How to Handle a Car Salesman

Once you have selected the make and model of car you want to buy, you've decided how much you're willing to pay for it, and you've made your first choice of a dealer, the process becomes a mind game with two players - you and the salesperson. Remember: the dealership's goal is to get the car off the lot. Period. They will go DEEP into their profits - maybe even all the way to the bottom - to have you be the one to help them reach that goal.


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    Make sure you have done your homework, including a test drive if necessary, and have FULLY decided what you want BEFORE you go to actually buy. Go to buy during the last week of the month.
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    Do NOT plan to buy your car on day one, or at the first dealership you visit.
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    Stroll onto the lot like a lost puppy. Don't go straight to the type of car you want. Just start looking around at LESS EXPENSIVE cars, be patient, and very soon a salesperson will greet you. Be cordial. DON"T talk much. Act at first like you have no idea what you want, or if you have even decided whether to buy a new car or not. Play dumb. Be polite.
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    Eventually let the salesperson steer you to the type of car you want, and permit yourself to act a bit interested. DON'T look at the window sticker yet, look at the rest of the car. When the salesperson asks you if you'd like to take a ride in it (and he/she WILL), say no. (He/she doesn't know it, but you've already done that before, while you were deciding what kind of car to buy.)
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    Stroll away toward some other type of car and poke around a bit. Then walk back to the one you want, say that you could see yourself driving one of these, and then take a gander at the window sticker, saying nothing. When the salesperson asks you to come inside for whatever reason, say no, you only came just to look today; but then change your mind and say "Actually, I would like to just SIT in one - do you have one in there?"
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    Let him take you inside, or let him open up that one so you can sit in it. Do NOT take it for a ride. Let him have your name and number, because he/she's going to need it, since you are not buying a car today, and they WILL call you in a day or two. Do NOT ask for a price.
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    The salesperson will now give you a price anyway. Be friendly, and just say (again) that you only just came to look today. When he/she comes back with an even lower price, say "That's more than I think I can spend - I'll just keep looking or wait." Thank him for his time, and leave. That's LEAVE. L-E-A-V-E. Don't worry, he will call you tomorrow or later on today.
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    When he calls to offer you an even lower price, give the same answer as before.
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    The NEXT time he calls, compliment him for his continued interest, and now say "Listen - here's what I CAN do" and tell him what you'll pay. Stick to your guns. If he/she says they can't do that, just say "Okay, I'll just need to wait." Don't listen to the sob stories he will now give you.
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    In another day or two they should agree to your price. In the meantime, begin the same process at another dealer. It won't be long before you have that new car at a price you're happy to pay.

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Categories: Cars