Many consumers consider bargaining or negotiating prices to be rude.
They think that trying to get a lower price on a new or used car will offend the car salesman.
This is an unfortunate attitude because haggling is a well-established artform among businesses.
In business-to-business transactions, the customer always tries to get the best price possible from the seller. No one gives a hang if it is considered rude or not.
New and used car consumers would do well to adopt the same attitude in order to secure better deals for themselves. The state of the Economy today actually makes it easier to negotiate a better deal on a car.
Do Homework Before Haggling with a Car Dealer
Getting the research done before walking onto the car lot may spare the customer the trouble of haggling. Physical evidence, like an Edmunds.com report of a car’s value, works the best for convincing car salesmen. Comparing prices can provide a lot of information about whether the car lot in question is undercharging or overcharging.
The dealership may be willing to throw in accessories for a lower price, if it is not willing to budge on the main price for the car. A customer that buys a lot has leverage he can use to get discounts. This isn’t an advantage for the occasional car buyer though.
Never Speak Before the Car Dealer
When haggling over a price, never say the first number. The expert haggler must always defer to the other party. If he does this, he will probably end up getting a much better deal than he would have otherwise. The other party can inadvertently provide a lot of information about what they want by stating a number first.
Often the haggler will be surprised when his negotiating partner states a number that is far lower than what he expected. If he negotiates the number down even further, he will be extremely pleased with the outcome. Staying silent may also result in the other party making a concession to end the silence, since many people find it uncomfortable.
Treat the Car Dealer with Respect
Accusing the car salesman or finance manager of lying about the price is a terrible negotiating tactic. Getting personal is not the way to negotiate, nor is being an absolutist and unwilling to be flexible. Negotiating is all about the two parties feeling each other out and coming to a mutually beneficial agreement.
The appropriate attitude is one of agreement and understanding. Haggling will fail if there is hostility or a sense that one party is not in it for the mutuality of the exchange, but merely for whatever advantage they can get.
Timing Is Everything with Haggling
The wrong time can stop a perfectly good haggle dead in its tracks. Keep track of major annual sales; that is a prime time for haggling efforts. Also keep in mind the end of the month or the end of the quarter. Car salesmen often have quotas to meet, and the end of the month or the quarter can make them more eager to get their inventories off the lot.
The price becomes extra flexible during these times. On a daily basis, early in the morning and late at night are good times. Salesmen have more time to talk when the dealership is just opened or is getting ready to close.
Start Haggling Today
To haggle for a new or used car, it is not necessary to be standoffish or aloof, although “driving a hard bargain” can be a valuable skill. Haggling is about making a deal good from the car salesman’s point of view as well as the customer’s. Good haggling skills can save the customer tons.