Car buying is an activity that many dread. The idea of dealing with salespeople, the potential of getting swindled, and trying to find a reasonable price for a vehicle can create high levels of anxiety. We recognize this and in this blog post we are going to discuss three lies you’re most likely to hear when visiting a car dealership.
Hopefully, by seeing these lies for what they are you will be better equipped to combat these sales tactics and land the vehicle that is right for you at a price which is fair.
While not all salespeople employ these tactics, many will use some variation of these three statements to influence you into trusting their advice. Not all advice from car sales representatives is bad or malicious, but having the confidence to decipher one from another can help your car buying process tremendously.
Listen for these three statements and come equipped with the ability to counter with well-informed rebuttals. This will help increase your negotiating power.
1. We can’t budge on this price. Any lower and we’ll lose money on it.
Rest assured that there isn’t a car dealership out there that is going to list a vehicle at a price that is the “rock bottom” amount they can offer without losing money. Not only are dealerships going to leave “wiggle room” for negotiating the price, they also have back-end incentives, additional costs such as ad and posting fees, and other methods of ensuring they clear the vehicle purchase at a profit.
If a salesperson tells you that they can’t come down at all off a listed price, you can either politely let them know you know better or you can simply tell them you accept that information and be willing to leave.
Often times they won’t even want to get you off the lot so they’ll “check with their manager” on their options, but even if you have to drive off, they’ll often times reach out to see what kind of offer you have in mind.
2. This is the only vehicle of its kind around.
While this isn’t lobbed out there as often as it used to be thanks to the internet-age where a simple search can identify numerous other similar vehicles in the nearby proximity, salespeople will try to hold steady on a price by telling you that there aren’t any (or very few) vehicles out there with the combination of features (add-ons, mileage, specs, etc.) so you won’t be able to find another option.
This is absolutely false, especially if you’re willing to do your homework. Even if you’re unwilling to drive 80 miles to the next closest vehicle with the same options, telling your salesperson of the vehicle’s existence and your willingness to go there if necessary will halt their argument for the vehicle’s “special” nature and give you more negotiating power.
3. I’ve got [one, two, three, etc.] other people looking at this vehicle so you better act now.
If a salesperson has what they consider to be a solid opportunity to sell a particular vehicle (especially a used vehicle that they don’t have other replicas of on the lot), they’re not going to work as hard to try to sell you the vehicle.
The harder a salesperson pushes you to “act now” the better you should feel that there aren’t other viable suitors at the moment. Take your time and only agree to purchase the vehicle when you’re ready and you’ve come to an amount you feel is fair.
If you’re interested in a particular vehicle and aren’t in a tremendous hurry to buy, watch how long the vehicle sits on the lot (and, if test driving, record mileage to see if anyone else is test driving it). The longer a car sits on a dealership lot, the more taxes their paying for it. Offer an amount you feel is fair.
If the salesperson seems unwilling to accept your offer, make them aware of your knowledge that the vehicle is costing them money the longer it sits and there aren’t other suitors. This should bolster your argument and provide you more negotiating leverage.