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Best Internet Car Buying Sites – When the 29-year-old Cecilia Paredes decided to buy the MINI Cooper 2018 with a cool black rim, she knew she would face a professional negotiator – a car salesman. So Paredes, who works in the thesis and dissertation office at California State University, Long Beach, takes her uncle together as his wingman.
“I’m young, I look young and I’m a girl,” he said. “I’m afraid they might try to take advantage of me.”
Paredes is not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Cars.com, 1 in 4 of the millennium car buyers (in this case, ages 18-34) do not feel comfortable negotiating and would prefer if their parents helped make the deal. But the millennium has a secret weapon that forms a solid foundation for an effective negotiation strategy: the tendency for online research.
Even with additional transparency provided by the internet, “negotiations are still very important in car purchases,” said Greg Kopf, brand ambassador for online auto parts retailer CarID. He himself was a millennium working as a dealer services advisor.
This is a roadmap for the millennium generation – or whoever just bought a car – to connect the cold world data with the dance of human negotiations, whether they bring mom or dad along for the trip.
1. Budget first
Younger car buyers should understand how monthly payments will fit into their budgets. Before heading to the dealer, Paredes uses an online car loan calculator to estimate monthly payments and print the results. He then uses his “cheat” to check the numbers given to him at the dealer.
Understand that the total cost of your car will be more than your monthly car payment. And do not forget to look at the total price of the car by simply focusing on monthly payments.
2. Get pre-approval
In the parking lot, a salesperson may not take seriously a thousand-year-old car buyer. To show that he meant business, Paredes first applied for loans through credit unions. This loan offer gives him an interest rate that he can use as leverage at the dealer.
With an approved auto loan offer, you not only know how much you can spend, but you can negotiate as a cash buyer. And you may be able to get dealers to beat your level.
3. Respect the smart
Kopf said knowing the current market value of cars is the best starting point to negotiate. He recommends checking the online pricing guide to find the average transaction cost for the car you want to buy. This allows young car buyers, who may lack confidence, to reduce negotiations by pointing to a neutral source.
“Find a dealer who wants to generate your business – do not just buy the first car you see,” said Kopf. In the case of Paredes, he finds the same car for sale at the nearest dealer and uses a special price advertised as an influence in his negotiation. She feels it shows the seller that she will not accept any price she throws away.
5. Know history
If you buy a used car, getting reliable vehicle history reports is valuable at a small cost, says Kopf. Any negative on the report – a small accident or many owners – can be used as a bargain in negotiations. CarFax and AutoCheck provide individual reports or short-term offers for multiple reports.
6. Stay alert
At dealerships, sales teams use many negotiation strategies to reduce buyers. They may withdraw the process, keep you waiting longer than necessary, or play a good cop, a bad cop, hand you from the seller to a closer and finally finance manager.
Paredes and his uncle were able to turn the tables, taking turns negotiating. His uncle called the financial manager for some of the things he was trying to get through. And Paredes firmly rejects the basic model that they are constantly trying to push. Instead, he gets the exact model he wants – yes, that with the black rim.
Even if you go alone, you may face similar tactics. Calm yourself, do not drop your guards and be ready to push back.
7. Take your time to close the deal
Inexperienced car buyers may think that they have finished negotiating after they set the price with the seller. Instead, they are handed over to more formal financial managers.
“They do not know it will come until they sit in that office and that person threw all kinds of different guarantees and services to you,” said Kopf. “And that’s after you’ve spent four hours there and you just want to leave.”