Khodrocar - Once you step onto the dealer’s lot you are on their turf, in their everyday realm — a world of mysterious models, Monroney stickers, optional equipment, dealer add-ons and astute, smiling salespeople — yet you are expected to negotiate by possessing some level of automotive know-how and aplomb. You look at a couple cars and even test drive a few. When you finally sit down to talk numbers you get the big sell, and then you decide whether the price is right. Right? Well, not exactly. To help navigate the unique journey of an auto purchase, here are some things you should NEVER say to a car sales associate.
"I don’t really know much about cars.”
Good salespeople know their products well and a dealership’s staff is excited and ready to sell you a vehicle. Indicating that you do not know much about cars is a clear signal to the sales staff that they hold most — if not all — the cards during ensuing negotiations. Do thorough online research before setting foot on a car lot so you have as much knowledge about the vehicle as possible. Being informed about the car you intend to buy will put you in good stead for getting a fair deal without feeling ripped off.
"I’m just looking . . .”
Car salespeople simultaneously hate and love these three little words — it’s likely the phrase they hear most, and it is a rote response that indicates a customer wants a salesperson to remain at a distance. Salespeople understand you are "just looking,” otherwise you would not be on the lot. And they sell more cars at optimum prices to people who are "just looking” than to those who are well informed and ready to talk specific models, packages and pricing. So don’t say it. Open with questions that demonstrate you know something about the car(s) in which you are interested. The salesperson’s answers will also reveal how much they know about the automaker’s products and you can determine if the salesperson is a good fit for you.
"My car just died so I really need a new set of wheels.”
Don’t indicate to the salesperson that you are desperate for a car. If you do, you will open the door for the salesperson to convince you to settle for a car that might be less (or more) than what you really need because of the time crunch involved. Stay neutral throughout the purchase process. If you are the type of person who gets emotional during a major purchase such as this, do yourself a favor and rent a car for a couple weeks while you take your time shopping for the right car.
"This is my first new car purchase.”
Nervously signaling — in a joking manner — to not only the salesperson and everyone within earshot that you are a neophyte when it comes to car purchases seems like a fine and benign thing to do. However, it does put you at a disadvantage when it comes to how much pressure and upselling the salesperson might do given this bit of information. It is best to stay neutral about the process, ask some astute, relevant questions about the vehicle you’d like to purchase and see how things progress. As The Gambler says, you gotta know when to hold ‘em . . .