Buying a used car

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
In the market for a used car. I know what I want and have test driven a few around and been watching the market for a few months. I have never spent $20k on a car before, nor bought one from a dealer. Have been to a couple of dealers so far and they didn't have what I wanted so I test drove a few other options and they did their best to make a sale. Had a chuckle at one bloke telling me a story of how a couple last week came back into the yard after not buying the car, only to find it had gone and the wife cried and the husband was visibly upset.

I feel I am in a good position to get a car at the best possible price because I have a car at the moment, have cash and am not emotionally attached. I am also looking at cars of which there are lots of around, just not many private sellers.

So... any advice on interacting with used car sales people? One car I am looking at which is pretty much exactly what I want, apart from the price, is $22 000. I might get about $2k as a trade in and I want another $2k off the price to bring it down to $18k. I have a feeling if I lay it out for them like this they will want more money. In which case I say no sorry I feel it's a fair price and walk away? Or start at $17k and come up to $18k or less? Not sure low balling at $15k is going to help much because that is about what the trade in price would have been.
 

frank_n

Likes Dirt
Go haggle. Give it your best shot they can only say no. Tell them you like it and you have the trade-in plus X$$. Be prepared to walk away.
Is the car you already have in reasonable condition and doesn't need a lot spent on it? Why not keep it?
 

stirk

Wheel size expert
Sounds like the car is popular to buy with private owners hanging onto them, unless it more like a fleet car/van. Sales people will have an advantage if they know their product is popular and will sell for what they want to get. Leave you less haggle room.

As Frank said be prepared to walk away if you don't get the deal you want, state your price and stick to it they'll either meet you half way or not.

I needs to know what car this is!
 

DMan

alid sinistra oliva
Sounds like the car is popular to buy with private owners hanging onto them, unless it more like a fleet car/van. Sales people will have an advantage if they know their product is popular and will sell for what they want to get. Leave you less haggle room.

As Frank said be prepared to walk away if you don't get the deal you want, state your price and stick to it they'll either meet you half way or not.

I needs to know what car this is!
I'm echoing but you have the power here. Make your offer and walk if need be. You'll be suprised how much they can shift price. Might take a few trips for them to see "my manager".....

It's obvious Stirk. Subaru WRX with pimped 20" rims. The perfect shuttle vehicle.
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Go haggle. Give it your best shot they can only say no. Tell them you like it and you have the trade-in plus X$$. Be prepared to walk away.
Is the car you already have in reasonable condition and doesn't need a lot spent on it? Why not keep it?
Car I have is fine. It is in good condition for its age and a few people have said it is better than the majority. I could keep it, but have the opportunity to buy a new one and I want something 4WD-ish.
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Sounds like the car is popular to buy with private owners hanging onto them, unless it more like a fleet car/van. Sales people will have an advantage if they know their product is popular and will sell for what they want to get. Leave you less haggle room.

As Frank said be prepared to walk away if you don't get the deal you want, state your price and stick to it they'll either meet you half way or not.

I needs to know what car this is!
X-Trail. Not an uncommon car.
 

stirk

Wheel size expert
X-Trail. Not an uncommon car.
Ah, there are so many of those on the market you should be haggle. I want to upgrade our family car to an X-Trail but the misses hates the boxy shape of the older models but she likes the latest models which I think are butt ugly.

Good luck.
 

scblack

Leucocholic
The principal tactic in negotiation is NOT to make the first offer. The first offer is called an anchor point, from where pricing will move. If you state the price you hope for up front, you will never get it, because they may move toward it, but never reach that.

Be prepared to walk away, as you say. If you are genuinely not emotionally attached that should be easy.

Get to know your market well. As you have done, check out lots of the same vehicle pricing, and don't forget that the price on websites or the windscreen is full retail price, not sold price. There is room to move on any vehicle, but how much I cannot say.
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Ah, there are so many of those on the market you should be haggle. I want to upgrade our family car to an X-Trail but the misses hates the boxy shape of the older models but she likes the latest models which I think are butt ugly.

Good luck.
Funnily enough whilst doing the rounds of car yards one of reasons the Xtrail isn't as popular as it probably should be is because of the boxy shape. Without the boxy shape you miss out on the space inside which in my opinion, is the main draw card. The 4x4 is not as good as a Subaru but the amount of stuff you can fit in one is pretty amazing.
 

JTmofo

XC Enthusiast
The principal tactic in negotiation is NOT to make the first offer. The first offer is called an anchor point, from where pricing will move. If you state the price you hope for up front, you will never get it, because they may move toward it, but never reach that.

Be prepared to walk away, as you say. If you are genuinely not emotionally attached that should be easy.

Get to know your market well. As you have done, check out lots of the same vehicle pricing, and don't forget that the price on websites or the windscreen is full retail price, not sold price. There is room to move on any vehicle, but how much I cannot say.
This....^^^^
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
The principal tactic in negotiation is NOT to make the first offer. The first offer is called an anchor point, from where pricing will move. If you state the price you hope for up front, you will never get it, because they may move toward it, but never reach that.

Be prepared to walk away, as you say. If you are genuinely not emotionally attached that should be easy.

Get to know your market well. As you have done, check out lots of the same vehicle pricing, and don't forget that the price on websites or the windscreen is full retail price, not sold price. There is room to move on any vehicle, but how much I cannot say.
Any advice on how to steer the convo that way? The conversation with a previous dealer (when I was in no way interested in their over priced car) went as such:
sales: How did you like that?
Me: yep, much better than the Santa Fe
sales: ok great, well we have had a good look at your car, how much were you looking to get as a trade in?
me: I would be happy with $#### for it
sales: ok, we can do that easily, so we just look at change over price, so this car would be $14000 (sticker price was $16000)
sales: (insert massive spiel about their warranty bullshit and something about a $1000 3 year warranty thing that give road side, all of which I am not interested in)

Now because I had no intention of buying that particular car I didn't engage in any negotiation, but it was very one sided and I imagine the sales guy thought he had a fish on because I didn't mention a budget or ask about the price of cars.

For future reference I would have asked how much are they willing to offer as a trade in?

I have driven a friends 2010 Xtrail and it is awesome and this one I am looking at is a 2013 model. So in reality I couldn't give a stuff if I got a 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 model as they are all pretty much the same.
 

JTmofo

XC Enthusiast
Your first problem when negotiating is the fact that you are looking for a part exchange.
This give the dealer another variable to use in the negotiation against you.

Cash sales are king...... If you can, sell your own car privately. The dealer will offset the "value" of your vehicle against the "value" of the new vehicle.
They will try and make you feel like they are offering you market value for your trade in, while charging you full retail on new vehicle.

If you go in as a cash buyer, and you are ready to make a deal, offer at least 15% -20% off the stickered price. Dealer will have at least 10% wiggle room on any vehicle and still be able to make a profit.

Remember, you are the customer, with the cash, and you can walk away at any point. The dealer needs your money to make a profit, and will be reluctant to let a cash buyer walk away over a small % deal.
 

scblack

Leucocholic
Any advice on how to steer the convo that way? The conversation with a previous dealer (when I was in no way interested in their over priced car) went as such:
sales: How did you like that?
Me: yep, much better than the Santa Fe
sales: ok great, well we have had a good look at your car, how much were you looking to get as a trade in?
me: I would be happy with $#### for it
sales: ok, we can do that easily, so we just look at change over price, so this car would be $14000 (sticker price was $16000)
sales: (insert massive spiel about their warranty bullshit and something about a $1000 3 year warranty thing that give road side, all of which I am not interested in)

Now because I had no intention of buying that particular car I didn't engage in any negotiation, but it was very one sided and I imagine the sales guy thought he had a fish on because I didn't mention a budget or ask about the price of cars.

For future reference I would have asked how much are they willing to offer as a trade in?
Yep, just chuck the question back at him. THEY are offering the trade-in price so they should tell you what they offer. Just say "I have an idea, but am really wanting to know what you guys can offer." Do your utmost not to look desperate to buy.

Maybe check out Redbook or a pricing service to get a good idea of trade in value. Even if that costs you $50 its well spent as you know what the value is and can negotiate from knowledge, not having to accept their sales crap.

One basic negotiation tactic is to KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Why would you tell them what you want as a trade-in?? You are fishing for their prices, but if you tell them what you want, their job has just been handed to them. If they make an offer you don't like you don't have to say much. That can be a difficult tactic to work correctly sometimes. Run conversations over in your head beforehand so as not to give out too much information.

I have bought several new and used cars personally and many for companies over the years. Some things only experience will teach you. But one thing is, they are desperate for a sale - try to be on the side of them more desperate than you.
 
Car yards and car dealers are experts at taking the fun out of what should be an enjoyable experience so the less time you can spend with them the better. As you appear to know exactly what you want and how much you want to spend when you find one you like just be straight up...
Swaz: I like this one, I'd like to purchase it please. I have this vehicle to trade and this much to spend.
Dealer: I respect your decisiveness here are your keys, please sign here and enjoy your new car... (said no dealer EVER).

As others have already stated don't bother haggling you have all the power, you don't need a new car right now and there are plenty of examples out there stick to your guns and walk away if they wont accept your offer.
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Your first problem when negotiating is the fact that you are looking for a part exchange.
This give the dealer another variable to use in the negotiation against you.

Cash sales are king...... If you can, sell your own car privately. The dealer will offset the "value" of your vehicle against the "value" of the new vehicle.
They will try and make you feel like they are offering you market value for your trade in, while charging you full retail on new vehicle.

If you go in as a cash buyer, and you are ready to make a deal, offer at least 15% -20% off the stickered price. Dealer will have at least 10% wiggle room on any vehicle and still be able to make a profit.

Remember, you are the customer, with the cash, and you can walk away at any point. The dealer needs your money to make a profit, and will be reluctant to let a cash buyer walk away over a small % deal.
Trade-ins are not ideal I know, however given the fact I know I will only get a certain amount for my car on the private market and have previously advertised it without a single bite makes me think it would be easier to offload it to the dealer for close to what I would get privately. Maybe I could get $500 more privately... maybe! Have relisted it with a lower price to see if I can sell it privately. I can see a dealer wanting $5k for it on a yard!
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I have bought several new and used cars personally and many for companies over the years. Some things only experience will teach you. But one thing is, they are desperate for a sale - try to be on the side of them more desperate than you.
Thanks mate. I have zero experience in buying from a dealer. I am taking a mate though who is so that should help. I am not desperate to buy this particular car. Currently it is way over priced and over what I want to pay. So for it to become attractive to me they are going to have to lower the price. I don't begrudge them making money because that's their job. I don't want to pay too much either. They also aren't the type of dealership to sell a car for $5k, they will offload it wholesale somewhere.
 

scblack

Leucocholic
Thanks mate. I have zero experience in buying from a dealer. I am taking a mate though who is so that should help. I am not desperate to buy this particular car. Currently it is way over priced and over what I want to pay. So for it to become attractive to me they are going to have to lower the price. I don't begrudge them making money because that's their job. I don't want to pay too much either. They also aren't the type of dealership to sell a car for $5k, they will offload it wholesale somewhere.
OK, the highlighted lack of experience I gathered that from your earlier posts, and it does not help you. But you sound like you know what you need, what to pay and not hung on having to have one.

Good luck, let me know if you need more help.
 

slippy

Likes Bikes and Dirt
You lose on trade ins. You have to. Because the dealer has to be able to resell that car at market value and make a profit. Avoid if at all possible.
Cash is king.
Walk away even when you strike the deal you want. Say you want to bounce it off the wife and sleep on it. Make one final request before you leave, mine was a tow bar. I got the price I wanted, said maybe if you throw in a tow bar... Give them your number and they can call you when they come to realisation you're not coming back until they come to the party. I got a call at 10 the next morning, mate we can throw in the tow bar. Sold.
 
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slippy

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Also, paint protection is a scam. It's how they extract a few hundred more dollars out of you after a sale. Just say no.
 

swaz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
You lose on trade ins. You have to. Because the dealer has to be able to resell that car at market value and make a profit. Avoid if at all possible.
Cash is king.
Walk away even when you strike the deal you want. Say you want to bounce it off the wife and sleep on it. Make one final request before you leave, mine was a tow bar. I got the price I wanted, said maybe if you throw in a tow bar... Give them your number and they can call you when they come to realisation you're not coming back until they come to the party. I got a call at 10 the next morning, mate we can throw in the tow bar. Sold.
Was this a new car or used? Had wondered if this was a good thing to do. and actually I want/need a tow ball on this car as it doesn't come with one.
If I can get a trade in very close to what I would get selling privately then wouldn't that be worth it? I will ultimately pay the same price for the car whether or not I had the cash. Also, once I sell my car there will be more pressure to buy another one. Or are you suggesting buy the new one without a trade in and sell it.

I don't go for paint protection, seat suncream, extended warranty that only covers the first $2000 of a fault etc.
 
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