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Aubrie posted 7/25/2013 17:00 PM

I'm in the market for a new (to me) car. And due to circumstances that I can't discuss cause we're in OT, I'm going alone.

Help? What are the dos and don'ts? Obviously Carfax are a biggie, "tried and true" dealers, etc.

Guess what I'm scared of is the haggling. It's a major purchase for me and while I'm not stupid enough to pay full sticker price, I don't know the games. Will being a woman and alone make me an "easy target"? While I'm no car "expert", I'm no idiot either.

There are 3 cars I've been watching online. I just need to drive them and get a feel for them. And of course...haggle.

How can I protect myself and get what I need without feeling taken advantage of or pressured?

Geez, this is scaring me.

hurtbs posted 7/25/2013 17:22 PM

Come in with your financing already done.

Use to get a true price on the car in your area (will also give you local inventory).

Walk away.

UndecidedinMA posted 7/25/2013 17:27 PM

Don't fall for the gotta talk to my manager. If they try that tell them you will talk to him since he doesn't have the power to make a deal.

sisoon posted 7/25/2013 17:54 PM

If you're looking for a used car and don't want to haggle, CarMax seems to be a true no-haggle car store. You'll pay top dollar, but all their customers do, and you'll very probably get a good car. And since they do a great business, there are lots of people who don't want to haggle.

If you go to another business, even female salespeople will figure you're a mark, since you're female, and they'll do their best to rip you off.

I'd stick with CarMax. What you'll spend in extra dollars will probably be worth while.

And your timing may be pretty good - pressure is on to make sales at the end of the month - 7/31.

If you're looking for a new car, I'd give different advice, except about the timing.

T/J - CarMax was started, IIRC, by people who were known in the stereo equipment trade as crooks. Even so, their ethics were head and shoulders above everybody else in the used car business. I guess everything is relative. end T/J

Lionne posted 7/25/2013 18:04 PM


I learned that at an early age from my father. I always get a reasonable deal. Go armed with what the price should be, based on the Kelly Blue Book value, get the VIN number and check for any accidents or other incidents on CarFax. DON'T accept any service other than CarFax. Be prepared to WALK AWAY. It's a game, not one that's fun, don't take it too seriously, you just have to grin and bear it.

And recognize that these guys have to make a living too. You aren't going to get it without them making a buck.

Aubrie posted 7/25/2013 18:07 PM

And recognize that these guys have to make a living too.
Oh absolutely. I'm not out to rip any one off.

Thankfully where I'm looking have all the Carfax available and I just found another place with a similar model. So I can do the "walk away" game more easily.

lieshurt posted 7/25/2013 18:47 PM

Come in with your financing already done.


CluelessGuy posted 7/25/2013 19:25 PM

CarMax is a rip-off IMHO. Yes, you get the no-haggle deal. But you are overpaying. And they will low-ball your trade-in if you have one.

Yes, playing the car-buying game is a real chore. Figure it this way. If you end up spending 20 hours haggling for your car, but you save yourself, say, $1,000 on the car you wanted ... you are making $50 an hour.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 7/25/2013 20:08 PM

Come in with your financing already done.

Again this. Negotiate on the price, not the financing terms. And negotiate away stupid things like "doc fees" Different dealers will have different doc fees--these are just an added cost for about 20 bucks worth of forms...but some places charge 4 or 5 hundred for them.

Also, watch for taxes. Different counties have different sales tax rates. Try to buy in a county with a lower rate.

Don't be afraid to walk away.

Kajem posted 7/26/2013 04:50 AM

Walking away has worked for this lady on more than one occasion.

If you an on Financing, get that ahead of visiting a dealer. Used car dealer rates are usury in this state ( easily 4x or more higher than credit union rates).

Know value of what you are looking at. It helps

You are a smart lady. This will be something new to navigate, I have faith that you will get the best deal a available.I almost feel sorry for the sales person.


itainteasy posted 7/26/2013 08:36 AM

I used Consumer Reports when I bought my car. I knew the make and model, and what to reasonably expect to pay for it. (I got a used car)

The salesman tried hard to "wheel and deal" me, but backed down pretty quickly when he realized I did my research.

I ended up with a deal I was happy with ($1500 less than what they were asking).

I made it clear to the salesman that I wanted the car, but I didn't HAVE to have it. When he knew I would walk away, he was more willing to negotiate.

Good luck. I had major anxiety when I went. It was my first major purchase on my own, too.
I didn't show my anxiety, though....I showed nothing that would have made me look "weak" to him.

Aubrie posted 7/26/2013 08:44 AM

And negotiate away stupid things like "doc fees" Different dealers will have different doc fees--these are just an added cost for about 20 bucks worth of forms...but some places charge 4 or 5 hundred for them.
Crap, that's some expensive forms they use. Is the paper gold edged?

I have faith that you will get the best deal a available. I almost feel sorry for the sales person.
I never pay full price for anything. Even at Goodwill. Sure as heck ain't gonna happen on a car.

Been doing research on several models for the past 24 hours. Everything is written down. Asking price, KBB price, Carfax "adjusted" price, etc. I have a comfortable feel for what I'm getting into.

I made it clear to the salesman that I wanted the car, but I didn't HAVE to have it. When he knew I would walk away, he was more willing to negotiate.
See, I need a car pretty bad BUT, I will walk away. There are 3 dealers in town that have what I want, two have other options altogether that I'm curious about.

*sigh* Off to fortify myself with a massive mug of coffee. Anxiety is kicking in. Time to play the game.

itainteasy posted 7/26/2013 08:52 AM

*sending mojo* Good luck!

Undefinabl3 posted 7/26/2013 10:06 AM

1. Get financing outside of the dealership if at all possible.

The first car I got I walked in with a check for 5000 (they didnt know this yet), found a car I liked that was almost 8000. I liked the car and built up a nice repore....once we sat down I told him, ok, here's the deal. I have a 5000 cashier's check that I will hand over to you if you make everything fit into that 5000 and not a penny more.

The standard back and forth happened, as it will, but I didnt care. I was either walking out with a car or a check.

They finally came around, and poof, got my Toyota Corolla for 5000. Not bad.

2. Second car we didnt get pre-financed before going to dealership. But same applies, put a number in your head and stick to it.

I told DH we couldnt pay more then 150 a month. Not a penny more.

We fell in love with this truck, told the guy that we didnt care how he did it, but we were not paying more then 150 a month for the truck. 3 hours later, he came back with something like 230 and thought he had pushed us over. We walked out.

Next day the guy calls DH and says that he got it to 149.01 LOL...we got the truck.

You have to be firm. They would rather get that car sold for cheap then not sold at all.

tushnurse posted 7/26/2013 10:44 AM

I have gotten 3 vehicles from Carmaxx and have always felt treated fairly and respected. Also they offer an extended warranty, and it's well worth the money.

I had an astro van from them that the transmission went out on, because of the extended warranty they payed 100% of the cost to replace it, not once but twice. We drove it long distances frequently and it had a ton of miles.
The Hoe we have now came from them too, and it the warranty covered costs for some minor stuff, like auto window motors.

jennie160 posted 7/26/2013 10:50 AM

I you don't get financing set up before going to the dealer DON'T tell them how much per month you can pay. Negotiate the full "out the door" asking price first, then work on negotiating the monthly financing. Otherwise, they will give you crappy terms just to get the highest amount of profit they can. If you have a smart phone you might want to consider downloading an amortization calculator so you can double check what they are quoting and get documentation from them how they are arriving at their numbers.

When I bought my car I negotiated the asking price first then worked on the monthly payment. When I started double checking their numbers with my amortization calculator I caught them adding extra "fees" back into our agreed upon price.

Williesmom posted 7/26/2013 10:51 AM

Don't fall for the monthly payment negotiating - "how much can you afford per month to spend?".

Pick the "out the door" total price that is your absolute top price. And stick to it.

seekingright2013 posted 7/26/2013 11:48 AM

I echo everybody on doing your research (Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book and Consumer Reports -- CR has a best used buy issue, I think it is in the spring, your local library should be able to help.)

I have a slightly different story than dealing with dealers or CarMax.

I knew the car I wanted -- a Prius -- and did a ton of shopping on ebay and through local dealers' websites as well as the local autotrader mag.

I looked & looked & looked -- for several months. I had a 97 Ford Taurus that was starting to die but I had some time to play with.

One Sunday, I saw an ad for an '05 Prius (this was in '09) that was listed for about $2k *less* than the KBB value. The ad was in the local Sunday paper. Yes, the news*paper*. How 20th century.

Turned out it was an eye doctor selling it because his brand new Tesla had just come in.

I drove it that Sunday and told him I wanted it, and did the credit union financing the next day.

It has been the best car I have ever owned :)

Depending on what car you want, you can try buying from the original owner. Check out autotrader (they have an online site), ebay motors etc., the local paper.

Just a thought. Good luck !! It is very stressful buying a car.

[This message edited by seekingright2013 at 11:49 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

lieshurt posted 7/26/2013 11:54 AM

Don't fall for the monthly payment negotiating - "how much can you afford per month to spend?".

This drives me insane if they do this. Honestly, I don't think they know how to sell a car anymore without focusing on the monthly payment.

EvenKeel posted 7/26/2013 11:54 AM

Not all places are the same....we have a 'no-haggle' used car place here. The prices are always well below blue book and there is no negiotation on anything (not even a floor mate).

The place literally has lines waiting for the salesman whose job only seems to be handing you keys and processing paperwork.

It is so great not to go through all that used-car salesman BS.

I don't know if I agree with 'do ahead' financing. I have ALWAYS gotten better rates via the dealer center. I work at a bank and even with my employee rate....I get better rates through the dealership. One time the bank ended up being WHERE I WORKED and the rate was better going through the car dealership.

I just bought a car last month (say hello to Gretta-the-Jetta).....I looked around at rates before I walked in so I knew what was being offered. Again....dealership beat it by 1.5%

Maybe that is a geographic thing.

I use to take any ole man with me. They were not to say a peep....just sit there and look testestrone-filled. Just because I did not want to be screwed over. If you have a male friend, that might be an option.

I have gotten past that over the years though. If they apply to much pressure, I walk.

I usually walk once they do their "best deal" as well. If they can do WILL get a call. If not, you know that was really their best offer.

[This message edited by EvenKeel at 11:55 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

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