14 Tips For An Empowered Car Buyer
1. Cash Is King. If you have the extra money to pay in cash, do it. A loan comes with interest, paying cash does not. Also, some dealerships offer cash discounts
2. Compare prices at multiple dealerships, shop around at several dealerships. Get as many quotes from as many dealerships as you can before purchasing.
3. Do your research. Research your vehicle before visiting any dealership or private party. Make sure you know the dealership or private party valuation. Kelly Blue Book has been a trusted resource since 1926.
4. Only buy new if you have the extra money. There is a considerable amount of savings buying used or even certified pre-owned. Those CPOs still come with an extra warranty from the manufacturer, and some of those CPOs have the remainder of the original warranty plus the Certified Pre-Owned warranty from the manufacturer.
5. The ole switcheroo. Maybe you were shopping online and saw a great deal, but when you call/show up to the dealership you find out the car isn’t there. This is just one way to get you into the dealership and on the hook. At this point you might feel like you have some time invested with the dealership, and you might settle when they switch you to a “similar” piece of inventory. Vehicles are the second biggest lifetime purchase next to a house. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to put in some more working finding your perfect vehicle/perfect deal.
6. Negotiate. The answer is always no unless you ask. Do your research, see if the vehicle is priced fairly. If it’s not, shoot the dealer an offer. if it is priced right you can still ask for a couple hundred off, maybe even more. Always try and negotiate, for both car dealerships and private party sellers. Don’t forget to negotiate your trade and your interest rate. The three big areas to focus on are: Your trade, your vehicle purchase and your interest rate. More include rebates, lease rate, bank fee, alarms, maintenance, warranties, protection package and any other products the dealer is offering.
7. Pay attention if your dealer is switching the term of a loan or lease to lower your monthly payment. Your monthly payment looks lower, but are you really saving any money or just paying the same amount over a longer time period?
8. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t be afraid to leave the dealership. Most of the time you aren’t going to get their best offer right off the bat. You might get a phone call shortly after you leave from the dealership, and they might tell you they can work with you on price a little better. Walking out of the dealership doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth a shot if you don’t think you are getting the best offer.
9. Don’t buy on impulse. The best time to buy a vehicle is when you don’t need one. There is no sense of urgency, you don’t need a vehicle, and there is more leverage for you as a buyer if you don’t need a new vehicle. You can spend more time shopping around, and you can walk away from deals you don’t think are the best because you have more time to shop around.
Preparation is key, do your research, don’t buy a vehicle on day 1 of your vehicle search.
10. Compare financing options. Shop that interest rate. Talk to your bank, credit union, or maybe both before you visit the dealership that has your desired car. Get a quote from your bank and or credit union, and put the dealership's lender in competion with your lender/lenders.
11. Use due diligence reading your paperwork. What’s a doc fee? What is a dealer prep fee? This is a fee, usually ranging between $100 and $400, that a dealer will try to charge for preparing the vehicle for sale. It's a ridiculous attempt at making extra profit because vehicle preparation is simply a part of doing business. Get the dealer to drop this fake fee before agreeing to purchase. Ask about any and every fee on your bill. Some might be legitimate, and others not so much.
12. End of the month deals. Dealerships are motivated to sell cars year round. If you want to wait until the last day of the month to take advantage of dealerships’ end of the month sales pitch, just remember one thing: it’s a sales pitch.
13. Do as much as you can over the phone before getting to the dealership. Get some photos, both interior and exterior; get a video of it running; get the vehicle history and get some price quotes.
14. Buyer’s Extras.
Interest Rate: Shop the interest rate between your bank/credit unions and the dealership.
Insurance: Save money on your car insurance. Get a car insurance quote before visiting the dealership.
Warrantees: Get a free quote for an auto warranty today. Compare the online warranty to the warranty the dealership offers.
Credit Check: Check your credit before visiting the dealership, and make sure your interest rate is aligned with your credit score, money down and term length.
Pricing Analysis: Kelly Blue Book has been a trusted resource since 1926. NADA, Edmunds.com are a couple more pricing resources.
Vehicle History: Know the facts with trusted resources like CarFax and AutoCheck. Knowing the vehicle history before purchasing is a fundamental part of buying a certified pre-owned or used Vehicle.
Private Party Sales: Save thousands of dollars selling your car Private Party VS. Dealer Trade-in. Here is how to sell it honestly, and quickly while beating your prospective buyer to the punch on their possible objections. Get a ready to sell mechanical inspection done, these usually cost around $30 and can be done at any mechanics shop. Buy a CarFax or AutoCheck Vehicle History Report. Put a For Sale sign in the car, take a good amount of pictures, post it on Facebook Marketplace (its Free, and thousands use it), and spend $5-$10 posting with documentation's on listing sites like Cars.com, CarGurus.com, and Craigslist. Filter through your good & bad prospects quickly by asking for a drivers license. If they can't provide you with a valid drivers license, don't waste your time.
Common Questions With Auto Buyers Help Founder Dan Robinson
Q. What makes Auto Buyers Help Unique?
A. A traditional third party listing website like CarGurus, Cars, AutoTrader, only advertise vehicle’s that dealerships pay them to advertise, and there is only a small number of dealerships that want to pay a third party listing site to advertise their vehicles for them. A traditional auto broker will look at the auto auction and at other dealership inventories for you. However, they usually require a hefty down payment just to search for you: a minimum of around $500-$3,000, or a percentage of the vehicle cost. If the broker finds your perfect vehicle for you at another dealership, he has to buy the vehicle from the dealership, then sell it to you, and the dealership the broker buys the vehicle from has to make a profit, and when the broker sells it you the broker has to make a profit. The same can be said for a dealership's Car Finder Service. More cost goes into the process than most consumers know. If the broker finds your option at the auction and you don’t like what you see when the vehicle arrives at his car lot, you don’t have to buy it, but you don’t get your deposit back. We (Auto Buyers Help) search every online inventory within your desired range of travel and we get you a list of all viable vehicle options. For example, one of your best options for a pre-owned Toyota Camry might be sitting at a Chevrolet dealership that doesn’t have any affiliation with a third party listing website, and that Chevrolet dealership could be 75-150 miles or more from your zip code. We provide you with a list of all the best available options for your next vehicle purchase, based on the information/specifications you submitted in your request per price, mileage, body style/make and model, features, and all within the desired range of travel from your zip code. Also, after you get your list of best available options you can still contact us to get one free deal report on the vehicle of your choice. That free deal report comes with vehicle history, suggested salesmen with top reviews, pricing analysis, dealer rating, unbiased third party reviews from top sources like Car & Driver and Edmunds Expert Review. Last, you get some car buying advice from experienced automotive experts, general auto buyers help, such as how to shop your interest rate between your personal bank/credit Union and the dealership’s financing/lender options, and more.
Q. What else is unique about the company?
A. We are a customer centric service. If it's good for our customer, it’s good for our company. Our search process is extremely thorough, we diligently search all online vehicle inventories, and we aren’t afraid to use some old school proven techniques like picking up the phone and making some calls.
Q. What do you say to people who are reluctant to pay your fee upfront?
A. A good amount of people are okay with our upfront fee. Most of them are happy a service like ours is available to help. Some people balk about our up front fee, and I let these people know that the data extraction on these vehicles cost us money. We analyze each list request before starting any work. If our customer's request doesn’t seem realistic we consult with that customer, and if we aren’t able to come to a realistic request we refund their money.
Q. Why did you start Auto Buyers Help?
A. I sold cars on and off for a handful of dealerships over a four-year period. I’m a little OCD/perfectionist, and being a professional car salesman while doing the job right was tough. There are so many variables that go into account: the trade-in price, the new/CPO/used listing price, the retail price, tax, title, licensing fees, the negotiations, proper vehicle evaluation, the financing, rebates, vehicle history. You have to keep all these variables in mind while taking care of your customers and getting your customers a good deal, all while keeping management happy and making some money for yourself off the sale. It’s a balancing act. Doing the job right and making a career out of it is tough.
Basically, I didn’t enjoy being a car salesman, and I wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t all that great of a car salesman. I had customers ask me: “Do you think this is a good deal?” There were honestly so many times I thought to myself, “No, this isn’t the best deal. You can do/find better.” I told friends and family that on a few occasions. It came down to this: I did not have the best option at the dealership I was working for at the time to actually provide my friends and family with the best deal via price range, make and model, features and more. I tried an unbelievable amount of different strategies and business models through three different websites between 2016 and 2019. A lot of trial and error led me to our current service. I became obsessed with finding a way I could help family and friends find their dream car. That obsession led me to an unbelievable amount of research, consulting with other car salesmen, general managers, financing managers, owners, paid business consulting, consulting with America’s Small Business Development Center, collaborating with friends, family, getting feedback from customers and consulting local and national experts. I thought there was a better way I could help my customers, and that’s why I started Auto Buyers Help.
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