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With Information at the Car Dealer, Less is More

By Liz Opsitnik
Sunday, Aug 16 2009 19:19

The less information you give the dealer salesperson or finance manager, the more money you’ll save. Any information you give them helps them figure out how much to sell the car for and what interest rate they’ll finance you for. This helps them figure out how much profit they can earn from your deal.
 
Don't Tell the Salesperson How Much You Love a Car

Act indifferent in front of the salesperson, even if you absolutely love the car. You’re giving the dealership the upper hand if you admit how much you like the vehicle. They know you won’t walk away and the price will go up. Remain calm and cool and you’ll probably wind up with a better deal.

Need a Car ASAP? Keep it a Secret at the Dealer

Don’t tell the salesperson how soon you need a car. If they know you’re on a short time span, they know you will probably accept any deal they give you and they’ll know you don’t have time to shop around for a better deal. They might also try to sell you a slow-moving vehicle. Pretend like you have months to shop for your car.

Don't Tell the Salesperson What Monthly Payment You Want

Don’t tell the salesperson what monthly payment you’d like. Instead, negotiate the total price of the car first to a monthly payment you can afford, and then discuss your down payment and trade-in value. If you just tell them that you want a monthly payment of $x, they might try to put you into a more expensive car and just stretch those payments out longer to get to your target monthly payment.

Keep Your Trade-In a Secret Until the End

Pretend that you don’t have a trade-in vehicle, at least for the moment. If you tell the salesperson that the car you drove there with will be your trade-in, they will ask you for the keys so they can figure out the value while you shop. This is bad because if you decide to go to another dealer, it will be hard for you to leave since they have your keys. This gives them the upper hand and will help them keep you in their dealership until they sell you a car. Tell them it’s your mom’s car.

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Confused or unsure about some of the car loan terms used in the article? Click here for our Auto Loan Glossary.



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