Car Buying

Things You Should Never Tell A Car Salesman

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Two men man and one woman stand behind a row of silver-metallic cars on a parking place on yard of dealer

Image: Kzenon/Shutterstock

Even the nicest and the most honest salesmen in a car buying transaction have interests that don’t match with yours. They are paid to make sales at the highest price possible, and the higher he makes the price, the more he earns. Conversely, you’re looking for the best car at the best price. There is a point where you will need to negotiate these conflicting interests and as in every other negotiation, there are things you shouldn’t try to mention. Some of the things that you should never tell a car salesman include; 

I love this car: The car can have your heartstrings in a nice color knuckled stranglehold, but hold yourself and pretend you are looking at something else. Admitting that you are smitten gives the salesman the combination to your personal safe. The salesman will sympathize and want to assist you. He will tell you that it’s a nice car and that someone else was there previously and they won’t take less. He knows you will not walk away easily even if there are other cars that are cheaper but you don’t love them. 

I need to get a car by tomorrow: Being in desperate need is much worse than being in love with a car. Telling the salesman that you need the car immediately is basically telling him that there is nothing else to think about as far as the car is concerned. He is aware that you will not look closely at the particulars of the deal and that you are not likely to go to another dealer. It also implies that you are more likely to agree to anything he will show you from the inventory even if it doesn’t suit you. You will have presented yourself as an opportunity to unload the slow moving inventory. Even if you need that car immediately, just act like you have all the time in the world to make a decision and that you might consider buying immediately if you found a car that suits you and at a price you like.

I need a need a monthly payment: It is known that many people who shop for cars are payment shoppers. In this case, you may not have any idea of the car that you can afford except by knowing the amount it will cost you every month. By telling a salesman that you want payment of less than 350 dollars a month, is like getting to a box store to ask for a 4 inch box. You see that there are dimensions that are missing. You may end up with a box which is 10 ft long. Any monthly payment is possible as long as the loan is long enough and the down payment big enough. In the course of say 7 years, 350 dollars every month will add up to a lot more than 350 dollars each month for 3 to 4 years. To know the amount of car that you can afford, you require more than a monthly payment figure. Know the monthly payment that you want, its duration and the amount you want to pay up front. You also have to know what your trade in is worth.

There is no second chance in making a first impression. The first few minutes that you interact with a salesman determine the flow of a deal. They can either get the salesman on your side or relegate him to the role of some guy just selling cars. With the above tips, you will always have the salesman be on your side and you will be assured of getting a fair deal.

Preston fancies himself somewhat intelligent and a very poor joke teller. He enjoys writing about food, pets, politics and the occasional bit of social commentary. He has four dogs, a cat, and a pretty awesome husband.