Negotiate for Used Car via Email

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Gpfather
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:28 pm

Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Gpfather » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:06 pm

My wife and I are looking to purchase a used vehicle with around $15k. I’m not very comfortable negotiating for things face to face, so wanted to try to do so through email.

Up to this point, I’ve contacted 4 different dealers and not a one of them have been willing to negotiate, but instead are just trying to get me to come to the dealer. Do I just need to be persistent?

Any specific tips? Thanks, in advance.

livesoft
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:10 pm

Sounds like you might be negotiating just fine.

I can see that if you don't test drive the vehicles in question, then there is not much point for the seller to negotiate because you have shown you are not a committed buyer. Go test drive and then use e-mail for negotiations.
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Freefun
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Freefun » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:35 pm

I sent emails after using trucar to understand the best price I could get. I made offers via their “internet sales people” and some dealers said i need to come in to negotiate. But I was persistent and a dealer accepted my offer and said come and get the car. Went over, wrote a check and was on my way in about 1 hour.
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kirkus02
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by kirkus02 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:48 pm

It could also help to call the "internet fleet manager" and get their e-mail address directly and let them know that you'll be e-mailing him what you're looking for.

cacophony
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by cacophony » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:51 pm

Negotiating over the phone (or email) with multiple dealers is a great way to get a low price on a new car, especially if you have them competitively bid against each other for the lowest out the door price. Doing it for a used car is a lot more difficult because every used car is different (mileage, year, condition, warranty, etc), and when I've tried it in the past it hasn't worked.

For a new car you'd want to contact the fleet or internet manager because they're used to making deals over phone/email. It's a waste of time to try to negotiate with a regular salesman in that way because they'll always ask you to come down; plus the price is never as good because you're just introducing a more expensive midldleman into the transaction. Not sure the best person to contact for used car sales though. It probably depends on the dealership.

Afty
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Afty » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:52 pm

I don’t think it makes sense to negotiate for a used car sight unseen. How could you possibly decide a fair value?

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Watty
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:17 pm

Afty wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:52 pm
I don’t think it makes sense to negotiate for a used car sight unseen. How could you possibly decide a fair value?

+1000

The dealers also don't want to waste their time since once you see the car it is likely that a high percentage of people will back out of the deal.

I once had to buy a replacement car in a hurry and I ended up buying a used rental car from Hertz and it worked out well for me. They have set prices so there was no real negotiation.

Nissanzx1
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:22 pm

Used car buying requires a face to face negotiation because the vehicle must be driven and inspected. No reason to be afraid of this, polite but firm is the way to be.

Explain what the car needs to be useful to you, make your offer, and walk away if they don’t take it. Don’t be unreasonable or unkind, but walk away when it doesn’t make sense...

carolinaman
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by carolinaman » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:17 am

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:22 pm
Used car buying requires a face to face negotiation because the vehicle must be driven and inspected. No reason to be afraid of this, polite but firm is the way to be.

Explain what the car needs to be useful to you, make your offer, and walk away if they don’t take it. Don’t be unreasonable or unkind, but walk away when it doesn’t make sense...
Do your research so you know the type of car that you want and what a fair price should be. Once you have done that, test drive cars. When you find one you would like to buy, make your offer. Explain that you are not playing the negotiating game and that your offer is firm. If they start "the game" just politely walk out.

There are some dealers who offer no haggle prices today. We found several dealers in region who did this last Fall using Cargurus.com. They offered very good prices and eliminated the haggling. Another approach is Carmax. They offer good cars and at a set price. Their prices tend to be on the high side but you have no haggling.

buglenote
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by buglenote » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:50 am

You might find the content at the askcarsales subreddit useful. It's frequented by car salespeople who give advice to prospective buyers. Check out their FAQ.

Here's a snippet related to internet negotiating:
There is a myth going around online from the days of fleet departments and faxes. You send this letter to every dealer within 200 miles, they all bend over to give you their best price, you pick the lowest one and buy the car. The letter goes something like this:

“I know everything [insert magical words like invoice, dealer cash, holdback and kickback], I am ready to buy, and I am contacting 50 dealers. Whoever gives me the lowest price will get my business”. In reality we laugh at these letters, and they are on the bottom of our priority list because if you are contacting 10 dealers – my chances of selling you a car are at 10%. My chances of making any kind of profit are a zero. Add to that the fact that shoppers use this tactic before they actually drove the car or settled on a model, and the fact that the only way for me to win at this game is to lie, and the fact that they will take my quote and have it matched at their local dealer – my chances are dangerously close to a zero.

Fishing50
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Fishing50 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:14 am

CarMax, Carvana, & Vroom are good 'no haggle' used car dealers. I was very happy selling to CarMax in 2015, and today's delivery of a 2106 Acura from Vroom is delayed until tomorrow. I'm satisfied the quality of the car will be as Vroom described.
It's perfectly legal, go ask the IRS, they'll say the same thing. I actually feel stupid telling you this, I'm sure you would've investigated the matter yourself. Andy Dufresne

THY4373
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by THY4373 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:21 am

I did this a new car some years ago and I found about 1/3 of the dealers would seriously work with me via email. The rest either didn't respond or quoted retail price or near to it and would basically not negotiate further and a couple of others stayed in contact but basically wouldn't negotiate by email. Their purpose appeared to be stay in contact and see if I would eventually relent and come in to their dealership (I did not). In the end I was able to negotiate a deal via email and then drive out their to see the car and put a deposit on it. The dealer was about 150 miles away. In the end I got a good deal and the dealer was able to unload a car that had been on their lot a long time.

I also purchased a used car sight unseen via email from a dealer about 700 miles away. The car was fully loaded (which the dealer did not know) and was the cheapest example east of the Mississippi with a clean title. It was a risk to buy sight on unseen but the dealer was pretty high end and the various car histories I looked at made me confident. I flew down and bought it. There were a few issues that the dealer paid me $700 for to fix when I got home. Great deal but with some risk. But I got the car cheap enough that if I had to put a $1000 or more in, I'd still be ahead and I didn't need to to anything and the car has been rock solid for the past four years.

Golf maniac
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by Golf maniac » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:42 am

I have recently been looking for a used car for my son who is in the military. It is a lot different than looking for a new car. In my area, many of the dealers will not give an OTD prices and want you to come in to negotiate (where they have the advantage). Many others will give you an OTD price but it includes $300 to $800 in junk fees around car prep and other items. But I have had a few come back with legitimate prices and were willing to negotiate on specific vehicles. Make sure you state your offer to buy at a specific price is contingent on a test drive and review of the vehicle. Between car fax and pictures i would be willing to make an offer on a vehicle contingent on a test drive. But you will probably have to search a lot to find a dealer with a specific vehicle you want who will be willing to negotiate. End of the month and end of the quarter may result in more flexibility from the dealer.

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RootSki
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Re: Negotiate for Used Car via Email

Post by RootSki » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:55 am

I just bought a "used" 2019 CPO three states away from me. Negotiations were brisk, as he already had the lowest price and milage on a 2018 or 2019 with the options I wanted within 500 miles of me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't let perfection be the enemy of success. If you get a good offer on something you really like with the right color/packages/options, take it!

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