How To Handle Aggressive Sales Tactics When Buying a New Car
Buying a new car can be fraught with tension. It’s a big purchase, and one that comes with high pressure sales tactics nearly always guaranteed. By preparing in advance, you can keep the upper hand and come out the other side with a serene attitude and a new car.
One way to avoid dealing with an aggressive salesperson is to use a buying service that has a predetermined price already set for the car you want. Costco, AAA, some credit unions and some websites offer access to members for car buying services. If you aren’t a member, it might be worth considering if you are loathe to deal with a car salesperson or hate negotiating. There are also car buying concierge services in some areas, where you pay someone else to deal with the sales end of things.
If you don’t want to pay for either a membership or a concierge, here are my tips for girding up your loins and jumping into the new car buying fray:
1) Research everything. Narrow the car you want down to one model if possible. Know what the available options are. Check out MSRP numbers. Read all the reviews you can find of the dealership you want to buy from – take extreme reviews, either negative or positive, with a grain of salt but be aware of them. Talk to people who own the make/model of car you are considering and ask about their buying experience. Educate yourself as much as possible, and know pretty much what you want. As part of your research, rent the model you are considering for a day. Driving an unfamiliar car is tough enough without a salesperson pitching at you the whole time. Renting gives you the opportunity to evaluate things at your own pace. Knowledge can deflect mis-direction and attempts at influencing your decision to be more to the salesperson’s benefit.
2) Know your financial situation intimately. Know how much you are able to put down; have a good idea of the range of value you can expect for your trade-in. Set financing up beforehand if you don’t want to finance through the manufacturer’s financial arm. Investigate any special deals that are being offered. Knowing your position can help you resist being up-sold.
3) Be prepared to wait. Making a customer wait while a salesperson “talks to the boss” is a classic technique. Be ready for it – bring a book, magazines, snacks, a bottle of water. Have whatever you need to be comfortable for an hour or more with you.
4) Be ready to leave without buying a car. Keep calm and remember you have the power to say “No, thanks” and leave. Role-play can be helpful if you need to practice staying firm in the face of increasing pressure. As much as possible, keep a sense of humor and the absurd about the whole process.