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    Tips for buying a new car

    Index     Go back to the beginning window
     1. Controlling the conversation.
     2. How to start."
     3. Leave your checkbook at home
     4. Insist on a salesperson the same as your sex.
     5. The salesperson is not your friend
     6. Body language.
     7. Never bring along a mechanic.
     8. Stay in the salesman's office.
     9. Leave your checkbook home when going for a demo
     10. Figuring an offer based on a monthly payment
    11. He needs your money more than you need his car.
    12. Buying a vehicle
    13. What to offer
    14. When to deal
    15. High-end buyers
    16. Buying the car
    17. Service
    18. Conclusion.

    Hundreds and thousands of people have worked to create car designs and even show room designs that are likely to lull you into lowering your defenses.

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    Find out all about Leasing or Buying a new car, which new cars have certain options, which have a certain bundle of features, how to make an offer for a monthly payment reflecting the dealer's profit, how money factors differ from interest rates, and .............much more.

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    Negotiating a new car purchase

    Controlling the conversation.
    Resisting the sales pressure of new car sales requires a lot of car tips. When you walk into a new car showroom you are not much different than the mouse looking at the cheese in the trap. Everybody in the industry is waiting for you. You are up against formidable people who have educated themselves in every nuance of psychological persuasion. Their goal is to convince you to purchase the new car with the highest dealer profit. Negotiating to buy a new car should not involve haggling, a practice most people try to avoid. Haggling is really a polite form of arguing. It can all be avoided whil buying a new car if you will memorize the essence of the following two comments, all you will need in talking to any new car salesman:

    Standard answers

    1.That's really not important. Let's concentrate on the deal. Is that a problem for you?

    2.That's all I can afford.

    The entire thrust of all car salesmen is to find your "hot button". What kind of a car do you drive, front-drive, rear drive, 4-door, 2-door, how many people in your family, lots of interstate travel, and on and on. His sole aim is to find out what motivates you. Once he finds that, he can use his sales tactics to appeal to your emotional needs, namely your various "hot buttons". Answering with these two questions will close him down and he will have no choice except to talk about the deal, the money, and nothing else. The less he knows about you, the less you will pay for the car. Back to the top

    How to start.
    Because the quality of most cars is almost the same, very few are really bad and most are relatively equal. Being committed to one particular new car model may be a mistake because there are likely several others that will be satisfactory and for th same price have the same features and that will be worth several thousand dollars more at trade in time than you initial choice. Go for test drives in several of the alternative possibilities, trying to focus on the ones with the most trade in value and for the same price until you have two or three candidates. Then, and not until then, go to another dealer to try to buy the car. Remember, you have at least two or three choices. Back to the top

    Leave your checkbook at home.
    Never drive up to the entrance to the dealership. It's no accident that there is lots of parking space right in front of the showroom. Park as far out as possible so that the salesman cannot see what kind of car you are driving. If you think the space directly in front of the showroom was provided as a courtesy to save you walking, you are already starting to loose the battle. Enter through the service entrance; pass through the waiting room where previous buyers of new cars have been waiting three hours for their free 45-minute oil change. Get a cup of coffee right there. If you wait until later and permit the salesman to get one for you, you have created a very small obligation to him. Then walk unobtrusively into the new car showroom. Go to a receptionist and ask to speak to a salesperson. Back to the top

    Insist on a salesperson the same as your sex.
    This is because the hidden enemy you face in attempting to buy a car at a low price is a portion of your own brain. Brain research in the past fifteen years has made many discoveries about how and why people respond to external stimuli. In St Paul, MN. is a company "Sensory Perceptions" which goes one further. It wires the face and forehead of test individuals with sensors that detect minute electrical output every time a muscle twitches in response to visual stimuli. One of its clients is General Motors.

    For example, a subject will be shown an advertising brochure, a proposed TV commercial or a full color rendition of a car from various viewpoints, and the subject's reactions are recorded. It's been concluded that the reactions are not largely logical, but are emotional. The portion of the brain in the thalamus and cerebellum decides on the reaction in what is termed the 'reptile" brain, that is believed to be the most important to survival. It reacts to food, taste, lust, sex, survival, and other primitive instincts. Having reacted, then the logical part of the brain now justifies the reaction.

    If the buyer is a man, then working with a pretty or beautiful woman salesperson is a recipe for disaster because the basic male carnal instincts of the man will subconsciously urge him to please her. Conversely, if the buyer is a woman, she should insist on working with a woman as a salesperson. Back to the top

    The salesperson is not your friend
    He's after your money. He doesn't care about your welfare. He wants the sale so he can eat tomorrow. You have money to spend, and there is no deadline. You are in control.

    Having met the salesperson, be sure to keep the cup of coffee in your right hand so when the salesperson greets you he cannot shake your hand and find out the following information that is valuable to him:

    All of these small facts, and hundreds more, give information about you that is to his advantage. The more he knows about you the more you will pay for the car. When greeting the salesman, remind yourself that the more you disclose about yourself, the more it will cost. Your goal is to depersonalize the entire transaction just as if you were talking to someone over the phone and referring to a catalog number. If you are older than the salesman by a generation, be aware that he may put his right hand on your shoulder, or even, standing on your left, reach around your back and put his right hand on the back of your right shoulder in a protective gesture and invite you into his office.

    If he stands to your side and puts his arm around your back and his hand rests on your opposite shoulder, the gesture is widely recognized as being patronizing.. It indicates that the putter has concluded he is superior to the puttee. Recall how Presidential aspirant John Kerry always did this to his vice-presidential choice whenever they appeared jointly in public. Your answer should be unequivocal: "I don't appreciate your patronizing gesture of putting your hand on my shoulder. I'll leave now and request another salesperson."

    He'll apologize quickly, but the damage is done because you have called his bluff and he is embarrassed. Even if he apologizes he will be defensive from then on. Whether his gesture was conscious or taught, the damage is done. It is a waste of time to have any further negotiations with this salesperson. If you get past this hurdle, ask to sit in his office to discuss a deal. In fact, insist on it.

    Note that if the salesperson continually refers to you by your proper or first name, he is doing so in an attempt to make you feel important and recognized. You are being manipulated. No matter what the salesperson asks that might reveal anything at all about you, reply with the Standard answers

    If asked what kind of a car are you driving, give the standard answer #1 again. . After he hears it several times he will stop asking. If you do tell him about what kind of a car you drive he immediately knows something about your level of financial commitment to owning or driving a car and what has previously appealed to you. You must deny him this information, or he is starting to get his hand into your wallet. That puts him on the defensive, which is your primary goal.

    New Car sales training
    Below is another excerpt from a web site offering car sales training:

    Body language.
    Many studies have been published that conclude that when two strangers meet, the impression one makes in the first 30 seconds is 90% the same impression that is made even after the two have talked for several hours. This brings up the subject of Body Language. Courses are taught nationwide, to salespeople and attorneys, on how to evaluate an individual based on body language. Don't laugh. If you doubt this, go to the nearest PC and type in the search engine "Body language" and you will be amazed. At the same time, Type in "Facial expressions" and you will get another ocean of shocking information. Note: Leave off the quotation marks in your search input.

    One company has identified about 62 individual facial muscles and studied how each one tightens or relaxes in response to a question, with or without another two or three muscles doing the same thing, and can predict lying or truth 80% of the time, better than the 50% associated with the well publicized Lie detector. One local police department has sent detectives to take this course. So have many top auto salesmen.

    Alternatively, If you move your weight from one leg to the other too often, or clean your glasses too frequently, or avert his eyes too often, or scratch your chin or ear to often, each motion tells the salesman about how confident or insecure you are in negotiation. If you bring along another person, that's danger. It weakens your position on arriving at a deal. The salesman will immediately attempt to figure out which of the two of you are most uncomfortable negotiating and he will then drag out the negotiations until one of you is literally ready to give him the farm just to get out of there. So always go alone. Never go with someone. Back to the top

    Never bring along a mechanic.
    The salesman knws an easy sale is imminent. Leave your Rolex at home. Take off your diamond wedding ring. Don't' wear your most expensive suit. Don't wear your scruffiest clothes. Don't wear pressed pants. Appear as ordinary as possible. Don't have a manicure before going to the dealer. Don't wear $175 shoes. After he asks what kind of car you are interested in, do not accompany him to the car on the showroom floor. What he really wants to do is get a sign from you as to what feature about the car impresses you. Once he gets that he will talk it up like mad. Remember that eye appeal will compromise the ability of your brain to make a logical decision. General Motors knows that, and so does the salesperson. Back to the top

    Stay in the salesman's office.
    Never leave it. Do not go out on the showroom floor and admire the car of your dreams. It will cost you money if you do. If you're asked why you are looking at a particular model, just say it has several features that are appropriate. If asked which one, give Standard answers #1 again.

    The goal of the sale routine is to get the buyer to sit in the car, feel the comfort of the seat, smell the aromas of fresh upholstery, admire the paint, and appeal to your, sight, smell, touch (tactile) and emotions. Without that, he is left to appeal to logic, which takes all his weapons away. Back to the top

    Leave your checkbook home when going for a demo.
    If you go by yourself, do not leave your driver's license with anyone at the dealer. Having it, the saleperson can immediately look up the cars you own, your address, the appraised value of your house, and myriad other items that are of immense interest to him in deciding how high he should go in trying to saddle you with more than you want to pay.

    Here is another excerpt from a sales training course:

    Never tell where you work. Never tell your occupation. Give the standard answer again. In general, tell nothing, say nothing, and remember the instructions given to everyone testifying in court: "Don't say anything unless there is a need to know. Never colunteer information." This means that there is nothing to say to the salesperson whatsoever except to discuss the terms of the deal. Anything else, unless covered by need to know, merely weakens your position.

    When a price is mutually agreed upon, then, and only then, does the salesperson have to know your address and phone number and other data required to execute a purchase contract. Back to the top

    Figuring an offer based on a monthly payment.
    If leasing a vehicle, first start by determining the residual value. Call the dealer or your bank and get the current typical interest-financing rate. Assume the residual value is $8,000 and the rate is .04%.

    To get the residual portion of the lease, just multiply $8,000 by .04/12, because the .04 is an annual rate, and payments are made every twelve months. This is $26.66/month If the selling price is $20,000 then the amount being depreciated is $12,000. To get the monthly payment, ask any banker for the monthly payment for a $12,000 loan at the 4% rate for the number of months you plan on leasing, such as 36, or 48.. Most hand calculators also have this feature, but a phone call might be quicker. Add the two numbers together to get the monthly lease amount. Note: Most authorities on this subject suggest the practical selling price on buying a vehicle is 3% over the dealer cost that is available on many Internet sites. Just type in "auto dealer cost" on the Internet (without the quotation marks) and be surprised at all the hits. Add the two together, and you have the monthly lease payment. That's all there is to it.

    Decide on an offer based on a monthly payment, not a price, and present it and get a reaction. This will put the salesperson at a disadvantage, as he/she probably does not know how to convert a monthly payment into a price and will have to see the financial man. They will both be embarrassed to come back to you and ask how much total dollars that converts to. If he asks, tell him you really don't know. They may have to call their banker, and ask, for example, "What is the present value of a 3 year annuity paying $345.67/month?' If his reaction to your offer is negative, and he says it is not enough, use standard answer #2: "That's all I (or we) can afford." That stops him cold. Only a boor would then tell you that you could afford more. How can he know? It's none of his business The only thing he can say is that it's not enough. This again puts him on the defensive. You have taken charge. You have set the rules. And above all, you have the money that he badly wants and needs. Back to the top

    He needs your money more than you need his car.
    He needs to pay his rent, feed himself and his family, buy gas, and satisfay same the financial obligations that you have. But he needs it now, and you can wait a while before buying car.

    When he concludes that the sale leaves the dealer with only x dollars in profit, he will return and say they cannot afford to sell the car for that amount. Standard answer #2: "That's too bad. I wish I could afford more. But I enjoyed meeting you. Here's my phone number. Call me if you can meet my price. Meanwhile I have other dealers to visit because I have to look at other models with almost identical features and price." If he asks which ones you are also considering, then tell him "That's really not important" because if you answer with a specific model you have given him something to argue about. And he will. Then walk towards the exit.

    Don't be surprised if the salesperson then asks you to wait a minute while he visits with the Sales manager. You have may have to walk toward the door more than once. If he stays with the Sales Manager more than five minutes before returning, walk out, because he is just trying to wear you down.

    One of the secrets of successful selling is to get the buyer to invest a lot of time so that he finally will do any deal just to get out of there. Under no circumstances give him a check to accompany your initial offer. Some sales people will ask for a check "To show your good faith" in your intention to do a deal. This is the kiss of death. Never write a check until all parties sign the contract. Back to the top

    Buying a vehicle.
    When making an offer, never agree to provide a check as a "token of intent or goodwill". The offer may not be accepted, but the sales manager still has the check. Typically he will have about three cups of coffee and let you stew, waiting, waiting, waiting, until finally coming back that the offer is too low. It is widely accepted that the more time a person has invested in negotiating, the more likely the person will agree to a higher price than originally planned. Providing a check is definitely the wrong thing to do. The check is written only after a written and signed acceptance has been provided by the Dealer's salesperson. Back to the top

    What to offer
    Use the dealer cost and add 3%. This is generally acknowledged as sufficient for any dealer to not only stay in business but also to make a good profit. Any more and you are giving away money.

    If possible, make the offer on the last day of the month (see the next item "When to deal") only a one a few hours before closing time. Walk out up to three times if necessary. Leave your phone number and be friendly.
    Note:Always be prepared to walk away if the offer is refused. One can always come back. Be sure to state: "That's all I can afford". Each time. Back to the top

    When to deal
    Be aware that all dealers have monthly quotas they like to meet. Better yet, the manufacturer may be overstocked with a slow moving model and give its dealers this offer:

    The public library has back issues of Automotive News (also on the Internet), as does Wards.com that show current inventories. The car bought on the last day of the month may make the carsales quota for the Dealer who will thereby get a retroactive bonus for every car sold that month. That means that that last car sold could easily have been sold at a loss and the Dealer still comes out financially ahead for the month. So why not wait until about one hour before quitting time on the last day of the month to try to close on a deal. You have nothing to loose, and possible a real bargain awaits you if there is a dealer incentive program in place that month. Back to the top

    High-end buyers.
    If you're thinking about a BMW or Mercedes or Lexus, again try the Internet for "New car showroom designs" (ithout quotation marks) and open up any of the sites for companies that do this type of design. You will be amazed at what Dealers do to lull you into paying too much for their product. Back to the top

    Buying the car
    Typically the actual "deal' is closed by the "Finance" manager. He (or she) is someone to watch out for as his hand is in your pocket too. He will do his best to add on various options, such as rust proofing, disability insurance, credit life insurance, etc. Credit life insurance is the worst of all because the commissions are usually 50%. He will often be so bold as to say "It only costs 30 cents/day.' That is really $100/year. Of that $100, he may very well get an immediate $30-$50. Politely decline. If you want such insurance, contact an insurance salesperson and inquire about decreasing term insurance.

    The fact is that the typical car is so well made that there is little need for any added charges that have not already been stipulated by the salesperson, such as Delivery. etc. Refuse to pay for 'Vehicle preparation', which consists of off-loading the car from the transport carrier and removing the paper floor mats and putting a little gas in the tank and washing the windows.This is really delaer overhead and is part of dealer costs, just like lighting his showroom. Make this part of your offer, namely, that these extra charges are covered by your offer. These simple efforts are normal overhead to the dealer and should not be charged to a buyer unless the buyer is naïve. stipulate that the dealer is not to paste or paint his name anywhere on your vehicle. If he wants you to advertise for him, let him pay for it. Back to the top

    Service.
    Always avoid dealer service except for warranty repairs. Note:Any dealer representing the vehicle manufacturer can do warranty repairs. It does not have to be the dealer from whom the vehicle was bought. Anything done by any dealer will cost you lots of time. There are many reputable national chains, such as Firestone, Precision Tune, Tires Plus, etc. that can do typical maintenance and their work. If you save the invoice done by any garage it will be honored under any warranty claims that turn up later requiring you to prove timely maintenance.

    The best way to handle service is to drop off the car at the end of the day, get a ride back home, and get it back the next day. There's no need to sit in a Dealer waiting room and be stoned by listening to 2-3 hours of soap operas on the TV while waiting for a 20-minute oil change. Back to the top

    Conclusion.
    Leave the Title at home.>br> Leave the checkbook at home.
    Tell him nothing.
    Stay in his office.
    Be nondescript in dress,
    Don't fidget.
    Be impassive.
    Never smile.
    Be polite,
    Be prepared to walk out at most three times.
    Refuse a test drive.
    Always remember: he needs your money right now more than you need his car,
    Back to the top

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