One of the biggest mistakes that people make when haggling with a car dealer is to approach the situation like a battle. Any competent salesman knows that the only path to long-term success is to get on the same team as their customer. They don't want to sell you something you don't want. They want to help you find exactly what you need, so that you'll recommend them to your friends. Go in ready to work with them; assume they are honest until they make you feel otherwise. By starting from a place of trust, you will be able to cut through most of the typical sales nonsense, and get down to what really matters.

There are two major statistics that every salesman cares about, whether they're selling automobiles or kitchen knives: the close rate and average ticket. Both of these numbers affect their ranking within the company, annual bonuses, and other rewards. In a sales field where every closed deal is a huge dollar amount, the close rate is far more important than the average ticket. Remember that the employee who's selling you this vehicle wants to make the sale more than anything else. He's not interested in squeezing a few extra dollars out of you to boost his commission; he wants to exceed his quota for the month so he can qualify for a bonus or a vacation. If you go to a reputable dealership with a good rating online, you should feel comfortable that the company is giving you a fair, honest price.

While most people wish that buying a car was as easy as shopping at the grocery store, the reality is that it is in your best interest to be able to negotiate. A savvy consumer coming into a negotiation with the right attitude will always come out ahead. Those that spend their entire buying process looking for cheaters will cheat themselves out of finding the kind of car dealer who wants to work for them, not against them.


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Consumers tend to be wary of car dealers. The common consensus is that salesmen set out to deplete pocketbooks and offer disadvantageous prices to their customers. This assumption is far from the truth, however. Dealers expect and welcome their customers' negotiation, and they look forward to striking deals that allow both sides to prosper. The negotiation ball is in the consumer's court. It's up to the consumer to know how to negotiate to find the best outcome possible. The following are three essential tactics to keep in mind when sealing the deal over a vehicle.

When you drive over to the showroom, be prepared and know what you need. It is unwise to buy a vehicle when you know nothing about them in general. Make it your business to familiarize yourself with at least the most basic terminology, and find out what constitutes "bad mileage" and a "sound transmission," for instance. If you don't know the difference between horsepower and mileage, it's your own fault if you get duped. When you use proper car lingo in your negotiations with a dealer, he gets the message that you are an informed consumer. You are then on an equal playing field. Also, it is much easier to justify your offer when you can back it up with rational arguments about features or a lack thereof.

Car dealers are only intimidating if you face them unprepared. Sure, they are driven by the living they have to earn, thus their hard negotiation tactics. However, as a smart consumer, a well-mannered individual, and an informed bargain hunter, you can hold your own when buying a vehicle.