New car models are being produced, and they will soon be released. With that, car dealerships all over the country will be trying to empty their lots to make way for new cars, and to do that, they’ll use every trick in the book to get a sale. We’ve already heard plenty of nightmarish stories and thought this would be a good time to refresh on some car buying traps consumers can dodge by car shopping at NowCar.
We have a bit of a list that covers a good chunk of sales tricks to avoid. However, some of the stories we’ve heard are shining light on traps that we just have to talk about.
This is akin to the mind games we wrote about in our last article, but the fishing line is more devious. Forget seeing an ad in the paper. If a consumer writes to a dealership looking for a quote, then it’s like feeding the sharks. A recent consumer told us they wrote to a dealership looking to get a cheap lease on a new car for $300/month. We don’t suggest telling anyone how much you’re willing to pay a month but we understand putting the numbers out there for a quote so you don’t waste your time.
Car salesmen don’t care if they waste someone’s time. That’s their biggest trap. And they will email a consumer saying they can get the car they want at the price they want … until they get the consumer on the lot. Then the destination charge ($1,000+) comes into play and all the other fees not previously mentioned. At NowCar, we’re not going to put one price and then charge another.* The price at the end of the buying process is the price our customers pay.
Do Research Before Going into Battle
We felt a little sorry for one consumer. They recently bought a vehicle at the dealership, and they felt that they left with a good buy. They got the car they wanted with all the features they desired and also opted in for a leather interior option. What they didn’t know was that they were being blindsided with all the modern technology and convenient features.
Before going into a dealership, have a couple of choices in mind. Then, look up their prices on a website like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. We did our own calculations based on the price of the vehicle model and trim, plus the cost of a leather interior. This consumer paid $3000 more than they needed to because they were focused on getting a cheap monthly payment and didn’t bother to ask about the MSRP. Without that knowledge, a car salesperson can name any number they want if they can meet the monthly payment the consumer wants. Using a monthly payment as a target is understandable. However, sometimes to get a lower monthly payment, the term of the loan is extended meaning the buyer will pay more interest since the loan term is longer.
Can I Get Them Digits?
Always be ready and willing to walk away. Don’t get roped into a buy too quickly. We’ve heard how often a car salesperson will take a consumer for a 3-minute test-drive and then invite them into their office to talk numbers. And some people will actually do it!
Don’t be one of them. After the test drive, walk away. Even if you love the car, don’t let the excitement catch you off guard. Think about it. Be sure to grab all of your belongings, too. When taking a vehicle for a test drive, the salesperson needs your driver’s license before giving you the keys. Some salespeople will then keep driver’s license “by accident” just so a potential customer comes back for it and they have another sales opportunity.
Lastly, if possible, avoid giving out your personal number. Once on the lot, it’s like sharks smelling blood, and they will hound you all week to get you back on the lot and signing a paper. This doesn’t help anyone, and will cause some consumers to go through with a purchase just to make the phone calls stop.
We’re not going to hound you at NowCar. We don’t have commissioned sales people. Our Associates will make every effort to help you get a better deal and a better price. Just let us know how we can help.