Learn the insider tactics that you can use when trying to lower the price of your next dream car, bike, boat, jetski or caravan?
Tell the salesperson and sales manager that you’ll sign the paperwork the minute they hit your target figure. Politely decline any counter-offers, give them your phone number, and leave. If the price you have researched and are willing to pay is within the realm of possibility, they’ll call you at some point. (If they are hungry and motivated for a deal)
Follow-up on Saturday or Sunday nights an hour before closing time
Call and ask to speak with the salesperson or manager you’ve spoken to before. Remind them you’re a buyer when they meet your figure, but that they shouldn’t waste your time if they won’t.
If your offer is possible, the opportunity to do one more deal before the end of the day might compel them to work with you, especially if the dealership is having a bad weekend.
Follow-up on the last day of the month
Again, salespeople and managers are often under pressure to find one more deal before the month ends. A deal that didn’t make sense on the 25th might make sense on the 31st if their sales for the month haven’t met the dealership’s expectations.
Follow-up on days that have had terrible weather
A major storm, a day of wind and rain, etc. can dramatically affect sales. Call and remind the salesperson or manager that you’re happy to come down when they meet your offer. Again, the fact that they’re not selling much at the moment might get them to bend in your favour.
Rinse, wash and repeat
Do the same process concurrently with a couple of other dealers in your area. Make sure they have the car you want, and then give them their mission.
Know what it’s worth
You may find that Redbook, Glasses Guide and other websites such as CarSales.com.au, BoatSales.com.au etc. can provide “true market” estimates that are reasonably accurate. If you’re buying a used motorbike for example, BikeSales.com.au may tell you both retail value and wholesale (aka trade-in) values.
If you do your research you will have a good idea of what you need to spend to secure a good deal. Don’t go over the amount you know you need to spend. We sometimes let our emotions get in the way of purchasing our dream car, bike, boat, jet ski, you name it we all do it. If you are patient and you are willing to put some time into working the internet and phone, you can often find a dealership willing to dip into their holdback (financial reserve) to make one more deal happen for the month.
When I’m buying, I try for at least a 10-15% discount off of wholesale (trade-in) value. It’s damn difficult, but every now and then a dealer will take stock in on trade at below market value. If you make this kind of aggressive offer, you might get it every now and again.
Of course, you can always just offer true market value (new) or wholesale value (used). That will make getting a deal much easier … but what’s the fun in that?
Secure your own loan first before you go shopping
A great way to avoid the drama in the dealership’s finance office is to speak with an experienced equipment finance broker before you head out to make your purchase. Don’t be fooled by the low rate loan offers that some dealerships have advertised. Read more….
If you are time poor like most of us you can easily apply online for finance and have an experienced loan consultant do all of the hard work for you. This approach can save you both time and money.
If you’ve got bad credit, it is highly unlikely that the dealership finance salesperson will have a competitive option to help you out as their financiers are generally only looking for AAA class applicants. Again, this is where an experienced equipment finance broker can help.
Always be polite
In some of the other answers to this question, I’ve read suggestions about telling the dealer to “take it or leave it,” threatening to walk out, etc. This is all bad advice. You are more likely to get a better deal if you let the dealership know exactly how you want to do business with them and let them do their job. After all, what salesperson doesn’t want to make a sale?
The people that work in dealerships generally work long hours and have a lot of pressure to reach targets each day. The last thing they want is to be treated poorly by a customer that is looking for their help. Therefore, when someone starts dictating terms and making threats, most salespeople and sales managers will respond aggressively. It’s human nature. Instead of finding a way to make a deal, you’ll be told to wait an hour because someone is “on the phone with the Manager or Manufacturer.”
Therefore, be nice and respectful to everyone you deal with. If you’re a genuinely nice person, I’m far more likely to do something unusual for you (like selling a car for less than invoice) than I am if you’re an AAA grade jerk.
What’s more, dealerships are now frequently paid on their overall customer satisfaction scores. Polite and courteous customers are far more likely to give a dealership a positive review, and dealers know it. A dealer’s worst-case scenario is to sell a car cheaply to someone who gives them a lousy review on the manufacturer’s satisfaction survey. Not only did you fail to make money, but you get yelled at by the GM or owner for doing a bad job.
The downside to my process is that you might have to buy your dream car late on a weekend, you might have to buy a bike during a storm, etc., but you’ll get the price you want (or at least get closer than you ever thought possible).