The Art of Buying a Used Car

old car

Your old, reliable vehicle has surpassed the 150,000 mile mark so it’s time for an upgrade. Buying a used car can be a comfortable experience for you and the salesperson. As a car salesman, I learned several techniques to make sure I get the sale and leave the customer happy and satisfied. Ultimately, the customer needs a car and I need the sale for my bottom line, so a symbiotic business relationship displaying mutual respect is always a necessary when applying my four steps to ensure customer satisfaction and maximum commission.

Times Have Changed

The age of the ignorant car-buyer is gone because of the internet, but this benefits both the buyer and seller. Buyers should never make the first offer when haggling over price. Once a customer quote is established, which may be significantly higher than what the dealership is asking, you will likely not be able to go any lower. As a buyer, know what the value and kind of car you are looking for when you show up to the dealership and use that information for negotiation. Websites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are reputable sites with which you can do a simple search based on year, make, model and mileage to find the value.

Never Lie

At a Drivetime buy here, pay here car lot, I learned to always be honest with customers. Since then, I have always made it a rule to never lie to customers. I knew that if I was caught in a lie, the sale was probably not going to happen, as my credibility would be shot. Mutual respect is key and lying will kill the sale before the negotiations can go any further..

Bring a Third Party

Prospective buyers should always show up to the dealership with a friend, spouse or someone else who can play devil’s advocate. The “bad cop” of the two would always question everything I said. However, once the bad cop started in on price, mileage and warranty, I knew the sale was imminent. It is never a bad idea to get a second opinion on any major purchase and a car is no exception.

Check Out the Competition Before Making a Deal

Finally, customers should always leave the negotiation table at some point before making the sale final. As the salesman, my goal was to close at the highest, fairest price I could. Prospective buyers need to display control by leaving the lot and telling the salesman they are interested, but want to check out a few other places before making a decision. This prompted me to call the prospect and offer them a better price. Again, I get the sale, they get their car and everyone is happy.

This was a guest post by Dean Simmons.  Dean is a lean mean car repair machine. He loves writing about convertibles, trucks and anything that has four wheels and an engine.  I hope you enjoy.