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Buying a Used Car

Car dealers slick sales tricks

Buying a used car can be a confusing and nerve-wracking experience. As a consumer it's hard to know how much you should be paying, how hard you can negotiate and whether or not you should believe anything salespeople tell you. Some of the dealer's tricks include telling buyers that they drive this model themselves, pretending they need to consult with their boss, flattering buyers and not offering a better deal unless matching a competitor. Therefore, car buyers should shop around, ask a lot of questions and do their research thoroughly.


Don't let these salespeople pull one over you in the showroom, get educated on what they don't want you to know:


  • Whip out your smartphone: Get the upper hand by comparison shopping on your smartphone. One salesman says their "greatest fear was your smartphone. If we gave you a number and you had a smartphone in your hand with Auto Trader or some other site pulled up, we were neutered."


  • The manager is in charge: Talk to the sales manager because sales people tend to have "little to no power."


  • Watch what you say: The sellers maybe listening to your conversation, so be mindful of what you say if you're shopping with someone.


  • The best time to go: The percentage of commission earned by salespeople is based on the number of cars sold per month, so the best time to win a negotiation is during the day on the last week of the month from Monday to Thursday. Selling more cars can bump their commission rates up, so they will likely be more eager to meet a quota.


  • Take your time: Be smart about shopping and take at least one to two months before settling on a car for a better deal.


  • Trick for buying used: When looking for used cars, ask to see the cars they've held onto the longest for because many lots "are measured on how quickly they can turn their inventory, and they end up losing tons on cars that stick around for more then 30 to 60 days." The longer the car has been at the dealership, the more they've cut the price to the point "where you're probably not paying more than it's actually worth."


  • Don't give a monthly payment figure: Don't negotiate based on a monthly payment rather than the total price. "If they ask you how much you want to pay per month, don't even answer. Some dealerships will adjust the term so you're making payments for 50 years to give you the monthly payment you want, or they'll jack up the down payment to some astronomical price, or both."

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Sydney Auto Inspections' mobile services are available throughout Sydney and the greater metropolitan areas, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Coff's Harbour.

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