When buying a pre-owned car, people are often daunted by the negotiation part. It should be done anyway, and fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult, particularly if you’ve done your homework and are well aware of the vehicle’s worth.
Say the seller is asking for a specific amount but you know that the car is worth less. You can start by talking about any issues you have regarding the condition of the vehicle. For example, say that you like how it drives but that it really needs a new set of tires, and that according to the book, its value is only this amount so you want to buy it for a slightly lower price.
Now, it depends on the seller if they’re going to take your offer or make you a counteroffer. If you still find his counteroffer too high, you can stick to your guns and look for another car or suggest meet them halfway.
Below are some more tips that can be helpful on the car lot:
Think beyond the monthly payment. In the eyes of the seller, you are a cash buyer even if you’re buying the car through a preapproved loan, which means negotiations should be on the vehicle’s price instead of on your monthly payment. influencing the buyer to think more of the monthly payment instead of the car’s overall cost.
Start small but still reasonable. Lowballing the seller will keep them from looking at you as a serious buyer. Instead, make a low but still inviting offer. Then you can go up gradually, maybe in increments of $250.
Don’t trap yourself in the sales office. Rather than waiting for the salesman in the office while he talks to his boss, go out and check out the showroom, or have some coffee. Salesmen tend to lose their balance around uncontrollable buyers, which can be good for you in negotiations.
Don’t be in a rush and take time to repeat the numbers you hear. To avoid confusion, go slow or even write down the numbers involved in the negotiation. Confirm whether you’re talking about the “out-the-door” price, which covers all taxes and fees, or just the price of the vehicle. And ask for details about fees. With some dealers, you may be asked to pay bogus fees, which are intended to recover profit they may have lost while negotiating.
Be prepared to walk away. Finally, if you don’t seem to be making any progress toward a deal, or you think you’re being treated badly, just leave. You need not say goodbye.