denovo wrote: ↑
Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:15 pm
I've done this a couple of times, and wonder what you guys think. I think I have got the best deal using this process.
Follow-up here. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=124638&start=150#p3061421
First, before you negotiate you need to decide on a car, and when I mean decide, I mean make model, options and even the color and interior. You may have to flexible on color , but there's usually no difference on price for color. That means test-drive it and then leave the dealership without leaving your number, e-mail , or any contact info. The only way to get the very best deal is to deal with the internet sales department for two simple reasons. A. You can't shop around multiple dealers simultaneously when you are stuck in a showroom. B. They are always slow to respond to get "approval" from their manager for a price request because they are hoping you will get tired out and just give up. Negotiating via e-mail over a couple of days destroys their advantages.
The Negotiating Process
1. Search the dealer inventories online for the exact car you are looking for. They usually give you the VIN Number, and you can usually find the same car at 4-5 different dealerships within a 60 mile radius
if you live in a decent sized metro area, if you are not asking for something really unique like a pink Aston Martin. Ask for price requests from those 5 departments through an online questionnaire. DO NOT PUT down a phone number, or if you have to, a fake one, only contact information you leave is an e-mail address, no residential or mailing address.
2. You'll get an initial contact from someone within 24 hours via e-mail once the phone line doesn't work which is the first thing they'll try. Make it clear that you will negotiate over e-mail only, are soliciting multiple dealers for the best price, and want the quotes to be the out-the-door-price which means after taxes and fees. They will need your zip code to calculate taxes so they give them that. Do not let them talk to you about financing or if you have a trade-in. Tell them you are negotiating on the price of the car only and that those things won't be discussed until you find the dealer with the best price. Do not let them lure you into a phone call or insist you come in and talk to them. Eventually, they will all let you contact them via e-mail if you insist.
3. After you get the initial prices, and insist this is an out the door price after taxes and fees, take the lowest offer and take it to Dealer #2. So this doesn't take too long, tell them you will only go with them if they beat the price of Dealer #1 by at least $300.00. Insist, no matching will be accepted. They key thing about negotiating is for you to create the rules and be firm about it. Don't sound desperate, give them at least 24 hours to respond, but usually they will respond within a few hours. If they beat the price from Dealer #1 (which on the first round they usually will, since everyone starts with a high-ball offer) take that offer to Dealer #3, and keep on rinsing till you get the price. In later stages, you may want to say they can beat the price by only going down $200.00. You know you have the best offer when other dealers back out of the deal and refuse to counter. Not always true, but usually the best deal will end up being from a high-volume dealer in your area that can take a low margin. Even though the manufacturer sells the cars to the dealers for the same price, manufacturers will give rebates to dealers who sell higher volumes.
4. When you have the best offer, keep in your hip pocket the closest offer which will probably be within $200.00 A few dishonest dealers may try to give you an excuse when you get there to buy a car that they can't do that offer anymore, or that the car is gone, but that should be rare since by now you have established yourself as a no nonsense customer. Be prepared to walk out if the offer is even $10 more than what was initially quoted, they will either back down or you go to the second dealer. This will only happen rarely.
5. FINANCING- If you are not paying cash for your car, your best pathaway is to finance through one of the national banks or credit unions, they will offer rates as good as the dealer and you are not tied to one specific dealership as the bank will give you a check you can give to any dealer. Dealers usually just take bank loans and add a markup so only focus on negotiating the price of the car with the dealer. The Finance Department of the car dealership is a pure profit center.
6.TRADE-IN , You will never get the best deal from the dealer. Either sell it private party or to a company like autodirect. This is just another profit center for the dealers.
7. Refuse all markup services like lo-jack, extended warranty, etc. These are all rip-offs that usually some people will cave into when they are tired after sitting in a showroom all day. None of them are good deals.
*Be realistic on how much of a discount you can get below sticker price. Even with this strategy, there are certain factors out of your control. If a car is really popular, and selling like hotcakes this strategy will only bring the price down a little bit. Certain manufacturers have rebates on certain cars which will bring the price down. Your best deals usually come in Aug-October when they are bringing in the next year's model and the dealer wants to get rid of the prior year stock, especially if the design is being changed.
*Car negotiating isn't about making friends. There's a less of a chance of this happening since you are going to be dealing with people over e-mail until the end, but the dealer sees this as a pure business transaction and so should you. Dealers are pros about trying to make a fake personal connection, so you feel bad about negotiating, don't fall for it. When you walk in with the best deal, they are not going to greet you with roses since you bought the car for the bare minimum they would sell it.