7 Tips for Bartering with a Car Salesman

For some people, haggling with a car salesman can be an intricate dance. For others, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. And it’s not hard to see why. Salespeople spend their days dealing with customers just like you, building up a repertoire of techniques to get you to pay that extra dollar. When you walk into a dealership, remember that you’re speaking with a professional salesperson. You have to know when to take the deal and when to walk away. For those about to enter this process, here are some helpful tips to avoid getting the short end of the stick.

Know What You Want

Many customers make the mistake of going in unprepared. They just want to see what the dealership has to offer and listen with an open mind. Unfortunately, this is what a car salesman wants in a customer. Their primary job is to figure out what makes you more or less inclined to buy. Allowing them to take the lead means they’ll find you the perfect car at a great price for the dealership. And they’ll be able to spin it so that you think you’re the one benefiting.

On the contrary, if you go in with a set price in mind, a firm stance, and all the details of your desired car, there’s nothing the salesman can do but ask the manager if they can work with your price.

Do Your Homework

Due diligence is key. Knowing what you want means spending the extra time researching cars and their prices online. It means comparing dealerships, safety ratings, extra features, and more. When it comes to haggling for a reasonable price, knowledge is power. Even doing some research into how a car salesman makes their commission can be helpful. As a good practice, try stepping into their shoes and see how you would bargain against a prepared customer. Additionally, go in with a set number. Create a car budget – and stick to it.

Start Low and Wait

A classic bargaining tactic is to undervalue your first offer. Both parties know that the price will increase from your initial offering, so it’s best to start low and wait to see how they counter. Once you’ve stated a number, stay strong and don’t backtrack. This is where the delicate negotiation dance comes in. Most likely, the car salesman will frown or use body language to indicate your offer is unacceptable. Changing your price will send a signal that you’re easily pushed around, and the salesman will respond with a high-priced counteroffer.

Know When to Walk Away

When you enter a dealership, make