Cutting through the Dealer Hype
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2009)
Hype and hyperbole, these seem to be the car dealers' greatest tools. How can the potential customer take those tools away from the dealer and turn them to their advantage? You are going to hear as many solutions as there are people in the world. I contend, though, that there is really only one solution to this perennial problem—information. Information is the greatest tool that any dealer or buyer has at their disposal. In this game, the person who has the most information in their possession is the one that wins.
So, where can you get the information that you are going to need? In today's world there are numerous places that you can get this information. Use these suggestions, and you are going to be able to win the car of your dreams the next time that you go against that dealer.
- Internet. Prior to going toe to toe with a dealer, go online. Check the home pages of the motor companies that you are interested in. This way you are going to be able to see what the average Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is. Many times there is a bit of mark up between what the manufacturer suggests selling their vehicles for, and what the dealer actually sells them for. If you know that mark up, you can negotiate from a position of strength.
- Blue Book. Take a look at the most recent value listed in this invaluable resource. This book lists the current information given by the industry as a whole, for things like current listing, resale value, depreciation and so on. The Kelly Blue Book is the industry's standard for such information. Take the information that you get from this source and the other sources listed here and average them out. This is one of the best ways that you can get a "fair" price for any vehicle that you are interested in.
- Dealerships. One idea that many people do not think of is calling the various dealerships and finding out from them directly what the current pricing is. Do this over the phone, and write down the information. In fact, as you are gathering all of this information you can compare what each dealer is saying and play one against the other. Use the information that you have gathered from your other sources, as well as between the dealerships against the dealer and you are going to get deals like you would not believe.
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