I've already made every imaginable mistake so that you don't have to.

Car Shopping

Being at the car dealership is like being the Twilight Zone. The sales manager needs to decide between getting a sale done and holding for gross.
Photo Credit: pexels.com Pixabay

Car Shopping > Introduction > Begin >

When you enter the dealership lot your negotiating position is in a twilight zone between being at your very strongest and your very weakest.
Whether you were lured to the dealership by a postal mailing, an internet advertisement, a sign on the road, or a buying service such as Costco or TrueCar, you have delivered yourself to the dealership.
Below are three of however many possible scenarios that may unfold when you drive onto a dealership's lot:

  1. The dealership made bold representations in advertising but has absolutely no intention whatsoever of meeting the spirit and letter of those representations.
    This will ideally become apparent at the beginning of negotiations, but sometimes it will not become so until towards the end at which point you will be asked to sign paperwork that is different from what had been discussed.
    Regardless of whether it took you 5 minutes or 5 hours to determine that you are in scenario one, your only rational choice is to leave.
    In this particular case, getting up to leave is not a negotiating tactic... it is... leaving.
  2. The dealership will eventually meet your desired pricing but you may need to break for the door before they agree to do so, just as when your parents and grandparents shopped for cars.
    Regardless of whether you participated in track and field in high school or not, below is my advice in this particular scenario:
    Move through the plane of the showroom's open door with purpose onwards to your transportation home at normal speed without looking back.
    Dealership staff may or may not speak to you before you leave or may call your phone.
    If they become open to negotiating hear them out, otherwise move on.
  3. The dealership meets either its advertised pricing or the aggressive price that you derived from your own research.
    This is excellent when it happens, just be careful that it is not actually scenario one in which dealership staff says yes to what you ask then at the end presents you with paperwork that says something different.

In the Car Shopping series of pages I will try to provide information to help you negotiate effectively and efficiently.