All cars come with a price that is suggested by their manufacturer. This is known as the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price). However, if you are a smart negotiator you will be able to pay a lot less money for the vehicle unless you are after a model that is either very rare or very popular. Exactly how much negotiating room is available will depend upon the dealer's true cost, any special incentives and the time that you purchase the vehicle. There are some general negotiation techniques that will help you get the best price regardless of the circumstances.
Determine a price that you think the dealer actually paid for the car. Do this by looking up the invoice price online and subtracting the hold back and any incentives. You can do this online by going to an automotive website. The price that you derive should make the baseline for your offer.
Look up what others are paying for this car where you live. This information can also be found online. Usually it will vary by region. You want to know if local consumers are paying more or less than the invoice price though.
Formulate a price that you will offer based upon the research that you have just done. It is a good idea to print out all of the information that you have used to come up with a price and put it inside of a large envelope or folder to take with you to the dealers as you shop. This shows the salesmen that you really are a serious, educated shopper.
Go online and look at the inventory that local dealerships claim to have. This will help you to narrow down the locations that actually have the type of vehicle that you are interested in purchasing. You will also be able to make sure that they have your preferred options too. All of this can actually be done before you even leave home.
Start visiting the dealerships in your area that you have found actually have the car you want to purchase. Take your information with you and make a price offer beginning with your bottom line. It is also a good idea to bring along copies of your credit report if you plan to finance the vehicle through the dealership. Make sure that you tell the salesman that you will only spend a certain amount of time there then simply state a price and wait that pre-set amount of time. Always deflect any attempts to get you to raise this price.
Whenever a dealership's salesman doesn't agree with a price and continues to run back and forth between you and their manager, just get up and leave. This dealer is only trying to wear you out by prolonging the process. Once your pre-set amount of time has expired, simply get up and leave if you haven't yet settled on a price. Oftentimes the manager will run after you and offer you a price that you have previously offered them.
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