated buyer? Basically, do salesmen really try to screw women over just because they're women...or is it that they usually don't know what they're doing?
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I wondered about your thoughts on two things. First off...



From what my dad has said at least, I find this very hard to believe. He lives 15 miles from Toledo, Ohio, a city of well over 300,000, and also 15 miles from Fremont, Ohio, a city of barely 15,000. Guess where the cars are always cheaper? In Fremont, and not just by a couple hundred, generally by more than 2-3K. He has sat down to talk a deal with salesmen in Toledo and basically been told "The price on the car is our best price," when he can go to Fremont and get the same exact car for much much less. He's also bought cars in a couple other towns smaller than Fremont even and always does better there than in Toledo. Any particular reason why the big city dealer prices would be so much higher?
How many dealers are in the toledo area? They may be on their high horses because they have alot more traffic than the smaller stores. Remember, the name of the game is to turn product quickly. Smaller stores are more willing to take a short deal than big dealers that have 20 more customers going in the door behind you. In a way, it can also work the opposite though. Here in Chicago, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a dealership. For instance, go 15 miles in any direction and you will find a total of 6 toyota dealerships. That makes for stiff competition and good prices.

Also (and this doesn't apply to me personally but I'm curious), if a woman who knew exactly what she wanted, how much she could afford, how much her trade in was worth, etc. - in general an educated buyer - came in, would they be able to get as good of a deal as a man who was an equally well educated buyer? Basically, do salesmen really try to screw women over just because they're women...or is it that they usually don't know what they're doing?
Believe it or not, but women usually wind up with the best deal if they play it smart. They can always play the husband card ("I need to talk to my husband first") That lowers the price, not because of a husband being involved, but because someone else (It works for husbands also..) is involved in the deal. If I let you walk at a 3,000 profit, and you go to the next store, you get a price of 500 less, you buy it there. I lose. So as soon as we hear that you want to leave, we have no choice but to lower the price. This does not apply to vehicles that we as a dealer group have decided to get full window for (Hybrid vehicles, hard to get models, etc)

So, in general, it has nothing to do with the sex of the buyer, but how shrewd they are at negotiating. Anyone can get ripped off if they don't know what they are doing... and salesmen smell fear like dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
How many dealers are in the toledo area? They may be on their high horses because they have alot more traffic than the smaller stores. Remember, the name of the game is to turn product quickly. Smaller stores are more willing to take a short deal than big dealers that have 20 more customers going in the door behind you. In a way, it can also work the opposite though. Here in Chicago, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a dealership. For instance, go 15 miles in any direction and you will find a total of 6 toyota dealerships. That makes for stiff competition and good prices.



Believe it or not, but women usually wind up with the best deal if they play it smart. They can always play the husband card ("I need to talk to my husband first") That lowers the price, not because of a husband being involved, but because someone else (It works for husbands also..) is involved in the deal. If I let you walk at a 3,000 profit, and you go to the next store, you get a price of 500 less, you buy it there. I lose. So as soon as we hear that you want to leave, we have no choice but to lower the price. This does not apply to vehicles that we as a dealer group have decided to get full window for (Hybrid vehicles, hard to get models, etc)

So, in general, it has nothing to do with the sex of the buyer, but how shrewd they are at negotiating. Anyone can get ripped off if they don't know what they are doing... and salesmen smell fear like dogs.
There are a decent number of dealers in the Toledo area, in fact there's a street (Central Avenue) that is often mentioned in commercials for the various dealers as the "Central Avenue Strip." Within a couple miles, probably at least 10, maybe 15 car dealers, plus there's other dealerships around the city too. But as far as a lot of traffic in and out, that's definitely the case. Around Toledo many people *do* drive an hour or more into the city to buy their cars just because of how many dealerships there are right there. Most probably just want the larger selection, but I've seen first hand that they screw you for prices there. So I guess it's logical - smaller towns, slightly less inventory, and a lot less traffic = better deals to keep the cars moving off the lot.

As for the woman thing, I definitely can see the "I need to talk to my husband" card. So perhaps by that rationale, if a husband and wife are planning to buy a car, it's better for them to decide beforehand what they may be interested in, and then only one of them go to the dealership for the initial test drive...then when they mention needing to talk it over with their spouse and starting to leave, the deal may get better. :dunno:

I never understood why people were "afraid" of buying a car. Sure, it's a big purchase, but you're not FORCED to do it. When I went to talk to the dealer that I bought my Spyder from, I really wanted the car, but things weren't quite going how I wanted. So, I walked, plain and simple. Came back the next day and said "if you can do this, I'll buy the car RIGHT NOW." "This" was the same I was looking for the day before, and they came within $300 of it if I remember right. I bought the car. If they didn't give me the deal I wanted, I was gone for good - you just have to have the willpower to walk away if you don't hear what you want to hear.
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I never understood why people were "afraid" of buying a car. Sure, it's a big purchase, but you're not FORCED to do it. When I went to talk to the dealer that I bought my Spyder from, I really wanted the car, but things weren't quite going how I wanted. So, I walked, plain and simple. Came back the next day and said "if you can do this, I'll buy the car RIGHT NOW." "This" was the same I was looking for the day before, and they came within $300 of it if I remember right. I bought the car. If they didn't give me the deal I wanted, I was gone for good - you just have to have the willpower to walk away if you don't hear what you want to hear.
Really, it is the fact that people fall in love with a car and somehow got convinced that that is the only one in the area. That is when people get screwed. I hate to use the term get screwed because they really do it to themselves. Very few dealerships have ever screwed a customer. It is the customer that has allowed themselves to be taken. That is why I did this write up. I want people to understand that the salesperson is doing exactly what they are paid to do, and most importantly, how to get around everything they try and throw at you to buy it right now. It is no different than buying furniture for example. The wife wanted a new dining room set. She had it all picked out. Then she suddenly got afraid to negotiate with the guy. She almost paid $4,000 for this set. She called me to ask what I think. I told her to leave the store and we would be back on sunday (my day off). The salesman dropped 1,500 off the price without batting an eye. On Sunday, we both went in and I saw the set. I happen to like it too. The salesman (Tim) asked if I wanted it delivered. I said only if you will deliver it for $1,500 cash total. He did alot of huffing and puffing about profits, availability, etc. I politely told him that this was not a necessity purchase so I was only willing to pay what I wanted to pay. If he couldn't do it, I understood. We left and the wife was screaming at me in the car about how $2,500 was a good deal. I told her that we would have a phone call within 30 minutes. Not more than 10 minutes goes by and my phone rings. So for $1,800 delivered, she has her new dining room set.

The moral of my story is that even though my wife was convinced that she had gotten the best deal, sometimes it takes walking away from it to really get a good deal. Just like you did and saved yourself some money. There will always be "another big sale"...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
This is some really good information Jabber, thank you. It helps to have the inside story from the dealership. Rep for sure

Also, did you do a used car buying writeup, and i just cant find it? If you haven't, do you plan on it? i think that would also be some good information to have.
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I haven't done a used car write up yet. The main reason is that there is soooo many different things to look for. I suppose I could do one and leave out the obvious stuff.... Like check a carfax (have the dealer do one for you. It's free for them)
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Used car purchasing. What to look for. How to get the best deal possible. What to look for to see if it was ever in an accident. All these questions should pop up in your mind. If they don't, well, bring someone with you who knows more about it...

First off, there is no magic number that a vehicle is worth. It is worth exactly what the dealer was willing to give the previous owner. This includes auctions and trade-ins. More on this later.

There is an easy way to figure out which kind it is. Look at the stock number. In all the dealerships I have worked for, they all used a pattern for used cars. If the car was purchased at an auction, it will have a letter in front of the number, i.e. P7265, xx7265, MM7265. Dealers use this code so they can track where the vehicle came from. The P means purchased. XX is the same thing. Some dealers use the letter codes to determine which auction it was bought from like the MM example. MM stands for metro milwaukee. Your local dealer will probably use the same type of system, not the exact same letter codes.

If it was a trade-in, it will most likely have a letter BEHIND the number, and it will most likely be an A, B, or C. 7265A means that it was traded in on a new car (that had the new car stock # of 7265). Easy way to track who owned the vehicle prior. If it is 7265B, it means it was traded in on a used car with stock #7265A. And so on. There is a reason why I want you to notice the stock number. It will come down to price eventually.

So you have looked through the papers, the internet, and the TV ads. You know the type of car you want. That's good. Doing research on the vehicle beforehand will help tremendously. Let's say you have spotted 3 cars, similiar miles, equipment, condition, etc. The internet price is all about the same between them. Time to go shopping...

You walk into the first dealer, and see the car on the lot. You need to look the vehicle over carefully. Look for scratches, dings, dents, etc. Notice the over all condition of the car. Don't bother looking under the hood as any good dealer would have the vehicle detailed and cleaned any oil, gunk, grease, etc off the valve covers. Ok, maybe look to see if they missed it. If they did, tell them to fire their detail shop. What you should do is look under the car for any leaks. Once a car has come back from detail, it sits there. Maybe it gets moved twice a month. Surely it is enough time for that transmission or radiator leak to create a puddle. No leaks? Good. Now lets check for previous body damage, regardless of how long the salesperson swears it was never in an accident.

Walk around the vehicle and look for evidence. See, the factories build and paint the cars before any door handles, rubber moldings, windshields moldings, keyholes, plastic grilles, etc are installed. The best body shop in the world cannot possibly tape off a vehicle and not miss some little corner. That is where you should be looking. Anywhere there is a tight corner or curve. Every try to tape some off the is curved? No matter how hard you try, that paint overspray always seems to figure out a way to get in the smallest nook and cranny. If you EVER see paint on a plastic part, a door seal, a window seal, a headlight seal (like the rubber part around our headlights), the car has been painted. Maybe the previous owner had a REALLY good body shop and nothing stands out. With practice, in 15 seconds, you can feel for a painted panel anywhere on a vehicle. Here is how you feel for it. Take the top of your finger and run it along a sharp edge on the hood. The edge that is closest to the windshield cowl for example. If it is nice and smooth, like the middle of the hood after being freshly waxed, you are fine. If you feel an "edge" to it, not so good. Think about when you paint a room and you have a tape line after removing it. Same thing. The only way to remove that line is to buff and wetsand. Neither one is a viable option on the very edge of a hood or door. You will burn right through the fresh paint. So you are forced to leave it thus leaving an edge. If anyone readin this has traded in a vehicle to a dealer and watched the appraiser walk around the car, you have seen him run his fingers along the edges. He is feeling for the paint line. Yes, I know you told him it wasn't really run over by a dumptruck, but he just wants to make sure. This little trick works for door edges, hood and trunk edges, even around the winshield and back window on some cars. If your car has been repainted at some point, go outside and "feel" for the line. If your car hasn't ever been painted, next time you are at the mall, feel your hood line, and feel the cars next to you. As soon as you feel that edge, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Let's say for argument sake, the car has never been repainted and has no visibile leaks. The next thing to do is check the stock tag. Those letter codes I was talking about has alot to do with how much money you will be able to get off the car. Here is why. If the car was bought at auction, there were MANY other dealers looking to buy that car. What happens at an auction? It goes to the highest bidder. And he paid the absolute top dollar for it. By camparison, if the car was traded in, the dealer is only "bidding" against the person who traded it in. Guess who normally wins that battle. Yes, the dealer. For example, when I was buying used mustang convertibles back in 2005, I would have had to pay 15k or more for a 6 cylinder model at an auction. Then I would have to pay the auction fees (1.75% of the buy figure) and transportation costs (about $100 per car). The ones I took in on trade, I would be able to get for 14-14,500 from the customers. That is potentially a 1,500 difference for the EXACT same car. Also, the ones at auction are most likely rentals. That means I had to spend more money for reconditioning (scratches, chips, door dings, etc). The same car is now a 2,000 difference. But I knew I could only sell them for 17-18,000 based on other dealer's pricing. So I had a much smaller markup in the auction cars. Now maybe you can see why you would rather look at a traded in car rather than an auction car. You can get more money off a traded in car than an auction car.

There is a bigger difference in used car than new cars concerning inventory dollars. 99.9% of all dealers actually own the vehicles on their used car lot. There is no floor plan on used. Which means the dealer is using his own money, rather than the banks money, to finance his lot. So it is going to boil down to what type of vehicle you are looking for. Are you shopping for a cookie cutter car (corolla, civic, grand am, G6, malibu, etc) or a more rare car (F430, 350Z, GTO, etc). The cookie cutter cars are ones that the dealers aren't going to want to make a lot of money on. Look at this example. 2005 Corolla with 34k miles. If I sell that car, I can get another one within 5 days. The customer can have it cheap. A 2005 350Z with only 9k miles is another story. Can I replace that car within a week? Probably not. I want more for it. Simple. Everyone wants a car with REALLY low mileage. No problem. But you are going to pay for it. Want a car with average miles? No problem, I can replace the car, go ahead and sell it cheap. I'll get another one. This is how we determine what we are going to want for the car. On the flip side, this is also how we determine a value for your car when trading it in. Is it a car I can easily find out there? Then you won't get as much for it. Is it a 1997 Supra TT with 8k miles? Yes, you can ask the moon for it because I can't get another one.

How you go about getting a lower price should be fairly obvious at this point. Look on autotrader and see what similiar ones are selling for. Bring those printouts into the dealer. Use them to your advantage. Since there is no "invoice" on used cars, that is all you really have. If there is damage on the vehicle, ask for a lower price because of it. Make sure you ask for a carfax on the vehicle. If the dealer isn't willing to provide one free of charge, move along to the next car. He is trying to hide something. Other than how to spot a previously damaged car and what to look for on the car, autotrader and cars.com are your single best friends when trying to negotiate a price down.

Once again, the floor is open for questions.
 

·
"Suck my unit"
Joined
·
2,927 Posts
You think salespeople at dealership look down on or try to rip off younger buyers? Im 18 and very mature for my age, hell I could possibly pass off for 21, but Im going in to see someone about an Evo at my local dealer. Ive talked to them on the phone and by email for quite some time and have also done so in a professional manner. This week I will be getting a call back to come in and look at the 08 Evo EVEN though I told the salesperson that Im really interested in purchasing a 09 Ralliart since the Evo wouldn't be as practical (because of insurance, but I didn't say that). She still wants me to come down and look at the Evo. I plan on looking at the car and test driving it hopefully since its very similar to the Ralliart, just a "de-tuned" engine.

So basically my question is how should a younger buyer present himself so that a salesperson would take him seriously? When a younger buyer comes in what do you think/do?
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Sorry, I started to answer this the other day, but got sidetracked.

Younger buyers. Most of the time, salespeople will walk away. Why? Because most of the time it is a waste of time. NOT ALWAYS THOUGH. But when an 18 year old walks in wanting to drive the most expensive thing on the lot, odds are he can't afford it. What you did was perfect. You told her that the evo would be out of your price range. That is music to a salepersons ears. That generally means that you have your head on straight and don't need your parents to buy you the car.

I can't tell you how many times I have some 18 yo walk in, start talking about adding a supercharger, 18" wheels, and a myriad of other options to a tC. In my head I start ringing up the fact that the car you want is going to be close to 30k. The next thing that goes through my mind is if you are even able to buy the car creditwise. I don't know many 18 yos that have enough credit to make that kind of purchase. Believe me, the banks know this too. If you only have a $500 limit on a best buy card as your only source of credit, you are not getting a loan for 30k on a car. There are other factors to it of course. Like money down. If you have a good chunk down, the banks may look a little closer. If you come in with $500, start looking at a lesser car.

So basically here is what you do as a younger buyer. Tell the salesperson up front that you are buying this on your own and your parents won't be involved in the decision. If they are involved, tell the salesperson that you have have already spoken with your parents about which cars are not allowed and this one is acceptable (this may be flat out lying, but you want a salesperson to help out, not ignore you). After driving a few of the vehicles, you are going to bring in your parents when YOU decide which vehicle YOU want. In your case TSI, you did exactly what you should be doing. Tell them upfront that the EVO is too much for you. If they still want to let you test drive, then fine.

I know that there are some very hard working 18 year olds out there. There are very responsible 18 yo out there. This unfortunately is exactly what a salesperson thinks when seeing any younger looking buyer come in the door. I say unfortunately because, one bad apple really does spoil the bunch. For every 18 yo that walks through the door, able to buy on their own or having their parents backing them, we see 20 that simply want to joy ride around in the fastest model just so they can go tell their friends. And time to a salesperson is gold. While I am out test driving the car for you so you have something to brag about during algebra class to the cute blonde that sits in front of you, I might be missing a REAL customer that will buy and actually put food on my plate.

Again, I'm sorry if this is harsh, but it is reality.
 

·
Take Dat Wit CHU!!!!
Joined
·
12,705 Posts
Question: Is this a sales tactic? or just plain rude? Ive been looking at a new car and i walked into a dealership... spoke to a sales person. Explained that im not ready to buy but i will be in 1 month. Salesperson understands gives me great info to help me make a decision and brings her manager over to introduce him to me. She explains to him that im not ready to buy that im still just shopping...whatever.
So he quickly starts off with "hi, im bob....i hope to earn your business and get you into a car you can afford. jan tells me your getting married and your going to make this big purchase...ill help you along the way so you dont bite off more then you can chew....anyways ill be sure to make it affordable for you"
this quickly turns me off....makes me feel like he has already put me in the "give me low payments" category. so i just smiled and left shortly after. i almost wanted to tell the sales person, they did great untill you introduced me to your manager. what are your thoughts on this?
 

·
*insert funny title*
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
He wasn't trying to be a prick, it just sounds that way. Although, without hearing the tone in his voice, you never do know. Most likely, he was just trying to be overly nice so that you remember them a month from now and come back to visit. I am guessing that payments and pricing was not really discussed? If that is true, he was definitely trying to be nice. He was thinking in the back of his head how much weddings cost and was just trying to put you at ease.
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top