One of the biggest fears potential car buyers have is directly tied to the process of negotiating the price of a used car with a car dealer. Their fear does not stem from not having enough money to buy the car. Rather, they are wary of getting swindled by the sweet-talking salesperson who is typically versed in the art of getting the most out of a bargain when it comes to selling used cars.
Quite a number of people end up hiring car experts to accompany them to such negotiations. At the end of the day, the expert also gets paid for his/her service.
To help you avoid getting ripped off, here are some effective ways to negotiate for a used car price.
Do Your Homework
This tactic applies to both new and used cars. You need to do your homework to know the value of the car you want to buy, as nothing helps in the negotiation process as much as coming prepared with a wealth of knowledge about the car and its value.
You have to compare prices across dealers before settling for one. Knowing the value of the car gives you the power to negotiate confidently with the dealer when you are finally ready to make the purchase.
To find out the price of a car before you approach a dealer to buy the car, you can use the Cheki True Price tool. The Cheki True Price is a tool on Cheki.com.ng that is designed to provide car shoppers like you with accurate information on the prices of cars in Nigeria.
Many times, we tend to mistake the salesperson for an enemy and end up showing at his dealership with hairs standing straight; waiting for a duel. Sometimes, stiff replies such as “that’s my offer! Take it or leave it” or “You better do this price or I’m walking” do not further your negotiations. This kind of attitude may prevent the dealer from giving proper advice or guiding you towards a better offer as most dealers do when you are unable to meet the price of a particular car.
Be patient and try to listen to the salesperson’s argument for the price he’s offering. This may help you in negotiating a better price with another dealer if you end up not closing the deal with him/her.
Ask for the Maintenance Records
The maintenance record of a used car shows the history of repairs and generally, how well the car has been handled by the user. When the maintenance history is up to date, you can reliable consider the price the salesperson is offering. Also, you can advance for a lower price based on a lack of records of the oil change, repair and maintenance, as this could mean that you may end up spending more on maintenance that the previous owner failed to initiate as at when due.
Use the Silent Walk Around
This is a technique used by many dealers to devalue a car. It is called the ‘silent walk around’ because they walk around the car, visually inspecting the vehicle for dents, stain, scratch, and occasionally shaking their heads whenever they spot one. While this is being done, they ensure the seller can see them doing it. This puts emotional and mental pressure on the seller to reduce the selling price for the car, as the car has been mentally devalued in his mind.
Just stay silent all through the process and watch the seller come offering excuses about the cause of each stain, scratch to even the smallest dust on the windscreen. This gives the seller the impression that you are comparing notes with other vehicles that you have seen.
Ask for the Least Amount
After inspecting the car, you could ask the seller the least amount he is willing to take for the car at that point in time, especially if you are satisfied with the car.
Most desperate sellers will significantly drop the price from what they were asking before the start of negotiation at the mention of this price.
Don’t put all your cards on the table yet. Offer the seller a lower initial price than the maximum you are willing to pay, and counter his offer with a little more increase until he agrees. Use the observations you saw during the silent walk around to press home your offer each time he counters it.
Stick to Your Maximum Offer
When the negotiation eventually reaches your maximum offer and the seller is still dismissive, it is time to stick to your maximum offer. He will point out all the reasons why your numbers are wrong and why you need to add something more. Don’t be alarmed. This is all part of the trick. He will use different tactics; from pleas, objections and ploys just to persuade you to increase your maximum offer. At this point, it is time to make it clear that you have other dealers to check out since this isn’t working out.
Know When to Walk Away
If the dealer fails to accept your maximum offer despite all the steps above, it might just be time to accept his price (if he’s the dealer with the best price) or head for another dealer.
Some dealers will offer to lower the price for you if you find the same used car in similar condition at a lower price elsewhere. Make it clear to him that you are not returning once you leave his showroom.
Likewise, if the dealer makes you a ‘take-it-or-leave-it offer,’ it is time to examine if the offer meets your budget or if it is a decent price for the car in question. If both answers are negative, walk away!