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4 Things You Should Never Say to a Car Dealer

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Never Say These Things to a Car Dealer

What are some of the things you should never say to a car dealer if you truly want to get the best car deal?

When was the last time you bought a new car? Perhaps it’s been a few months or a few years. If it’s been some time, you might need a refresher course on the buying process. Part of your preparation is to know what questions to ask at the car dealership.

But you know something equally important as the questions? Knowing what not to say. If you end up inserting your foot in your mouth, you might walk away from the dealership unhappy with the car pricing. 

Curious about what you should avoid vocalizing when buying a car? Here’s a list of four things you should absolutely not say to a car dealer. 

1. Never say that you think salespeople are all cheats

You might have some negative preconceived notions about car salespeople. You might be tempted to blurt those notions out as soon as you step on the lot. Worse, you might say that to the first seller that walks up to you. Don’t!

No matter how you might feel about car dealers, never share that with them. It won’t help you. Remember, not all of them are snake oil salesmen. They’re just doing what they’re doing to make a living. A lot of them are good at their job and very helpful. You won’t find that out if you meet them right away with a negative attitude.

The best thing you can do is be as civil as possible. Keep your guard up, but don’t be angry or suspicious right away. Ask questions about the car you want to buy, and be open to hearing the side of the salesperson. If you’re lucky, being genuine will warm you up to the dealer. They might want to help you out and be more receptive to negotiating the price.

If you treat a car salesman nicely at your first meeting, they might give you more tips on what you can do semi-annually to keep your car in perfect condition, especially if it’s your first car.

2. Never tell a car dealer your job

If you’re a doctor, lawyer, or have any other high-paying job, do you know what you should do? Keep it to yourself. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s information they don’t really need to know. Another reason is that dealers often use a technique called price discrimination. If you’re wondering what that is, here’s an example. 

Say you’re a doctor. You are sold a car model for $20,000. Another prospect comes in and says he’s a public school teacher. He gets sold the same model for a discount at only $10,000. That’s price discrimination. It’s selling the same thing to different buyers at different prices, based on income and other factors. And sadly, that is legal in most cases, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

So again, avoid revealing any information that is not necessary for the purchase. If ever the dealer asks you about your career, be as general as possible. If you are an actual doctor, you can say you work at a hospital or in the medical field and don’t give further details. You don’t need to lie and say that you have a low-paying job. It may backfire, and the dealer, doubting your ability to pay, may not sell you the car at all.

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3. Never focus on insignificant car features

As said above, make sure to prepare questions that you want to ask your dealer. But at the same time, keep your questions in the first instance as meaningful as possible. Don’t focus too much on the radio, cup holders, car covers, or carpets. That could give off the impression that you are not a serious buyer. Or worse, that it’s your first time buying a car. You can always get the best custom car covers by yourself at an affordable price.

Salespeople can practically smell a fresh sale when you ask petty questions. They will start pressuring you, upselling you things that you don’t really want to buy.

The questions you should be asking instead should be about more essential features of the car. Ask about reliability, gas mileage, safety features, warranties, and so on. Also, ask about car transport options if you need to ship the car to another location. Asking these particular questions will signal to the dealer that you have done your research. The car salesperson will see you will not be swayed by additional sales pressure. After you have gone through the serious, necessary questions, you can ask about the more minor car features. 

4. Never mention your trade-in at the start to a car dealer

Don’t mention that you’re going to trade in your old car. If you bring up the trade-in right away, it steers the focus away from your purchase and onto your used car. They will ask to see your vehicle. From there, they’ll begin to list off your car’s flaws and issues. It won’t take long for you to be convinced of your low trade-in value. Then, you won’t be trading from an advantageous position. You are now at the mercy of their evaluation of your car. Also, if the dealer sees that they will owe you any extra for the trade-in, they may not want to negotiate their pricing.

What you should do instead is focus on getting the best deal on the perfect vehicle first. Then, you can mention the trade-in. That way, you’ve seen the dealer’s hand before showing your own. 

Remember, when at a car dealer, knowing what not to say is as crucial as knowing what to say. Don’t reveal too much and give the car dealer any advantage over you. Keep them on a need-to-know basis. Doing this allows you to leave the dealership with your new car, happy with your purchase price.

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